You may have occasionally perked up at the word baobab on some of your favorite hair and skincare products, but did you ever wonder why it’s in those products? It’s worth taking a look at what this ingredient actually is and what it can do for you. Often referred to as the “tree of life,” the baobab tree is native to Africa, and the nickname certainly makes sense considering that a single tree can live for over 500 years. Part of its appeal is that the pulp of baobab fruit—extracted from baobab pods and then transformed into raw powder—has been a favorite ingredient in wellness and beauty treatments for millennia.
See nine of our favorite baobab benefits to transform your hair, skin, and nails, along with a range of products that all boast the ingredient as one of its active properties.
Believe it or not, baobab has roughly twice the antioxidant content of goji berries or pomegranates. This makes it a perfect ingredient for aging skin.
Heal Dry Skin
Baobab’s moisturizing properties have been well-documented in scientific research. As a result, body oils and lotions formulated with baobab make the ideal addition to your skincare routine.
Combined with the vitamin C content of baobab, its antioxidant content helps to boost the production of collagen. This makes baobab a key substance for radiant, youthful-looking skin.
One of the most surprising baobab benefits is its ability to heal cracked and dry nails. This is because baobab contains a high amount of protein while working to reducing dryness.
With the exceptional moisturizing and collagen-producing properties of baobab, it should come as no surprise that healthy, silky hair is one of our favorite baobab benefits. Combine a third-cup each of jojoba oil and baobab oil with 10 to 12 drops of lavender oil for a nourishing DIY hair treatment.
Reduce Stretch Marks
Packed with vitamins and nutrients, baobab can be directly applied to the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and stretch marks. Its high vitamin C content promotes collagen formation, boosting the skin’s natural elasticity and smoothness.
Soothe Chapped Lips
For an alternative to standard lip balm, dab a few drops of baobab oil onto dry lips to help heal cracks and restore softness in record time.
One of the best baobab benefits is its ability to alleviate irritation from common skin conditions. Baobab is naturally anti-inflammatory and can reduce redness, itchiness, and dryness both when applied topically and when ingested. (Note: Oil is for external use; powder is for internal.)
Provide Gentle Cleansing
Like many natural oils (tea tree, jojoba, and sea buckthorn, to name a few), baobab oil is not only nourishing but also cleansing. Gently massage into damp skin and rinse thoroughly with warm water for a healthy, natural glow.
Up next, read on to see our editors' favorite hair masks for dry hair, including picks formulated with baobab oil.