Maracuja oil is an exotic beauty ingredient. It is another name for the oil extracted from passion fruit. Curious about what Maracuja oil can do for your skin? This entire post is made for that purpose only.
You’ll be reading about:
- Physical characteristics of the oil (name, color, scent, etc.)
- The way Maracuja is produced.
- What exactly is the oil made of and how can it make the skin (and hair) look beautiful. You’ll also find there the uses and benefits of Maracuja oil.
- How to use this natural ingredient for all your beauty needs.
- Easy and fun beauty recipes to try when you get the oil.
- Fun and interesting facts about the passion fruit, the passion flower, and their oils.
- Safety considerations for a safe use of Maracuja oil. The safer you know how to use this oil, the better the results.
Maracuja Oil Composition, Beauty Benefits, How to Use, and Recipes
Botanical name: Passiflora edulis (var. Edulis or var. flavicarpa).
Scent: wild ripe fruit that gives way to a more delicate characteristic fragrance. It’s sweet, exotic, fruity & tart, without being overpowering.
Color: golden – orange.
Viscosity: liquid, medium thickness.
Other names: maracuya (Colombia), chinola (Dominican Republic), and grenadille (French). Also granadillo & maracuja (Brazil) and lilikoi (Hawaii). Markisa in Indonesia and parcha in Puerto Rico.
Because the fruit grows mostly in tropical climates, each people calls it differently. Now you know most of its names too. Hopefully, if you’ll ever see the oil called something else, you’ll know what it is.
What is Maracuja oil? It’s a natural beauty oil. Applied to the skin, natural oils can deliver the essential fatty acids it needs.
The skin needs these nutrients to keep moisturized and elastic, among others.
The title says that Maracuja oil works for dry and mature skin, and also for acne skin. How is that possible?
It is possible because the oil has something for each of these skin types. Let’s learn more about this amazing beauty ingredient, starting with its production.
How is Maracuja Oil Produced?
Passiflora is a plant genus in the Passifloraceae family. The oil is extracted from one of many passiflora genera. Passiflora edulis var. Edulis is the purple passion fruit.
Another type of passion fruit used for oil extraction is Passiflora edulis var. Flavicarpa. This is the yellow and bigger passion fruit. This fruit is a lot more acidic (tart) than the purple variety.
The oil from the purple fruit is more common though. It is so because it has a finer scent and it feels very nice on the skin.
If you have to choose between the two types, choose the purple passion fruit oil. If you can’t choose, the difference in compounds is not that big. This means that the properties of both oils will be very much alike.
I want to make one thing clear: Maracuja oil is not an essential oil. Essential oils are mainly steam distilled, but they are also CO2 extracted.
Maracuja oil is extracted by cold press from the seeds of the passion fruit. Therefore, it is a carrier oil. Carrier oils are oily and very nourishing, among others.
They are not volatile, which means the scent won’t be as powerful as that of an essential oil. This fact makes Maracuja oil inappropriate for diffuser use. It will only clog the device and shorten its shelf life.
Also, carrier oils go rancid (bad smell and blurry consistency). They don’t oxidize like essential oils.
Sometimes, a passion fruit oil can be infused with passion flowers too. The flowers can be steam distilled and made into an essential oil.
However, I haven’t heard of a Maracuja essential oil so far. The flowers add different compounds and properties to the infused Maracuja oil.
The name of passion flower is Passiflora incarnata. If you see this name next to P. edulis, it means the Maracuja oil is infused with passion flower.
All these botanical names can be found on the label of the product or on the site description.
The passion fruit is intensely used for juice extraction. Thus, the seeds remain as a waste. In many poor countries, the locals take these seeds, dry them and then squeeze out their oils manually.
As you can imagine, this helps lots of families and the country’s economy.
What Makes Maracuja Oil Useful in Beauty
Maracuja oil has many beauty benefits, thus, its uses are also many and diverse. Before finding out what is Maracuja oil used for, let’s see what makes it so usable.
The oil has a very good composition. It contains:
- Linoleic acid (~70%) – This is an Omega 6 fatty acid, also known as vitamin F. Omega 6 is not naturally produced by the body. Thus, the skin needs this essential fatty acid. It needs it to recover from any damage, oxidative stress effects, etc. The lack of linoleic acid can lead to dry skin and/or allergies. It helps to restore the skin fats, maintain it hydrated and well-nourished. Studies show that acne-prone skin lacks linoleic acid too. Applying Maracuja oil, which is so high in linoleic acid, can help acne skin.
- Oleic acid (~16%) – An Omega 9 fatty acid, it is not essential to the body because it can make it on its own. That doesn’t mean it’s not useful, especially in such low amounts. It can help with moisture retaining. Oleic acid actually makes the skin cells more receptive. This means they can allow more of the other compounds of Maracuja oil to enter the skin.
- Palmitic acid (10%) – This fatty acid nourishes and cleanses the skin.
- Vitamin E, which is a great antioxidant.
- Carotenoids and bioflavonoids – These are also great antioxidants that can prevent premature aging.
- Squalene – This fatty acid plays a major role in keeping the skin cells healthy. It’s an acid found in the sebum, and it’s very abundant until the age of 30. Afterward, its production starts to slowly decrease. Less squalene leads to dry skin and makes it more prone to wrinkles and sun damage.
- Stearic acid (~2%)
- Linolenic acid (>1%)
The linoleic acid and the squalene make Maracuja oil a good non-comedogenic product. The comedogenicity rate of Maracuja is 1.
On a scale from 0 to 5, 0 is totally non-comedogenic. This means that, when applied to an already affected skin, it doesn’t clog the pores.
As you can see, the Maracuja oil benefits for the skin are quite impressive. The oil is one of the best oils to use for beautiful skin and hair. Let’s start with the skin benefits and see what it can do for you.
Maracuja Oil Uses in Skin Care
For those who’ve wondered what does Maracuja oil do, here are some ideas. The oil of passion fruit can soothe or treat:
- Skin itching.
- Skin redness (irritation or eczema).
- Skin eruptions (hives, blisters, etc.)
- Sun damage (burns, redness, pain, etc.)
- Age (dark) spots.
- Dry skin.
Maracuja oil and acne.
You can use Maracuja oil for acne skin with all the confidence. The oil feels light (dry) on the skin. It can balance the sebum production, thus it decreases the risk of clogged pores.
The oil is also mildly anti-inflammatory, which helps to keep acne at bay.
There is one downside though. In some people, the high content of linoleic acid can cause a purging effect.
This acid speeds up the cell turnover of the skin. This means that all the impurities (blackheads, acne, etc.) will surface much faster.
This process usually lasts for a month, until all the cells have been renewed. Within this time, your skin will shed and peel much faster.
Maracuja oil and dry skin.
Again, supplying your skin with essential fatty acids leads to a better hydration. Maracuja oil can nourish it on a deep level and keep the water inside. In other words, it seals the water inside the cells through a thick protective skin barrier.
Maracuja oil and mature skin.
A mature skin type is wrinkled and dry. Now you know how the oil of Maracuja can help with the dry skin. As for the wrinkles and fine lines, the oil can fill those gaps in the tissue.
It can also make it more firm by preventing water loss. Nourishment can keep the mature skin elastic.
What else do you use Maracuja oil for? Luckily, it can be used for dark (age) spots too. Maracuja can also be applied underneath the makeup. Just make sure to use small amounts so the face doesn’t feel greasy.
Maracuja Oil for Hair Care
Can you use Maracuja oil in your hair? Yes, you can. The oil is very nourishing and softening for the hair.
So, what are the benefits of Maracuja oil for hair care? It can:
- Soften and hydrate.
- Give it luster.
- Soothe scalp itching.
- Nourish dry scalp and prevent dandruff.
- Keep it elastic.
- Nourish the dry, split ends.
- Calm frizzy hair.
As a bonus, Maracuja oil can also be used for nails and cuticles. Thus, the next time you make your manicure, you can apply some of this oil before the nail polish.
But make sure you remove the oil with water and soap. Otherwise, the nail polish may not hold well.
If it’s too dry, massage your scalp with it. Massage the split ends before going to bed and the oil will be fully absorbed until morning. Use it in oil masks before applying shampoo too.
How to Use Maracuja or Passion Fruit Oil?
Being a carrier oil, Maracuja can be used as it is. This means you can apply it directly to the skin.
However, some people may be too sensitive and the oil might cause them irritation. If that’s the case, you should first mix it with another carrier.
Everyone, regardless of age and health, must test their oils for allergies first. Apply on the inside of your forearm for a few hours – a day. A reaction will occur within a few minutes to hours after application.
So, the oil of Maracuja can be used neat or diluted with another carrier. You can also add essential oils to it to make more efficient blends. Never use it in a diffuser though!
