Review: Tarte Maracuja Oil – and a little lesson on face oils for acne prone skin!

Oh, Maracuja Oil, how I love thee! Let me count the ways…Tarte Maracuja Oil

So there are already a lot of reviews out there on Tarte’s Maracuja Oil, but I just want to use this opportunity to gush about the fact that this face oil is ama~~~zing for acne-prone and sensitive skin!  So if you’re like me and suffer from skin full of extremes (dryness, rosacea, oiliness and cystic acne) read on about how Tarte Maracuja Oil (aka Passionfruit Oil) is now a crucial part of my daily skincare regime and get yourself some asap!

Face oils have been very popular for several years now.  In fact, my first introduction to Tarte’s Maracuja Oil was two years ago, browsing through Sephora’s website.  Sephora was promoting the oil on their site, and I remember reading that this oil was good for acne-prone skin to help reduce blemishes.  But the site didn’t explain why this particular oil was good for acne-prone skin, and I didn’t really research it.  About a month later, when Sephora had .25 oz samples of this oil available  in their points system, I just went ahead and splurged, getting about 4 of them.  (My mom and I share the same Sephora Beauty Insider card, so I am blessed with having a lot of points to play with!)  I was so excited, believing that I had found the miracle cure for my skin!

So, two years ago, I started applying Tarte’s Maracuja Oil to my skin in addition to my normal moisturizer… and then… (*drumroll*) I broke out.  Horribly.  Looking back I now realize that this was just a mere coincidence, but back then I was still a believer of the myth that “oily skin must stay away from oil” and I blamed the Maracuja Oil.  I threw away the open bottle that I had, but thankfully I was smart/stubborn enough to keep the other sample bottles stored away in my drawer for a rainy day.

Fast forward a couple of years and I’ve become much, much smarter about nurturing a healthy moisture barrier and how important certain oils are for acne prone skin.  So here’s a quick rundown on face oils, and why Maracuja Oil in particular is good for acne-prone skin:

Oils for oily skin?! YES!

In my previous post about how I learned to heal my acne-prone and ultra sensitive skin, I wrote a little bit about how important fatty acids are nurturing a healthy moisture barrier.  Essential fatty acids for the skin can be found in plant oils, and can be applied topically to nurture the moisture barrier.  But not all oils have the right balance of fatty acids for acne-prone skin.  Research shows that people with acne-prone skin tend to be deficient in linoleic acid, and to compensate the skin creates more sebum (which is usually high in oleic acid.)  Therefore, plant oils high in linoleic acid are great for keeping acne at bay, in addition to moisturizing the skin.  However, plant oils high in oleic acid tend to cause more problems for those who are prone to acne.

So, for those with acne-prone skin, stick with plant oils that are high in linoleic acid to nurture your moisture barrier.  Dawn Michelle from Minimalist Beauty has a great post on different types of plant oils, and the percentage of oleic vs. linoleic in each type.  But for those with acne-prone skin, you may get positive results from these oils:

  • Maracuja/Passionfruit Oil —Oleic–12%  Linoleic–77%
  • Black Seed Oil—Oleic–22.6%  Linoleic–55.6%
  • Hemp Seed Oil—Oleic–10.71%  Linoleic–56.48%
  • Evening Primrose Oil—Oleic–8.4%  Linoleic–72.6%
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil—Oleic–23.3%  Linoleic–57.2%
  • Rosehip Seed Oil—Oleic–13.9%  Linoleic–44.1%
  • Grape Seed Oil (Organic)—Oleic–16.2%  Linoleic–70.6%
  • Soybean Oil—Oleic–22.72%  Linoleic–52.97%

All I have ever tried is Maracuja/Passionfruit Oil, and am in LOVE with it, so I don’t feel the need to experiment with any other type of oil.  If you do use oil other than Tarte’s Maracuja Oil, please remember to find an oil that is pure, cold-pressed, unrefined, and preferably organic.  There are a LOT of oils out there and you can find a great one with some research.  One website that has a lot of quality oils at a great price is Garden of Wisdom.

Tarte’s Maracuja Oil:

So now back to my review of this amazing face oil.  Two years ago, I didn’t really know what I was doing and wrongly assumed that the oil was causing me to break out.  Today, however, I’ve stopped using the products that were just plain wrong for my skin, have totally changed my skincare approach and regime, and now I can truly appreciate how great Tarte’s oil is for my skin.


