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You hear a lot about Argan oil these days, and now Marula oil has hit the scene. The beauty world is buzzing about these two oil, but which one is better? I am on a quest to find out.
In this Marula oil vs. Argan oil article you will learn:
- The similarities of these oils
- How these oils differ
- Skin benefits of each and what makes them unique
- Which one is best for which skin type
Marula Oil vs Argan Oil:
Both Argan and Marula oil are extracted from the kernels of fruit. These kernels are hand harvested by the women of the region they are grown in. The Marula tree is from South Africa and the Argan tree is from Morocco.
These “miracle oils” are not only revered as skin care oils, they are also edible. Each of these oils has a long history with the people of the region they grow in, being used for both food and beauty.
Both of These Oils Offer:
- Potent anti-aging effects
- Essential fatty acids that nourish the skin
- Vitamin E
- Help heal and repair the skin
- Antioxidants that fight the signs of aging
- A long shelf life that resists oxidation
- No need for preservatives
- Plant sterols and polyphenols
Argan Oil Vs Marula Oil
Essential Fatty Acids
These oils both contain a list of fatty acids, but I will focus on the two that are excellent in skin care; Oleic acid and Linoleic Acid. The composition of these fatty acids is one of the key differences between Marula and Argan oils. It will determine which of these oils of right for you.
Oleic Acid (mono-unsaturated Omega 9)
- protects the skin from the sun
- penetrates the skin very well, bringing moisture deep into the skins surface
- promotes wound healing
- reduces inflammation and repairs the skin
- is found in our own skin’s sebum
- richer and heavier, seals in moisture
- great for dry skin
Linoleic Acid (poly-unsaturated Omega 6)
- used as an anti-inflammatory
- retains moisture
- effective in cell regeneration
- heals the skin barrier
- is an Omega oil that our body cannot produce on it’s own
- lighter and thinner, will nourish and protect without being too heavy
- great for oily skin
Argan oil has a good balance between Oleic (44-55%) and Linoleic Acids (28-36%) - Source
Marula Oil is very high in Oleic acid (70-78%), with a hint of Linoleic acid (4-9%) - Source
Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, blocking free radical damage caused by exposure to UV rays. Vitamin E also boosts collagen production, helping to maintain skin elasticity and prevent wrinkle formation.
Argan oil contains 60 - 90 mg/100 g of Vitamin E (with 90 % of it being gamma-tocopherol). - Source
Marula oil contains 13.7 mg/100 g Vitamin E most notably Gamma-tocopherol. - Source
Phytosterols are lipid-like compounds that stimulate pore detoxification and strengthen the skins natural lipid barrier, protecting the skin. They leave the skin feeling soft while reducing inflammation and delaying the aging process. Phytosterols boost collagen production and help the skin retain it’s moisture. - Learn more about them here.
Argan Oil has a sterol content of 130 - 230 mg/100 g with most of it being Schottenol. Schottenol stimulates the balance, regeneration and healing of the skin, hair and nails. - Source
Marula oil has a sterol content of 287 mg/ 100 g with β-sitosterol being the highest (60%) and 5-avenasterol (16% coming in second. 5-avenasterol is known to act as an antioxidant. - Source
These are responsible for the red coloring in fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids are an integral part of a healthy immune system, they help us fight aging and other kinds of damage.
Our skin absorbs these carotenoids and uses them to heal sun damage and protect our skin from the environment.
Argan Oil contains carotenoids
Marula Oil does not contain carotenoids
Vitamin C is a free radical scavenger. It triggers collagen production and reduces hyper-pigmentation.
Argan Oil does not contain Vitamin C
Marula Oil contains Vitamin C
Benefits of Argan Oil
Argan oil is great on the skin, hair and nails. This easily absorbed oil helps lessen fine facial lines and imperfections, works to revive elasticity and tone, and fights inflammation.
Since it’s so lightweight, it’s a versatile oil for the face, and many regular users say it helps reduce acne. It has a shelf life of 2 years.
