Mongongo (Schinziophyton rautanenii)
The Mongongo tree (Schinziophyton rautanenii) grows in dry areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and fares particularly well in the deep sands of the Kalahari. It is adapted to withstand several years of drought and temperatures that range from -5˚C in winter to well over 40˚C in summer. The fruit is sustainably harvested in the wild mainly by economically disadvantaged rural women.
The seeds contain around 53% oil, and this oil has a unique composition: it is very high in eleostearic acid. This acid makes up around 23% of the oil and polymerizes rapidly under UV light to form a protective film on skin and hair. Mongongo oil is also high in protective tocopherols.
Mongongo oil is used as a body rub by the Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari to cleanse and moisturize their skin, and to protect it against the harsh desert environment. The oil offers unique protection against UV and environmental pollutants, increasing hydration to normal and dry skin. It also reduces inflammation and redness and promotes cellular repair since the oil is restructuring and regenerative.
Use in NadiaZ
Nadia Z Care Line uses Mongongo oil for its distinctive protective effect against sun-damage. It is found in Ximenia Nectar Face Serum and African Wisdom Body Butter. Its scent is slightly reminiscent of roasted nuts.