That’s a great question to be sure.
After spending over 16 years in the skin care industry, we can tell you with experience that it’s a funny place. The public craves innovation and because science allows us to observe and measure the natural world, at Skin Actives we are always looking for the newest observations that will innovate in the skin care space. You can see this in the way that we have championed biotechnological advantages such as our line of proteins and enzymes to be on the cutting edge of what skin care can do to enrich your life.
But skin care is also a place where long standing answers to age-old problems remain valid.
This may seem like a dissonance, an internal contradiction. But it’s not. The process of science informs us that not only must an outcome be observable, it must also be repeatable. This is why some of the best science is simply a reaffirmation of observations and answers we already have, but from a different angle. This process confirms our understanding of reality and how reality itself works.
What does this have to do with Marula Oil?
Well, the desire to breed innovation for innovation's sake can cause product developers and the people that market them to go down some pathways that we at Skin Actives find to be predictable if, let’s say, interesting. This is where the concept of innovation and novelty are pressed into the same intellectual space and the latter is presented as the former.
In short, Marula Oil is perhaps the newest, hottest buzz-word du jour, but is it a “better” source of lipids than the oil that you are currently using? Probably not.
The Benefits of Marula Oil for Face and Skin
But we’re not trying to create a strawman here that we can easily dismiss and leave. Marula oil has an interesting history and some measurable benefits.
According to our founder, Dr. Hannah Sivak:
“Marula oil contains oleic acid (70–78%), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), linoleic acid (4.0–7.0%), alpha-linolenic acid (0.1–0.7%) and a low percentage of saturated fatty acids (palmitic acid, stearic acid, and arachidonic acid. The unrefined oil contains tocopherols, sterols, flavonoids, procyanidin, gallotannin, and catechins but these components may not be present in the oil that makes it to your product.
Is marula oil better than other plant oils? Many oils are beneficial to the skin, and omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids have been shown to enhance wound closure and improve healing. Their oil conditions the skin, making the patient more comfortable, but the fatty acids are also a source of nutrition for the skin.”
That all sounds really great, right? And it is, except that the chemical profile above is very similar in its skin affecting content to olive oil, which sounds distinctly less perhaps...exotic?
Some of marula oil’s big proponents point to its “lightweight feeling” and transparent appearance as part of its benefits. We can certainly hear that at Skin Actives, but we feel obligated to point out that marula oil in its unrefined forms takes on the orangish, yellowish colors of oils more commonly associated with skin care products. If the color has been washed out to make it clear, what else has been as well? Potentially the components that make it worth applying to your skin in the first place.
So, at Skin Actives our position remains that perhaps the biggest value you can get from marula oil is novelty, but that it’s not great at delivering the foundational chemicals found in oils necessary to promote a positive change in the health of your skin.
What’s The Best Skin Care Oil?
We can hear you asking all the way from here. It’s not fair for us to cast some shade on marula oil and then not give you a retort as to how we do it here at Skin Actives Scientific, especially considering that none of our formulations contain it!
It should come as no surprise that we are big fans of rosehip seed oil.
If you look at our Glossary you’ll see that we use rosehip seed oil in not just a wide spread of our products, but some of our very favorite products as well.
Why is this?
Squalane and rosehip seed oil are the favorites of our formulators here at Skin Actives Scientific. Squalane is derived from olive fruit and is thus, compositionally probably closer match to marula. Dr. Sivak has called rosehip's fatty acid composition “unbeatable”. And you’ll find either (or both!) in some of our most hydrating, skin rejuvenating products.
Moisturizing With Squalane and Rosehip Seed Oil
There are lots of ways you can easily work some of this powerhouse oil into your routine. Let’s take a look at a few:
1.) Squalane - Skin Actives sells pure, squalane oil directly for you to use as you see fit. Known for its ability to hydrate and arrest itch fast, apply directly to dry, itchy skin. This can be the lifesaver you need with thin, brittle skin, or with aggravating bug bites or even just the final healing stages of a bad sunburn!
You can also add squalane to a premade cream for a little extra lipid action. Just add a few drops with our brand new glass droppers and mix. Add slowly and mix to preference.
2.) Every Lipid Serum (ELS) - Squalane and Rosehip Seed Oil are vital parts of our Every Lipid Serum, one of the Skin Actives classic family of products! Does ELS have every single lipid in it? No, but it does have every lipid your skin needs to repair, maintain, and be healthy.
3.) Ultimate Moisturizing Cream with ROS BioNet™ and Apocynin - Just when we thought we couldn’t make Ultimate Moisturizing any more ultimate, we added in ROS BioNet™ and Apocynin. These great actives add even more antioxidant action to the repairing work that rosehip seed oil is already doing. Great for hydration, anti-aging, and damage control and repair, Ultimate Moisturizing Cream is a top shelf product for a wide range of skin health needs.
Thanks again for joining us, Skin Actives Family! We’ll see you back here on Tuesday for another installment of our blog! Until then, have a great weekend!
If you’d like to read more from Dr. Sivak, click here.