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December 01, 2020 4 min read

Kalahari melon oil (or Citrullus Lanatus seed oil for those in the know) is a nourishing and hydrating oil, concentrated for skin cell recovery and moisture balance. It boosts the health of your skin barrier by providing it with the nutrients it needs for growth and repair at the cellular level. These incredible benefits are owing to the uniquely potent combination of two crucial components: linoleic acid and vitamin E, which synergistically repair and protect your skin barrier.

Linoleic acid, also known as vitamin F, is an omega-6 essential fatty acid (EFA), which means that it is essential for the proper and healthy function of your skin cells. Despite this your body cannot produce  it and therefore it needs to be supplemented through your diet or topically via skin care.


After harvesting and splitting open the melons, each melon seed is collected, dried and cold pressed to produce a 100% natural plant oil, which should not be confused for an essential oil. Organic Kalahari melon seed oil smell is neutral, owing to the oil being fragrance-free, whereas essential oils are highly fragrant and, ironically, not essential. In fact, the safety data sheet (a report containing information on the safety of a chemical) corresponding to most essential oils states that they pose a high risk of skin irritation.


The unique fatty acid profile of Kalahari melon oil shows that it is rich in essential fatty acids, which are essential to your skin. Kalahari melon seed oil comprises an astounding 70% linoleic acid content. Once applied to your skin the linoleic acid integrates within your skin cell wall structure, where it functions as an essential building block for the production of ceramides; crucial components of your epidermal barrier. 

Kalahari melon oil is naturally rich in vitamin E*, containing a higher content than any other cosmetic oil. This means that the oil possesses extremely powerful antioxidant properties and is superior in preventing the signs of premature skin aging, such as wrinkles and the appearance of fine lines. Vitamin E nourishes and hydrates your skin, while also behaving as a natural preservative, stabilising the other components within the oil. The extraordinary high vitamin E levels in Kalahari melon oil naturally stabilises the components for longer, ensuring prolonged and long-lasting activity on your skin.

*Also known as tocopherol when in its natural form. In other cosmetic oils you may see the term tocopherol acetate, which means that the vitamin E was added in a laboratory.

The exceptionally high levels of linoleic acid in Kalahari melon oil creates a very dry oil that absorbs quickly into your skin without leaving behind a greasy or sticky residue. The lightweight and fast-absorbing texture benefits all skin types, including those with oily skin.

Being a dry facial oil means that it is versatile for use in both your morning and night-time routine. In the AM the oil can be used as a primer before applying your SPF, whereas in the PM you can use it in the final step of your routine, locking in moisture and allowing the linoleic acid to go to work on your skin cells, without leaving a greasy residue on your pillow while you sleep.

Every part of watermelon — from the rind to the flesh, and even the seeds — has multiple benefits for your skin. Incorporating it into your routine can help calm inflamed areas, heal damage after a breakout, and even control conditions like acne and eczema from the inside out. Read on to learn why watermelon should be in your regimen.

  1. The rinds can soothe angry areas. 

For generations in different parts of Africa, watermelon rind has been used to comfort aggravated skin. It can reduce redness, calm inflammation, and even speed up the cell turnover process. Reportedly, grandmothers used to rub watermelon rinds on sunburn, rashes, or irritated skin to soothe it and help it recover faster. 

  1. Seeds curb irritation and boost collagen. 

The seeds contain protein and fatty acids that help retain moisture in your skin. 

While the rind and flesh of watermelon calm and comfort our complexions, watermelon seeds are sprouting their own ingestible benefits. “Watermelon seeds contain protein just like other seeds. “They also have fatty acids, plumping linoleic acid, hydrating oleic acid, and a variety of ceramides.” Body Butters like Kaneya Shea Smooth Firm & Restore Butter Butter (£15) offer a daily fix of watermelon seed protein, which can also help lock in moisture thanks to those ceramides.

  1. It’s chock-full of vitamins. 

If your face is showing signs of UV damage, dark spots, or dry patches, it’s time to break out the vitamin-rich ingredient to fast-forward healing. “The vitamins A and C found in watermelon can help restore damaged skin after it’s exposed to sun, wind, or even stress. Vitamin E, which is also present in the fruit, can lighten hyperpigmentation, fill out fine lines, and help neutralise the effects of free radicals (like sunburn). “Watermelon has a ton of vitamin E, which is a rejuvenating antioxidant for the skin,” adds Lancer.

  1. All skin types can benefit from this super fruit.

Kaneya Recipe's Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is a moisturiser that incorporates the fruit into your skincare. 

Since watermelon isn’t very acidic, is mostly made of water, and is a pure sugar, so it’s very low-risk to add it to a routine for any complexion type. “Whether you have oily, acne-prone, sensitive, or anti-aging skin, using a high-quality product containing watermelon is universally, across the board, a positive factor,” says Lancer. Depending on what your goals are, you can introduce this ingredient to your routine in the form of a hydrating sleeping mask, a nourishing moisturiser such as Kaneya Soften Firm & Restore , or gentle cleanser Kaneya Refresh & Renew Cleanser Plus.

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