The mongongo tree, mongongo nut or manketti tree is a member of the family Euphorbiaceae and of the monotypic genus Schinziophyton. A large, spreading tree, the mongongo reaches 15–20 metres tall. It is found on wooded hills and among sand dunes, and is associated with the Kalahari sand soil-types.
The oil is derived from the fruit of the manketti tree (which has the ability to thrive in extreme weather conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa) and has been used for centuries.
The egg-shaped fruit is not only extremely nutritious, and has many useful properties as a super emollient and protectant for both skin and hair. Each seed contains a good amount of vitamin E (an antioxidant that helps stave off skin damage and signs of aging), as well as nutrients like calcium, copper, and zinc.
Mongongo oil is also high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are known to remain on the skin longer than saturated fatty acids or monounsaturated oils. The fatty acids deliver a protective, emollient layer on the surface of the skin and act as a barrier to prevent moisture from escaping through the pores. These fatty acids can retain moisture and keep the skin glowing, while smoothing out rough texture and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Fountain of youth, is that you? But it's really the acidic properties of mongongo oil such as linoleic that make it such a standout.
Mongongo oil is also non comedogenic, meaning it's less likely to clog your pores over time
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