Kalahari melon oil or Citrullus lanatus is also known as watermelon seed oil. Other names for this indigenous Southern African fruit are karkoer, mankataan, tshamma, ootanga or wild watermelon. A relative of the watermelon, the Kalahari melon is found in the arid Kalahari region of southern Africa. The fruit is used by the San people as a source of water, as well as a moisturiser and sunscreen. It is eaten by livestock and game. As a human food source, the seeds are high in protein (35%) and can be roasted, eaten, or ground up as a porridge.
The fruit is round (growing wild) or oval (cultivated) and is light green with darker green mottled stripes. The seeds produce a rich yellow oil, used in cosmetics to promote hair growth, as well as an ingredient in soap. Grounded seeds are employed as an exfoliant. Kalahari melon seed oil has similar levels of omega-6 essential fatty acid (68%) to evening primrose (72%), assuring anti-inflammatory properties, restoring skin elasticity and combating wrinkles. It is a good baby oil and can be used as a carrier oil. The oil is extracted by crushing the seeds after drying. The creeping plant with its yellow flowers grows well in low-fertility, sandy soils and is drought resistant and hardy and can be valuable as an intercrop plant providing soil cover to reduce erosion and water loss.
Kalahari Melon Oil is rich in palmitic and oleic acids and is very high in linoleic acid, the fatty acid known for its skincare benefits, as well as omega-6 fatty acids. Kalahari Melon Oil is considered to be non-comedogenic and non-GMO. Afrika Botanicals highly recommends Kalahari Melon oil.
- Skin: naturally cleanses, nourishes and hydrates skin.
- Hair: Emollient oil for dry, damaged and fragile hair
- Lips: Ingredient for lipbalms, lipsticks and other lip care products.
- Aromatherapy: Great as a carrier for aromatherapy formulas
References: southafrica.co.za and lotioncrafter.com