By now you’ve probably heard the craze about oils and have either tried an oil or thought about buying one. Coconut, Maracuja, Grapeseed, and Argan to name a few, but what about Marula? What is it exactly? We sat down with one of the co-founders of Marula Pure Beauty Oil, Dr. Ashton Kaidi, to get the straight facts from the man who saw the potential of this miracle oil and wanted women all over the world to reap the benefits.
Q: How long has Marula oil been around? When was it first used in skincare and how?
A: In Africa, Marula Oil is known as the “miracle oil”. Findings in Pomongwe Caves in Zimbabwe and East Africa point to the use of marula oil for at least 10,000 years. Also, the Marula tree plays a major role in the local economy of towns throughout Africa; every part of the Marula tree has been incorporated in various foods, furniture manufacturing, medicinal and cosmetic industries. It is a precious commodity in Africa. African women apply Marula to their skin as a moisturizer and also to promote better scars. It is also popular in reducing stretch marks. Africans have higher tendencies to form poor scars following cuts, burns or skin trauma (aka Keloids). Marula oil is one of the earliest discovered scar remedies.
Q: How is this oil good for today’s modern woman?
A: Within the last few decades our understanding of extrinsically-induced free radicals damage to the skin has significantly increased. Our daily routines such as smoking, sun exposure, frequent make up application, stress, poor diet all trigger a release of free radicals that alter the DNA of skin cells (fibroblasts). This cascade leads to a lower production of collagen by the fibroblasts, loss of elasticity and premature aging. Think of collagens as tiny rubber bands. A higher amounts of collagen fibers lead to better elasticity and skin tightness. Marula oil is very rich in anti-oxidants and is able to reverse a lot of the free radical-induced damage. The use of marula oil as an anti-aging product has become popular in the last 1-2 decades.
Q: How does Marula compare to other oils like Argan?
A: Marula Oil comes from the kernels within the nut of the marula fruit. It is very high in anti-oxidants and Vitamin C. The marula fruit is roughly the size of a golf ball. Yet the amount of vitamin C in it is equivalent to 4 grapefruits. What makes our Marula oil special is the higher level of anti-oxidants with a special blend formulated for face and neck, purity and a less greasy feel. Our oil contains much higher levels of anti-oxidants than Argan oil. We had an outside, independent lab tests the levels of anti-oxidants in our oil versus the leading brand of Argan oil. Ours had 60% higher antioxidants than the best Argan out there.
Q: There are several companies coming out with “Marula” oil and related products. How can a consumer tell they have gotten a good quality bottle of Marula?
A: This is an excellent question. Unfortunately it is very difficult for the average consumer to know, especially if they are new to oil. I would have to say there two ways to tell.
- The oil should feel light with a rich quality to it and it should be clear at room temperature. When applied it should easily penetrate the skin after 60 seconds of rubbing with minimal greasy residue.
- The more important way is to research the integrity and background of the company. Many of the marula oil companies will tell you that they have a selective process of picking the kernels and preparing the oil. In reality a great majority of these companies purchase their oil from a supplier in Africa and are not there for quality control.
A lot of production facilities mass crush the nuts to produce the oil and remove the impurities with chemical treatments. This is a cheap way of producing the oil, but it leads to lower quality of oil with less healing benefits and anti-oxidants. Many companies also tell you that they are wild harvesting in an eco-sustainable fashion. This is hard to confirm if you are not on the ground to constantly supervise the field workers. Our company only uses the fruits that have fallen from the tree. These are the most ripened and best source of vitamin C and E. There is no picking of fruits. A great advantage of Marula Pure Beauty Oil is that we not only manufactured the product, we also manufacture the oil in Africa. We do NOT rely on independent companies to supply us the oil. Quality check is at the highest level with our company. Marula Pure Beauty Oil is also involved in humanitarian efforts and women’s initiative on the ground. Unlike many of the other marula oil companies in the US that drop in for a week or two a year to handle mainly the business side of operations and rely on independent companies to supply them with oil, our company has production facility on the ground in Africa. When we say, we hand pick every kernel, we can guarantee it and have the highest quality check of any company producing the oil. We also provide fair trade wages to over 7000 women in Africa who help us harvest the Marula and plan to triple that amount in the next two years.