Alapure Cosmetics is committed to supporting the conservation of biodiversity and fair trade. This commitment extends to the raw materials used in our products. The quality of our hand harvested Marula oil used in our products is unparalleled and truly, our special gift to you.
How the Marula Oil Journey Begins
Native to southern Africa, the Marula fruit has been used for centuries for healing skin ailments, preserving food and fruit, and in various beauty rituals. Its highly stable nature and solvent-free extraction process keeps the Marula oil in its purest form, allowing for its application in skincare and cosmetic products.
The process of extracting the Marula oil is one that has been passed down from many generations and even though there are modern technologies of extracting the oil, the women who work in the cooperatives doing this job prefer to use the methods that have been handed down.
The fruit flourishes from January to March. During this time, the women of the cooperatives focus on only collecting the fallen marula fruit and brewing marula beer. The brewing process is an important one that not only produces beer that does not give hangovers but also removes the flesh from the seeds in preparation for drying.
Every part of the Marula Tree is Used
No part of the marula tree is wasted. This is evident as the skin of the fruit is left to dry for one to two weeks and then combined with ‘mokgako’ (a type of tree buck used as an ingredient). The resulting mixture is then burned to produce an organic substance that is used mainly by ladies for sniffing to relieve headaches and tension.
The Marula seeds are left to dry for three months before they are cracked. The cracking of the seeds occurs during the months of April to December. It requires skill and precision. There are thousands of seeds to crack and the ladies usually crack about 300 seeds per day.
After the seeds are cracked, a hard part of the exposed kernel called the eye of which there are 2 to 3 is then removed with a special extraction tool that could be considered a pick. The kernels then go into a sorting bin where they are dried for 16 hours. After 16 hours of drying, a sample of kernels is grated and tested that it contains less than 3 degrees of moisture before cold pressing. This test ensures that the kernels are free from impurities.
Once the kernels attain the correct moisture level they are ready for cold pressing. The cold-pressing method of extraction heats the seeds to a low temperature of no more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the oil to be gently pressed from them. This method is preferred as protects the chemical make-up of the oil leaving it in its most nutritious state. In addition, it allows it to retain it slightly nutty aroma. The extracted oil is then left for 2 weeks to allow any unwanted particles to settle. The by-product of the pressed kernels referred to as cake, is used to make delicious pastries such as relish and muffins. After two weeks of sitting, the crude marula oil is filtered of any particles and is placed into 20 liter drums for sale.
Alapure Cosmetics is proud to be a part of the Ba-Phalaborwa Marula community fair trade empowerment program, of which the goal it is to produce high quality products from indigenous and organic raw materials gathered by the women in those communities. The program empowers women and provides far reaching economic and social benefits, while upholding the highest international, environmental and fair trade standards. Know that when you use Alapure products, you are supporting and empowering an African community of women who are in turn better able to support their families and their communities.
Discover the secrets and the anti-aging properties of our Marula oil-based products today!