It's got a mouth-watering nutty flavour, but sesame oil also offers many unexpected benefits for the skin and hair.
Where do we get it?
This fair trade and organic sesame oil is pressed in Kenya from seeds grown in Ochero county, Uganda.
What are the benefits for people and the planet?
Although the seeds are grown by small-scale Ugandan farmers, the oil is sold by an international company that collects goods and presses them into oil in Kenya and Madagascar. They have their own plant nurseries and manage every step of the production to make sure they have a fully transparent and traceable supply chain.
The main focuses of this company are:
- The quality of life of the farmers and their community.
- Sustainability in all their processes and in agriculture.
- Very high-quality products.
The relationship between growers and the company is considered a true partnership. Knowledge and resources are shared, prices are fair, and investments in the communities are for long-term, impactful projects (such as building access to drinkable water).
What are the benefits for you?
- Rich in vitamin E tocopherol, studied for its firming and anti-inflammatory properties on the skin.
- Rich in fatty acids and lecithin - a highly moisturising and protective mixture for the skin and hair.
- Contains sesamol, a natural preservative that helps the oil remain stable and highly resistant to oxidation, which also allows product blends to last longer.
Sesame oil and sun protection
Over the past few decades, scientists have literally ‘opened sesame’ to explore the potential properties of sesame oil. Among other benefits, they discovered that sesamin, one of the components of the seed, could have a stimulating effect on melanin, a substance responsible for skin and hair pigmentation. This means that the oil could have a slight tanning effect on the skin.
The oil is also said to be one of the only vegetable oils that actively protects the skin from the sun's rays. Although it is not advisable to use it alone for this purpose, it is believed to support the effectiveness of other sunscreen agents, slightly reducing the need for synthetic ingredients.