Yesterday we learned about Babassu oil, and today we will explore another exotic oil, Baobab seed oil.
Baobab oil is cold pressed from the seed of the Baobab tree, probably the best known tree in all of Africa. This tree grows throughout Africa, and is extremely intriguing. To begin with, it is an extremely long-lived tree. There are currently specimens estimated to be 3,000 years old, and they expect that they can live to be 6,000 years old. The tree and its fruit have unique characteristics, which make it instantly recognizable. It has hand shaped leaves, and bears an ovoid fruit that has a woody shell, which is covered in green-yellowish, velvety hairs. The crown of the tree is very spread out, and is seasonally devoid of any foliage, while the trunk is gray, extremely thick, and fibrous. It can grow to be over 25 cm in circumference. Its unique attributes has earned this tree the nicknames of "the upside down tree" and "the monkey tree".
The botanical name is Adansonia digitata, and it actually belongs to its own family, Bombacaceae. The inside of the fruit shell has contains a lot of seeds which are embedded in a powdery white pulp. This pulp is soaked in milk or water, the pulp is then eaten, and the [soaked] liquid is drunk. It is very nutritious, and the beverage is said to be quite refreshing. In fact, the fruit may have more vitamin C than oranges and exceed the calcium content of cow's milk. Seeds not used for food are gathered and sent to be cold pressed for the oil, which is a golden yellow, and possesses a slight nutty odor/scent.
This oil is very rich and nourishing, extremely emollient, and highly moisturizing. It is quickly absorbed into the skin, it doesn't clog the pores, nor leave a greasy residue. It contains almost equal amounts of saturated, mono-saturated, poly-unsaturated, and fatty acids, as well as containing vitamins A, D, E and F. Vitamins A and F are involved in the rejuvenation of cell membranes, while vitamin E, a great antioxidant, helps to fight the signs and symptoms of aging skin. This oil is ideal for dry, damaged skin, and offers soothing properties that will benefit eczema and psoriasis as well. Studies have shown that, after four weeks of use, this oil was "extremely effective" in improving skin elasticity. In other words, goodbye dry, wrinkly skin! One of its better benefits is that it alleviates the pain caused by burns, while it helps to heal the skin. This oil encourages the regeneration of the skin cells and tissue, as it improves the tone and elasticity, and it accomplishes this in a relatively short period of time.
Baobab oil is suitable for all skin types. Because it is so highly moisturizing and nourishing, it only requires a few drops to massage into the skin. Additionally, this is not a cheap oil to import, so, even though it doesn't have any usage limits, it is often incorporated into recipes in small, albeit effective, amounts. Its mild odor is easily masked with fragrance, and it is extremely stable, with a shelf life of two or more years. Its superb benefits make it appropriate for skin and hair, so it can be useful in all of your bath and body products.