Nine Naturals Ingredient Story: Mongongo Oil

At Nine Naturals, we’re on a mission to make beauty simple, smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. Integral to that is understanding our ingredients’ science and benefits. Today’s Nine Naturals Ingredient Story about mongongo oil is part of an ongoing series featuring the natural ingredients behind our high performance beauty products.

Mongongo oil, also known as manketti oil, is a rich, versatile ingredient. It has been used for centuries by the !kung people of the Kalahari desert as a dietary staple and to protect skin from the harsh climate of the region. While the southern African mongongo trade remains active to this day, mongongo oil is now also recognized worldwide for its protective and moisturizing effects on hair and skin.

The Science & Extraction of Mongongo Oil

Mongongo oil is extracted from the nut of the tree Ricinodendron rautanenii using a cold press technique. The nut is first separated from the pulp of the fruit in which it grows and then subjected to intense pressure. A traditional hand press can yield up to 28% of the nut’s weight as oil while a modern hydraulic press approaches a 40% yield. Mongongo oil is rich in moisturizing poly-unsaturated fatty acids, in particular linoleic acid. It also contains extremely high concentrations of vitamin E in the form of γ-tocopherol. The tocopherol has the interesting and useful property of stabilizing the oil, acting as a natural preservative for many months.

Mongongo Oil’s Benefits for Hair and Skin Care

Mongongo oil packs a powerful combination of moisturizing and protecting skin and hair. In addition to linoleic acid, mongongo oil contains a number of other fatty acids that blend to make a potent cocktail that both hydrates and aids in repair.

Why Nine Naturals Loves Mongongo Oil

What’s not to love about a nutrient-rich ingredient that works to both moisturize and repair skin? Given this it should be no surprise that Mongongo Oil is one of the key ingredients in our Repairing Body Balm. In fact, the ingredient is so effective that it creates a truly versatile product that you can use in many different ways! We hold all of our ingredients to this high standard, and you can learn more about the others by checking out our ingredient glossary.