Best Marula Oil

Updated November 2020
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Buying guide for the best marula oil

When you glance in the mirror, does your face look older than your age? Marula oil may be the solution. It’s suitable for all skin types: normal, oily, combination, and dry. Say goodbye to dryness, uneven skin tone, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Marula oil is chock-full of critical antioxidants that deeply nourish, soothe, moisturize, and rejuvenate aging skin while restoring its youthful glow.

How does it work? Marula oil is a highly absorbable oil that delivers antioxidants to the skin, battling the aging effects of free radicals and environmental stressors. Most people experience a noticeable reduction in redness, blotchiness, fine lines, and wrinkles as their skin drinks in this remarkable nutrient-rich oil, which can be applied directly to the skin or hair or mixed with other lotions, serums, or shampoo.

Interested in trying marula oil yourself? Read our shopping guide to discover more about its anti-aging benefits. When you are ready to purchase, take a look at the marula oil products we’ve highlighted as some of the very best.

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Marula oil isn’t just for aging skin. This miracle oil helps prevent and heal a variety of skin disorders, including eczema and psoriasis.


Where marula oil comes from

Extracted from the pip (kernel) of the fruit of the marula tree, virgin marula oil is pure and natural. An “elixir of youth,” marula oil comes from a tree native to southern Africa. It has been harvested for centuries as a natural remedy for a diverse array of conditions.

Fully ripe marula fruits are picked and peeled to extract the pulp, then washed and dried for decortication. The dried pips are cold-pressed, and the oil thus obtained is carefully filtered through a natural process. The resultant residue-free oil is golden in color with an earthy scent. 

Benefits of marula oil

Heals blemishes: Lightweight and non-greasy, marula oil heals blemishes as it hydrates your skin. Its antimicrobial properties kill the bacteria that cause acne, and you don’t have to worry about it clogging your pores, as it’s non-comedogenic.

Tones and lightens skin: Marula oil is an excellent product for skin toning and lightening. The lightweight oil protects against harmful UV rays and keeps skin light, youthful, and vibrant.

Boosts hair growth: Marula oil contains powerful nutrients, antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and minerals that boost cell regeneration. This helps keep the hair and scalp healthy and encourages hair growth. Marula oil stimulates the scalp to promote healthy hair growth and helps prevent breakage.

Detangles hair: This light-weight restorative oil is also an excellent detangler, making it ideal for curly hair.

Minimizes scars: Marula oil can help reduce the appearance of scars. It increases blood flow to scar tissue, breaking down the damage and healing the skin around it.

Protects against pollutants: While keeping skin looking young, the antioxidants in marula oil are powerful weapons against harmful pollutants that damage the skin and cause fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.

Whether you use marula oil in its most pure form or as an integral ingredient in a luxury beauty product, you’ll find that it is light in texture and full of nutrients, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids that hydrate the skin and help reverse environmental damage.



When purchasing marula oil, read the packaging carefully to make sure you are buying the “real thing.” Some unscrupulous manufacturers cut marula oil with scented essential oils or low-cost vegetable oils. Low-quality marula oil may contain bacteria and contaminants that may irritate sensitive skin rather than heal it.


You will find marula oil packaged in bottles with droppers. The bottles may contain one, two, four, or eight ounces of oil. Because you only need a drop or two per application, an eyedropper is typically included with the bottle for ease of application.

There are a few facial marula oil products sold as sprays, too. Simply use the spray top to mist marula oil onto your face or other skin.

Integrated marula oil

You can buy pure marula oil, but you can also find beauty products that include it as a key ingredient. Look for marula oil in face creams, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and facial soaps. You will also see it in some nail care products, as it can help strengthen brittle, fragile nails and moisturize cuticles.

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Did you know?
In South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, marula oil is used to preserve meat, to treat leather, and as a gentle massage oil.

Marula oil prices

When shopping for marula oil, look for cold-pressed, virgin/unrefined oil without bleaches, preservatives, or chemical additives. While pure and natural virgin marula oil is somewhat expensive, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. You just need a few drops at a time, so even a small bottle will last a long time.

Inexpensive: You can find bargain-priced marula oil for as little as $20 an ounce. Many of these manufacturers are legitimate, using no fillers and chemical-free marula oil of good quality. But some manufacturers are not so conscientious, so if you opt for a lower-cost oil, be sure to do your homework on the company first.

Mid-price: High-quality pure marula facial oil in the mid-price range sells for anywhere from $20 to $75 per ounce. Often, the manufacturers of these oils are committed to sustainable farming and packaging practices.

High price: If you want high-end marula oil, expect to pay more than $75 per ounce. For this price, you will likely receive extra-virgin marula oil that is responsibly harvested and packaged and contains no fillers or additives.


  • Marula oil has a pleasant floral fragrance with properties similar to argan oil, but it contains more antioxidants.
  • Marula oil may help prevent stretch marks. Massage it into the skin twice per day.
  • Rub a drop of marula into cuticles to keep them soft and supple.
  • To heal cracked and dry heels, rub a couple of drops on each foot after a shower, when the skin is moist.
  • Are your eyebrows unruly? Apply a tiny drop of marula oil to each eyebrow. Then, use a soft baby’s toothbrush to tame them into shape.
  • Marula oil’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe scrapes, minor cuts, and burns. Apply it daily throughout the healing process to relieve pain and itching and to prevent scarring.
  • With so many marula facial oil products promising amazing results, it’s challenging to know which brand to trust. When purchasing marula facial oil, especially if you are new to the market, consider a brand that offers a money-back guarantee.
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Because marula oil is pure and natural, it is safe to use on the sensitive skin of babies and young children. In Africa, marula oil is used to heal and prevent diaper rash.


Q. Can marula oil help prevent hair loss and repair damaged hair?
Marula oil is clinically proven to aid in building collagen and boosting cellular activity, and many people use it to grow thick and luxurious hair. After shampooing and conditioning, massage a couple drops of marula oil on your hair to encourage growth, tame frizz, repair split ends, and protect hair from the heat of styling tools. The antifungal and antibacterial properties can help heal a dry, itchy scalp, too.

Q.  Does marula fruit contain alcohol?
The fruit does not contain alcohol. However, fermented fruit does contain alcohol, and in Africa, elephants are known to get drunk after eating fermenting fallen fruit. 

Q.  Is the fruit of the marula tree edible?
Yes. The nuts and fruit of the marula tree have been used since ancient times as a nutritional food staple. From January through April, marula fruit ripens and falls to the ground. Marula nuts are tasty salted and roasted.

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