A relative newcomer to our vegan skin & hair care range is Marula Oil. If you have wondered what that particular oil is and why we began using it, this article will tell you all you need to know.
Where does Marula oil come from
The marula fruit tree (Sclerocarya birrea) is native to parts of southern Africa. The marula tree traditionally known as the Tree of Life, grows wild and were once rare, but are now cultivated for oil production.
Many parts of the marula tree are used as ingredients in food and traditional medicine throughout Africa. Each marula fruit contains a hard, brown nut with pliable, white kernels inside. Marula oil is primarily pressed from these kernels, but can also be obtained from the nut’s outer husk. Marula oil is rich in protein and is very easily absorbed, making it an effective skin and hair treatment.
Nutritional Profile and skin benefits of Marula Oil
Marula is antioxidant-rich oil and is mostly composed of oleic acid and linoleic acid but also contains procyanidin and flavanoids. Because of this nutritional profile Marula oil is able to effectively hydrate the skin and is claimed to help restore a radiant tone.
It’s light texture, rich moisture content and noncomedogenic properties have made it a popular treatment for skin, hair, and nails. Being a super light and “dry” oil means it is perfect for oily and spot prone skin. Marula’s beneficial components include amino acids (L-arginine and glutamic acid), which are hydrating and anti-ageing ; fatty acids ( palmitic, stearic, oleic, and myristic acids) which have emollient and moisturising benefits; and antioxidants ( such as phenolic compounds and vitamins E and C), which help fight free radicals and may prevent skin damage caused by the UV rays of the sun and pollution. It is believed to also be beneficial for smoothing and softening fine lines, preventing stretch marks, and keeping the skin hydrated and well-nourished.
Marula oil can also be used as a nail treatment. You can simply rub marula oil into your cuticles after removing nail polish, which can be drying. You can also use it as a nighttime treatment for softening nail beds.
Marula oil as a Hair Conditioner
Marula oil is not only fantastic for skin applications but can also be rubbed into the ends of hair to help eliminate split ends and dryness. You can also massage it into the scalp to reduce dandruff associated with flaky skin. Try massaging it through your entire head prior to shampoo, or use it as an anti-frizz treatment before venturing out into high humidity or rain. From experience our customers can find pure oils a little tricky to use as one never knows just how much to apply and if this is you, then you may wish to consider our new Hair Repair Mask & Serum, which can be applied prior to shampoo or on clean damp hair before styling to help prevent frizz and define curls.
For more information on marula - about the tree, kernels and how the oil is extracted you can read a detailed article by the American Botanical Council