Limited Edition: Cleansing Balm with Organic Camellia Oil

Limited Edition: Cleansing Balm with Organic Camellia Oil

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Huile de piqui

What is "Caryocar Brasiliense Fruit Oil" and what is its use?

This refers to the I.N.C.I. name of thepequi vegetable oil. This tree, native to Brazil, produces fruits with a spiky skin, making them difficult to eat. In cosmetics, its oil is primarily used in hair care products for curly or even kinky hair, to redefine the curls.

The Pequi, a shrub straight from the Amazon.

Also known as Piqui, this shrub belongs to the Caryocaraceae family and produces a fruit with a thick, spiky green skin, filled with thorns. Even though it's difficult to eat, local Brazilian populations incorporate it into homemade liqueurs and certain regional culinary preparations due to its nutritional benefits. Indeed, it is particularly rich in lipids and can even be used as a substitute for butter.

Piqui oil is obtained through first cold pressing followed by physical filtration from the pulp of the fruits . In Brazil, in traditional medicine, it is recognised as effective in treating certain respiratory diseases (coughs, bronchitis, asthma) and healing wounds. It is also commonly used by farmers to treat their injured animals.

The benefits of pequi vegetable oil for hair, what are they?

Pequi oil is particularly recommended for curly or even kinky hair. These types of hair are generally affected by malnutrition, with sebum being more difficult to distribute along the lengths. It is therefore crucial to provide the hair with the necessary lipids to prevent breakage and tame frizz.

Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of pequi oil in redefining curls, making styling easier and leaving hair shinier. Furthermore, pequi oil has a high concentration of provitamin A as well as oleic and palmitic fatty acids. It therefore nourishes dry ends and brittle hair deeply.

Due to these benefits, pequi oil is present at a concentration of 5% in our rich hair oil. This treatment nourishes and restructures the hair fibre, protecting it from heat. The hair becomes soft, shiny and manageable.

The virtues of pequi vegetable oil for the skin?

Particularly concentrated in antioxidant species such as zeaxanthin, vitamins E and A and phenolic acids, pequi oil protects the skin from free radicals. As a reminder, these are reactive oxygen species naturally produced by the body. However, when cells are faced with a stress, they produce them in excessive amounts. The sources of stress are numerous, the main ones being exposure to UVA, pollution, smoking, a diet too rich in fats and/or sugars. Free radicals are particularly unstable molecules due to their single electron. They tend to react with other molecules to form an electron pair, and thus cause damage to cells, DNA and proteins in the body. Ageing is thus accelerated and wrinkles appear on the skin surface. The molecules present in pequi oil have the ability to donate electrons to free radicals to stabilise them and thus make them less harmful to the skin.

Furthermore, pequi oil contains approximately 60% oleic acid (omega-9) and 35% palmitic acid. These fatty acids provide nourishment and elasticity to the skin; they prevent dehydration by strengthening the barrier function of the epidermis. As a reminder, the hydrolipidic film enhances the resistance of the horny layer against external aggressions and limits insensible water loss. Thus, pequi vegetable oil is described as relipidating, it is recommended for the care of dry and dehydrated skin.

Sources:

  • Aguilar EC, Jascolka TL, Teixeira LG. Paradoxical effect of a pequi oil-rich diet on the development of atherosclerosis: balance between antioxidant and hyperlipidemic properties. Braz J Med Biol Res. (2012).

  • Battermann M, Hippe T. Hair treatment agent useful for treating keratinous fibers comprises pequi oil, silicone comprising e.g. alkoxylated silicone, dimethicone, volatile silicone and/or sugar-containing silicone, and aqueous- or aqueous-alcoholic carrier. (2014).

  • Andréa Madalena Maciel Guedes & al., Pequi: a Brazilian fruit with potential uses for the fat industry, OCL, (2017).

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