African Botanics Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm

I’ve been slowly going through the African Botanics line. They were one of my absolute favorite brand discoveries this last year. This eco luxe brand manages to surprise me with every new product I try. The products are well formulated and contain a large number of actives. The products are well thought out and executed. African Botanics doesn’t skimp on anything. I never thought in a million years I would love an oil based face balm, but this one is amazing. I received a sample of the Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm in an order and I bought a jar the next day. It’s that good. Details per African Botanics:

A reparative, concentrated balm melts into a dense silky serum to target wrinkles, loss of firmness, redness, hyper-pigmentation and scars. Experience the best of ancient African Apothecary ingredients and centuries old tribal traditions that were used by the first African colonial settlers, artfully merged with the latest cutting-edge skincare technology for unparallelled results. This extraordinary multi-correctional pressed serum treatment balm is designed to replenish fatiqued skin, target hydration levels, calm, reduce redness and restore imbalances caused by stress, environmental pollution, inflammation, hormones, sun damage and the skin’s aging process. From the first touch, this indulgent balm instantly transforms into a luxurious, highly concentrated active serum that quickly melts and absorbs into skin dramatically improving texture, delivering nutrition, radiance and cell renewal deep into the dermis while reducing irritation and inflammation. Silky and quick absorbing with a 100% natural floral fragrance dominated by JASMINE GRANDIFLORUM and DAMASK ROSE with hints of BERGAMOT. The skin is left petal soft and luminous with increased firmness, elasticity and clarity.

Key Benefits

HIGH PERFORMANCE ACTIVES: ENCAPSULATED RETINOL – Repairs DNA damage, promotes collagen and elastin production. NIACINAMIDE – Repairs skin, reverses damage, reduces blotchiness and evens out skin tone. RESVERATROL, VITAMIN C and CoQ10 – POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANTS, BRIGHTEN AND PROTECT. ACTIVE NATURAL INGREDIENTS: DISTINCT AFRICAN OIL COMPLEX – Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 – Helps restructure and regenerate damaged cells. AFRICAN DESERT AND BUSH PLANTS – Soothe dry, irritated skin and are known for their reparative benefits. JASMINE AND ROSE – Known for their ability to promote skin elasticity and cellular renewal while uplifting, calming and combating acne.


AM/PM warm a pea sized amount of balm between your fingertips and massage well onto cleansed damp skin: face, neck and decollete. Allow to absorb by massaging upward and outwards for a few minutes to boost circulation. Reapply for added moisture and protection. Excellent around the eye area and as an intense lip treatment. Dab it over eye shadows for a glossy look, pat it over the cheekbones to give dewy highlights, brush it through brows to tame and condition.

The balm has an oil balm texture as you would expect. It’s solid in the jar and transforms into a thicker oil from the warmth of your skin. I scoop a small amount out, rub it between my palms to liquefy it, then I happily spread it all over my face and neck. Your face will look greasy for a while as this does take some time to sink in. Unless I was extremely dry or staying at home I wouldn’t use this in the day. This is a night only product for me. You can use it in the daytime if needed but nighttime is my recommended use for this. The scent is a mix of oils, fruit and floral extracts. Nothing artificial nor overpowering. No essential oils. This will sink in eventually. I’ve never had it leave an oil stain on my pillow and I have slapped this on fifteen minutes before bed on a late night.

This is very nourishing. You have dry skin, this fixes it. Your skin is irritated, it’ll be fixed. I never thought I could use an oil balm. I’m not a dry skin type. I’m combo and live in a hot and humid climate. I normally don’t do heavy products. This manages to hydrate and soothe my skin with ease and I’ve never experienced a single blemish or breakout from using this. Which I totally expected when I first tried this. Instead I get happy, hydrated skin that just glows the next morning. Some night creams don’t last all night and my face is dry in the morning. Not with this one. It sinks in fully overnight leaving me with never dry perfectly hydrated skin in the morning. My wrinkles actually diminish overnight when I use this. This plumps my skin up that much overnight. I can’t say enough good things about it because it’s a phenomenal product. It hydrates so well, lasts all night and never causes a blemish on me. Would I repurchase even at the heftier $160 price tag? Yes. You don’t need much so a jar will last a while.

When I was researching part of this review I looked at African Botanics website and it says this was recently reformulated and contains encapsulated retinol in the description. I could not find the retinol anywhere in the ingredient list. I was trying to figure out which version I owned as I had just purchased mine a few months back. I emailed African Botanics and they were very nice and replied right away. They said it was reformulated two years ago. The ingredient list is current. The ecapsulated retinol described is actually the retinyl palmitate encapsulated in one of the oils. I was actually happy there’s no stronger retinol in this because that makes this pregnancy safe in my mind & perfect for any dry skinned mama to be or breastfeeding mom.


Trichilia Emetica (Cape Mahogany) Mafura Seed Butter*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil*, Aqua (Water), Squalane, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*, Beeswax, Jasmine Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil*, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Oil, Isoamyl Laurate, Niacinamide, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Citrillus Lanatus (Kalahari Melon) Seed Oil*, Helichrysum Angustifolium (Immortelle/Everlasting) Oil, Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Oil, Rosa Moschata (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Pichia (Resveratrol) Ferment Extract, Glyceryl Caprylate, Bulbinella Nutens (Bulbinella) Extract*, Aspalathus Linearis (Green Rooibos) Tea Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Phospholipids, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Safflower Oil/Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), D-Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C Ester), Squalane. *Wild-harvested, unrefined and fair trade ingredients. Never tested on animals.

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