As a low-maintenance natural I like to keep my beauty routine simple, using lightweight gel and maybe a finisher to define my curls. I’m also very particular about fragrances. When offered the chance to use a deep moisture balm by Design Essentials, my thoughts were: what does it do, what’s in it, and what does it smell like?

Since balms are made to nourish dry and damaged hair, I was beyond intrigued. Although I don’t heat-style my TWA, I like to keep my curls healthy with naturally derived ingredients. Much to my surprise the balm had a host of fruit-based oils in it, some of which I was familiar. Of all the oils in the balm, Marula stood out the most to me because I’d never hear of it before and wanted to know how my skin and hair would benefit from it.

Here’s what I learned from the amazing Sister Scientist’s research on marula oil:

  • Marula is high in oleic acid and very high in other fatty acids, making it extremely penetrable into the skin.

  • Its saturated fatty acids, such as palmitic acid, help create a moisture-trapping barrier around the hair shaft.

  • It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can aid in killing bacteria that causes infections and flare-ups of the skin.

  • It contains concentrated levels of antioxidants like tocopherol that help fight free radicals, which are thought to be one of the leading causes of wrinkles and skin aging.

So, all of these amazing attributes got me thinking: is this really going to work for my skin and hair, or is it going to be too thick for me to withstand? I knew that rubbing the balm on my arms would be an insufficient way to test it. That’s why I decided to take it a step further by using it all weekend.

Here’s what happened…


In my excitement to start reaping the benefits of marula, coconut, monoi, and the other seven nutritive oils, I opened the jar of balm. Its rich coconut scent engaged my senses, fueling my overzealous application of the product. I rubbed the balm between my palms and immediately realized that I’d scooped out too much. Witnessing this fiasco, my co-worker Lasandra pointed out, “A little goes a long way.”

She was right. The beauty of this balm is that you really don’t need much. I ended up rubbing my arms with the balm, spreading the excess on my face and neck. I also rubbed my 4C curly ends with the remaining emulsified balm. Fortunately, I ended up well-moisturized skin and hair.


As I mentioned before, I like to keep things simple so accidentally smearing an exorbitant amount of deep moisture balm into my curls was a little nerve wracking. I also didn’t want to wash the balm out of my hair before my regularly scheduled wash day. Taking a deep breath and settling into my decision to wear my hair without style manipulation, I reminded myself that the balm was packed with nourishing oils and thoroughly saturating my 4Cs.

Taking a further step, I also used it on my skin again. Throughout the day, I noticed a difference in how my skin felt. Usually I moisturize my skin at random times, whether it be because I want to smell nice or my skin feels dry (Texas heat is no joke”>. After applying the balm which I forgot to mention is made with raw African shea butter, I didn’t feel the need to apply my regular skin lotions.

Also, my skin didn’t feel greasy or slick after application. My skin felt supple and the balm complemented the fragrance I use.


For me a product’s true test is after a couple of days of wear. After my over application of balm on Friday, I expected my hair and skin to feel a little suffocated. Fortunately, the balm didn’t cake onto my scalp and curls. I even applied a little more to my damp curls and skin before running the day’s errands.

The Results

So, yes. I really liked this Coconut & Monoi Deep Moisture Balm by Design Essentials Natural. It’s Monday and I’m still rubbing my elbows down with it! It doesn’t leave oily residues on my skin and clothes, nor does it suffocate my scalp. Even though I think marula is the star of this balm, her sisters Coconut, Monoi, Sunflower, Olive, Avocado, Argan, Macadamia, Almond, and Moringa all play praise-worthy supporting roles.

This moisturizing balm has multiple uses such as a defrizzer, heat protectant, and scalp balm, and shine treatment. Another key thing I like about the balm is that it’s free of the 5 Ps: preservatives, parabens, paraffins, petrolatum, phthalates.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post sponsored by Design Essentials Nature! What are your favorite deep moisture balms to use? Tell me in the comments section below.

Stay curly!