Healthy Scalp and Hair19 June 2020
African Oils Part 230 October 2020
Seed oils have been used for centuries by rural communities as food, medicine, for cosmetic applications and as fuel. Recently there has been a renewed interest in these for use in cosmetic formulations. The cosmetic industry remains under immense consumer pressure to produce innovative products for this lucrative industry.
Like the pharmaceutical industry, the wellness industry often turns to nature for guidance, inspiration and as a source of novel compounds to produce new consumer products. Furthermore, discerning consumers of cosmetic products are nowadays informing themselves of the validity of scientific claims made on various products.
The seed oils extracted from several plant species are popularly included as ingredients in cosmetic products due to their high fatty acid composition and have often been used in the production of lubricants, soaps and personal care products, as well as in the topical treatment of various conditions such as hair dandruff, muscle spasms, varicose veins and wounds.
Natural seed oils used in cosmetics contain a range of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids which contribute several beneficial properties in cosmetic and personal care products.
Whilst there are a variety of seed oils, the following are most commonly associated with the cosmetic industry: Adansonia digitata (baobab), Citrullus lanatus (Kalahari melon), Schinziophyton rautanenii (manketti/mungongo), Sclerocarya birrea (marula), Trichilia emetica (mafura butter) and Ximenia americana (sour plum).
In this, the first of a series of posts highlighting seed oils, we discuss Baobab and Kalahari Melon Seed Oil.
Adansonia digitata, commonly known as “baobab” (Malvaceae) (or bottle tree, upside-down tree, and monkey bread tree), is regarded as the largest succulent plant in the world.
The semi-fluid slightly scented golden-yellow oil is generally obtained by pressing the seeds followed by filtration. Baobab oil is extremely stable with a highly variable shelf life estimated to be between 2 to 5 years.
Baobab oil will not burn the skin when applied, and it is said to be non-irritating as well as non-sensitising. Like avocado oil, baobab oil is highly penetrating, deeply nourishing and softens dry skin. It is known to restore and re-moisturise the epidermis.
Several vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and ‘F’, are present also present in baobab oil.
Citrullus lanatus (Kalahari melon), is one of the species of the Cucurbitaceae family. It is a trailing herb with broad leaves and yellow flowers. The green or yellow fruits are soft and fleshy.
The seed oil, known since the time of ancient Egyptians, was used to care the skin to maintain its healthy appearance and aid in its regeneration. This moisturising oil has a light texture and is therefore a highly suitable emollient in cosmetic care formulations.
Its high essential fatty acid content aids in nourishing the skin and restoring elasticity.
The fruit is endowed with high natural antioxidant capacity, an aspect which is an important qualitative factor for cosmetic uses. This has led to a lot of interest from the cosmetic industry, especially European companies, where it is a popular inclusion in formulas for moisturising and skin rejuvenating products.
Contact Botanichem for information on African Oils including Baobab Oil and Kalaharai Melon Seed Oil.