The Must-Use Oil You've Never Heard Of

Moringa oil is about to change your skin (and skincare regime) forever.

 moringa oil

photography by PHUONG NGUYEN


Moringa oil is the newest go-to in beauty, for many invaluable reasons. It nourishes dryness, decreases redness, is anti-aging, can minimize scars, and is the perfect lightweight oil addition in hair products. It does it all, folks. 

For chic beauty brand Verb, founding member Claire Moses incorporates the oil into some of their most popular products. "We use moringa seed oil to help moisturize, detangle and smooth the hair. It's on the lighter side of oils so for those finer haired girls and guys it's a great option to get that shine and hydration without the weight.” 

Emily Cunningham discovered the powers of the moringa oil after a trip to northern Ghana while studying development economics at Harvard. She was so inspired by the moringa tree that she co-founded True Moringa, a company entirely dedicated to it. Locals call it the "miracle tree" for good reason. Not only does it have great health benefits, but it's how many make their living.

Cunningham walked us through the moringa basics and outlined why you should be using it ASAP.

 
So what exactly is moringa oil?
Unlike comparable oils (argan, jojoba) moringa is rich in unique plant hormones that help stimulate cell growth. Native to parts of Africa and Asia, moringa—also known as the horseradish tree—grows at incredible rates, the leaves are incredibly healthful (read below!) and the seeds produce a potent and powerful oil.

Moringa oil mimics the skin's natural sebum production, so it’s ideal for all skin types (even sensitive skin). It helps to stabilize oil production for oily or combination skin, and nourishes dry and normal skin long after you apply. It soothes redness, evens skin tone, minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and fights the free radicals that cause premature aging.

Neat! Can I feel good about using it? Is it ethical?  
Yes! Moringa is one of the most sustainable crops out there. It thrives in arid climates, helps the crops around it grow better, and matures in a matter of months.

Better yet, our farmers are able to earn up to 10 times more than they would growing subsistence crops alone (due to the incredible growth rates), and the leaves of the moringa tree are packed with nutrients—more iron than spinach, more protein than eggs, and more calcium than milk, making them a natural prevention for malnutrition and anemia locally.

This year, we are planting 1 million moringa trees to prevent malnutrition and deforestation throughout Ghana—one for every order purchased through truemoringa.com.

Can you tell me more about where your moringa oil comes from in Ghana? 
We work directly with over 2,500 small farming families throughout Ghana to provide the training and inputs (seeds, fertilizer, financing) that they need to grow moringa well. We have an extension officer in each region of Ghana that checks in with farmers.

The seeds are harvested from the long pods that grow on the moringa trees, and they are sundried by our farmers. We purchase the seeds at a fair price at the farm, and then bring them to our processing center in Accra, the capital of Ghana, where we cold-press our own moringa oil. This intimate knowledge of our supply chain allows us to understand the needs of our farmers and create higher quality finished products.
 
How do you use this magical moringa?  
One of the best features of moringa oil is its versatility. You can use it in place of a facial moisturizer after cleansing (don't worry, it won't clog pores or leave you feeling greasy), as a lightweight makeup base, a gentle but effective makeup remover, a cuticle oil, or a conditioning hair mask. You can also use it to eliminate scars and stretch marks. 

Related reading:
It Turns Out Coconut Oil Is Actually Not As Healthy As We Thought
The Best Natural Alternatives To Your Everyday Beauty Products
How I Used Tea Tree Oil To Treat My Acne

Published on June 20, 2017 - 6:05pm EDT

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