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The Amazing Benefits of Marula Oil for Hair & Skin

I’ve been hearing great things about marula oil for some time.

I finally got round to trying it out over the last few weeks and loved the results. In this article, we’ll examine the:-

  • Benefits of marula oil for hair and skin
  • How to use marula oil for hair and skin care
  • Production phases of marula oil
  • Best brands of marula oil
  • Marula oil hair products

The Amazing Benefits of Marula Oil for Hair and Skin

What is Marula Oil?

The marula tree is an average-sized tree, commonly found in South Africa and parts of West Africa. The fruit from the tree is greenish/yellowish in color.

Marula fruit contains about 8 times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges. From the rich fruit of this tree comes the amazing marula oil.

The fruit from the tree is cracked open by women in local villages in South Africa & Madagascar, and the oil is cold-pressed from the kernels.

The oil has been part of the beauty practices of South Africans for a very long time. The fruit of the tree is also used to make the popular Amarula liqueur.

Marula oil is a clear, light yellow and has a slightly nutty aroma. Traditionally, marula oil was used in cosmetics, as a cooking oil and as a preservative for meat.

8 Benefits of Marula Oil for Skin

1. Protects Skin

Apart from the high vitamin C content, marula oil contains oleic acid, which protects the skin against environmental elements.

2. Suitable for Oil Cleansing Method

Due to its properties and low comedogenic rating, marula oil is highly suitable for the oil cleansing method.

3. Highly Stable

Marula oil is a highly stable oil making it a major ingredient in the production of cosmetics.

Marula oil can be added to your DIY beauty products to extend the shelf life and stabilize the ingredients.

4. Light & Fast Absorbing

Marula oil has a light texture and is fast absorbing making it suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin.

5. Cell Renewal & Regeneration

Marula oil also contains vitamin E, essential amino acids, and flavonoids, which are all great for cell renewal and regeneration.

There have been studies on the anti-aging effects of marula oil. You can read more on that HERE.

6. Refines Appearance of Scars & Wrinkles

The essential fatty acids contained in marula oil can help reduce the appearance of and eliminate scars and wrinkles. 

7. Suitable for DIY Projects

If you make your own anti-aging beauty products, marula oil is one of the best oils to include in the recipe. I have recommended it in several beauty articles on the site. 

8. Strengthens Weak & Brittle Nails

Marula oil is also suitable for treating weak, splitting and brittle nails due to its high vitamin E content. 

Related Content: 30 Non-Comedogenic Oils for Oily Skin

4 Benefits of Marula Oil for Hair

1. Sealing Oil

Marula oil has a light texture, which is easily absorbed into the hair shaft making it suitable for use as a sealing oil.

2. Protects Hair

Marula oil protects hair against environmental elements and harmful UV rays from the sun.

3. Smoother Hair

Using marula oil on frizzy hair leads to smoother hair with a satin-like feel.

4. Hydrating Oil

As a super hydrating oil, marula oil can be added to deep conditioning treatments or you can buy hair products with marula oil as a primary component.

Related Content: 16 Marula Oil Hair Products for Dry Hair

women in south africa working on marula fruit

Women in South Africa working on marula fruit 

How is Marula Oil Made

Below is a short video showing women from a cooperative in Namibia making marula oil.

The cooperatives are how local women support their family and community. 

How to Use Marula Oil for Hair

Marula Oil Hair Therapy Treatment


  • 3 tablespoons of marula oil
  • 1 tablespoon of argan oil. Argan oil is a great complementary oil for marula oil by the way
  • Your favorite deep conditioner 


  • Mix the marula oil with the argan oil. Set aside.
  • Pour an adequate amount of your favorite deep conditioner into a bowl and whip thoroughly.
  • Heat up the oil mix over a bowl of boiling water then add to the deep conditioner. Whip some more.
  • Apply it to the length of your hair after shampooing and deep condition under a hair steamer without a cap for 30 – 45 minutes. My favorite hair steamer is this tabletop brand here
  • Rinse and style as usual.

You can also apply a few drops of marula oil to finish off a style. It gives some luster to the hair and smoothens the strands.

Marula Oil Recipes for the Skin

  • Use marula oil for the oil cleansing method due to its lightweight nature and especially high vitamin C content. Combine with a facial cleansing brush
  • Apply marula oil very lightly as a primer 10 – 15 minutes before applying makeup.
  • Due to its regenerative and cell renewal properties, you can also use marula oil on your décolletage and chest area.
  • Mix 5 drops of marula oil with your daily body cream or body butter.

Look for fair trade marula oil, which supports the women in the villages where it’s harvested and produced.

Marula oil vs argan oil. Which is best

Marula Oil vs Argan Oil

Marula oil and argan oil have similar properties and complement each other quite well in hair and skin care treatments.

However, marula oil is better suited for dry hair while argan oil is better suited for breakage and split ends.

For the best of both worlds, mix equal amounts of marula oil and argan oil in your hair and skin care DIY formulations. 

Related Content: Top 10 Argan Oil Brands for Hair & Skin

Where to Buy Marula Oil?

The marula tree is a protected tree and isn’t allowed to be cut down. As a result, it’s not the cheapest of natural oils.

However, you don’t need that much at a time so it will last for a while. Below are the top 5 recommendations for marula oil:-

Shea Terra Organics Marula Oil

Shea Terra Marula Oil

Acure Wild Crafted Marula Oil

Acure Wildcrafted Marula Oil

Slice of Nature Pure Marula Oil

Slice of Nature Marula Oil

The Ordinary Marula Oil

The Ordinary Marula Oil

Sweet Essentials Marula Oil

Sweet Essentials Marula Oil

Hair Products with Marula Oil

Paul Mitchell also has a line of marula oil hair products. I haven’t tried them but I’ve heard good things. Some of them include:-

This May Interest You

If you’re interested in learning more about natural oils and how to use them for specific purposes to achieve optimal length and health, have a look at How to Grow Your Hair Healthy & Long with Natural Oils, a comprehensive guide about natural oils. 

Available in Kindle & paperback format. Subscribers get up to 30% off. Check it out and grab your discount code HERE

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