Unusual Skincare Ingredients Sourced From Africa

How often do you check the labels of your skincare products? Try this: Take one or two of your skincare products. Turn the back of it and start looking through the ingredient lists. I sometimes find myself researching names of ingredients on my product label. I try to find out what they are, and how my skin can benefit from them. This might amaze you to notice certain unusual skincare ingredients that are worth researching for!

Besides, just because something sounds weird doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t trust it or you cannot benefit from it, especially when it comes to skincare ingredients. CHECK how you can keep your acne under control when a special event is coming up!

To begin with, there are different types of ingredients we use in making skincare products. They chemically extract some, some are semi-organic and others synthetic. Right now, I’m going to be talking about only plant-based ingredients. Weird or unusual, but beneficial plant names used in making skincare products you’ll love to try at least once in your lifetime. You can find some of these ingredients in body lotions, facial creams, body or facial scrubs, serums and more. Without wasting much time, let’s get into it!


BUCHU ( Barosma betulina)

unusual skincare ingredient

The San & Khoi tribes use Buchu plants as perfume. It is one of the unusual popular plants used in health tonic in Southern Africa. Buchu plant looks small, green & woody, mostly grown in the mountains of the South Western cape of South Africa. It has many benefits that the skin really appreciate that for. These include: antiseptic and microbial properties. People use this plant to treat wounds and skin ailments. Much more, protecting it from bacterial growth. This plant also helps in removing excess oil without drying the skin, deep cleanses, reduces blemishes and gently soothes irritated skin.


KIGELIA ( Kigelia africana)

unusual skincare ingredient from Africa

Many people call it “the sausage tree”). Shangaan & Tsonga women use Kigelia plants to treat skin infections and blemishes. Moreover, they use it to firm and tighten their skin making it look fresh and supple. Kigelia contains active components such as quinones, flavonoids, coumarines, and repair skin damage caused by excessive sun exposure. Furthermore, Kigelia promotes a healthy clear complexion by evening out or smoothening out skin tone and reducing sunspots. You can use it to soothe inflamed skin.


KALAHARI MELON ( Citrullus lanatus)

unusual skincare ingredients

Slightly related to the melon family. Eg. Watermelon. Kalahari melon grows wild in the harsh & dry Kalahari desert. For over 4000 years, the Sun tribe use the oil from the seed of the tsama melon to moisturize both the skin and hair. According to research, the oils from the Kalahari seed is rich in essential fatty acids ( linoleic acid, oleic and palmitic acids) that improve and maintain health of skin cells. Above all, linoleic acids penetrates deep into the upper layer of the skin (also known as epidermis), helping to moisturize and maintain skin elasticity.


BAOBAB (Adansonia digitata)

unusual skincare ingredient

Generally used as a drink, the pulp of the baobab is one of the strongest natural anti-aging ingredients and contains powerful antioxidants needed to fight pre-mature skin aging. It’s also contains vitamin C 6 times more than oranges to assist skin elasticity while vitamin A & B hydrate the skin. As a matter of fact, did you know you can extract oil from baobab seed? Yes! It is very powerful emollient for nourishing and moisturizing the skin and hair.


MARULA ( Sclerocarya birrea)

This fruit is wildly harvested and cold-pressed in Northern part of Namibia & Swaziland. First, Marula oil is traditionally used to treat dry skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Second, the oil extracted from the Marula nut is very rich in omega 6 and 9 that help regenerate the skin. Third, It contains powerful antioxidants ( maruline tocopherols, catechins, flavanols) which protect the skin from sun damage. Marula oil is easily absorbed, improves skin hydration and soothe dry irritated skin.


ROOIBOS (Aspalathus Linearis)

Sometimes, this special plant is traditionally used as tea by the Khoisan tribe. You can find this plant in the Cederberg Mountains of the Peninsula in South Africa. Highly regarded as a natural skincare ingredient, rooibos has soothing anti-allergenic properties. People love to use it on sunspots and even pigmentation. Additionally, the copper & zinc found in this plant help in keeping skin soft and smooth.



Lastly, This plant is used by the Xhosa and Pondo to treat insect bites, sunburn & skin irritation. People also used it in treating wounds. You can find various skin nutrients in aloe ferox. Some of these include: Essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. These essential nutrients aid in absorption of other active ingredients and improving the health of our skin. It also helps in evening uneven skin tone.