The latest articles to help you maintain mental, physical and spiritual wellness.

Marula Oil Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

Once an ancient beauty secret of the Ovambo women of Namibia, marula oil benefits the skin in numerous ways.  For generations, marula oil has been used by African women as a moisturizing body lotion. Instead of water, they would use the oil to clean themselves. Despite its effectiveness, its very gentle. So much so, marula oil can even used as a massage oil for infants.

This extraordinary oil is harvested from the Marula tree, which is native to the African regions of Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Usually found in open woodland areas, this tree can rise to 20 meters in height. Its raw fruits are green in color. As they ripen, their color turns to yellow or light orange. These fruits contain hard-shelled seeds that have two to three kernels, from which the oil is extracted.

Natural Properties of Marula Oil

Marula oil has a clear, yellowish-brown colour and gives off a distinct nutty aroma. It contains a phenomenal variety of minerals, nutrients and fatty acids and its Vitamin C content is four times higher than oranges. And that’s just the start. The oil is chock-full of healthy properties, including

  • Powerful antioxidants – Marula oil has high levels of oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid that promotes antioxidant production in the body. This allows for quick absorption when applied to the skin, providing it with longer lasting hydration and smoothness. It also provides high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, essential amino acids and flavonoids. The potency of its antioxidants gives marula oil a free radical scavenging ability which is useful in fighting environmental damage to the skin.
  • Moisturizing properties – With its exceptional composition of fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, Marula oil is the perfect facial and skin moisturizer. The mono-unsaturated fatty acids help restore the skins natural barrier, improving its elasticity.
  • Enhanced oxidative stability – Though the oil contains the same fatty acid composition as olive oil, its 10 times steadier to oxidation. This means it oil is highly resistant to oxidative degradation, allowing it and maintain its efficacy regardless of product formulations. It also gives it a super long shelf life (around 18 months).

How Marula Oil Benefits the Skin

With regular use, marula Oil provides great protection against premature skin aging as it neutralizes free radicals, promotes collagen build up, and delivers antioxidant protection. It can help soften and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This healing oil can also soothe irritation and reduce redness.

Apart from being a front-runner in your anti-aging arsenal, marula oil is perfect for treating dry, chapping skin as its super effective in maintaining hydration. Its anti-microbial properties are great for all skin types, including those that are oily and acne-prone. You can use it as an evening moisturizer for your face and neck to help with skin rejuvenation during your sleep. Marula oil doesn’t leave a greasy feeling as it can be absorbed by the skin instantly.

So it’s safe to say that,thanks to its nutritive composition, marula oil benefits the skin in a number of ways. All the more reason to be thankful that this mega oil is no longer the best kept skincare secret of Africa.

Marula Oil Side Effects

Marula oil does not seem to produce any side effects, but always use a patch test if you suspect you’re sensitive to a particular oil.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.