Your New Beauty Secret: Marula Oil Benefits, Side Effects & If It’s Right for You

Skincare is a vast beauty category with a seemingly endless array of products. From k-beauty to derma rollers and facial serums, buzzy beauty products make their way to your favorite stores and social feed, opening the door for new questions and concerns. Is this right for my skin type? What are the benefits of using this product? This won’t make me break out, right? 

Facial oils are a monster of their own. With a wide range of options that have varying effects and benefits, it can be hard to know which is right for your skin. Marula oil has entered the chat. 

Hailing from sub-Saharan Africa, marula oil is extracted from the nuts, seeds, or fruit of marula trees. With a slightly nutty scent and a light yellow hue, it is known for its use in food and African traditional medicine. However, it has recently become a holy grail for Western skincare and beauty enthusiasts, making appearances everywhere from TikTok to YouTube to social livestreams. In this article, we’ll cover the benefits and side effects of marula oil and how to know if it’s right for you. 

What are the Benefits of Marula Oil?

Marula oil has several benefits for your skin: 

1. Skin Hydration

Marula oil is deeply hydrating and moisturizing. It has high levels of both fatty and amino acids that are similar to those found in our skin. This makes it especially effective at absorption, and it helps to strengthen and stabilize the skin’s barrier. It is also an occlusive ingredient, meaning that it creates a thin layer on top of the skin that locks in moisture.

2. Antioxidant Protection

Rich in antioxidants (including vitamin C and E), marula oil also does wonders for your complexion. It guards against free radicals produced by UV ray exposure and pollution, which can cause spots and shifts in the texture of your skin. Continued use can repair sun damaged skin and strengthen its surface.

3. Helps Produce Essential Proteins

Aging is a natural process where collagen and elastin production in our skin slows. Free radicals can also contribute to this. Some compounds in marula oil are known to boost the production of these proteins, keeping skin supple and firm.

4. Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory 

The fatty acids in marula oil also calm skin inflammation and redness.

5. Perfect for Hair and Nails 

Marula oil seals moisture into the hair shaft just as it does your skin. Great for dry or color-damaged hair, it can be applied to your ends or hairline for a moisture boost. Unlike other oils, it won’t weigh your hair down or make it appear greasy. Marula oil can also be used on your nail beds and cuticles to keep them moisturized, nourished, and supple. 


The Sdara Skincare Marula Oil is a great choice for skin that needs a boost in hydration, faces  redness or irritation, or experienced sun damage. Mix it with your moisturizer or apply it after to add some oomph to your skincare routine! 

What are the Side Effects of Marula Oil?

Marula oil side effects are few and far between. There is little to no risk associated with it, but like any cosmetic product, there is a chance of an allergic reaction. If you’re concerned about a marula oil allergy, perform a patch test on a small area of your skin. Avoid testing on your face and speak with your dermatologist if you have any concerns. 

Can I use Face Oil instead of Moisturizer? 

While face oils contain many benefits for your skin, they should not replace your moisturizer. The antioxidants and replenishing ingredients in facial oils moisturize your skin, but do not hydrate it. They also lack skin-restoring and hydration-boosting ingredients found in moisturizers such as retinol, niacinamides, and hyaluronic acid. Facial oils should be used in addition to your moisturizer. Better together, never apart!

Can I use Marula Oil under my eyes?

Yes, marula oil is safe to use under your eyes. When applying, use your ring finger to lightly dab the product into your skin. The under-eye area is delicate, so make sure to use less pressure.

Does Marula Oil work on dark circles?

High concentrations of vitamin C and E make marula oil great for reducing the appearance of dark circles. Apply it to your under-eye area as a part of your morning skincare routine!

Does Marula Oil clog pores?

Like coconut and argan oil, marula oil is comedogenic. Unfortunately, it has the potential to clog pores if overapplied or used too often. As you would with any oil, monitor how much you use and avoid using heavy amounts of product. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, non-comedogenic products are the best choice for your skin type. 

Should I use Marula Oil or Rosehip Oil?

In the Marula Oil vs Rosehip Oil debate, the answer is that it depends on your skin’s needs! Here are the key differences between the two: 

1. A Difference in Fatty Acid Levels

While marula and rosehip oil have some ingredients in common, their levels of oleic and linoleic acid are different. Marula oil is high in oleic acid and rosehip oil is high in linoleic acid. This makes marula oil comedogenic and rosehip oil non-comedogenic, or less likely to clog pores. 

2. Benefits for Oily Skin

Because rosehip oil is non-comedogenic, it is better suited for oily or acne-prone skin types. It also has a lighter consistency that makes it easier to avoid clogged pores and breakouts. 

3. Benefits for Dry Skin

    Both oils are great for dry skin. However, marula oil’s heavier consistency and moisturizing qualities make it the better option for skin that is dull or dehydrated. 

    Marula oil and rosehip oil can be used together or separately. When choosing between the two, consider your skin type. If you have a chronic skin condition, consult your dermatologist. 


    Marula oil has several benefits that make your skin feel soft, supple, and hydrated! If your skin needs a moisture boost, adding marula oil to your skincare routine is the perfect solution. Use it to combat dark circles, inflammation, fine lines and wrinkles, or apply it to your hair and nails. Add a few drops to your moisturizer or use it after for a healthy, radiant glow. Either way you choose to use, it is sure to become one of your top shelf skincare essentials. 


    Contributing Writers: Evan Neuhoff & Hillary Cormier