|Baobab Oil: What Is This Exotic, Beautifying Ingredient?|
|Written by Kirsten Hudson|
When inspecting the ingredients on your beauty product labels, “baobab oil” likely stops you organic beauty queens (and kings!) in your label-reading tracks. What exactly is a baobab anyway?
As conscious consumers, you like to know about the ingredients that make up the products you slather on your skin and hair, especially the unfamiliar ones. Baobab oil may be listed on your products alongside other more familiar oils like jojoba (actually technically not an oil), but how exactly is this exotic-sounding oil created?
Baobab oil is extracted from the seeds of the fruit that bloom on baobab trees. These extremely old trees (some species live up to a thousand years or more) are native to Africa and feature thick trunks and thin branches. Often called “upside down trees” because of their spindly branches that resemble roots, the flowers of baobab trees bloom once a year and interestingly open at night. Once pollinated by hungry bats, bees and wasps, the flowers produce fruit, or pods, which house the seeds used to create the prized baobab oil.
Most organic beauty products use unrefined baobab oil, which is extracted by cold-pressing the seeds, leaving the oil completely raw with no additives. As a fixed oil, it’s safe to use directly on the skin and won’t evaporate like essential oils.
This enriching oil nourishes and improves skin elasticity and soothes dry skin. Baobab oil contains moisturizing Vitamins A, D, E and F, which help to rejuvenate damaged skin cells. Also rich in omega fatty acids, baobab oil does anti-aging wonders for skin by fighting free radicals. It's also a favorite in beauty products because it absorbs into skin and hair seamlessly, without leaving any greasy residue.
Baobab oil is often only used in small quantities in beauty products. However, you can purchase pure USDA-certified organic baobab oil by the bottle—although you may want to consider the sustainability of doing so as baobab trees only grow in Africa.
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