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Three popular African oils: Marula, baobab and moringa
Over the last few years, the beauty industry has been turning back to nature to source organic ingredients for skin and hair care ranges.
Big names, such as Lush, L’Occitane en Provence and Clarins are looking far afield for hidden gems that can transform our faces and bodies, while also boosting the economy of struggling countries.
The popularity of argan oil - extracted from the argan tree that is indigenous to Morocco - has helped introduce the world to the other natural beauty remedies the whole continent of Africa has to offer.
Argan oil is by no means the only amber nectar with amazing properties that can nourish and replenish our skin, however.
Baobab oil is extracted from the tree it shares its name with, an intriguing bush that can survive for thousands of years. Botanically it is known as the Adansonia digitata - named after a French botanist.
The oil is of a pale yellow hue and it comes from the fruit seed of the tree. People have been using the liquid for medicinal purposes for centuries, some have used it to cure and prevent common illnesses.
Traditionally, African women use the extract to protect themselves from the harsh Savannah environment as it can treat and prevent skin, nail and hair conditions. These moisturising and healing properties can be utilised to deeply nourish the skin.
As it absorbs quickly, it can improve elasticity and encourage cell regeneration without clogging your pores. The oil is rich, which enables it to treat common skin conditions, including dandruff, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
This naturally occurring remedy contains Vitamins A, D, and E, as well as essential fatty acids that help to replenish the skin and hair during the cold winter months.
Using baobab oil regularly can also help fight the signs on aging and protect the cuticles because of the powerful antioxidants it contains.
Marula oil is the is another hidden gem originating from Africa. Ovumba women in northern Namibia have been using it for centuries because of its skin moisturising and smoothing properties.
The liquid is extracted from the plum-like fruit of the marula tree and has been used to protect the skin and hair from the harsh environment. The amazing thing about this oil is that it contains four times as much vitamin C as oranges and is loaded with essential fatty acids, vitamin E and flavonoids.
This combination of nutrients and antioxidants helps our bodies to maintain a strong moisture barrier so our skin can stay hydrated for longer. Nourished skin stays healthier and looks younger for longer.
Moringa oil is extracted from the seeds of the Moringa oleifera tree, which is a rapidly growing plant found in the Himalayas.
As with many other naturally sourced beauty remedies, this oil has been used for centuries. Egyptians places vases of the liquid in their tombs for use in the afterlife.
The oil is an organic antioxidant, which is one of the reasons it is used in some of the most luxurious skin moisturisers and anti-aging creams.
It is not only the skin that can benefit from moringa oil, it can also increase the strength and health of the hair and scalp. After massaging a few drops into your tresses leave for a few minutes, this will allow time for the oil to infuse your locks with revitalising vitamins and minerals.
Moringa oil is also a powerful weapon against the visible signs of aging as it reduce wrinkles and makes the skin appear rejuvenated.
Other skin problems, such as acne, can be treated using the oil as it acts as a natural combatant against blemishes and spots.