Ingredient Spotlight: Baobab Extract
Where does baobab come from?
Although the west is just discovering the life-giving powers of the baobab, this ancient tree species has been around for millennia-- in fact, one living baobab tree in South Africa is estimated to be 6,000 years old.
Several species of baobab grow in Africa, Madagascar, Australia, the Arabian peninsula and India, where local medicine-traditions use every part of the tree to treat conditions ranging from anemia to toothaches.
Now, this “Tree of Life” is once again living up to its name as baobab extract pops up in today’s most innovative skincare treatments.
What can baobab do for my skin?
Triple goodness: antioxidants, anti-inflammatory powers, and heaping helpings of vitamin C.
- FIRM & STRENGTHEN
The massive baobab tree produces a canopy of fuzzy green pods the size of footballs.
Today we know that the dried fruit inside those goofy-looking pods is a game-changer for skin rejuvenation, since it contains two times more antioxidants, gram for gram, than goji berries, more than blueberries and pomegranates combined, and a whopping 20 times the antioxidant value of green tea.
In the wild, the mega-antioxidant superpowers of the baobab allow it to fight free radical damage, especially from UV.
Just as the tree chemically defends its own growing tissues from the unrelenting sun of the south Sahara, likewise it can initiate growth of new collagen in your skin, to keep your face lifted, firm and smooth.
- CALM & COOL
Chemical compounds found in the baobab fruit are anti-inflammatory.
This is especially good news for anyone with sensitive skin, including the puffiness and itching that often accompany common allergies. These cooling qualities also help to ease the redness and flushing that may result from a tough physical workout, sun exposure, or simply high heat.
Our upcoming foaming face wash, T.L.C. Tender Loving Cleanser (available August 20th), combines baobab extract with antiseptic goldenseal and soothing aloe vera to lift away impurities while controlling the skin’s inflammatory defense responses.
Dynamic Infusion Technology™, our multi-patented delivery system, works 26 times faster, so the product is highly effective and your skin gets active benefits pronto.
- BRIGHTEN & BALANCE
This superfruit also delivers 10 times more vitamin C than oranges.
Of course, this is good news for anyone who loves the great outdoors, where the sun’s rays bombard our skin and trigger the production of melanin.
Baobab’s brightening power is also a huge plus for anyone who experiences breakouts.
Topical use of baobab can help prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (P.I.H.), the persistent reddening or darkening of areas of the skin affected by a blemish or any kind of skin injury.
No wonder baobab has a long history as a softening, lightening treatment for scars and stretch-marks.
What else can baobab do for me?
Dried, powdered “monkey-bread fruit” as it’s called in many parts of the baobab’s vast growing range has been used as an edible supplement for several thousand years.
Today, you can find powdered baobab fruit pulp in health food stores and the vitamin sections of many markets, so add it to green juice drinks, fruit and vegetable smoothies, sprinkle it over yogurt or muesli – your skin will thank you.
That’s because baobab is a highly alkaline food that helps skin maintain its “happy acid” balance, about 5.5 pH.
Skin at this mildly acidic pH level is able to support several types of normal bacteria and yeasts in comfortable balance.
When this balance is disturbed by alkaline products like harsh detergents, bacteria and yeast will often overpopulate in response. A common effect of this is acne.
By keeping your skin acid-balanced, starting with what you eat, your skin will hum along harmoniously, exfoliating itself naturally, easily shedding waste, and generally fending off infection during minor damage to the lipid barrier (like tweezing or waxing).
And, the benefits of baobab are even more direct when you apply it to the skin in the form of a cleanser or other topical treatment.
Try whipping up your own nourishing baobab facial mask, blending a teaspoon of powdered baobab pulp, coconut yogurt, crushed blueberries, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and honey.
Of course, you may be tempted to simply grab a spoon and dig in...
Either way, inside and out, baobab does a body good!