A Look into the Many Benefits of Baobab Oil
If you have been paying attention to trends lately, you have probably noticed how popular natural health and skin care treatments are becoming. As our society starts to realize how far we have moved away from nature and the benefits it can provide for us, we are beginning to rely less on chemical treatments and pay more attention to natural ingredients, which can give the same results.
The abundance of toxic chemicals in our health and beauty products has actually harmed us more than it was ever supposed to help us, which is why adding naturally derived substances, such as oils, to your daily skin and healthcare routines, is so important.
Today, we are looking at the benefits of a very special oil which is great for your skin and may have various other health benefits besides.
What is Baobab Oil?
Some oils receive a lot of attention, while others are still peeking out from the shadows. Many of these forgotten oils are extremely powerful and provide a plethora of skin and health benefits. It’s a shame they don’t get more attention.
Baobab oil is one of those oils, however, that has recently been gaining some attention regarding its ability to outshine argan oil, especially in hair care treatments.
Baobab oil is derived from the fruit seeds of the baobab tree, scientifically or botanically named Adansonia digitata, which is native to mainland Africa, Madagascar, and Australia. The baobab tree is often called the upside-down tree, as it looks as though it is growing roots upwards.
Baobab trees are most known for their ability to live up to 1,000 years, which increases the availability of oil when they are taken care of properly and protected. Throughout history, even in ancient times, the baobab trees have always been considered to be very nourishing and useful.
Outside of its beneficial oil, the bark of the tree was often used to make clothes and rope, and trees could also be tapped for their water, in times of severe drought.
Baobab oil itself is nourishing, thanks to its high concentrations of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin F. The oil also contains high amounts of Omega 3, essential fatty acids that help it absorb into the skin and hair, without leaving behind any greasy or oily residue. The oil is viscous, soft in feel, and mildly scented. It is often used as an ingredient in beauty products, but can also be used on its own, in skin and hair care routines.
Baobab oil is produced using a cold-pressing method. This method is best for preserving nutrients the oil contains, as there is no heat used in the process that could damage or reduce the concentration of nutrients.
Although the oil is very safe to use topically, it may not be safe to ingest due to some compounds that could be toxic. Overall, the oil is known for its many healing properties, including as an emollient, insulator, and rejuvenator. Baobab oil also has non-siccative (an oil drying agent), cicatrizant (promotes healing through the formation of scar tissue), antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Health Benefits of Using Baobab Oil
Baobab oil provides many significant health benefits, due to its high concentrations of powerful and essential nutrients. Because of its silky texture and unlike many other natural oils, it is commonly used in massage therapy practices to help moisturize and soften the skin. Using baobab oil in massages is also a great way to help heal damaged skin, as it can help regenerate and restructure the skin cells. The oil quickly absorbs into the skin but does not leave it completely dry, due to its non-siccative properties.
Baobab oil may also act as an effective treatment of stretch marks, as well as other blemishes such as wrinkles, fine lines, and scars. When applied to the affected area, baobab oil boosts the production of collagen in the skin and effectively reduces the appearance of any marks or scars that might be present. It also helps to improve the elasticity of the skin, where it is applied.
Similarly, baobab oil is also a great moisturizer. It can be used on its own, especially right after a shower, or it can be used by mixing it with a lotion or cream for added benefits. The oil is also beneficial when applied to chapped lips, as it can help moisturize and heal the skin. Baobab oil also provides moisturizing benefits for the hair, and it can help protect your hair from sun damage, which causes broken stands and frizziness.
While many oils are used in treatments for the skin and hair, baobab oil may provide benefits when used in nail and dental care treatments, as well. In regards to nails, you can soak your hands and feet in the oil to help soften the skin, strengthen the nails, and make caring for things, such as ingrown toenails, a lot easier to deal with. For dental care, baobab oil is often applied to the gums to help treat swelling and inflammation, similar to ways in which it can be used for the skin.
What are the Benefits of Baobab Oil?
When you apply baobab oil to your skin, you are getting the benefits of its considerable antioxidant properties in the form of vitamin A and C as well as other nutrients. Antioxidants can help protect against the damage done by free radicals that we encounter in the environment and can even help reverse many of the signs of premature aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
If your skin has been damaged by exposure to the sun, baobab oil can help soothe inflammation and protect against lasting damage. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also help reduce swelling, irritation and redness. Baobab oil absorbs easily into the skin and does not leave an oily residue. It is considered to be suitable for all skin types. (1)
Baobab oil can also be used as part of your daily skin care routine. It can help hydrate and moisturize your skin giving life and luster to tired skin all over your body. Try applying the oil to your body after taking a shower to help seal in the moisture leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth. (1)
Baobab oil is great for people of all skin types and does not leave a greasy feeling residue on your skin. You can either use your baobab oil on its own or combine it with a few drops of a skin friendly essential oil like lavender or tea tree oil for even greater benefits.
Dark Circles and Bags Under the Eyes
I am sure that most of you are familiar with looking in the mirror after a sleepless night or a heavy night on the town only to be confronted with dark or baggy eyes. Fortunately, baobab oil is one of many natural remedies that can brighten your skin and reduce the swelling under and around your eyes.
As we get older, our body produces less collagen which can have a devastating impact on the health and strength of your skin. Baobab oil is extremely rich in vitamin C which can help to stimulate the production of collagen giving your skin more strength and structure.
