We’re constantly fascinated by the amazing beauty treatments nature has provided—and indigenous people have been using for centuries. Here are the latest exotic discoveries that are making their way into natural skin and hair care formulations.
Processed or dry hair gets a big dose of nourishment and protection from mongongo oil. Pressed from the nuts of mongongo trees found in the sand dunes of the Kalahari Desert, mongongo oil is rich in vitamin E, protein, trace minerals and eleosteric acid, all of which help create a protective and color-saving UV sun ray barrier on hair strands.
Try Peter Lamas Youth Revival 5 Oil Hair Treatment Mask, a repairing blend of mongongo, Abyssinian, baobab, broccoli seed and kukui oils that reduce hair breakage, protect your color and increase shine.
Pressed from the seeds of the moringa oilefera tree (or Miracle Tree) moringa oil is an ideal skin detoxifier that neutralizes the effects of skin-damaging pollutants and acne-causing bacteria. With a large concentration of fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C and E, moringa oil nourishes deeply to renew skin’s texture.
Try Desert Essence Moringa, Jojoba and Rose Hip Oil, which absorbs quickly to restore a healthy glow to aging skin, or to balance and moisturize acne-prone skin, without a greasy feel.
Oil made from green (i.e. raw) coffee beans contains caffeine and chlorogenic acid, which directly target UV sun damage and boost collagen and elastin production in your skin—helping to smooth and firm skin and reduce fine lines. It’s also a great anti-inflammatory that eases redness.
Try S.W.Basics Oil Serum, a blend of nutrient-rich geranium, turmeric, avocado and coffee oils for super healthy, younger-looking skin. Desert Essence Organic Coconut, Jojoba and Coffee Oil marries the repairing properties of coffee oil with skin-softening coconut oil and moisturizing jojoba oil. Try rubbing it onto your scalp to keep hair follicles healthy and repair dry hair.
Meadowfoam Seed Oil
This oil is cold pressed from the tiny seeds of the low-growing meadowfoam plant found in Canada and the northwestern US (so called because of the canopy of creamy white flowers it produces). The resulting oil is rich in antioxidant powerhouse vitamin E and non-comedogenic (i.e. won’t block pores) fatty acids, and is easily absorbed into and balances oils in the skin.
Try Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn and Meadowfoam, a lightweight cream that reduces dark spots from sun damage, moisturizes and plumps up skin. And it has SPF 40 to prevent future damage. Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer is a rich facial moisturizer with meadowfoam oil and aloe that’s ideal for dry, irritated skin. And Trilipiderm Moisture Retention Cream with meadowfoam and jojoba oil is a must-have in your carry-on travel bag. It actually seals moisture into your skin and prevents dryness.
Found in Africa and Southeast Asia, an evergreen called the beauty leaf tree produces the nuts that yield tamanu oil. It’s a naturally antibacterial oil that speeds healing, making it a good choice for those with acne scars, eczema, rashes or sunburn, and even insect bites. Tamanu oil has properties that help keep skin firm and promote new cell growth, making it ideal for aging skin.
Try Shea Terra Organics Madagascar Tamanu Oil, made by native producers in Madagascar who collect, dry and cold press the nuts to create 100% pure, organic oil.