Marula Oil vs Rosehip Oil vs Squalane Oil For Face

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Typically, people tend to avoid using facial oils on their skin as they think that this will lead to clogged pores, breakouts, or greasy skin, but the reality is that facial oils can work wonders on the skin’s suppleness, radiance, and overall health. Face oils like marula oil, rosehip oil, squalane oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, and others are rich in linoleic and oleic acids; these compounds penetrate deep into the skin, trapping water and moisturizing your skin, and also fortifying your natural skin barrier. In this article, we will cover all you need to know about marula oil vs rosehip oil vs squalane oil.

Continue reading to see which oil is best for your skin type.

Fatty Acids: the Key Components in Facial Oils

Fatty acids such as are omega 9 (oleic acid) and omega 6 (linoleic acid) are the key ingredients in facial oils. Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids contribute a lot to our health and well being.
Both topical application and oral consumption have been shown to be effective when it comes to delivering essential fatty acids to the skin; however, topical application may work better than ingestion as many fatty acids may be oxidized by the liver before reaching the skin.
Applying face oils on your skin helps to provide protection from UV radiation and sun damage, thus preventing cellular damage, inflammation, and premature skin aging, as well as repairing and reversing damage, leaving the skin healthy and protected.
Fatty acids also help:
  • Provide intense hydration to the skin.
  • Reduce excess oil production.
  • Reduce acne and pimple risk.
  • Boost collagen production.
  • Strengthen and repair the skin’s natural barrier.

Understanding the Oleic Acid to Linoleic Acid Ratio

The oleic and linoleic acid ratio is a measure of how much oleic and linoleic acid should be present to benefit your skin type.
As a rule of thumb, if you have oily skin, combination skin, or blemish-prone skin, then you have low levels of linoleic acid in your skin’s surface, if you add this ingredient to your skincare routine, it will help balance your skin’s oil production.
In this case, individuals with oily, acne-prone skin will benefit the most from oils with a high ratio of linoleic acid.
Linoleic acid has barrier protective, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory benefits.
On the other hand, oleic acid is extremely hydrating; it penetrates deep into the skin to supply lost moisture, which makes it ideal for dry, mature, and sensitive skin.
People with normal skin should look for light hydration and strengthening their skin’s natural barrier, so an oil with a balanced ratio of oleic acid and linoleic acid is great for them.
So, when shopping for facial oils, take into account the oleic acid to linoleic acid ratio.

Understanding the Comedogenic Scale

The comedogenic scale is a scale that measures the clogging capability of ingredients used in facial oils. This scale uses the numbering system – 0 to 5. What you need to know is that no matter your skin type, it’s essential to understand the comedogenic rating.
By doing so, you can buy facial oils suited for your skin or condition. For example, if you are dealing with acne, the last thing you want is to use an oil that will clog your skin pores. This will lead to more acne.
So, if you have skin that is oily and prone to acne, avoid facial oils high in comedogenic substances. But, if you have flaky, dry skin, we recommend facial oils with a comedogenic rating below 3.
Here is the comedogenic scale:

0 – won’t clog pores at all

1 – very low likelihood of clogging pores

2 – moderately low likelihood

3 – moderate likelihood

4 – relatively high likelihood

5 – a high probability of clogging pores

Marula Oil

What Is Marula Oil?

Marula oil is a lightweight oil that is super rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, it is derived from the kernels of the marula tree, a tree that originates from sub-Saharan tropical Africa.
Also called Sclerocarya Birrea Seed oil, marula oil is known for its strong moisturizing and hydrating properties. The fatty acids found in marula oil are similar to those on your skin’s surface, they work to strengthen and restore your skin’s natural barrier, as such, they help prevent rapid water loss, especially during summer.
Marula oil has also powerful anti-aging benefits, it prevents the breakdown of elastin and collagen, leaving your skin looking plumped and supple.

What Are the Benefits of Marula Oil?

Besides the powerful moisturizing benefits of marula oil, it also has a myriad of benefits to the skin, this includes:

An effective moisturizer for dry or aging skin

Since marula oil is rich in antioxidants and fatty amino acids, it’s a popular treatment for hair, skin, and nails too. As a lightweight oil, it’s absorbed by the skin quickly. This makes it an effective moisturizer for dry or aging skin.
Marula oil is also an emollient, which means it seals moisture in your skin, keeping it soft and smooth.

It has anti-aging benefits

Thanks to its antioxidants properties, marula oil has the ability to inhibit collagen and elastin destruction, as such, it smoothes fine lines and prevents stretch marks from occurring.
Marula oil also contains some amino acids, such as L-arginine, that have anti-aging properties; which means that it can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including marionette lines and nasolabial folds.