By massaging baobab oil into your skin wither on its own or combined with your favorite essential oil, you can add strength and elasticity to your skin helping you look younger and more beautiful.
Inflammatory Skin Complaints
Baobab oil has outstanding anti-inflammatory properties that make it a suitable natural treatment for a range of common inflammatory skin conditions. You can use baobab oil to treat the symptoms of conditions like psoriasis, eczema or rosacea and it may well help reduce redness, swelling and irritation.
If you feel that a flare up is on its way, try applying baobab oil as soon as possible to reduce the symptoms. Again, you may see even greater benefits if you combine your baobab oil with a good quality essential oil like lavender, tea tree or geranium oil.
Because of baobab’s excellent antioxidant properties and its ability to boost collagen production, it may help diminish the appearance of stretch marks and minor scars. Pregnant women can apply liberal amounts of this oil to their abdomen, breasts and thighs to help prevent stretch marks from occurring in the first place.
Although baobab oil is best-known for its uses on the skin, it has a variety of other potential uses too. If you suffer from swollen or inflamed gums or common oral conditions like gingivitis, baobab oil can help.
All you have to so is rib a little baobab oil directly onto the affected parts of your gums whenever you have pain, selling or infection.
Baobab oil also makes for a great lip moisturizer for people prone to dry and chapped lips. Simply rub a little of the oil into your lips whenever they feel dry or chapped. You can also apply it to your lips to help protect them from the elements on harsh weather.
For the Hair
Baobab oil is yet another oil that can help revive and condition dull or dry hair. You can simply add a few drops of the oil to your normal conditioner to help hydrate your hair. Alternatively, you can use the oil as part of a hot oil treatment.
Mix a third of a cup of baobab oil with an equal amount of jojoba oil and 8 drops of lavender oil. Place the mixed oils in a bowl then put the bowl into a pan of boiling water. When the oil has heated up gently massage it into your scalp and all the way through your hair to the ends. Wrap your hair in a warm and wet towel and leave it in place until the towel cools. Finally wash and condition your hair as normal.
For the Scalp
Baobab oil can help hydrate and nourish your scalp and is a wonderful treatment for scalp inflammation and irritation. Mix a tablespoon of your baobab oil with a few drops of peppermint oil and a quarter cup of warm coconut oil. Apply the mixture to your scalp 20 minutes or so before taking a shower.
A comedogenic rating is a score given to many natural substances to help consumers determine which of the substances will be the most appropriate for their skin types. These scores are given based on a scale that ranges from zero to five, with the lower numbers representing substances least likely to cause an allergic reaction, clog your pores, or worsen pre-existing skin conditions such as acne.
While these ratings are generally very accurate, it is important to remember that everybody’s skin is different, and these ratings are only meant to be taken as words of advice. A person without sensitive skin may still have an allergic reaction to using lowly-rated or non-comedogenic substances, and a person with sensitive skin could still have no reaction to using a highly-rated or comedogenic substance.
Baobab oil has been given a rating of two on the comedogenic scale. This means that it is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in people with sensitive skin, however, there are still many people who might react poorly to using the oil.
Because the results truly depend on you and your skin, it’s best that you speak with your doctor before trying the oil, and test a small patch first to see if you might have an allergic reaction. If you do react poorly to the patch test, or if your doctor advises you against the oil, you should not use the oil, as there are many other oils that might give you the same benefits without a reaction.
Side Effects and Advice for Using Baobab Oil
While baobab oil is non-toxic when used in topical applications, it may be harmful when ingested. Nevertheless, there are companies that sell a refined version of baobab oil with the cyclopropenoid fatty acids removed, which makes it safe for consumption. However, even with these oils, the heat from cooking can cause chemical changes in the essential fatty acids that may be harmful.
To be safe, you should only use baobab oil in topical applications unless you have spoken, specifically, with a doctor or holistic healthcare practitioner about using it otherwise. If you would like to explore the internal benefits of baobab oil, there is a powdered form of the fruit available, which can be added to smoothies, made into a drink, or added to food, such as cereal and oatmeal, for added nutritious benefits.
The powder has also been known to help support a healthy immune system, improve the health of the nervous system, and act as an essential source of iron.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it’s hard to deny how powerful and beneficial baobab oil can be, especially when added to your daily skin and hair care routines. The oil is great for nourishing and healing damaged skin, as well as providing moisture and protective qualities to your nails and hair. Because of its ability to boost collagen production in the skin, it may even be helpful in reducing the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
With all of these undeniable benefits, it’s easy to understand why the baobab tree has often been referred to as the “Tree of Life.”
In view of everything, it’s important you use baobab oil carefully and responsibly, just as you should with any oil or natural substance, not prescribed to you.
While the oil provides many benefits, every person is different, and not every oil or natural substance may be right for you and your skin and health needs. By speaking with your doctor or a holistic healthcare practitioner, you can be sure you get all the benefits of baobab oil without having an allergic reaction.
If a professional approves you for the use of baobab oil, it’s also important that you find a reliable company that offers a 100% pure unrefined oil, as refining can reduce the concentration of essential nutrients the oil provides. An unreliable company may also include additives and other harmful ingredients that could counter the benefits of the oil. Make sure that your oil is pure and unchanged to experience the full range of benefits that its natural composition can provide.