Ximenia Americana is commonly known as the wild plum and the shrub-like tree reaches between 4 – 7m in height. The fruit contains one large seed that has up to 60% oil content. Ximenia Oil is pressed from the seeds of Ximenia americana. The tree is found throughout the tropics and the cold-pressed seed yields thick, sticky oil, known as “mumpeke oil” amongst locals. After degumming the oil is golden with a unique skin feel. We have recently switched to supercritical fluid extraction with CO2, which is environmentally friendly and yields a superior end-product.
There are two interesting aspects to the oil.
Firstly, Ximenynic Acid makes up around 20% of the oil. This fatty acid contains a very rare triple bond in the carbon chain. This bond is quite reactive and when the oil is exposed to UV light or free radicals, it links with other fatty acids to form a network that can act as a protective layer on skin. This strange fatty acid also increases blood flow to the skin.
Ximenia Oil also contains more than 30% Very Long Chain Fatty Acids, which are uncommon in nature. Human sebum contains these rare fatty acids and this unique nutrient source is digestible by our co-evolved microbes but is more difficult for pathogens to use as energy. So this oil works a lot like a skin prebiotic.
Both the Ximenynic Acid and the Very Long Chain Fatty Acids creates the unique skin feel. The oil is quite thick and coats the skin for the first couple of minutes and then quickly penetrates to leave the skin matte but supple.
Ximenia is beneficial for dry skin, premature ageing and impaired sebaceous function as it is nourishing, moisturising, revitalising, softening, and improves tone and elasticity.