Marula Oil: Africa's Liquid Gold

Discover one of Africa's most nutrient-dense oils for skin and hair health.

  Photo: africanbotanics.com

Photo: africanbotanics.com

Nearly anyone concerned with dry skin or brittle hair has turned to oil as a remedy. While oft-sought olive, jojoba, and coconut oils are notorious for their restorative and conditioning properties, a newcomer to the market is marula oil.

For centuries, the rich oil that has been used for beauty purposes in several African countries, is gaining popularity stateside. And for good reason.

An extract of the marula fruit seed, marula oil is often harvested in Madagascar and South Africa, where marula trees are abundant. The trees thrive in regions with low rainfall and frequent sunshine. Once ripe, farmers gather the fruit and extract the oil from the kernels, the most nutrient-dense part of the fruit, producing the golden oil rich in antioxidants and amino acids.

The fast-absorbing oil is suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive skin. It has been used by natives in South Africa to protect from dry weather and harsh sun rays. It also boosts cell turnover, restores damage caused by the environment, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin elasticity, and deeply hydrates parched hair. Ever wonder how African women maintain astonishingly smooth skin despite extended exposure to harsh UV rays? Apart from impeccable genes, marula oil might be the best-kept beauty secret of African culture.

A few of the most authentic marula oil-based products to try now: