7 Ways to Use Moringa Oil for Skin: Moisturize, Cleanse, and More

woman's bare back with hair swept aside while she displays glass bottle of moringa oil for skin

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Moringa oil comes from the seed of Moringa oleifera, also called the "drumstick" or "miracle" tree, native to Africa and Asia. It has long been prized not only for its nutritional value, but also for its myriad beauty uses. It contains more vitamin C than an orange, more vitamin A than a carrot, more potassium than a banana, more calcium than milk, and an astounding 25 times more iron than spinach. It's also packed with amino acids and antioxidants, which is why moringa oil has been deemed a holy grail ingredient for skin. 

Moringa Oil Benefits

Growing most abundantly in India, moringa has been a staple of Ayurveda for centuries. Here are some of the ways it's believed to benefit skin.

  • Moringa oil hydrates dry skin with its high monounsaturated fatty acid content (40%), which provides and retains moisture.
  • It's an anti-inflammatory. 
  • It acts as a natural barrier, deflecting harmful free radicals like UV rays and pollution.
  • It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.
  • It regulates sebum production by keeping skin hydrated, resulting in less oily skin.

Here are seven ways to use moringa oil for glowing skin, including a DIY face mask recipe and the best way to incorporate this illustrious ingredient into your all-natural sun care routine.

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Cleanse Your Face With Moringa Oil

woman cleanses face with moringa oil and exfoliates with homemade white scrubbie

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Moringa oil is the ideal introduction to an oil-cleansing routine. If you've hesitated to try the unorthodox trend, consider dipping a toe in with this lightweight, rapid-absorbing, nongreasy seed extract. As a result of continued hydration, you might even notice a reduction in sebum production (thus, less oily skin).

Moringa oil is mild enough to act as a carrier oil for more potent ingredients, although you should test it on your arm before using it on your face. For a gentle introductory oil cleanser, combine equal parts moringa oil, tamanu oil, and black castor oil. Massage it into damp skin—with a clean cloth if you desire exfoliation—then rinse. 

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Add It to Your Sun Care Routine

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Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

A 2018 study proved that moringa extracts "were demonstrated to confer significant values of [sun] protection," boasting an SPF of two. The CDC recommends wearing SPF 15 at minimum—and many dermatologists recommend 30—so moringa oil is not sufficient as sun protection on its own. It will, however, add an additional layer of defense to your regular sun care routine. Always apply facial oils before sunscreen.

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DIY a Body Butter

woman rubs diy body butter made out of moringa oil into legs on couch

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Moringa oil is an oleic acid powerhouse. Its star component, making up roughly a quarter of its entire composition, is a celebrated emollient. It penetrates deep into the skin, moisturizes, and locks that moisture in.

Warning

Though a humectant, oleic acid—and, by default, moringa oil—can compromise skin barrier function. Limit use to no more than twice per week and mix it with a gentler carrier oil like almond oil if you have particularly sensitive skin.

Make your own body butter with 2/3 cup shea butter, 1/4 cup moringa oil, 1/8 cup jojoba oil, and five teaspoons of tapioca starch. Soften the shea butter in a double boiler, then whip it with an immersion blender, adding the oils after a couple of minutes. Once the oils are thoroughly mixed in, add the tapioca starch and mix well. Finish with up to 30 drops of essential oil (optional).

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Use It as a Spot Treatment

woman uses small mirror and glass dropper to apply moringa oil spot treatment to blemish on face

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Moringa oil's abundance of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties makes it a great all-natural spot treatment. When applied to a pesky blemish, the versatile plant extract helps absorb dirt and bacteria from the pore, potentially reducing some of the redness and swelling. Vitamins A, C, and E also promote skin recovery.

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Make a Moringa-Spiked Face Mask

hand holds wooden spoon filled with creamy moringa oil face mask

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

You can reap the rewards of moringa oil without cleansing with it or even rubbing it directly into your skin. One way to ease into the unconventional practice of using oils on your face is with a weekly face mask. This one you can make at home with moringa oil, flaxseed, and Greek yogurt. 

Simply combine one or two tablespoons of flaxseed (depending on your desired thickness), three tablespoons of antibacterial Greek yogurt (or a vegan alternative), and four drops of moringa oil and leave the mixture on your face for about 30 minutes.

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Rub It Into Your Scalp

woman holds moringa oil glass bottle with left hand while massaging into scalp with other hand

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Scalps constitute as skin, too, and some people's are particularly prone to dryness and irritation. A regular scalp massage with moringa oil—best applied within minutes of getting out of the shower, while your skin is still damp—could help alleviate itchiness and flakes. Its plentiful fatty acids will help lock in moisture and keep your head hydrated, even after you've rinsed it out. 

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Include Moringa Oil in Your Food

woman uses glass dropper to add moringa oil to white smoothie in blender gif

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

One of the best ways to achieve radiant skin with moringa oil is to ingest it. After all, your skin is an organ—your largest, no less—and should be nourished as such.

The seed-derived monounsaturated fat is loaded with vitamins and phytonutrients that travel through the body encouraging cell regeneration, leaving you with a supple and energized complexion. You can take moringa oil in a pill capsule, add it to smoothies, or cook with it. Just make sure the label says it's food-grade. 

View Article Sources
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  6. "Antimicrobial activity of Moringa oleifera: A short review." Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences. 2020.

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