In the spectacular Rift Valley in Kenya, along a stretch of 6,000 kilometers encompassing haunting volcanoes, sun-soaked fertile soils and shimmering sapphire lakes, spellbinding views extend as far as the eye can see capturing some of Africa’s most dramatic and diverse landscapes. Here, basking in the unyielding sun and heat, Marula trees thrive.
With their silver-toned trunks and rich spreading crowns, these trees provide cool, refreshing shade and hard fruits with a mellow green-yellow hue that fall to the ground to ripen. The nut from these fruits is pressed to produce a light champagne-colored oil that African women have used for centuries to protect and heal their skin. From September to November, male Marula trees bloom exquisite deep red flowers, and from January to March, animals will pick and eat at their fruit.
It is here on an escarpment in the Rift Valley, where a community of Maasai people live, that our Marula oil is hand-harvested to deliver the finest in the world. Ultra-pure and unrivaled.
What is Marula Oil?
For over 10,000 years, Scelerocarya birrea, the Marula tree, has thrived and nourished populations native to traditionally hot and dry climates, including those in Southern Africa, Madagascar and the awe-inspiring landscapes of Western Africa.
Best suited to dry and harsh environments, untouched by agriculture, pollutants or industrialization, Marula flourishes in the wilderness. Its highly nutritious fruit, leaves, husk and seed are all used by the local Maasai. Its fruit can be made into a jam or juice, its leaves are used medicinally and its bark for building.
The precious oil from the kernel of the Marula fruit is well known among the Maasai women. A tribe that settled in the Rift Valley in the 17th century, the Maasai discovered that Marula oil was a healer for everything from stretch marks and scars to burns. It is a powerful moisturizer that soaks deep into the skin and is considered one of the best oils for aging skin.
The Marula tree is even sacred for some. As each tree is either male or female, some believe that by making tea with the bark of a tree of a specific gender, it can make a child either male or female in the womb. Others call Marula the “Tree of Life” and consider it a symbol for fertility and softness, celebrating the tree’s embodiment of the female form. 
The Origins of LUXE Botanics Marula
Our Marula oil harvesting process begins by hand in the Rift Valley with the local Maasai women, who start their day early. The fruit falls to the ground to ripen, and it is here that each fruit is wild harvested in the wild stands of Kenya, selected by hand to ensure only the best are chosen and that no spoiled fruits are picked.
The fallen fruit is produced from January to March, when temperatures hover around an inviting 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius). January and February experience a dry spell, but March brings cloudy, rainy and humid weather. During times of dry and hot climate, the women sit under Marula trees with their friends, harvesting the fruit.
Once the Marula fruit is picked and gathered, it is cut open with a panga, a large knife. The pulp is removed, while the nut—which contains the oil—is dried in the sun.
Each nut casing is removed by hand, and the husks are saved for fertilizer use. Nuts are hand-selected so that only the best, most succulent ones are chosen and processed into our rich, luscious Marula oil. Literally nothing is wasted.
Our Ingredient Integrity
Each kernel harvested is cold-pressed in small batches using a custom-made press to ensure our Marula’s high nutrient content is locked in and that its antioxidant properties and essential vitamins and minerals are carried over from kernel to oil, to your skin.
This high pressure proprietary equipment allows us to keep the oil in its purest form without stripping it of its nutrients or compromising its quality. Microfiltered without chemicals or heat, our Marula oil retains all its natural goodness during our ultra-pure harvesting process.
The entire process takes two weeks, from the fallen fruit to the cold-pressed, freshly-made oil. Because it is labor-intensive, it creates a hive of work for rural communities. Where other companies have mechanized and accelerated the Marula oil harvesting process for profit, without picking the fruits by hand, it’s impossible to keep out the spoiled fruits, which can diminish the quality of the oil along with the use of heat and chemical preservatives.
Our Marula oil is in its purest form with no additives, chemicals or preservatives.
Marula oil is a naturally unique oil. Perfect for a variety of skin types, including combination, dry and mature skin. Particularly healing and nurturing for sensitive or sun-damaged skin, Marula rejuvenates skin’s natural moisture content to improve its firmness and suppleness, giving it the name “miracle oil” among the Maasai communities.  It offers benefits such as:
- True moisture to soothe skin. Marula oil has the ultimate ratio of omega-9 (up to 78% oleic acid) to omega-6 (4-7% linoleic acid) fatty acids, which allows the oil to permeate the skin deeply for genuine moisture. Marula’s omega content helps improve skin’s firmness, suppleness and smooth wrinkles, rendering it among the best oils for uplifting and tightening the skin.  It’s non comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores.
- Naturally softens the aging process. Quick to absorb into the skin without being greasy, Marula oil is light, does not clog pores and its antioxidants help combat cell damage, which can improve the appearance of wrinkles and aging skin. 
- Vitamin C for sun damage and a collagen boost. Marula oil is full of vitamin C, having four times the vitamin C of an orange.  Vitamin C may help reduce sun damage and even improve collagen production in the skin. Vitamin C and collagen production naturally decline in the skin due to aging, and light exposure can also impact vitamin C content in the skin. 
Cutting Edge Formulations Powered by Leading Green Technology
Uniquely blended for superior performance, our Marula Hydrating Pre-Cleanser and Marula Hydrating Serum are specially formulated with a combination of intensely nourishing carrier oils, making it the best combination of oils for dry skin and aging skin, as well as mature and sun-damaged skin.
This custom blend includes rosehip, carrot seed and jojoba oils, which comprise of a molecular composition that not only empowers Marula to penetrate even deeper into skin for excellent absorption and nourishment, but each of these oils has their own unique properties. Carrot seed oil is intensely rejuvenating, while rosehip and jojoba oils are naturally anti-inflammatory with antioxidant properties that help improve the appearance of aging skin.[7, 8, 9]
When paired with Marula, they make an incredibly light, absorbent, yet super hydrating serum designed specifically to nourish and repair skin.
Skincare With Deep Roots in Sustainability and Empowering Rural Communities
Sustainably sourced, our Marula oil benefits both the communities that harvest Marula and the environment in which these beautiful trees exist.
Marula harvesting worksites are located near a local stream that flows annually down the hillside, which is convenient for the women, as it doesn’t disrupt their daily schedule. Women can work as many or as few hours as they’d like receiving a fair trade living for their work, and although the Marula harvesting season lasts only a few months, cooperatives in Tanzania have been bringing in other marula fruit, so that the women are able to work all year long and make enough to support their families—including feeding, clothing and educating their children.
Our Marula harvesters make enough to invest in local microbusinesses. Their small enterprises in turn create independent, sustainable income sources along with employment opportunities for others, producing a rippling effect throughout the community.
Before harvesting Marula, these women had no independent source of income, and could only make a small amount of money by making charcoal through burning the trees, having a negative impact on the environment.
Marula trees in East and West Africa are under threat from charcoal burning and agricultural encroachment on protected forests.  With the value of Marula and its positive effect on the local economy, communities have been able to stop these forests from being destroyed and instead nurture a sustainable crop with natural harvesting and processing methods.
The support these trees have brought to the community have allowed the Maasai people to build a local school and a clinic. Girls are now allowed to stay in school past 13 whereas previously, only one in five girls would make it past their eighth year in school. 
Marula oil is an exceptional and powerful healer and we are proud that ours is the result of a truly hands on process that benefits the people it revolves around. We believe that when harvested to our exacting standards and to the benefit of rural communities, Marula oil has the power not just to change your skin, but the lives of rural women most affected by climate change, with the ability to change the world.
The LUXE Botanics Team