When you consider quintessential superfoods, what kale is to the U.S. and what acai berry is to Brazil, is what baobab is to Africa. Called the “Tree of Life” for its ability to provide nutrition, water, medicinal powers and shelter to the locals, baobab is so powerful it can live over 2000 years and grow to a circumference of over 150 feet (that’s 60 people that can huddle inside!). The mighty tree’s fruits are nothing to sneeze at either—in fact, the oil and protein extracts from the fruit are so majestic we’ve made it the center of our brand-new beauty crew, the Baobab & Shea Collection.
First, let’s start with the transformative benefits you get from the dynamic duo, baobab, and shea.
Why Baobab & Shea Need to Get on Your Skin and All Over Your Hair
Baobab is packed with proteins and amino acids that offer exceptional protective, reparative and strengthening benefits for hair and skin. Baobab is also chockfull of antioxidants, which defend skin and hair from free radical damage and thus, the visible signs of aging like dryness, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. (It’s no wonder local women who slather on baobab look absolutely amazing despite spending so much time outdoors.) Baobab features Vitamins A and B to firm and hydrate skin while its rich profile of omegas 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids help maintain the integrity of skin’s barrier function to protect and lock in moisture. It also contains vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Shea butter is amazing, too (another natural resource used by African women for their unbelievably radiant skin). Shea butter bursts with Vitamins A and E, which support cell renewal and contain antioxidant properties, while fatty acids nourish skin and are known to help soothe stressed skin. And thanks to a substance called cinnamic acid, shea butter is even touted as an antibacterial and antifungal! In an oil form, shea oil restores luster and smoothness to dry, damaged, color-treated and heat-styled hair.
Here’s how we use baobab and shea in our new products to create beautiful skin and hair:
For your body:
- Baobab seed extract’s amino acids nourish, defend, and restore skin health. It helps to improve the skin’s barrier function, locking in moisture, while antioxidants defend from free radical damage.
- Emollient shea butter has been added to nourish, condition and soften skin.
- The body wash and the exfoliating body soap use gentle, sulfate-free cleansing agents to leave skin feeling clean, soft and revitalized.
- The exfoliating body soap features unique shea granules, made from the shell of the shea nut, to lift away dry, flaky, dead surface cells for smoother, softer skin.
- With its fast-absorbing formula, the moisturizer replenishes lost moisture in dry, stressed skin, while comforting botanicals provide soothing relief.
For your hair:
- The creamy hair wash and conditioner are enriched with plant proteins and oils to help reverse the signs of environmentally-damaged, color-treated, heat-styled or aging hair while protecting against future damage. Our unique protein-rich baobab extract contains 13 amino acids, including the 6 amino acids that are typically destroyed by UV and chemical damage. Replenishing these amino acids helps repair damage, for stronger, healthier-looking, softer, smoother and more manageable hair.
- The formulations are enriched with Shea and Baobab Oils, excellent sources of fatty acids and antioxidants, to moisturize strands, protect from drying conditions, and promote shine.
Baobab and Shea Are the Beauty Gifts That Keep on Giving
Baobab and shea have even more in common. Both of these trees are sustainably harvested in Africa (they don’t require irrigation nor fertilization) and offer employment opportunities for local women. For example, in South Africa—where we get our baobab—the fruit completely dries on the tree and falls off, where local women collect them. The pulp is used as food (rich in Vitamin C) and the seeds are cold-pressed to produce oil. The unique proteins used in our products are extracted from the pressed seeds.
In alignment with our goals to empower women to economic opportunity, we specifically chose socially conscious baobab and shea suppliers who work directly with local women without the use of middlemen.
What’s more? Sadly, the survival of baobab populations is being threatened in the long-term by environmental degradation and climate change. We are supporting the non-profit Baobab Guardians Programme, to ensure the trees continue to thrive for centuries to come. Through their annual tree-planting program in South Africa, local women become guardians of seedlings and care for them for three years until the trees are strong enough to survive on their own. Not only does this program help protect the baobab trees, but it also provides additional income opportunities to local women, outside of the baobab harvest season. How amazing is that?