The 10 Best Marula Oils
This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in January of 2017. For centuries, women in Africa have used the nutrient-rich marula oil to moisturize and nourish their hair and skin. Filled with fatty acids and an abundance of health benefits, this treatment reduces wrinkles, fine lines, and dryness, and helps to combat frizz when it's humid outside. It's sure to leave you fresh-faced and glowing. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best marula oil on Amazon.
The Elixir Of Youth
However, an object doesn't have to perish to give something beneficial back to the living.
While you might think the Circle of Life is just a song performed at the beginning of Disney's The Lion King, the phrase is also symbolic of the perceived infinite nature of energy, the idea that when something dies, it gives new life to something else. However, an object doesn't have to perish to give something beneficial back to the living. Various species of trees, for example, bear fruit at different times of the year, depending on their locations around the world. This fruit becomes a form of sustenance to those who depend on it for biological and economic survival. Furthermore, a tree's byproducts can even serve cosmetic benefits, thanks to the oils found in the nuts and seeds or the fruits it produces. Marula oil happens to be one such example.
Derived from the South African Sclerocarya birrea botanical, marula oil is a rare, semi-clear substance with a light yellow color typically extracted from the nuts (or seeds) of the fruit from the marula tree itself. The oil has a very fragrant, floral, nutty aroma, and offers powerful properties, including an abundance of monounsaturated fatty acids and protective antioxidants. Fruit seeds from the marula tree are covered in thick, protective husks. In order to extract the oil from these seeds and husks, the fruit is normally crushed either by hand or through a more efficient cold pressing extraction process. Marula trees must reach an age of seven to 10 years before they are mature enough to bear fruit used for oil extraction. While marula oil can be (and has been) used for cooking purposes and preserving meat, our main focus here is specific to its applications for both superior skin and hair care, hence its nickname as the "elixir of youth" or "miracle oil."
Marula oil serves a large number of benefits to the human body. Any combination of overexposure to harmful ultraviolet rays, air pollution, smoke, or artificial heating will contribute to environmentally-caused skin damage and accelerated aging. These types of irritants are responsible for producing free radicals, leading to a breakdown of collagen and elastin, while also causing skin inflammation at the cellular level (marked by the appearance of age spots and wrinkles among other imperfections). Marula oil is a first line of defense against these aggressors by helping to strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier. Being rich in nutrients and vitamins, and packed with essential fatty acids, the oil also helps to prevent the formation of acne, scars, and stretch marks, while moisturizing and rejuvenating one's complexion. Furthermore, its penetrative properties make it a perfect solution for moisturizing chapped lips during those bitter cold winter months.
From a medicinal standpoint, marula oil works to remove the harmful germs and bacteria that can otherwise infect blocked pores or cause swelling and inflammation on the skin's surface.
Marula oil's high levels of vitamin C and oleic acid essentially coat, moisturize, and protect both individual strands of hair and the scalp from many of the same environmental irritants previously mentioned.
The Skin's The Limit
Whether you're pregnant and trying to avoid the formation of scars or stretch marks, attempting to prevent brittle fingernails, worried about premature aging, or you're just trying to get rid of all that frizz in your hair, a bottle of marula oil will easily become one of your new best friends. One of the beauties of this substance is that its degree of effectiveness isn't restricted to a specific skin or hair type, so the choice of formula really comes down to how you plan to use it for skin, hair, nails or all of the above. Because the oil's consistency is very similar to those natural oils produced by human skin, it provides naturally soothing and fast-absorbing action without clogging pores or leaving any greasy residue behind.
If you're looking for something to help you combat particularly dry hair while conditioning each strand, consider mixing about ten tablespoons of marula, a few tablespoons of Argan oil, and your favorite brand-name hair conditioner. You can whip this combination together and warm it up in the microwave for a homemade moisturizer. Given that marula oil works to seal each strand of hair and protect the cuticle, massaging it slowly into your scalp will leave you with a relatively satiny finish as an end result. The consistency of the oil should also be fairly thin so that it's easy to spread all over your head.
To obtain the purest form of marula oil possible, always look for a brand whose formula has been hand-selected and cold pressed. Finally, the oil should always have a light and rich consistency that quickly penetrates your skin after about 60 seconds of massaging, which will ensure maximum hydration.
A Very Brief History Of Marula Oil
Evidence from the Pomongwe Caves located in Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe suggests that marula oil has been used in Africa for the last 10,000 years. Since that time, the marula tree has been highly-respected and protected by the natives, thanks to the usefulness of its nut kernels, roots, leaves, bark, wood, flowers, and fruits.
Over the centuries, the marula tree became synonymous with the concept of fertility, hence the reason for its use in purifying rituals before marriages were consummated.
Some early African communities used the oil as a means of revitalizing the skin through the use of body lotions and cleansers, while other communities depended on it as a source of sustenance and a means to preserve meats for up to one year.
Over the centuries, the marula tree became synonymous with the concept of fertility, hence the reason for its use in purifying rituals before marriages were consummated. Components of the marula tree have also been used to produce various foods, furniture, and medicines in Africa, making it a particularly valuable commodity throughout the continent as well as in the United States with respect to the cosmetics industry.
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