This face oil comes in a beautiful dark purple glass bottle, with a glass dropper.  There are only 1.7 oz of oil in the bottle but you don’t use very much, so thankfully it lasts a while.  But it’s definitely not cheap! $46 for the bottle is pretty steep in my book, so I try to buy it when it’s on sale, and I’m always hoping that there will be sample bottles that I can scoop up with my Sephora points.

The liquid is clear, with maybe a very slight tinge of yellow in it, and it’s odorless.  It spreads really easy over the face, and I usually use about 2-3 drops for my entire face.  Because I generally follow a Korean skincare regime now, I use this oil instead of an emulsion.  So basically I use this oil after essences/ampoules, and if I have time I like to let it sit on my skin and absorb for a little while before I then follow it up with a cream.  I’m sure there are people with oily skin out there that will find this oil moisturizing enough alone.  But I’ve learned that the more moisture I lather on my face, the less oily my skin is, which is why I always use a moisturizer on top of this face oil.

Since I started using this oil with my new skincare regime, my acne breakouts are fewer and my skin is a little less sensitive.  Thankfully, my rosacea has also definitely improved, which I believe is because of this amazing oil.

Sometimes I don’t realize how well a product works for me until I switch to something else.  And this is definitely the case with this product!  So about a month ago when I started running low on this oil, I ordered Passionfruit oil from Garden of Wisdom as a replacement.  Garden of Wisdom sells three different types of Passionfruit oil, and after asking advice from someone at the company, I chose type #3, which is the cold-pressed, unrefined, but filtered to deodorize, thinking that this would be the closest match to Tarte’s oil.  I was surprised to find that this Passionfruit Oil had a much stronger scent than Tarte’s oil, felt a little thicker, and more yellow in color.  Unfortunately, after using it a couple weeks I started breaking out, so I switched back to Tarte’s oil and my skin started to clear up again.  I wish I knew what the exact balance of linoleic/oleic acid is in the formulation of Tarte’s Maracuja Oil, but I was not able to find it at all online!  Tarte’s oil is just better formulated for my skin, and unfortunately Garden of Wisdom’s was just a little too different.


LOVE this face oil for nurturing my moisture barrier.  Not only did it help with my acne, but it provides much needed moisture, and has helped with my rosacea too!  Just a great oil for people with super sensitive skin like me.

I am just bummed that it’s so expensive!  $46 is pretty steep, even if you can get a 10-20% store discount.

Pros: Great for acne-prone skin, soothing for sensitive skin

Cons: The price

Total score: 9/10

Ingredients: 10/10 (Only one: pure Maracuja/Passionfruit Oil)

Quality: 10/10 (Amazing quality – did everything that it promises!)

Wear: 10/10 (Absorbs into the skin and feels great, but some people might be put off that it can leave the skin a little oily if you put too much on.  I personally don’t care!)

Price: 7/10 (A little goes a long way with this oil, so thankfully a bottle lasts a while.  BUT it is really expensive!)

16 thoughts on “Review: Tarte Maracuja Oil – and a little lesson on face oils for acne prone skin!

  1. nereida says:

    I was debating if i should get this for awhile and after reading this im gonna go for it! Im not sure if you’re familiar with the store ulta but on april 2nd this oil will be on sale for 25! Its part of the 21days of beauty sale and im so excited to try it!


  2. Charmaine Tan says:

    I know this is very late but I completely agree with you! I heard about all the good stuff about passionfruit oil and wanted to try so I bought a small bottle of the odorless version from Garden of Wisdom. I did not like it at all! It was thick and did not seem to absorb into my skin. So I gave up. Fast forward to now, I decided to give Tarte’s maracuja oil a try and was pleasantly surprised how different it is than the GoW one and now I’m hooked to using it. You have validated my thoughts on how different oils can be from different companies. 🙂


  3. TexasRN says:

    I am a medical aesthetician. While some of the things you wrote are true, keep in mind that age may be a big factor when experiencing skin issues. Skin ages as you age due to hormonal changes, which is why menopausal skin requires heavier moisturizers and benefits from oils. Not all skin types will benefit from maracuja oil. Especially those with cystic acne. Hyaluronic acid serum (water based) and oil free moisturizers would be best. Please refrain from advising people if you’re not a licensed skin care professional. This is their face and not just a body part they can cover up when things go wrong!


    • kabukigirlblog says:

      Thank you for your comment. And sorry for the late reply!

      You’re right, I’m NOT an aesthetician. I’m not a dermatologist. I’ve seen dozens over the last 20 years (all American trained) and none of them seemed to be able to help me get my skin balanced and healthy. All would just attack the problem areas or overmedicate me, and not actually help me decode how to properly take care of my skin to avoid the problem to begin with.

