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Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil review

A Facial Oil for All Skin Types?

Between my love of a facial oil (so dewy!) and my addiction to Drunk Elephant, it was really only a matter of time before I tested out what it possibly the line’s most famous product; their Virgin Marula Oil*.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil

Among Drunk Elephant’s (now pretty large) range of products, this oil stands out as something of a flagship- since it’s the myth that elephants get sozzled after eating fruit from the Marula tree that gives the company its name.

Containing just one ingredient- sclerocarya birrea seed oil (or Marula oil as it’s most commonly known)- it is offered here in its purest, cold-pressed form and is high in antioxidants (to protect skin against free radical damage), as well as amino acids and essential fatty acids (to help repair and protect the skin’s moisture barrier).

As an added bonus, Marula oil also packs in anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which help protect against breakouts and makes this a great oil for almost all skin types (yes, even oily ones- although acne types might still find this a little rich).

How to Use it?

According to Drunk Elephant, 2 to 3 drops of this is enough to smooth the face, neck and pretty much anywhere else (and that’s how I tend to use this myself).

Of course part of the beauty of face oils is quite how versatile they are, though; helping with everything from standing in for regular moisturiser to glossing cuticles with just a few drops.

So here are some of my favourite ways to use Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Oil:

  • As an overnight treatment over regular moisturisers/serums/eye creams to really lock in moisture (particularly useful for very sensitive skin or during the change of seasons)
  • Mixed with foundation/liquid highlighter/liquid bronzer for a really dewy no makup-makeup look (just make sure the makeup you mix it with isn’t too water-based as the two won’t get on well together).
  • On it’s own when skin has been battered by too many retinols or acids (the soothing antioxidants and essential fatty acids here help to repair the skin’s natural barrier).
  • In place of an eye cream (Drunk Elephant recommeds 1 to 2 drops if you’re doing this but I think half a drop is enough) for a really moisturising, fine-line plumping effect.

On the Skin

The result of all that moisturising goodness is the sort of yoga skin glow my dreams are made of- especially when mixed with a pump of D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops*, the brand’s tinted antioxidant serum.

Read More: 5 Ways to Use D-Bronzi

Over time, my skin also feels generally more nourished and soothed (particularly useful for any sensitive skin moments like the change of seasons).


The Alternatives

While Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Oil is genuinely a lovely product, it is also (sadly) a pretty pricey one… So are there are any cheaper dupes out there?

Well handily, there are.  And possibly the most famous one is The Ordinary’s 100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil*, a really quite reasonably priced alternative (at £8.10 for 30 ml) that offers exactly the same ingredient as Drunk Elephant’s option and still in a high quality, cold-pressed form.

Slightly thinner in texture than Drunk Elephant’s, this oil is almost an exact dupe (although I do find Drunk Elephant’s option has a slightly smoother finish, possibly down to the filtration system used).

There are also several pure, cold-pressed Marula oil alternatives from lesser-known brands via Amazon* (just make sure to double check the ingredients and reviews before buying to get the highest-quality product for your money.

The Takeaway

Particularly well-suited to anyone who wants to add in a highly moisturising step to their winter routine, this will also work well for those faced with pollution or UV on a regular basis who wants a little extra antioxidant protection.

But while I do love this Drunk Elephant product, there certainly are cheaper alternatives out there which still offer a quality oil- like The Ordinary’s 100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil*.

Great for: Moisturising, soothing, and getting skin glowing.

Not-so-great for: The wallet, since this is pretty expensive.  Also acne skin types may find this a little too rich.

Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula oil is from £34 for 15 ml, Cult Beauty UK* and from $40 for 0.5 oz/ 15 ml, Sephora US


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