The remarkable baobab tree
To me, baobab trees have a magical aura. Believed to live for up to 5000 years, in Africa they are called 'The Tree of Life.' They are used extensively in traditional medicine and provide a highly nutritious fruit in a harsh, dry landscape. We were very excited to try out baobab oil to see if it would fit into our range. We couldn't help falling in love with its beautifully light and silky feel and the fact that it is absorbed so rapidly into the skin. There are 8 species of baobab tree, one of which is found in northern Australia, and the remaining 7 in Africa. Our oil is extracted from the seeds of Adansonia digitata, which grows across sub-Saharan Africa. The decision to include it in our range was not difficult once we learned more about how wonderful this oil is for your skin.
The properties of baobab oil
Baobab oil is rich in the omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid, which is a valuable essential fatty acid for all skin types. We have described the roles of the essential fatty acids previously (read our blog here). It is now well understood that linoleic acid helps replenish the ceramides in the stratum corneum, which are essential in restoring and maintaining the skin’s barrier. It is also anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and helps to normalise sebum production in oily skin. Regular application of linoleic acid has also been shown to reduce the size of comedones in acneic skin. Baobab oil also contains significant proportions of palmitic acid and oleic acid, which contribute to formation of the skin’s barrier. In addition, baobab oil contains vitamins A and E, and is rich in anti-inflammatory sterols.
A clinical trial with baobab oil
In a recent study, (2) the performance of baobab oil as a moisturiser was compared to the petrolatum-based moisturisers Vaseline®, Vaseline Intensive Care® and liquid paraffin, in a range of tests. The petrolatum-based products are a useful comparison, because they are so occlusive. Because they essentially form a plastic-like film on the skin, they act as a comparative bench-mark for assessing the ability of different ingredients to prevent water loss from the skin, and the degree of hydration in the skin after application. Baobab oil reduced trans-epidermal water loss and improved hydration of the stratum corneum, or outer layer of the skin, to a degree that compared favourably to that achieved by the petrolatum-based products. The advantages of baobab oil and other plant-based oils are that they do not block the pores or contain potentially toxic impurities. At the same time they deliver significant nutrition to the skin, which petrolatum does not.
Which Mokosh skin care products contain certified organic baobab oil?
We include this precious oil in our Elderberry & Chia Seed Beauty Serum, Raspberry & Pomegranate Beauty Serum, Light Face Cream, Frankincense & Orange Body Cream, Pure Face & Body Cream and Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil. We believe that a little of the magic of these ancient trees come through in these products.
(1) Trompezinski, S. et al. (2016) Assessment of a new biological complex efficacy on dysseborrhea, inflammation, and Propionibacterium acnes proliferation. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology 9:233–239
(2) Komane, B.M. et al. (2017) 'Beauty in Baobab: a pilot study of the safety and efficacy of Adansonia digitata seed oil.' Rev. bras. farmacogn. vol.27 no.1 Curitiba Jan./Feb.