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Baobab Oil seems to be the up-and-coming ingredient in high-end skin care formulations.  It is acclaimed for its ability to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, reduce scarring and help ease stretch marks.  It has marvelous for moisturizing dry, brittle hair.  It is so rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids that it is often blended in small quantities with other, more common and less expensive ingredients in the manufacture of creams, lotions, soaps and shampoos.  Applying pure Baobab Oil is also an excellent way to moisturize and rejuvenate your skin and hair. It has a nutty aroma, works well for massage, is non-greasy and fast absorbing.  A little goes a long way!

Baobab Tree

Baobab Oil is a cold pressed fixed oil from the seeds of the mighty Baobab trees of the African savannah.  Atacora Essential sources whole Baobab fruit directly from the owners of the trees in tiny, remote villages in the Boukombé area of northern Benin, West Africa.  These farmers are paid above-market prices for this otherwise undervalued resource.  After the women in our Fair Trade co-op separate the fruit pulp from the seeds, the seeds are washed.  Because they are rock-hard, they are soaked and then the kernals are extracted by hand.  This also preserves the beautiful, golden hue of the oil and eliminates all impurities and most sediment.  The seeds are then sun-dried before pressing.

Baobab Fruit


Extacting the kernals is a very laborious process.  We could buy seeds on the market, but it is very important to us to have flawless traceability for all of our products.  One reason for this is to guarantee organic sourcing, as we were recently inspected by Ecocert.  We sell the whole seeds back to women organic producers for market price, then repurchase them for an above market rate.  Every step of the process is done according to organic production protocol, for which we provide training and supervision by our field agents.  Thus, after having been well paid for the whole fruit, the women in producer households (about 30 of these women also are salaried co-op workers) earn more money for kernal extaction.  This money is a substantial contribution to household income, increasing access to health care, education and improved nutrition.

Atacora Fair Trade Women's Co-op


This cold pressed oil is rich in Vitamins A,D, & E, as well as Omega 3, 6 & 9 Essential Fatty Acids (Vitamin F).  Let’s look at the skin care benefits of these compounds.

Vitamin A: The vitamin necessary for healthy skin.  Vitamin A applied directly to the skin has been used to treat acne and skin wrinkling and mottled pigmentation caused by chronic sun exposure.  Topical Vitamin A has been suggested to help build collagen fibers within the dermis in addition to its more superficial exfoliating property. This is the basis for its use in minimizing the appearance of fine wrinkle lines. (Skin and Allergy News)

Vitamin D: One of the Vitamin D benefits is to act as a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin D can play a role in preventing the premature aging of skin and damage to the skin structure.  Vitamin D is produced in the skin as a result of sun exposure, which can have other deleterious effects, causing many people to get too little sun to produce adequate Vitamin D.  Topically applied Vitamin D can be absorbed by the skin and may help supplement deficiency. (

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It can help prevent free radical damage. Based on the observation that skin damage caused by the sun and other environmental agents are induced by free radicals, vitamin E may be effective in preventing skin damage. It is being used in more and more skin preparations as a way to fend off this damage. (

Omega 3, 6, & 9 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): EFAs are natural penetration enhancers due to their fluidizing effect on cell membranes.  The combination of their own physiological activities with their ability to increase transport of bioactive agents through the skin creates a synergistic effect with other nutrients such as the aforementioned Vitamins.  Through these beneficial skin influences on skin barrier function and penetration, EFAs help improve the structure, function and appearance of aged skin and are extremely useful in anti-aging formulas. (

Atacora Baobab Oil

The value that Atacora Essential is adding to the abundant and and underutilized Baobab resource in the region also serves as encouragement for farmers to protect and steward the trees for future generations.  Promoting environmental sustainability and social equity through our Fair Partnership model is what we are all about!


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