First things first: how exactly do you pronounce ‘baobab’? Well, there’s a bit of debate there. The British pronunciation is ‘bei-uh-bab’, whereas Americans usually say ‘baw-bab’.
Whichever way you choose, one thing’s for certain – this skincare ingredient boasts lots of beauty benefits. Here’s what you need to know about baobab oil.
What Is Baobab Oil?
“Pressed from the seeds of the baobab tree, baobab oil is a luxurious and nourishing oil that’s rich in omegas 3, 6, and 9,” says Tiffany Salmon, founder of Scientia Beauty.
Originating in Africa, the baobab tree can be found in “Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, and even Senegal, Gambia, or Mali,” says Helena Mendès, founder of Mawena. “It’s known as the ‘Tree of Life’ due to its fruits that are full of nutrients. African women have been using this oil in their natural skincare routine for hundreds of years,” she adds.
What Are the Benefits of Using Baobab Oil?
“Due to its high content of omegas, it’s packed with skin-friendly fatty acids and is especially high in linoleic acid, which means it’s great for maintaining a healthy skin barrier,” says Salmon. “With levels of vitamins B and C too, it’s really going to help give skin a brighter and more radiant look.”
Mendès says the omegas can help make it “an ideal treatment for psoriasis and eczema” (always check with your own doctor or dermatologist before trying new products if you have a skin condition), and that the oil is particularly effective for “dry and sensitive skin, thanks to its softening, nourishing and moisturizing qualities” too.
Which Skin Types Does Baobab Oil Benefit the Most?
“Honestly, I believe everyone can benefit from using baobab in their routine. Who doesn’t want a healthy skin barrier?” says Salmon. “However, it is absolutely perfect for anyone with dry, dull, dehydrated, or aging skin, as it’s really going to help rejuvenate and nourish tired skin that needs a bit of extra love.”
Mendès says the oil is ideal for “dry, sensitive or inflamed skin” but she warns against slathering on too much – a little goes a long way.
“It should be used lightly as it could clog some people’s pores, which could then worsen acne on oily and acne-prone skin. To use it, you should first test it on a patch of skin to make sure you don’t experience any redness.”
How Should It Be Used as Part of Your Skincare Routine?
“I love using baobab as part of an oil blend to apply directly to the skin,” says Salmon. “But if having an oil step in your routine isn’t for you, another easy way to incorporate baobab is actually through an oil-based cleanser.”
She recommends using the baobab oil first as part of a double cleanse, followed by a gel or exfoliating cleanser.
Baobab can also be used as a serum or moisturizer at the end of your skincare routine, Mendès says: “To apply it, rub a few drops between the palms of your hands to emulsify the oil. You can then gently press it onto your face and neck.”
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