6 Reasons You Should Add Marula Oil To Your Skin, Hair & Nail Routine, Stat

Contributing writer By Andrea Jordan
Contributing writer
Andrea Jordan is a beauty and lifestyle freelance writer covering topics from hair and skincare to family and home. She received her bachelor's in Magazine Journalism from Temple University and you can find her work at top publications like InStyle, PopSugar, StyleCaster, Business Insider, PureWow and OprahMag.
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Image by MARC TRAN / Stocksy

Navigating oils can be super confusing. There's a slew of popular options (coconut, jojoba, and argan, to name a few), but knowing which oil to choose can be a challenge. Here's one more to add to the list: marula oil.

You've probably seen marula oil in luxury facial hydrators; that's because this oil, just like the others, is rich in moisture. It's also rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and antimicrobial properties that make it a solution for a variety of beauty concerns. Ahead, find six ways to add marula oil into your hair, skin, and nail routine, stat: 

1. As a face moisturizer.

The most basic way to incorporate oils into your skin care routine is as a facial moisturizer. Marula oil is loaded with amino acids and antioxidants, so it not only hydrates the skin but also helps to build a healthy skin barrier. "It's rich in fatty acids that mimic those naturally found in the outer layer of our skin," says board-certified dermatologist Deanne Mraz Robinson, M.D., FAAD. "Having a healthy skin barrier supports supple, hydrated skin that keeps pathogens out and locks appropriate levels of moisture in." The oil itself is lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. But it is important to note that marula oil is comedogenic, meaning it has a tendency to block pores, so it's not the best option for acne-prone skin. 

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2. As a hair oil.

Since marula oil is lightweight, it's a great go-to hair oil for smoothing flyaways and fighting frizz. Board-certified dermatologist Michelle Henry, M.D., says it's a great hair gloss when you're looking to add sheen to your strands. "Marula oil absorbs quickly into your hair so the hair looks glossy, not greasy." If you have fine hair, try adding the oil to your ends first to ensure your hair doesn't get weighed down. 

3. To prevent wrinkles.

Applying a few drops of marula oil to your daily hydrator can help delay signs of aging (like wrinkles). "Marula oil contains amino acids that help strengthen the skin's barrier and counter the effects of aging," Henry says. "It also contains vitamins C and E, which help destroy free radicals from pollution and UV exposure." The amino acids also act as a cofactor in healthy collagen production, which helps keep the skin looking firm and taut. 

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4. As a cuticle oil.

When it comes to nail care, doing basic maintenance is pretty simple and produces great results. You don't have to be a nail polish addict to care about the health and appearance of your cuticles. Trust us, well-groomed and properly hydrated cuticles can make a huge difference in the appearance of your nails, polish or no polish. Hydrated cuticles can also help to reduce the development of hangnails and dry skin around the nailbed. Robinson suggests using marula oil as a cuticle oil to keep them moisturized.

5. To reduce dark spots.

Even though marula oil isn't the best solution for moisturizing acne-prone skin, board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., says it can help lighten dark spots, including acne-induced hyperpigmentation thanks to the oil's vitamin C. "Vitamin C blocks the production of excess melanin, which helps to brighten dark spots," Zeichner says. Not to mention, the oil has antimicrobial properties that can help fight against bacteria on the skin. But before slathering it all over your face, try it out on a small test area; it's always best to patch test when incorporating a new ingredient into your skin care routine. 

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6. To soothe eczema symptoms.

Although some experts may warn against using oils on dry patches caused by eczema and psoriasis, Robinson believes it's a great option that can soothe inflamed skin. "The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in marula oil help soothe irritated skin," she suggests. While it may not be a solution to healing the skin conditions (there's currently no cure for eczema and psoriasis, but you can target flare-ups and reduce symptoms), it is a simple solution to reducing irritation and itch. Just be sure to choose an all-natural formula without fragrances and additives to avoid further irritation. 

The takeaway.

In terms of all the natural oils, consider marula oil another versatile option to add to your beauty routine. And with a super moisturizing yet lightweight consistency, it feels downright luxurious no matter where you apply it—be it on your skin or through your strands.

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