Marula Oil: Argan oil’s wonderful sister perhaps :)

Hello folks!

I have been MIA since I have been enjoying some wonderful downtime with family 🙂 Lets kick off September with a post on Marula oil which is one of the current darlings of the cosmetic industry. General curiosity had made me dig up scientific info on this oil and now I can’t wait to try it out on my skin 🙂

 

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Sclerocarya birrea or better known as Marula tree (Source: Wikimedia)

The Marula tree plays an important role in traditional African medicine and diet. The tree grows throughout Africa. It can be found in South Africa and all the way up north in Ethiopia and Sudan. The tree is also found in the western African nations like Gambia, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The fruit of the Marula tree is eaten fresh or fermented to make beer 😀 (Would love to try that out if I ever visit any African nation). Marula oil is obtained from the soft white edible kernels found inside the fruit and is considered a good source source of dietary protein and oil.

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Marula Fruit (Source: Wikimedia)

Traditional Uses
Local populations in southern Africa, have been using marula oil for years to protect against dry and cracking skin, as a base oil for soap and as a shampoo for dry, damaged and fragile hair. The oil is also used to massage babies and as body lotion massaged onto the skin of their face, feet and hands.

Properties of Marula Oil

Marula oil is a clear, pale, yellowish-brown colour and has a pleasant nutty aroma. The oil is classified as medium rich and is silky to the touch with an excellent ‘slip factor’ making it ideal as massage oil. The presence of high amounts of Oleic acid and Linolic acid both of which are beneficial for skin moisturization makes this a great skincare ingredient.

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Marula Oil (Source: Wikimedia)

Proven Benefits

Scientific evidence supporting some of the traditional uses of Marula oil exist. It has been shown that Marula oil can improve skin hydration and combat skin redness. The presence of large amounts of fatty acids , especially Oleic acid enables easy absorption into the skin. Marula oil has also demonstrated anti inflammatory properties which explains its ability to calm skin redness.  A study on the  irritancy potential of Marula oil not only concluded that it was non irritating, but also that the oil has moisture retention properties and has a moisturizing effect on the skin.

A lot of the Marula oil based products in the market claim to be anti ageing. However, I could not find any studies supporting those claims. Overall, I think Marula oil sounds fabulous to combat dry skin issues. Have you tried Marula oil in your skincare routine?

Until next time…ciao!!

References

  1. African seed oils of commercial importance —Cosmetic applications
  2. Sclerocarya birrea (Marula), An African Tree of Nutritional and Medicinal Uses: A Review
  3. Safety and efficacy of Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich.) Hochst (Marula) oil: A clinical perspective
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Phytorelax Mandorla Olio Body oil

Hello everyone!!

So if you like to explore the beauty section at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, chances are you might have come across some not so familiar brands once in awhile. The phytorelax body oil was one such discovery for me. I have used up more than half the bottle and the words Mandorla and phytorelax have faded from the label due to all the love this bottle is getting from moi!

Phytorelax Mandorla Olio Body oil
Phytorelax Mandorla Olio Body oil

This is basically a perfumed sweet almond oil and I absolutely love it! The perfume added to the pure sweet almond oil is very mild and not over powering in any way in case you flinched when you saw the words perfumed oil ! 😀

The best time to use this oil is right after you step out of the shower. It has a very light consistency and hence absorbs really fast when applied on the skin. It does take a minute or 2 for it to completely absorb into the skin and after that you are well moisturized without any greasy/sticky feeling 🙂 I also like that the bottle comes with a spray pump making it easier to dispense the oil onto your palm. I do find it really relaxing working this oil into my skin and I guess this can be used a massage oil as well.

Ingredient List
Ingredient List

The ingredient list as seen above is short and simple as it should be! The main ingredient is of course the sweet almond oil. BHT and BHA are antioxidants which are commonly used to preserve oils and food.

The only negative about this product is that its not easily available. I bought this bottle at Marshalls for around 8$ which I think is a steal. Sadly, I don’t see it so often at TJ Maxx/Marshalls and might have to stock up when I see it there the next time. I did however find it on amazon for 25$ (ouch!) if you badly want to try it.

Hope you all are having a great week!

Until next time ..ciao!!