Prevents formation of pimples and blackheads

Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, marula oil is effective against the bacteria that cause the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to calm redness, inflammation, and irritation.

What Is the Comedogenic Rating of Marula Oil?

The comedogenic rating of marula oil is 3 to 4. This is because it’s high in oleic and stearic acid. It also contains trace amounts of linoleic acid.
According to the comedogenic scale, a score of 3 to 4 means marula oil contains a moderate likelihood of clogging your skin pores.

Which Skin Type Is Marula Oil Best For?

Because of its powerful moisturizing and hydrating benefits, marula oil perfectly suits dry, very dry, or aging skin. When applied, it’s useful in keeping your facial soft and supple. Research shows that using marula oil helps to build and protect collagen in the skin.
It also helps to soothe irritation and inflammation in the skin brought by skin disorders like acne and eczema.

Rosehip Oil

What Is Rosehip Oil?

Rosehip oil is a cold-pressed oil extracted from various rose bushes, such as Rosa canina, Rosa moschata, and Rosa rubiginosa. Rosehip oil is usually extracted from the fruit and seeds of the plant rose, however, a high-quality rosehip oil is derived from the seeds only.
In addition to essential fatty acids and vitamin E, rosehip oil is rich in vitamins A, C, B1 and B2, beta-carotene, lycopene, and flavonoids.

What Are the Benefits of Rosehip Oil?

Hydrates and moisturizes your skin

Pressed rosehip oil is rich in linoleic acid that helps to strengthen the skin barrier, which helps prevent moisture loss.It works in a similar way as hyaluronic acid in terms of plumping and hydrating the skin.
This 2015 study has shown that rosehip oil increases the overall moisture levels in the skin.
Rosehip oil is a dry, non-comedogenic oil, which makes it a great lightweight moisturizer.

Treats fine lines and wrinkles and firms the skin

Thanks to its antioxidant properties, rosehip oil is a very effective anti-aging oil that works to reduce wrinkles and fine lines and prevent premature aging. It is enriched with vitamins A and C that help stimulate collagen production and encourage new skin cell production.
Rosehip oil also contains Lycopene that is a powerful antioxidant, well known for its anti-aging effects.

Fights acne and blackheads

Rosehip oil contains a high concentration of linoleic acid. When applied topically, this essential fatty acid has been proven effective in reducing acne and improving the appearance of acne scars.
In addition, rosehip oil helps exfoliate the skin, unclog pores, and prevent pimples and blackheads. It also helps soothe redness and irritation thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Lightens dark spots and hyperpigmentation

Rosehip oil contains high levels of retinoids, a form of vitamin A that is known for its ability to fight hyperpigmentation, dark spots, post-acne scars, and wrinkles.
In addition to retinoids, the oil also contains powerful antioxidants, such as lycopene and beta carotene that are usually used in skin-lightening products for their ability to minimize dark spots and hyperpigmentation and to improve the skin’s overall tone and texture.

Exfoliates the skin

Rosehip oil brightens and exfoliates your skin. Thanks to its natural exfoliation abilities, it reduces dullness while leaving you with glowing skin. Rosehip oil can do so because it’s rich in vitamins A and C.

Reduces inflammation

Lastly, rosehip oil helps reduce inflammation caused by skin disorders such as eczema, rosacea, and dermatitis. hat is because it contains vitamin E, polyphenols, and anthocyanin which are famous for their anti-inflammatory properties.

What Is the Comedogenic Rating of Rosehip Oil?

On the comedogenic scale, rosehip oil has a score of 1. This means that while it’s high in linoleic acid and moderate in oleic acid, rosehip oil has a low likelihood of clogging your skin pores.

Which Skin Type Is Rosehip Oil Best For?

Even though it seems counter-intuitive to put oil on oily skin, rosehip oil is actually a great fit for oily, acne-prone skin.
In fact, research has shown that the sebum composition of oily skin usually lacks in linoleic acid, and since rosehip oil is rich in this essential fatty acid, it helps address this problem.
Rosehip oil is a lightweight oil that absorbed quickly into the skin.

Squalane Oil

What Is Squalane Oil?

