Remember when argan oil came on the scene and blew your mind with its hydrating/anti-aging capabilities and then every beauty product you ever used contained it? Well, while argan oil isn't going anywhere, there's a new oil on the block that contains 60 percent more antioxidants than argan oil (bye, wrinkles and sun damage!) and is even more skin friendly. (Yes, even if you have acne.)
With a natural makeup that comes close to the oils your own body creates, marula oil — harvested in South Africa from the nut inside the marula fruit — plays nicely with your skin, healing and hydrating it without clogging or irritating it. How? It contains a high amount of antioxidants and essential fatty acids like omegas-6 and -9, which do a ton: They protect your skin from environmental aggressors (sun, pollution, wind, etc.) that can cause premature aging, and they absorb deeper and more easily into your skin, since the molecules are much smaller than traditional hydrating oils. (Traditional, thicker oils will sit on top and just lock existing moisture in.)
Scared of oils as an acne sufferer? This oil helps battle breakouts — for real! It's non-comedogenic because it's so high in omega fatty acids and absorbs quickly, so it won't clog your pores. And it can actually heal your blemishes faster (as it hydrates your skin), thanks to its antimicrobial properties that help fight future bacteria. "I've also found that in using pure, unrefined, high-omega oil like marula, your skin will stop overproducing oil, since it isn't dehydrated any longer, which will in turn cause fewer breakouts," says Tiffany Masterson, creator and founder of Drunk Elephant Skincare, and who includes marula oil in all of her products. Try applying two to three drops of Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil or Acure Marula Oil (both are pure marula oil) onto your face every other night to ease your way into using oils if you're acne-prone. Or, if you're still hesitant about putting oil straight on your face, try using a foundation that contains it, like The Body Shop Moisture Foundation SPF 15.
Marula oil can also do wonders for your nails and hair. Nail care brands like Ciaté have incorporated the super oil in their products, like their Orange Chocolate Pot Fragranced Nail Polish Remover, because of the oil's ability to penetrate the nail bed quicker (due its small molecule makeup) without leaving behind greasy residue or drying out the nail and cuticle.
When it comes to marula oil and hair, Rihanna's stylist Ursula Stephen says, "It's lightweight, offers fast absorption, and leaves a satin finish on the hair, so it won't flatten out your style or leave it looking greasy." It also seals, coats, and smooths your hair cuticle (the outermost layer of your strands) for frizz-free, gorgeous-looking locks.