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A clear pale-yellow kernel oil, prized for centuries by African women for its remarkable skincare properties. Marula oil is known for its exceptional oxidative stability, and is widely used in anti-aging formulations based on its free radical scavenging antioxidants and its high oleic acid content.
Kigelia africana, the sausage tree (so named for its distinctive and unusually shaped fruit), has a rich history of traditional use in Africa as a medicinal plant. Although used to treat a wide variety of ailments, Kigelia fruit has historically been most closely associated with skin ailments, and with good reason. Compounds found in Kigelia include the iridoid verminoside and the phytosterol verbascocide (both well-known for their anti-inflammatory activity), a range of phytosterols and flavonoids (including stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol) with potent anti-oxidant activity, caffeic acid that protects skin cells exposed to UV radiation, Protocatechuic acid, that inhibits melanogenesis, and steroidal flavonoids that increase the metabolic activity of dermal cells. Kigelia extracts are highly valued by cosmetic scientists for their abilities to restore youth and vitality to sun-damaged skin, even out skin tone and clear up patches of uneven pigmentation.
Mongongo (also called Manketti) oil comes from a tree seed common in the upper reaches of the Kavango and Zambezi rivers. Much-prized for its skincare and hair care properties, Mongongo oil is high in alpha-eleostearic acid, which reacts with UV light to form a protective layer on the surface of the skin or hair.
Myrothamnus flabellifolia, the resurrection bush, is a medicinal plant indigenous to southern Africa. The plant is known for its remarkable ability to grow on apparently bare rock, and for the way that it revives itself almost instantly from dehydration (giving rise to the “Resurrection” name). Although it possesses many different medicinal compounds, the two best-known for skin care are trehalose and arbutin. Trehalose serves to protect cells during desiccation by maintaining hydrogen bonds within and between macromolecules. Arbutin is found in plants in high-stress environments and is a source of hydroquinone, which inhibits cellular ageing by reducing the rate of peroxidation of unsaturated lipids. In combination, these compounds make resurrection extract an especially potent anti-ageing ingredient in cosmetic formulations.
Benefits for Skin and Hair
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"People are sometimes surprised when they see my natural hair—I think they expect it to be unkempt. But I tell them, managing my natural hair actually takes me less time than when I had relaxed hair. And Gugulethu helps me take care of my hair—making it soft, strong and healthy.”Khosi
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"I’ve always wanted to find a Zimbabwean product made from our local plant oils—I’ve been using products from Uganda, Nigeria and so on—so I’m really excited to try Gugulethu’s hair care line!"Name