Everything to Know About Moringa Oil, the All-in-One Oil of Your Dreams
Oil is one of the most versatile and important additions to your skincare routine, no matter your skin type. Whether you suffer from dryness, sensitivity, clogged pores, or even all of the above, oil is your skin's best friend (and if you're unsure what your skin type is then let us work it out for you).
From the healing benefits of lavender oil, to the anti-bacterial effects of orange oil, there's an oil for everyone. But right now, let's talk about a lesser known all-in-one oil that you may not have heard of yet: Moringa oil.
What is Moringa oil?
Moringa oleifera is a plant that grows in the Himalayan mountains, known for its rich antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds. Almost every part of the plant is either eaten or used in herbal medicine, but its seeds, in particular, are useful for skincare. More specifically, the seeds can be made into an oil, which is rich in oleic acid triglycerides. "Moringa oil is 40% monounsaturated fatty acids, with 70% of that being oleic acid," says Hadley King, M.D., a Manhattan-based board-certified dermatologist.
What are the benefits of Moringa oil?
Whether you're trying to heal acne scarring, soothe dermatitis or dry patches, Moringa is the multi-oil of your dreams. Moringa's oleic acid base "makes it great for supporting the skin barrier, which seals in hydration and protects us from environmental insults," explains Dr. King. "This means that it is a good moisturizer and beneficial for dry and sensitive skin."
However, it isn't only dry skin types who benefit from Moringa and other oils, as even people with naturally oily skin need to hydrate. This may sound scary for those with oily skin—after all, why add more oil to an already oily canvas? Dr. King explains, "Moringa oil is also similar to the oil naturally produced by our skin, which means that it can help to balance and nourish all skin types without being greasy. And it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties as well, and because of its high content of vitamin E, it also has potent antioxidant properties."
Still, she adds, "We need more data to fully understand the effects of Morninga oil in topical products because there have not yet been many studies about this."
Because of this lack of clinical testing, it's always advised to do a patch test 24 hours before using Moringa oil on your face in case of allergy. And although you are not consuming the oil as a supplement, always ask your doctor about the interactions between the oil and any medication you may be on. The rifamin case ofpin antibiotic, for example, has shown signs of decreased effectiveness while taken with Moringa supplements, although there is no evidence of this happening when the oil is used as skincare. It's just always better to be safer than sorry.
What's the best way to use Moringa oil?
On top of the fact that Moringa oil is a great skincare product and dietary supplement, it also does fabulous things for your hair and nails, and can be used in other surprising ways. "One of the things we love most about Moringa is its versatility—it's used as a cuticle oil, makeup remover, after shave treatment, and much more," says Emily Cunningham, Co-Founder & COO of True Moringa. "Plus, it's the perfect makeup primer as it has a high 'slip' or lubricity and a low 'spread,' meaning that makeup glides on easily and stays where you want it after application."
Like with most oils and serums, there's a specific time, frequency, and method to apply Moringa. You can apply it daily alongside your moisturizer, to fully hydrate your skin for the day ahead. The oil creates a barrier, and it also makes for the perfect night oil as its restorative nature will work in tandem with a good night's sleep. It's also great for post-exfoliation treatments.
"After a detox mask, apply Moringa oil to restore and replenish the nutrients and fatty acids your skin needs," advises Cunningham. "If you already have an existing routine, and you're looking to integrate Moringa oil, the rule of thumb is to apply products from thinnest to thickest (e.g. cleanser, toner, cream, oil, sunscreen)."
Moringa can be mixed with most ingredients, but always be sure to google the interactions with other ingredients before use. There are tons of handy guides out there on mixing, which is especially important for actives.
What Moringa products do experts recommend?
Like most skincare oils, Moringa oil can be used on its own, either applied to clean skin or a few drops added to your moisturizer or SPF. Ekom Kaur Mamik, founder & CEO of MoringaWhat, recommends the company's single ingredient Moringa Oil, which was launched to support "the specific dry and dehydrated skin and hair types."
Moringa is also present in countless moisturizers, masks, cleansers, serums, and other products on the market. Dr. King recommends The Jojoba Company's Calming Jojoba, as "it contains their signature Wadi-Wadi jojoba, which soothes, moisturizes and supports the skin barrier. It's rich in omega 6 and 9 fatty acids and vitamins A, D, and E. And it also contains chamomile, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It inhibits NO production and iNOS expression in macrophages."
The Body Shop has a full range of Moringa products, from dry body oil to hand cream, and they're all fair trade and sustainable. This is often the case for Moringa products, as there are tons of indigenous farms across India that work directly with brands to pursue more ethical trading.
Cunningham recommends True Moringa's Simplicity Oil, noting that it's "a 100% pure Moringa oil that we cold-press ourselves at the source in Ghana." Her "personal favorite product," she adds, is the brand's Magic Black Soap, "a foamy cream cleanser made with Moringa, African Black Soap, and shea." She also calls out Pholk Beauty's Rose Gardenia Skinnectar, Pacha Soap's Kelp & Kale Whipped Soap Scrub, and Piper Wai's Chamomile & Ginger Body Wash as other great options.
So it turns out you can't shake a stick at any brand without hitting some Moringa! Your favorite brands are probably already packed with it, so be sure to use their search bar to find your skin's new best friend.