Africa’s Best Kept Secret – Baobab Oil

The Baobab tree, Adansonia Digitata (or Mbuyu in Swahili), is native to eastern and southern Africa. It is an unusual looking tree with a thick stem and spindly branches resembling roots which is why many know this beloved tree as the ‘upside down’ tree. Often called Africa’s best kept secret, the rich, golden oil from the tree is abundant in vitamins and essential fatty acides and so has many beneficial applications for the skin.
The Baobab tree has many uses. Its leaves can be eaten as spinach. The fruit, which is large, gourd-like and woody, is called Monkey’s Bread and can be made into a nutritious drink or marmalade or even used to thicken stews. In fact, the pulp of the fruit has about six times as much Vitamin C as an orange. Although the seeds are used to produce oil, they can also be roasted to make coffee and the bark of the Baobab tree has strong fibres that can be used as rope.

Did you Know?Baobabs are not only exceptional in their many uses, but also in their long life. These trees are commonly known to live up to 500 to 600 years. Some of the biggest trees, with girths measuring over 43 meters, are considered to be over 2500 years old.

But why is it that this natural African oil has so many beneficial properties for our skin and hair? Baobab has been part of African skincare for centuries. Cold pressed from the seeds of the Baobab fruit, this oil contains a high content of vitamins A, D, E & F and is extremely stable against rancidity. Baobab oil also contains O-3 (Omega 3), O-6 (Omega 6) and O-9 (Omega 9) fatty acids which are essential for the maintenance of healthy skin.

Like vitamins and minerals, the body is unable to manufacture fatty acids and thus they must be obtained through diet and by topical application to the skin. Fatty acids can be depleted from the skin from over exposure to UV rays, poor health, poor immune systems and natural ageing. But fatty acids are very important for strengthening and regulating the cell function. Fatty acids also help water proof the skin and in doing so, stop toxic substances from entering our cells. The topical application of fatty acids can also help alleviate various skin disorders such as chronic dry skin, thin skin, chronic bruising and sun spots.

The Benefits of Baobab Oil» Offers longer shelf life

» Has quick absorption

» Improves the elasticity of the skin & encourages regeneration of skin cells without clogging pores

Baobab oil can therefore be used for people suffering from eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, skin cancer, scaly skin disorder and non-healing wounds, such as diabetic ulcers. It absorbs quickly, improves skin elasticity, encourages regeneration of skin cells and does not clog the pores.

In order to replenish the skin layers with fatty acids and natural oils Baobab oil can be applied topically to the skin in the following ways:

  • For skin problems it can be applied directly to the skin by rubbing the oil into the affected area once or twice a day.
  • As a face moisturiser, massage the oil around the eyes, mouth and cheeks.
  • As a body moisturiser, wet your hand with water and add a few drops of Baobab oil to your hand and then rub into the skin on your arms and legs.
  • You can also get the benefits of the oil by adding a few drops to your regular face and body creams.
  • Otherwise add it to your bath oil or just after a bath, rub the oil into your wet skin and wait for the oil to absorb and then dry.
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