Maracuja and Other Carrier Oils
It seems that the results you get with Maracuja oil resemble those of Camellia oil. Of course, the experience will be different for everyone.
What about Maracuja oil vs. Marula oil? The difference is they are two different oils.
The similarity is that they are both great antioxidants and moisturizers. Maracuja is rated 1, as comedogenicity goes, and Marula is rated 0.
Where can you buy Maracuja oil? You can find it quite easily, though its price may be a bit on the high end.
For example, I found this Maracuja oil on Amazon that ticks all the necessary aspects of a good quality oil. The best Maracuja oil needs to be 100% natural and affordable.
Maracuja Oil Skin & Hair Care Recipes
The best part about homemade beauty treatments is the practice. I’ve told you about the benefits and uses of Maracuja oil, now it’s time we put it to the test.
Maracuja Radiant Body Oil Recipe
- Maracuja oil: ½ Oz (15ml)
- Apricot oil: ½ Oz (15ml)
- Grapefruit essential oil: 15 drops
- Cinnamon essential oil: 5 drops
Shake the blend well before each use and apply moderate amounts all over the body. This blend should not be used during the summer because Cinnamon is phototoxic.
Anti-Aging Maracuja Serum
- Maracuja oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Frankincense essential oil: 10 drops
- Helichrysum essential oil: 5 drops
Apply on a clean, damp complexion. You can repeat every night or whenever you feel your skin needs some moisture and protection.
Anti-Acne Maracuja Oil Blend
- Maracuja oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Tea Tree essential oil: 5 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 5 drops
Apply very small amounts after shaking the blend well.
Maracuja Oil Hair Mask
- Maracuja oil: 3 – 4 tsp.
- Olive oil: 1 tsp.
- Peppermint oil: 2 drops
Apply this mask warm on the scalp and hair, and keep it on for at least an hour. Rinse it well with a lot of shampoo and warm (not hot) water.
I do not recommend leaving it overnight because it can saturate the hair and make it very greasy.
Maracuja Oil Fun & Interesting Facts, plus Safety Considerations
You already know how the oil is produced/extracted. But there are lots of other interesting and fun things to know about it and the fruit. I’ve put them all in a bulleted list for an easier read. Enjoy!
- Passion fruits grow on vines.
- Their flowers are big and impressive.
- Passion fruits are grown mainly for juice making. The seeds are wastes turned into a very precious beauty oil. The shells of the seeds are not thrown away either. They’re used in all sorts of exfoliation products (soaps, shower gels, etc.)
- Maracuja or passion fruit is native to Brazil. It grows in Paraguay and Argentina too. Luckily, some Passiflora species grow well in other parts of the world too. We can find passion fruit varieties in Hawaii, Florida, California, Spain, Portugal, etc. Some types of passiflora vines grow even in England.
- Paraguay made the passion flower their national floral emblem.
- The passion flower played an important role during Christianity conversion, in the 18th century.
- Carpenter bees are the only ones that can pollinate the passion flowers effectively.
- There are two very common passion fruits, the purple and the yellow. The latter is the size of a grapefruit, while the former is the size of a lemon or smaller.
- The fruit and its juice are commonly used in desserts (cakes and cheesecakes), ice creams, and in soft drinks.
- The maracuja term comes from a Brazilian dialect (Guarani). It means “nursery for flies”.
Safety Considerations for Marula Oil
Being natural doesn’t mean it’s safe all the time. All oils can cause allergic reactions and other problems, especially under certain circumstances.
Check these tips out and consider them before using passion fruit oil.
- Avoid taking Maracuja oil internally, especially without medical consent. Its high linoleic acid content may cause inflammation in the body. Ingesting this oil may also cause gastrointestinal problems or increase the blood pressure. A doctor is the only one that can tell you whether Maracuja oil is safe for you to take internally.
- Do not add Maracuja oil to the essential oil diffuser. It will only clog the device. For Aromatherapy purposes, simply apply it on the wrists and inhale.
- Make extra sure that it’s safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Pets may also be sensitive to this oil, so talk to the vet before using it on them
Maracuja oil is a great beauty ingredient. It makes a very proper skin care product when you’re looking for natural ingredients. It is good for dry and mature skin, and it is good for acne skin as well. The hair can also enjoy its benefits.
In other words, you can use Maracuja oil for all your skin (and hair) problems, regardless of age. What do you make of it? Is Maracuja your next beauty oil?