People have been obsessed with enhancing beauty ages ago and trends always come and go. The first known source and recorded archaeological evidence of beauty cosmetics were from Ancient Egypt roughly 6,000 years ago. Since then, the beauty industry has evolved from using toxic chemicals such as lead in the renaissance era to natural, all-organic ingredients in the present.
One of the most notable skin care ingredients used is the African Baobab Extract which comes from a tree that can live up to roughly 450 years. A skin care product that you will see increasingly on the ingredients list for organic cosmetics is Baobab Fruit Extract. Baobab fruit extract has been used in the health and beauty industry for centuries, but it went from a local subsistence staple to a global commodity after the European Commission authorized the African Baobab as a novel food and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Asogwa et al., 2021, 6).
What is African Baobab Extract?
As the same suggests, the fruit extract is from the Baobab Tree which is native to Africa. This tree is from the Adansonia digitata, Malvaceae family, and was named the African Baobab by the English and French (Asogwa et al., 2021, 1).
A few local names for this tree are magic tree, tree of life, upside-down tree, symbol of the earth, and monkey bread of Africa (1).
There are eight types of the Baobab tree around tropical regions, however it is native to Western Africa’s arid and semi-arid regions. These large deciduous trees are on average 20-30 m tall with a circumference of 14 to 32 m and can live up to 450 years.
The Baobab tree is a lifesaver in the African Savannah as they have a great tolerance for both hot and dry conditions (1), humidifies soil, and are a source of food, water, and shelter for humans and animals (6). This mighty tree provides protection from the elements' damage to people in the dry regions.
This multifaceted tree has been used for clothing, medicines, shade protection, non-wood forestry, and raw material for several products (i.e., rope, food, and beverages). Baobab can come in powdered, dry or oil forms and has several uses for people's benefits. This tree is indeed the "tree of life" offering several benefits to people and providing damage from the elements.
The tree's medicinal and health use surrounds its nutritional value from the high levels of protein, calcium, vitamin A and C, and source of all 8 essential amino acids (4). The baobab tree has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immune stimulant properties beneficial to the health. (5).
Overall, the African Baobab tree is a critical non-timber forest product, since it can be collected for subsistence and commercial uses to help generate income and stable livelihoods for rural communities.
The 7 Amazing Benefits of African Baobab to the Skin
1. African Baobab Feels Soothing and Hydrating to the Skin
Although people are well versed in using the Baobab tree for its health benefits, there has been a rise in cosmetic patents to use the African Baobab to add in beauty, skin care and hair products for its “soothing, emulsifying, softening, and hydrating effects” (Asogwa et al., 2021, 6). Baobab extract is made from the pulp, and seeds found in the large oval-shaped fruit. The fruit extract can come as dry, powdered or even as oil forms.
2. It Contains High Amounts of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are the skin's vitamins that help repair damage from the sun and the environment. Studies have shown that Baobab extract contains high levels of antioxidants from high amounts of Vitamin C (10 times more than an orange), bioflavonoids, and pro-Vitamin A (5). These high levels of phytochemicals in the Baobab fruit are able to protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage from water, food, and air (5).
3. Lightens Dark Spots
Baobab fruit extract offers so many potential benefits to the hair, skin, and nails due to the high levels of vitamins and minerals it contains. According to Zain Husain, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, and founder of New Jersey Dermatology & Aesthetics Center, "Vitamin C is commonly found in baobab, which helps relieve the skin's dullness and can lighten dark spots."
4. African Baobab Extract is a Natural Moisturizer
In addition, Baobab seeds are a source of unsaturated fatty acids from Vitamin A, D, E, and K (Babiker et al, 2017, 441). These compounds offer benefits to the skin and overall health, especially in the right levels.
Vitamin A and K help in cell membrane renewal, and Vitamin E contains linoleic acid which “are useful for the protection of the skin production and moisturization, decreasing inflammation and promote the reform of cells and tissue generation” (441). Baobab fruit extract's vitamin E source also helps with extending the shelf life of a product because it provides oxidative stability (441). These health benefits brought to the skin provides a healthy glow and a fresh look.
5. Heals Dry Skin
According to askin health research, products formulated with baobab may it be powdered, dry or oil forms are the ideal addition to a skin care routine for those looking for a little added moisture, a fresh look and overall skin health. For people suffering with dry skin, baobab fruit extract is definitely a good skin care product.
"The Baobab seeds, when pressed, produce a beautiful antioxidant-rich golden oil with omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids that aid in locking in moisture even for the driest skin," Dr. Luc Maes, Director of the Maes Center for Natural Health Care.
6. Increases Collagen Production
"Collagen is what keeps our skin from sagging, giving us that plump, youthful and fresh look," says dermatologist Dr. Ohara Aivaz. It is a known fact that vitamin C promotes the production of collagen for skin health.
Baobab is not only rich in antioxidants, but it also has high levels of vitamin C than most other fruits. When this is paired with the oil's omega fatty acid content, it makes baobab fruit extract a vital substance for radiant, fresh and youthful-looking skin.
7. African Baobab Can Act as a Gentle Cleanser
Natural oils such as tea tree, jojoba, and sea buck thorn are known to have mild cleansing properties. When used as an oil, the African baobab is not only nourishing but also cleansing. Gently massaging the baobab oil into damp skin gives a healthy, natural and fresh glow to the skin.
African Baobab Extract: The Wonder Skincare Ingredient
Source: The Baobab Fruit, Aduna.com
Backed by research and clinical health studies, the African Baobab Fruit Extract offers a lot of benefits to the skin and overall health. It has high levels of vitamins and source of essential fatty acids for a fresh and younger-looking skin. The fruit extract is a good source of antioxidants which also helps reverse oxidative damage.
When shopping for new skincare products, it is definitely good to seek out if the African baobab fruit extract is included. The myriad of skin benefits it offers provides value for money found in just one beauty product.
How can FirstBase Double Dose Vitamin C serum help with your skin?
FirstBase integrated Baobab Extract in the serum to help moisturize and prevent water loss from the skin. The fruit extract has high levels of in Vitamin C, which gives it antioxidant benefits that help to protect the skin from external aggression, therefore preventing the signs of premature skin aging.
In fact, FirstBase integrated the Baobab Fruit Extract to improve skin texture, elasticity and to regulate skin barriers while reducing inflammation. The fruit extract gives tone and firmness to the skin and relieves redness. Amazingly, the Baobab Extract has a hydrating effect that helps to strengthen the skin and regenerate its moisture barrier. Experience fresh glow, youthful beauty, and overall skin health benefits in just one product!
Asogwa, I.S., Ibrahim, A.N., & Agbaka, J.I. (2021). African baobab: its role in enhancing nutrition, health and the environment. Trees, Forest and People, (3) 100043, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tfp.2020.100043
Babiker, S., Mirghani, M.E.S., Matar, Saleh, M., Kabbashi, N.A., Alam Md. Z., & Marikkkar, J.M.N. (2017). Evaluation of antioxidant capacity and physicochemical properties of Sudanese baobab (Adansonia digitata) seed-oil. International Food Research Journal, 24 (Suppl), 441-445. http://www.ifrj.upm.edu.my/24%20(07)%202017%20supplementary/(28)%20R1.pdf