N° 4 – Our Oil Discovery
Posted by Leila Janah on
While Ugandan Nilotica is the ingredient that inspired LXMI’s genesis, our field work over the last year has uncovered other skincare ingredients worthy of the spotlight. Mongongo Oil – an underutilized ingredient often relegated to the natural haircare industry – is one of them. Not only is it a sumptuous, soap-free deep cleanser for the skin, but thanks to our partners at Ayla Beauty and some discerning clients, we have now realized that when combined with our two other ‘M’ oils (Marula and Moringa Oils), it becomes a unique 2-in-1 rinse-off AND leave-on facial oil treatment.
Our Mongongo Oil (also known as Manketti) is an organic, Ecocert natural wonder. Originally from the Zambezi River Valley in Southern Africa – in our case, we source from Zambia – Mongongo trees, fruits and nuts have sustained African families for generations. The fruit is consumed as a staple food, and the oil is used for cooking, and as a skincare ointment for cleansing off oil and debris, as well as moisturizing and protecting the skin.
It restores skin naturally due to its sky high linoleic acid content (up to 54%), which the body synthesizes to rebuild cell membranes. Additionally, the alpha eleostearic acid in Mongongo oil protects the skin against the damaging effects of environmental factors, like a shield. It is the ingredient’s off-the-charts levels of vitamin E and fatty acids that make it so brilliant – it can dissolve hardened oil inside pores, purifying skin and reducing the chance of breakouts, but also it can also restore moisture levels, re-plumping dehydrated skin for a younger, more radiant effect. LXMI combines Mongongo with two other ‘M’ oils from East and South Africa, Marula and Moringa, for a truly special blend that fights signs of aging, inflammation and even blemishes.
Not all oils are this versatile. Many are comedogenic, meaning they clog pores. Be wary of Mineral Oils, like in shu uemura’s famous Cleansing Oil formulations, as well as Olive Oil- and Coconut-oil based formulations. These oils cause certain skin types to react negatively, leading to small, impacted bumps on the surface of skin. Furthermore, not all oils that cleanse can also hydrate (many require emulsifiers for a pleasant texture), and the majority require preservatives and stabilizers for a shelf life. Mongongo’s vitamin E content provides built-in stability, even under the harsh rays of the African sun, which is why our formula is so simple (4 ingredients – that’s it.)
The distinctive benefits of the ingredients in LXMI Cold Pressed Triple M Oil are why we now recommend our formula as both a rinse-off cleansing oil AND a leave-on hydrating treatment. It may sound counter-intuitive, but applying a few droplets after cleansing, massaging and rinsing with a washcloth will help keep skin stay balanced, healthy and glowing. Two birds with one stone oil. It always feels good to find 2-in-1 solutions.
But a better reason to feel good is that Laxmi sources our ‘M’ oils from rural African communities where women trained in organic harvesting and processing lead the charge. Every purchase gives opportunities beyond subsistence farming, and opens doors for women to earn #3xwages to support themselves and their families. It is our belief that giving work is the best approach to end global poverty, and you can play a part starting with your skincare regimen.
Beauty in Action, every step of the way.