The Lesser-Known Oil You Should Definitely Be Putting On Your Skin


Marula oil may not be as popular as some of the other plant-derived oils out there, but as we know from every sports movie ever made, one must never underestimate the underdog — and this one has a lot going for it. Extracted from marula trees native to Africa, this powerhouse oil is lightweight, super absorbent, non-comedogenic, and packed with antioxidants. The best marula oils for your face can very well be straight-up marula oil in all of its unrefined, cold-pressed glory. Otherwise, you can find it infused in creams and cleansers to enrich these formulas, and to impart its many skin benefits.

The five marula oil products featured below make for gorgeous face moisturizers or cleansers, but in its purest form, it’s a truly multi-purpose product. You can also use it as a treatment for cracked skin, cuticles, scars, or rashes, or run it through dry hair to replenish moisture and reduce frizz.

Regardless of how you plan on using yours, make some room in your bathroom cabinet for the five best marula oils and marula oil-based skin care products, ahead.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.


The Overall Best Marula Oil

Acure is one of the best vegan, cruelty-free, and budget-friendly brands out there, and their pure, cold-pressed marula oil is the best-rated bottle of the stuff on Amazon. Reviewers report a lot of uses for this high performer. One person uses it after intensive acne treatments to gently restore moisture to their dehydrated, flaky skin; Another smooths it through their hair to tame frizz without interrupting their curl pattern; And one 78-year-old customer loves it for the oil’s brightening and firming properties.

This also happens to be a great alternative to Drunk Elephant's cult-favorite marula oil. Where DE’s marula oil costs $40 for a 1-ounce, a bottle of Acure’s marula oil (i.e., the same thing) costs just $12 for the same size.


The Best Luxury Marula Oil

This professional-grade marula oil from the aptly named MarulaOil, a specialized line from John Paul Mitchell, is technically marketed as a hair treatment. Used that way, it’s great as a scalp treatment, a heat protectant, a smoothing serum, or a damage-repairer. That said, both Amazon reviewers and the brand recommend using this rich, silky oil on your face and body, too.

Keep in mind that cold-pressed marula oil is just one ingredient in this treatment. Emollients like capric/caprylic triglyceride enrich the formula, and some added fragrance (including jasmine, vanilla, musk, and sandalwood) give it a gorgeous scent.


The Best Eye Cream With Marula Oil

This Model Off Duty eye cream is a potent cocktail of plant-derived antioxidants: Along with today’s hero ingredient (marula oil), there’s pumpkin seed oil, baobab oil, rooibos leaf extract, pomegranate extract, and blueberry extract, to name just a few. All together, the antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and amino acids in these powerhouse ingredients work to plump, brighten, repair, and protect the under-eye area. Additionally, aloe and chamomile offer soothing and more moisturizing benefits, while hyaluronic acid provides even deeper-level hydration.

This California-born eye cream is also one of the cleanest eye creams you’ll find on Amazon — it’s cruelty-free, vegan, made of non-GMO ingredients, and housed in recyclable packaging.


The Best Balm Cleanser With Marula Oil

Use this marula oil-spiked cleansing balm as the first step in your double-cleansing routine to whisk away makeup, sunscreen, and surface-level grime. This glorious product begins its life as a rich balm, melts into an oil, then emulsifies into a milky lather for a thorough but nourishing cleanse. Along with marula oil, it contains honey and propolis — two of my other all-time favorite skin care ingredients for their unparalleled softening, calming, and glow-boosting effects. Honey and its derivatives are also great for rebalancing skin's moisture levels, and honey is antimicrobial, like marula oil is, so this cleanser can work really well for people with acne-prone or reactive skin.


The Best Gel Cleanser With Marula Oil

If you really can’t get enough of marula oil, follow up your Forencos cleansing balm with this Georgette Klinger Honey Cleansing Gel. Gel cleansers aren’t typically known for their hydrating properties (the sulfates in some formulas can be overly drying for some), but this non-lathering cleanser is the rare exception. Along with marula oil, there’s honey and honey extract for oil-free hydration, while chamomile extract brightens and calms irritation-prone skin. It’s a holy grail cleanser for people with sensitive, combination, and oily skin alike.