 

Around the world via beauty products : PRE de PROVENCE from France

Hello everyone!

So last week I had announced the start of this new series on the blog which is all about exploring beauty brands which are strongly connected to a geographical area. You can read all about the details of this series in my intro post HERE. I had promised to kick start this series with french products and so today we are going to explore the brand PRE de PROVENCE. All their products are made in the Provence region of France with some of their products made in centuries old traditional ways by local artisans. They have a huge selection of bath and body products and today I’m going to share with you my thoughts on a handful of them!

Pre de Provence
Pre de Provence

My plans were to photograph these items on lush green grass but unfortunately fall has decided to turn everything brown a little too early!

1. Rose de Mai beauty oil

I dunno about you but I love beauty oils and therefore was very excited to try this out! This oil is from their Rose de Mai collection which is all scented with the perfume extracted from special roses that bloom in May in Provence..fancy eh? I love the smell ! Trust me it has a slightly  complex scent and does not smell like your granny’s rose perfume.

Rose de Mai beauty oil
Rose de Mai beauty oil

The primary ingredients in this beauty oil are Jojoba seed oil, Borage seed oil and grape seed oil with the fragrance being the rose de mai perfume. As per the description on the box, this oil can be used on the skin, hair and nails as well. I used this oil alone as a body moisturizer and also tried it on my nails and loved the results, which isn’t surprising since the first ingredient listed is jojoba oil which has fantastic moisturizing properties!It is not greasy and absorbs very quickly leaving a nice faint rose scent behind 🙂

2. 20% Shea butter hand cream

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I love my L’occitane shea butter hand cream to bits. I am thrilled to report that this hand cream is as awesome as my L’occitane one! I am not too surprised..after all they are both made in Provence and contain 20% shea butter!

Shea butter hand cream in lavender
Shea butter hand cream in lavender

The combination of Shea butter and glycerin makes this a very moisturising hand cream. It has a nice light texture and also absorbs really quickly with no greasy after feel. I usually use hand creams just before bedtime and I find the soothing lavender scent just perfect for sleepy time ! However, I would probably pick out another scent to use during daytime since the lavender can become a bit over powering to use during the day.

3.Argan Body Butter

Body butters become my best friends during the cold and dry winter months! This one too is going to be a keeper for the coming winter.

Argan Body Butter
Argan Body Butter

Although this is called Argan Body butter, it is mostly the shea butter in the cream that does all the work. Argan oil is present but being the 9th ingredient on the list I think its safe to assume that shea butter (2nd ingredient after water) is the star of this product too. Here is the ingredient list if you are interested:

Aqua (Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Ceteareth-20, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Carbomer, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cyclomethicone, Olea Europaea (Olive) leaf Extract, Prunus Amygoalus Dulcis (Almond) Shell Extract, Citric Acid, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Geraniol.

The orange peel oil in this body butter gives it a lovely subtle scent! Like most body butters, this one too has a thick consistency but is easy to spread and absorbs quickly too. As mentioned earlier, I see myself relying on this guy during the colder months ahead!

4. Shea Butter enriched soaps

These soaps are out of this world! They smell amazing. How I wish I could share the smell of these with you guys through a blog post! I was sent a big bar of soap in the scent called Linden which I like to keep sniffing whenever I walk past it! I was also sent a set of 7 small soaps, each a different scent. I can’t get over how amazing these smell! I am currently using a soap in the rose scent from the set of 7 and every time, after a bath my bathroom smells of fresh roses!

Shea enriched soaps
Shea enriched soaps

These soaps lather well and are non drying as well which is a huge plus. Traditional luxury french soaps are triple milled to produce a smooth bar of soap. PRE de PROVENCE states that their soaps are quad milled to get an even smoother and luxurious bar of soap. Their soaps are made by artisans in Provence who follow traditional methods. That probably explains why these soaps feel like little gems of luxury during bath time!

Overall, I am thrilled to have discovered this brand which has so many exciting bath and body products to offer! Most of their products are available on amazon for reasonable prices. Hope you all enjoyed this post and stay tuned for more around the world via beauty posts!

Until next time…ciao!!

 

*PR sample. Opinions expressed here are my own. (no affiliate links)