Meet the little known mystery skincare ingredient called Ximenia Oil. If you're scratching your head, the “xi” is spoken like “she." “She-meen-ya.” It comes from the Southern part of Africa, is produced entirely by women, and contains a rare and powerful anti-inflammatory active called Ximenyic Acid. Ximenia Oil is still small-scale and not commonly found in skincare, but it's been used for centuries by local indigenous women for it's myriad of skin benefits. Take our word for it - this colorful African fruit may be the next Argan oil. It's that good. Dare we say...it's even better.
Today, we're answering your questions and discussing everything there is to know about the little-known skin treat (and one of our very favorite ingredients), Ximenia Oil.
Where does Ximenia Oil come from?
Ximenia, also known as Sour Plum fruit, is sourced from a small tree or shrub that is native to the Southern part of Africa - specifically, Namibia. The tree grows small, colorful fruits that have a powerfully tart taste (hence the name Sour Plum!) and tons of medicinal benefits. Locals love to turn the fruit into a tart jam.
Aside from a sour snack, every part of the fruit (including the leaves) is used in medicinal practices by the local people. The fruit has been used both topically and orally to treat wounds, fever, stomach aches, and to provide a natural deep moisturizer for the skin. The oil is created by cold-pressing the seeds of the fruit after the fruits ripen and fall from the trees and are harvested by local women.
It's sustainable harvesting and the fact that no part goes unused (meaning a less wasteful production cycle) is just one reason Ximenia Oil has our hearts. One other is it's major benefits for our skin.
What are it's Skin Benefits?
To start, Ximenia Oil contains high levels of fatty acids and antioxidants. Fatty acids are a major player in keeping the skin hydrated, moisturized and healthy. Ximenia has a unique blend of fatty acids that absorb quickly into the skin and leave a velvety, matte finish. Meanwhile, antioxidants are known for their ability to neutralize damaging free radicals (like UV rays and pollution) and guard your skin against damage.
And we're just getting started. Ximenia Oil has been used topically by African women for centuries, thanks to it's ability to soothe red and inflamed skin, keep acne and skin aging at bay, and promote a soft, even complexion. The reason for these benefits stem from the presence of a rare fatty acid called Ximenyic acid, which is known for it's powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Ximenia's time-honored skin benefits are even backed by science. Published literature refers not only to it's anti-inflammatory benefits, but it's ability to improve micro-circulation, rejuvenate dry, chapped skin, and even delay skin aging by increasing moisture levels in the skin and improving skin elasticity.
All of that incredible skin goodness packed into a lush, velvety, thick oil that absorbs right in. Pretty amazing stuff, right?
If you want to start using Ximenia Oil and reaping it's benefits like yesterday, then you can try our Moisture Boost serum. It contains just three potent, Earth-to-Skin ingredients - sustainably sourced Ximenia Oil along with other skin-nourishing ingredients like Brazil Nut and Supercritical Amaranth Seed Oils. Use it in the evening as the final step in your skincare ritual for a burst of deep moisturizing, nutty goodness. You can wear it alone or layer it with any of our other treatment serums (We love to layer it over Light Reveal for a brightening and deeply moisturizing eye treatment.)
Pro Tip: Use Moisture Boost to 'boost' face masks that contain clay(s) to prevent them from drying out your skin! Simply add half a pump of serum to your mask before applying the mask to your skin.
While we can't speak for other companies or sources, Wabi-Sabi Botanicals' Ximenia Oil is Organically grown, unrefined and ethically traded. We source from a community in Namibia, Africa where local women dry the fruits, de-pulp them by hand, and cold-press the kernels to obtain the oil. The women who perform this work are able to generate a substantial cash income, especially in the off season when work is scarce and Ximenia fruit is abundant. This income is critical for these women - often single mothers - and their families. So you can feel good about the products you use and the ingredients in them.
Have you experienced the magic that is Ximenia Oil yet? Let us know in the comments below!