Although wrinkles and fine lines are signs of wisdom, life and beauty, their inevitability does not mean they can’t manifest gradually, softly and gracefully.
Botanical oils can be hugely beneficial for skin by nourishing, protecting and moisturizing . But what is the best oil for aging skin? Here we discuss a few oils known for fighting premature wrinkles and age spots on the face.
The Best Oils for Wrinkles and Dark Spots
There are many oils available that are touted as best for aging skin—three tried-and-true favorites are carrot, cranberry and meadowfoam seed oils.
Carrot seed oil is known to have rejuvenating and even sun-protecting properties that may help wrinkles . Cranberry seed oil contains catechins, which are natural antioxidants, that can prevent oxidative stress  (oxidative stress is caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage cells in our bodies, which can contribute to aging, disease and inflammation) . And Meadowfoam seed oil, extracted from the seeds of the meadowfoam plant, is known for its ability to moisturize skin without being greasy .
However, there’s one oil that stands out and above the rest for its truly superior moisturizing, age-fighting power: marula oil.
What Exactly Is Marula Oil?
Marula oil comes from the Marula tree (also called Sclerocarya birrea), which is actually in the same family as the mango, cashew and pistachio nut. The oil comes from the kernels (seeds) inside the fruit, which are rich with its nourishing oil.
Marula oil is clear with a slight yellow hue and has a nutty smell with a high nutritional value, oxidative stability and antioxidant and moisturizing power. The fruits are about the size of a plum with an exotic flavor and are indigenous to Southern Africa where they are easy to harvest as the tree is drought-resistant.
Evidence shows Maurla has grown in Southern Africa for thousands of years  and South African women have traditionally used Marula oil to heal dry, cracked skin and even on hair. In fact, the tree has a spiritual significance that’s been associated with fertility, and in some cultures, baby girls are welcomed into the world with Marula ceremonies .
How is Marula Oil Good for Skin?
Marula oil has many properties that make it one of the best oils to age gracefully, but how exactly is Marula oil superior to the other age-fighting oils?
Marula Oil Is Full of Antioxidants to Combat the Effects of Aging
Marula oil is known for its remarkable antioxidant properties attributed to high contents of flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds , and has been shown to have free radical scavenging properties higher than most oils, inhibiting the oxidation process which can accelerate aging . It has been shown to have anti-aging effects on the skin and has been proven as an effective ingredient in reducing aging activity . On top of that, marula oil is chockfull of ascorbic acid, vitamin C to you and me, revered for its protective antioxidant effects and ability to combat environmental stressors.
Marula Oil Can Help Protect Against and Heal Sun Damage
Marula oil is rich in fatty acids, including linoleic acid, which has been shown to help heal sunburn . Due to its antioxidant power, supplementing skin with Marula oil may help reduce photodamage and photoaging from ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, which are known to cause skin damage .
These properties make Marula one of the best oils for dark spots on the face.
Marula Oil Can Reduce Skin Inflammation and Acne
Marula oil is rich in linoleic acid and has a healthy linoleic acid to oleic acid ratio. Evidence has shown that linoleic acid may also play a key role in reducing acne  and research has proved that Marula oil has anti-inflammatory effects, which can reduce stress and inflammation that can lead skin to look more weathered . Plus, marula oil is non comedogenic, which means for those with acne prone skin concerned about using an oil, it won’t clog pores.
Marula Oil Replenishes Moisture to the Skin
Did you know that your skin’s production of natural oil, called sebum, decreases significantly over your lifetime ? Lack of sebum doesn’t only contribute to dry skin that may make skin appear older, but other aging factors such as changes in connective tissue and fat which can contribute to older-looking skin and skin damage . Marula oil’s high fatty acid content (more specifically, an impressive 70-78% oleic acid) can help moisturize and hydrate the skin, and may even help prevent transepidermal water loss . Transepidermal water loss happens when the skin loses its moisture and hydration due to a lack of protection on the skin . What this means is that without a protective barrier, whether from natural oils or another moisturizer, the skin is more likely to lose its hydration and as a result appear more aged . Oleic acid locks intense moisture into skin and linoleic acid, such as that found in Marula oil, “has a direct role in maintaining the integrity of the water permeability barrier of the skin” . But Marula oil not only stands out for its ability to fight aging. This revered oil has the ability to sustain communities in Africa and has been doing so for centuries.
How Marula Oil Helps Communities
Marula fruit is traditionally harvested by women in Southern and East African communities . It is sustainable as only the fallen fruit is collected and every part of the tree is used so nothing goes to waste:
- The oil is used for cooking or to preserve meat
- Bark is used medicinally to treat diabetes, diarrhea and fever
- Roots are used to treat aching eyes
- Leaves are used to make a relish
- Wood is used to make kitchen utensils
As the Marula fruit harvest happens at the beginning of the school year, this makes the income from their sale important for school fees and clothing .
At LUXE Botanics we work with the Masaai women in Kenya, providing these women with economic opportunities. Our Marula is grown and wild harvested by hand exactly as it’s found in nature - which means no batch is exactly the same as it’s picked throughout the optimum harvesting seasons. These women separate the kernel from the fruit leaving it to dry before wiping it clean, cold pressing the kernal to maintain purity and sieving it over a microfilter to remove any remaining debris. This means this precious closest-to-nature oil is the same kind the native community enjoys without any added ingredients or machine processing, just pure, unrefined Marula Oil.
Marula Oil: Working in Harmony With Other Oils
Although marula oil is exceptional on its own, it works best with other oils with complementary properties and benefits. In our Marula serum, marula oil works in synergy with Jojoba, Carrot, Cranberry and Rosehip oils, all of which collaborate to optimize and boost marula’s properties.
The key is in the fatty acid content. In short, an oil that contains a higher content of smaller fatty acid chains is much more likely to penetrate deeper and more easily into the skin. Because marula oil contains long omega 9, oleic fatty acid chains, other oils with shorter fatty acids can function as a “delivery platform” and help marula penetrate deeper into the skin where it can work its magic. These supporting stars also feature amazing skin-friendly properties to help enhance the benefits of marula.
- Jojoba oil has a high linoleic acid content (which is essential for skin, as it cannot be produced by your body). Its pleasantly waxy substance is very similar to human sebum, which makes it work extremely well with all skin types.
- Rosehip oil contains about 50% linoleic acid and its high amounts of vitamins A, C and E has earned it the title of “natural retinol” (vitamin A is extraordinary for its firming and regenerative powers). Our rosehip oil is made from CO2 extraction, which is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways to get all the actives out of the rosehip.
- Carrot seed oil boasts high concentrations of carotene, vitamin A and petroselinic acid, which is a well-studied skin penetration enhancing fatty acid. Like rosehip, carrot seed oil is most popular and used for its multitude of anti-aging benefits, best known to help soften the appearance of fine lines, and dark spots while uplifting and brightening skin.
- Cranberry seed oil is high in linoleic acid, vitamin E and other antioxidants which help keep skin look firm, strong and youthfully vibrant.
In Summary: Marula Oil Is the Best Oil for Aging Skin
So what is the best oil for boosting skin elasticity and reducing wrinkles? We think Marula oil takes the cake and is one of the best natural oils for aging skin. At LUXE Botanics, we’ve incorporated Marula oil into some of our most-loved skincare products to provide superior protection and moisturizing effects.
The LUXE Botanics Team