If you need to moisturize and protect your skin, look no further!

By Brittany Loggins
June 30, 2020
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While it seems like there’s always a new trendy beauty ingredient on the horizon, there’s one that just might be the answer to some of your hair and skincare woes. We're talking about moringa oil. A natural ingredient that’s typically found alongside other oils in beauty products, its benefits are nothing to balk at. Dermatologists and hair stylists explain why moringa oil is *so* good.

What is moringa oil?

First off, what the heck is it? Well, moringa oil comes from the seeds of the moringa oleifera tree, says Marie Hayag, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. “Although the tree originates in India, the moringa tree has been cultivated and used widely all over due to its properties." Oleic acid, nutrients, vitamins, palmitoleic and linoleic acids can all be found in the seeds of the moringa tree, and these good-for-your-skin ingredients are exactly why hair stylists and dermatologists reach for products with moringa oil, explains Dr. Hayag.

Moringa oil benefits for skin

While Dr. Hayag is quick to note that the efficacy of moringa oil could still use additional research—especially when applied topically—one component, in particular, can prove to be super beneficial to skin: oleic acid. A fatty acid that's found in a lot of plant and vegetable oils, it's thought to support a healthy skin barrier function and offer mega-hydration and anti-aging perks. “The high oleic acid content found in moringa oil suggests it would benefit dry, more mature skin types due to its significant moisturizing properties,” says Dr. Hayag.

Moringa oil is also an emollient (translation: it acts as a barrier to help seal in moisture), which makes it ideal for those struggling with super dry skin and eczema. It's even been shown to improve conditions such as psoriasis, adds Dr. Hayag. “In one study, moringa oil showed that it had some anti-psoriatic properties, significantly reduced psoriatic inflammation, and had comparable benefits to conventional medicines.”

Also great: It's gentle and safe enough to use on all skin types, including those who are prone to breakouts. This powerhouse oil even contains vitamin E, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help improve acne, points out Dr. Hayag.

Moringa oil benefits for hair

Not only does moringa oil work wonders for skin, but it also an ingredient you can be adding to your haircare regimen. Dr. Hayag recommends massaging it into your scalp to restore moisture levels (buh bye, dryness and flakes) and improve the overall health of your hair.

It can also be used to protect color-treated locks. Popular haircare brand Oribe actually uses moringa oil in its color-treatment line of products. Michele Burgess, the executive director of product development at Oribe, reveals that the brand has found moringa oil to be especially beneficial, thanks to how nourishing and protective it is. “It is known for enhancing shine, antioxidant protection and protection against the color depleting, drying and damaging effects from the sun’s rays," says Burgess.

And Oribe is not alone—other haircare brands are taking note. Howard McLaren, the co-founder and creative director of R+Co, says stylists have found that moringa oil “gives a reparative property to styling products and can help make the hair stronger and protect it from damage.”

Best products with moringa oil

If you're ready to see what all the fuss is about—and discover firsthand how moringa oil can benefit your skin and hair—check out the expert-approved picks ahead.

Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil

BIOSSANCE

This gentle oil cleanser melts away dirt, grime, and makeup, leaving your skin feeling supple and soft. In addition to moringa oil, it contains antioxidants, squalane, and lots of plant-derived oils and extracts, which all work together to help keep your skin feeling hydrated and nourished. 

One reviewer said: " thought I had oily skin until I started using this. It normalized my skin, made it less oily, less prone to breakouts, hydrated just right, less redness, and made it so soft!! That and it smells great!"

Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color

NORDSTROM

Consider this hair mask if you're wanting to extend your color between salon visits. Moringa seed oil gives tresses a glossy shine, while protecting and enhancing color, says Burgess. Plus, the formula is packed with ceramides and keratin to smooth, strengthen, and protect your strands to keep them from becoming dry, brittle, or dull.

"I bought this full size product after trying the travel size (also bought from SpaceNK) and I will never look back. Leaves hair so shiny and soft without weighing it down. Been using for over a month now and the condition of my hair has greatly improved," wrote a shopper.

R + Co Two-Way Mirror Smoothing Oil

DERMSTORE

Designed to hydrate, soften, and repair your hair, this oil is a genius solution for split ends and frizz. On top of moringa oil, it's infused with vitamin E and essential oils, which both work to moisturize, protect, and target damaged or parched hair. “It is super moisturizing and helps to nourish and protect the hair, whether you use it as a leave-in treatment or at the end of styling or as a polishing serum,” says McLaren. 

"This serum makes your hair soooo shiny. You don't need a lot to see some serious shine," noted a buyer.

The Body Shop Mega Moringa Body Butter

AMAZON

Just like its over 1,000 five-star reviewers, you’ll quickly fall in love with this rich, creamy moisturizer. The moringa oil in this product is intended to protect the skin and hold in moisture. It also contains shea and cocoa butter, so it’s super thick and hydrating. Bonus: If you like a subtle fragrance, this one has a fresh, green floral scent. 

One reviewer shared: "I took the Moringa Body Butter on a weekend trip to Florida. It seems that no matter how much sun block you use it is never enough. Anyway, the burn was unbelievable. I used the butter immediately after showering and I slept well that night. It gave my skin a moist subtle feeling even after I burned the heck out of it. The incredible smell just adds to it."

The Mane Choice Tropical Tropical Moringa Sweet Oil & Honey Endless Moisture Restorative Spray

AMAZON

If you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution to moisturize your locks—look no further. Not only does this smell like a day at the beach, it’s intended to hydrate and soften and it can be used on wet or dry hair to add a spritz of moisture. 

"I Absolutely love this restorative spray!!!" raved a customer. "I'm African American, have natural curly hair and use this every morning. My curls are extremely hydrated and come back to life without even using a lot."

USDA Organic Moringa Oil

AMAZON

This cold-pressed moringa oil can be used on just about anything, from skin to hair to your scalp—seriously. It's packed with nutrients and antioxidants, and can act as an anti-aging face oil to help minimize wrinkles and protect against free radical damage. At the same time, it can also be used as a hair and scalp oil to fight dandruff and dry skin, thanks to its antimicrobial and moisturizing properties.

"I immediately used it on my chapped lips and it helped within minutes," noted a buyer. "I now use it nightly as a moisturizer and my skin has never readily accepted anything like this. It also works great as a leave in conditioner if you just comb through a small amount after a shower. It even helps slightly when rubbed in my on my arthritis and for a sore throat when I had a cold."

Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream

DERMSTORE

Ideal for medium-to-thick tresses and long locks, this leave-in conditioner zaps frizz, adds shine, and softens split ends and strands for your healthiest hair yet. Just work a little into damp or wet hair from mid-shaft to ends, and style as you normally would—whether you blow it out or let it air dry

"This is like crack for hair! I have greying, curly, long hair and I have to do so much to keep the frizz down. This is an amazing product and makes my curls rock and keeps the frizz away!" said a shopper.

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