      When I realized that only I could be an expert in my own skin, that’s when I really took matters into my own hands, did research and experimented using quality products. Try to actually understand why and how certain things worked or didn’t work. The result with my skin was stunning. I noticed results in the first month, and now I’m going three years strong.

      There are a lot of people who don’t understand key concepts to properly take care of skin. I was one of those people. With my blog, I’m simply trying to create a forum for people to get information, give information, and learn about a few products which I found to be miraculous for me. And in my limited way, explain what I’ve learned that make them miraculous and why they work so well for people with similar skin issues as my own.

      And I disagree with you regarding oil-free moisturizers being best for people with cystic acne. That’s an outdated belief typical of the training that Americans get. Many oil-free moisturizers contain hydrogenated oils – all synthetically manufactured – that I now know actually clogged my pores and made my acne worse. I had cystic acne for 20 years, and adding certain types of oil to my skin (which I outlined in my article) actually helped to balance my skin, promote its health, and thus cure the issues that were causing acne.

      And it’s not just menopausal skin that requires heavier moisturizers and benefits from oils. Not all oils are heavy. Also, the oils help because they contain essential nutrition for the skin and provide a protective barrier. I see nothing wrong in using oils in younger skin.

      Obviously, the right oil needs to be used for the right skin type. That was the point of my blog.

      Thank you for your comment!


  4. Tin says:

    You can always try looking for the oil from the source itself and pay less. I always cut out the middle and buy wholesale and don’t have to spend so much for so little. You can try Etsy which is a marketplace for people who sell and buy handmade/homemade and vintage things.


  5. Leza says:

    So i have combination skin. Where should i add maracuja oil in my skin routine? Ill list down my steps
    1) clease / (scrub*3 times a week)
    3) serum
    4) moisturise with aloe vera gel

    Should i add maracuja between 3 and 4? Or after step 4?

    Thank you!


  6. Leza says:

    So i have combination skin. Where should i add maracuja oil in my skin routine? Ill list down my steps
    1) clease / (scrub*3 times a week)
    3) serum
    4) moisturise with aloe vera gel

    In the day i will apply my gel sunscreen before make up primer

    Should i add maracuja between 3 and 4? Or after step 4?

    Thank you!


  7. Bek says:

    Great review! I totally agree on all points about this product as it also changed my skin 5 years ago. My skin is so dry and dehydrated and nothing works better for me than this all round dream oil.

    One thing I definitely don’t agree on is that it’s expensive!! Are u mad or just cheap?? I bet you would happily spend $60 on an eyeshadow palette but you would complain about $40 something dollars for and incredible skincare piece.???
    You are encouraging others to b cheap and use shitty alternatives to a great skincare product like u did, especially as u said nothing else worked like it.
    When will ppl learn that your skin is an investment and not to be treated like a cheap date.
    There’s a reason you gave it 10/10 on nearly every score and for christs sake, it’s under $50 dollars!
    Pls don’t encourage people to find cheaper alternatives to great products in future, if u believe it’s great then back it wholly, if the product was $150 I might agree w u but really, come on.


    • kabukigirlblog says:

      I really appreciate your input! You are absolutely right, proper skincare takes some serious $$. I actually spend probably $200 per month on my skincare – half of which comes from buying new products to try out. And when something works 100% for me, I will purchase it hands down with little thought about the money.
      I am not trying to encourage people to be cheap when it comes to skincare, but I am trying to be “realistic” for my general audience’s perspective. For many people, $50+ on one skincare product is a lot of money. Especially when some people have to purchase it as just a single step in a multi-step process (like me) or when there may be alternative products that work similarly. (Note: I say similarly, not exactly.) So, keeping them in mind, I try to be realistic with $ expectations.
      To me, this product is also a little expensive because I’m spoiled by the quality of Korean skincare products that come at a relatively very cheap price. For some reason, American brands cost $20-$40 more for a comparable product coming from Korea. And again, most of my readers are familiar with skincare products from Korea, and are used to their quality and price. Therefore, I like to reflect that point of view as well.
      And at the end of the day… that’s what I write about. My perspective to the products that I use. I’m going to be truthful and honest to my opinion rating any one of my products. I’m not getting paid by Tarte, so why should I back it up “wholly” as you say, if that’s not what I actually believe??
      If you believe it “wholly” then fantastic for Tarte! Start a blog and review it yourself! (I’m not being sarcastic, I really am encouraging you.)
      Thank you for reading my humble opinion! Much aloha,
      Kabuki Girl XOXO

      Liked by 1 person

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