Squalane oil is a byproduct of squalene oil. As a hydrogenated version of squalene, it’s an excellent moisturizer for the skin, hair, and nails.
Although our bodies produce squalene naturally, the production declines as we age. That is why scientists extract the compound from the livers of sharks and various plant sources such as sugarcane, olive, wheat germ, and rice bran; they hydrogenate the oil because it’s unstable in its natural state.
Once hydrogenated, it becomes stable and sold as squalane oil.
If you’re a cruelty-free consumer, don’t worry, most skin care brands use plant-derived squalene to formulate their products.

What Are the Benefits of Squalane Oil?

The human body produces squalane oil naturally; as such, it is readily absorbed by the skin at deep levels.
In this section, we will talk about some of the incredible benefits of this amazing oil.

Hydrates your skin

Squalane oil has powerful moisturizing properties. It helps to form a barrier on the skin which prevents water loss and helps retain moisture.
Squalane is a great lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer that leaves skin hydrated and soft. It has a non-greasy texture that sinks deep and fast into the skin.
With regular topical use, squalane oil also helps to stimulate collagen production in the skin, which helps keep skin soft, plump, and supple.

Fights skin damage

Squalane oil has antioxidant, free-radical damage  fighting properties that enable it to protect the skin from harmful environmental aggressors, responsible for premature skin aging.

Acts as a detoxifier

The oil acts as a detoxifier. In a 2012 study, researchers sought to find out the applications of squalane oil on our skin. What they discovered is that squalane contains fatty acids that help to detoxify the skin.

Alleviates skin problems

Squalane oil soothes a variety of inflammatory skin problems. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate skin concerns such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, and inflammatory acne.
It also helps speed up the healing of irritated, cracked, or chapped skin.

What Is the Comedogenic Rating of Squalane Oil?

The comedogenic rating of squalane oil is 0 to 1. On the comedogenic scale, a score of 0 to 1 means that the oil has no or a low likelihood of clogging the skin pores.

Which Skin Type Is Squalane Oil Best For?

Thanks to its powerful moisturizing and soothing properties, and to the fact that it is lightweight and non-comedogenic, squalane oil is beneficial to all types of skin: normal, dry, oily, acne-prone, and even sensitive skin.
Squalane oil will absorb easily and quickly into the skin and provide intense hydration without leaving a greasy feel on your skin.

Comparison Table: Marula oil vs. Rosehip oil vs. Squalane oil

Here is a quick comparison between Marula oil, Rosehip oil, and Squalane oil:

Marula oilRosehip oilSqualane oil
Comedogenic rating of 3 to 4 (may clog pores)Comedogenic rating of 1 (won’t clog pores)Comedogenic rating of 0 to 1 (won’t clog pores)
Suitable for dry, very dry, aging, or dehydrated skinSuitable for oily, combination, or acne-prone skinSuitable for all skin types
High in oleic acid (70-78%), low in linoleic acid (4-7%)High in linoleic acid (54%), moderate in oleic acid (19%)High in oleic acid and Omega 2 (Percentage depends on the origin)
• Hydrates the skin
• Seals in moisture
• Has anti-aging benefits
• Offers antioxidant benefits
• Hydrates the skin
• Improves fine lines and wrinkles
• Fights acne and blackheads
• Reduces uneven skin tone
• Hydrates the skin
• Reduces the appearance of fine lines
• Protects against premature aging
• Heals irritated skin

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to use facial oils the right way?

A: The application of face oil should be the very last step in your skincare routine since oils prevent moisturizing agents and serums from penetrating the skin. Therefore, after you’ve cleansed, toned, and applied spot treatments and your favorite moisturizer, dab the oil onto your skin in small dots, and use your hands to gently smooth and massage the oil onto your face and neck.

Q: How long should I leave oil on my face?

A: It is best to use oils before bed so that your skin can absorb them overnight and get the most out of them, especially if you’re using a thick oil.

Q: Is it OK to leave oil on your face overnight?

A: Yes, you can leave the oil on your skin overnight and wash it off in the morning with lukewarm water or a microfiber cloth.

Q: Does applying oil on your face cause pimples?

A: Yes, but only if it has a high comedogenic rate. Highly comedogenic oils have the potential to clog pores, and as a result, they may actually cause pimples or worsen existing ones for some people.

Bottom Line: Marula Oil vs Rosehip Oil vs Squalane Oil

A general rule of thumb when it comes to skincare is to use products formulated with ingredients that do not harm your skin. Such products include facial oils like marula oil, rosehip oil, and squalane oil.
These oils are more concentrated than regular moisturizers and creams and provide countless benefits to the skin.
Now that you’re armed with many interesting facts about marula oil, rosehip oil, and squalane oil, we hope that you’ll be able to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right facial oil for your skin type and needs.
Best of luck!
Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.