It comes from tropical Africa and is often used by locals as a skin conditioner to smooth and hydrate, increase elasticity and prevent stretch marks after pregnancy — meet ximenia oil. What once was known as a traditional remedy is now turning into a promising active in skincare formulations since it packs all the good stuff to soften, hydrate, protect, and plump. So what is ximenia oil and what does it do to the skin?
What is ximenia oil?
Ximenia oil is a cold-pressed oil extracted from the seeds of Ximenia americana, a small tree native to Africa, known as wild plum. As far as skincare is concerned, ximenia oil is a potent antioxidant that can scavenge free radicals, while having anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, moisturizing, and softening effects. The whole package of skin benefits ximenia oil comes with is mostly attributed to its high content of fatty acids, including oleic, linolenic, linoleic, stearic, and ximenynic acids.
Ximenia oil skin benefits
Ximenia seed oil boasts serious benefits for skin, being a multitasker in skincare that can protect, hydrate, repair, and balance complexion. It’s just as good for dry skin as it is for oily and works like a charm for minimizing wrinkles and fine lines look. Intrigued?
Here’s how ximenia oil can improve your skin:
Skin protector and anti-ager
Ximenia oil is truly a skin savior, thanks to the fatty acids. Above everything, ximenia oil is best known for its ability to protect skin cells from environmental aggressors such as UV radiation and pollution by neutralizing free radicals. Due to its antioxidant activity, ximenia oil is also thought to have promising anti-aging and restorative benefits. Ximenynic acid — one of the main compounds of ximenia oil — was found to increase the body’s natural antioxidant capacity, strengthening the extracellular matrix (made of collagen and elastin) that supports skin structure.
Hence, by preserving skin integrity and preventing protein degradation, ximenia oil helps improve elasticity and firmness as well as delay early aging signs. And if these perks weren’t enough, ximenia oil increases microcirculation, which has a great impact on the skin aging process, resulting in a tighter, more lifted complexion.
Ximenia oil is great for acne sufferers too. Being a light, non-greasy, non-comedogenic oil that possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, ximenia diminishes breakouts and calms inflamed skin without ever clogging pores.
Skin soother and hydrator
If you check dry, cracked, compromised skin, you’ll be happy to find out ximenia oil is classified as an emollient, aka it bursts moisture and prevents dryness. Responsible for this is the fatty acids content, giving skin a supple, vibrant, and dewy look while plumping fine lines and wrinkles. Not only that but three of the main components of ximenia oil — behenic, oleic, and palmitic acids — have been shown to consolidate the skin’s protective barrier and reduce transepidermal water loss, locking in moisture for a glowing complexion.
How to use ximenia oil
You can use a skincare product infused with ximenia oil such as Darphin Youthful Radiance Camellia Mask and Drunk Elephant E-Rase™ Milki Micellar Water, or you can use it as a carrier oil, mixing it in a facial mask with essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and rosewater.
To sum it up, these are the benefits of ximenia oil for skin:
- Shields skin against UV damage, fighting free radicals
- Plumps fine lines and wrinkles look
- Hydrates dry, dehydrated skin
- Consolidates a broken barrier
- Reduces blemishes
- Satoto G, Fernandes AS, Saraiva N, et al. An Overview on the Properties of Ximenia Oil Used as Cosmetic in Angola. Biomolecules. 2019;10(1):18. Published 2019 Dec 20. doi:10.3390/biom10010018
- Shivatare, Rakesh & DR, DHEERAJ & Chitlange, Sohan & DR, GAYATRI. (2019). Ximenynic acid: A versatile lead molecule for drug development. International Journal of pharma and Bio Sciences. 10. 10.22376/ijpbs.2019.10.4.p93-99.
- I. Vermaak, G.P.P. Kamatou, B. Komane-Mofokeng, A.M. Viljoen, K. Beckett, African seed oils of commercial importance — Cosmetic applications, South African Journal of Botany, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2011.07.003.