Marula Oil Benefits in Cosmetics
- High concentration of oleic and linoleic acids as well as other skin-friendly nutrients
- Promotes healthy, glowing skin and evens skin tone
- Supports and promotes skin elasticity with its high concentrations of protein
- Readily absorbs deep into the skin—well past the outer layer where it works to provide long-lasting and intense hydration
- Absorbs like a sponge without leaving a greasy feel
- Traditionally African cultures have used it to reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks, cellulite, fine lines and wrinkles
- Known for its antioxidant and therapeutic properties
The Marula Tree
The Marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea) strives in hot, dry climatic conditions. Native to southern Africa, it belongs to the cashew family of flowering plants. The Marula tree usually grows to 10-17 meters tall, bearing fruits from January to March starting at the age of 7-10 years. Fruiting continues well after the tree reaches 100 years of age. Some other members of this family include mango and pistachio.
The Marula tree is considered one of southern Africa’s most revered botanical treasures. Its valuable parts have been providing many African communities with a plethora of benefits for centuries. The exotic oil possesses superior beneficial properties making it ideal for use in cosmetic formulations. Known for its ability to stabilize collagen, it also contains high concentrations of Omegas 9 and 6, as well as minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron and copper.
Marula juice surpasses lemon, orange and mango juices in Vitamin C content. In fact, Marula juice contains approximately four times as much Vitamin C as orange juice. In addition to making juices, jams and jellies, the fruits are also used to make alcoholic beverages that are exported around the world. Elephants, antelopes, monkeys, warthogs and zebras enjoy the succulent fruits after they fall to the ground.
A Marula seed usually contains 2-4 edible kernels, with approximately 28%-31% of its composition being protein and the rest being minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron and copper. The seeds are tasty and sometimes eaten raw or roasted and served with wild spinach and other foods. Marula oil has a light yellow color and nutty smell and is similar in composition to olive oil. Its natural antioxidants allow the oil to have an extended shelf life of approximately 2 years making it superior to both sunflower and maize oil. It also has great oxidative stability making it highly desirable for meat preservation.
Marula oil contains large proportions of monounsaturated fatty acids (70%-78%) essential for the maintenance of healthy-looking skin; as a result, it is revered for its use as a cosmetic application. In addition, Marula oil contains Vitamin E and flavonoids with antioxidant benefits such as the ability to stabilize free radicals. It absorbs readily while it sooths, smoothens and moisturizes the skin.
Evidence shows that Marula trees have been in existence dating as far back as 10000-9000 BC. Southern African women have used Marula oil for thousands of years to heal dry, cracked skin and to reduce stretch marks. This amazing oil moisturizes without leaving an oily residue. Not only that, but its high proportions of oleic and linoleic acids work synergistically to strengthen the skin’s barrier. It locks moisture in thereby improving skin hydration. Southern African women have also used it to reduce redness as well as for therapeutic massages.
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