You're probably familiar with the beauty oil boom and its most popular ingredient: argan. (Think Moroccanoil for hair, Josie Maran for skin.) Now, however, there's an oil that may oust argan from the top spot. It's called marula oil, and it's showing up in everything from skin care to shampoo.
We first spotted marula oil in its most basic form at a trade show three years ago. A little glass bottle of the oil (now known simply as Marula) made a big splash because of its antioxidant power and omega richness, which are more than double its cousin argan. Aside from that, the oils are similar: Both are derived from tree nuts in Africa, and both are easily absorbed by the skin for lots of hydration without a greasy feel.
At the moment, however, marula is the rising star -- with products across all categories, and even entire lines, being devoted to the ingredient. It's surprisingly easy to integrate it into every step of your beauty routine for shinier hair, glowing skin and stronger nails. Even argan fans may find themselves converting.
Marula Cleansing Oil
What started as a basic bottle of marula oil led to an array of skin and hair care products from the Marula brand. And I'm most excited about the Marula Foaming Cleansing Oil, $34. Unlike other cleansing oils that feel more like an oil than a cleanser, this formula lathers up like a foam but removes makeup as well as an oil, and it leaves skin feeling silky. It contains brightening peptides and naturally exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acids, and it smells like heaven -- light and nutty with a hint of vacation.
Natural Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
A good sunscreen is hard to find. A good, chemical-free sunscreen? Nearly impossible. Not only is Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30, $38, both good and chemical-free, it's also infused with marula oil for added antioxidant defense and hydration. It's extremely gentle, fragrance-free and the packaging was made for Instagram.
A Cuticle Oil for Weak, Peeling Nails
Why use a basic cuticle oil when you can use nourishing Ciaté London Marula Cuticle Oil, $19? It moisturizes and repairs brittle, cracked nails and strengthens nails over time -- no more peeling. Plus, it has a pretty rose scent and a flower petal floating in the bottle -- just for added prettiness.
Shimmer Oil for Glowy Skin (and Hair)
African Botanics Marula Shimmering Gold Oil, $85, is so much more than a body oil. It's a blend of marula, maringa, baobab and kalahari melon seed oils -- all of which come from harsh climates in Africa and are known for their moisturizing and skin-tightening benefits. It's scented with gardenia, neroli and vanilla -- so there's no need for perfume. The highlight (pun intended), of course, is the shimmer, which is one part copper and one part mother of pearl with a sheer quality that makes it work on any skin tone. Oh, and you can even use it in your hair.