- Rich in proteins, which help contract the skin, minimize wrinkles and enhance elasticity.
- An intensely powerful UV defender.
- Superb at repairing cell membranes.
- Inhibits premature aging.
- Helps our skin retain moisture.
- Non-greasy and non-oily, absorbing easily into the skin.
- Extremely abundant in carotenes, vitamin E, squalene and phenols.
- Free radical stabilizer.
- Diminishes inflammation.
- A natural bactericide.
Argan oil contains squalene, a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects our skin from UV damage and absorbs fat-soluble toxins. Our skin’s own sebum is comprised of 25% squalene, making it able to penetrate deeply into our skin. It is a natural bactericide and healer.
The Polyphenols in Argan oil have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-aging and antioxidant properties.
Argan Oil's most notable polyphenol is Ferulic Acid. Its antioxidant capability increases after exposure to ultra-violet radiation. This makes it really powerful against the damaging effects of UV radiation.
Argan oil also contains D-7 Stigmasterol, a plant sterol that is very rare and revered highly for treating skin diseases, healing wounds and repairing compromised skin tissue.
Argan oil is Best for People with Normal - Oily Skin
Benefits of Marula Oil
Marula oil works well on dry, chapped, sensitive and sun damaged skin. It helps reduce redness and minimize scars.
It protects against environmental aggressors, boosts cellular activity, reverses photodamage, and hydrates at the deepest levels of the skin.
Marula oils can be used from head to toe, on skin, hair and nails and it has a shelf life of 2 - 3 years.
- Weightier than Argan oil.
- Absorbs quickly and is non-greasy.
- Fine molecular structure, allowing it to penetrate deeply into the skin to nourish and repair.
- High Vitamin E helps repair damaged skin.
- pH balanced.
- Has anti-microbial properties.
- Contains 60% more antioxidants than Argan oil. - source
- Very stable and resists oxidation.
- High sterol content helps reduce scarring.
Marula oil is very high in Oleic Acid, (70-78%). Oleic acid makes oils heavy and rich, so they are extra-occlusive and can seal in moisture really effectively.
The sterol β-sitosterol which is present in Marula oil, has wound-healing properties, is anti-inflammatory and helps repair the barrier function of the skin. It is a potent antioxidant that reduces scarring and levels of collagen-degrading enzymes.
The Vitamin C in Marula oil promotes skin elasticity, ramps up collagen production and leads to firmer skin. It also reduces scars and pigmentation.
Marula oil is Best for Dry, Dull and Aging Skin
Tips for Using Argan Oil Or Marula Oil
I recommend picking one oil and using it for 2 weeks. This will give you a good idea of how it works on your individual skin.
- add them to your moisturizer – to give it a boost
- use them alone as a facial oil - after cleansing
- mix some with your clay mask – to prevent over-drying from the clay
- use them as carriers for the oil-cleansing method
- use them on your hair
Both of these oils have amazing skin nourishing properties. The difference is, they are each better for certain skin types.
- Is balanced in its Oleic/Linoleic acid content, making it less heavy than Marula oil.
- May help with acne (learn more).
- May not be moisturizing enough for really dry skin.
- Works best on normal - oily skin.
- Contains more Vitamin E than Marula oil.
- Contains Ferulic Acid, a potent antioxidant that protects skin from UV damage.
- Is highly moisturizing because of its high Oleic acid content.
- Works best on dry and aging skin.
- Is not recommended for people with oily skin or acne.
- Helps repair sun-damaged skin.
- Contains more phytosterols than Argan oil.
- Contains Vitamin C, a potent collagen builder.
If you have dry skin, use Marula oil, as it has more moisturizing properties. If you deal with oily skin, use Argan oil.
Both of my recommended products are cold-pressed, 100 % pure oils that are fair trade sourced from organic plants.
Try These Oils Out Now and Let Us Know If They Help Your Skin
What do you think? Have you had success with either of these oils? Please let us know in the comments below!
Yours In Beauty,