oils skin care

Marula Oil: Drunk Elephant vs. The Ordinary

Sharing is caring!

If you’re into skincare, you’ve probably heard all about The Ordinary and Drunk Elephant and you’re probably aware of their respective price range at this point. You might be wondering, however, whether there’s that much of a difference between these two Marula oils. I have tried both I’m going to tell you all about how they differ (or don’t).

What’s marula oil and what will it do for me?

First off, it might be relevant to explain why people are so into Marula oil these days and how it can benefit you as well. Here are some of the benefits of Marula oil:

  • hydrates dry skin
  • battles breakouts, signs of aging, psoriasis, eczema, etc.
  • suitable for all skin types
  • anti-oxydant
  • leaves your skin glowing and radiant
  • can be applied on skin and hair

Drunk Elephant’s marula oil ingredients, price point and packaging

Ingredients: Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil

Price point: $72 for 30ml

Made in the USA

The full-size version of the product comes in a glass bottle and has a last-drop bottle system (meaning you won’t have to fumble around to use the very last drops.)

Read all about it on the Drunk Elephant official website.

The Ordinary’s marula oil ingredients, price point and packaging

Ingredients: Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil

Price point: $9.90 for 30 ml

Made in Canada

The Ordinary’s Marula Oil comes in a basic glass dropper bottle (UV protective, though).

Read all about it on The Ordinary’s official website.

So, how do they compare?

Both are cold-pressed, which means the nutrients of the oil aren’t compromised by any form of heat during the extraction process.

Both are clear and odorless.

They both feel way less heavy than other oils (such as argan, jojoba, etc.)

In my opinion they both absorb quickly and won’t sit on your skin for hours. I did notice, however, than Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil felt slightly lighter on my (oily) skin.

Top: Drunk Elephant
Bottom: The Ordinary

Seconds after application. Can you tell the difference? Nah, neither can I.

Why is Drunk Elephant’s Marula oil 7 times more expensive then?

Drunk Elephant uses a specific extraction process which is more expensive but also ensures their oil has even more nutrients and a longer shelf life. It also has to be noted that Drunk Elephant is all fair trade and pays workers fair wages.

The Ordinary’s Marula Oil is more affordable because, according to late company founder, Brandon Truaxe, they add ‘fair margin’.

Which one should I choose?

Honestly, if you’re a beginner to oils, and Marula oil in particular, look no further: The Ordinary’s is the perfect product to ease yourself into the Marula magic.

If you have disposable income and/or so much knowledge of skincare that you can actually tell the difference between two products with the same ingredients without looking at the bottle, go for Drunk Elephant.

I honestly can’t tell the difference and I have a soft spot for The Ordinary (if you have blemishes, have a look here). I wish I had one for Drunk Elephant as well, but I’m too broke.

Share this post on Pinterest

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 13, 2019 at 12:33 am

    This has to be one of the most comprehensive and easy to read reviews I’ve ever read, so well written too! I’ve literally just added The Ordinary’s Marula Oil to my wishlist because of this post. Love reading this and thanks for giving such a great insight xx

    • Reply
      February 13, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you so much. You won’t regret giving marula oil a try.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    You know me already I think. I’m too cheap (and broke) to spend money on expensive brands So… The Ordinary would be for me if I didn’t make my own stuff
    Christine xx

    • Reply
      January 31, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      Oh, what do you make, exactly?

      • Reply
        January 31, 2019 at 2:51 pm

        I’ve been experimenting for about a year now and now I make face wash, toner, face moisturizer, lip and body scrubs, and face and hair masks. I still think I need to tweek some ingredients… But I’m getting closer to what I like.

        • Reply
          February 2, 2019 at 6:14 pm

          Oh wow, have you posted any recipes on your blog?

          • glamourwithchristine
            February 2, 2019 at 9:47 pm

            No because I’m hoping to eventually market it… But there are so many rules. So, not so sure. But we’ll see!

          • Kate
            February 3, 2019 at 5:12 pm

            Great idea!

  • Reply
    molly rose
    January 28, 2019 at 4:03 am

    Great post! I’ve haven’t used Marula oil exactly but I have used ‘The Ordinary’s’ Rosehip oil, which I wasn’t a massive fan of. That being said I’ve heard Marula oil is supposed to be really really good for your skin, but I don’t think I could ever justifying buying the drunk elephant version, so I think ill be trying The Ordinary one for now!

    • Reply
      January 28, 2019 at 12:51 pm

      Oh that’s weird because I heard so many things about TO’s rosehip oil. What didn’t you like about it?

  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 1:35 am

    What is the benefit or marula oil vs other facial oils? So interesting how brands can charge completely different prices!

    • Reply
      January 28, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      marula oil has a higher concentration of some nutrients (e.g. oelic acid) but is extremely lightweight.

  • Reply
    The Newbury Girl
    January 27, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Interesting to read your take on this. I’m a huge DE fan, so I’ll likely repurchase their Marula Oil once I run out – but I do want to try some products from the Ordinary! But it is great that The Ordinary makes skin care so accessible and less daunting of an investment.

    • Reply
      January 28, 2019 at 12:51 pm

      Honestly, it’s worth giving The Ordinary a try!
      What are your favourite DE products?

      • Reply
        The Newbury Girl
        January 28, 2019 at 4:57 pm

        If you only try one thing from the brand ever, the TLC Framboos is the thing to splurge on 100%. It’s a glycolic Serum that leaves skin looking brighter and less textured. Not only does it help with reducing the appearance of wrinkles but it really helps with pores too!

        • Reply
          January 28, 2019 at 9:36 pm


  • Reply
    January 27, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Nice post! I have never heard of the Marula Oil before and I think I def need to try it for my face.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Connie Werner Reichert
    January 27, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Yeah, and the founder of The Ordinary just passed away, did you hear he was only 40? I heard it was an overdose, but not sure. I wonder about the future of Deciem.

    • Reply
      January 27, 2019 at 8:26 pm

      Yup, I did hear about his passing. It seems he had quite severe mental health issues and had already been set aside by Estee Lauder. I suppose the company will keep going without him the way it has been these past few months.
      Very sad!

    Leave a Reply