Watermelon seeds come from the watermelon plant, which grows on the vine and bears the scientific name Citrullus lanatus. Watermelons originated almost 5,000 years ago in the Kalahari Desert of Africa. In Africa, watermelon seeds have been prized for the highly nutritive oil that they contain. Traditionally, the seeds are removed from the flesh and then dried outside in the sun. Once dried, the seeds are then pressed to extract the beneficial oil. The oil is particularly common in West Africa, where it is also called kalahari oil or ootanga oil.
Watermelon seed oil has a pale yellow color, it has a slight aroma which is nutty. The oil is high in unsaturated fatty acids, linoleic (63%) and oleic (15%) acids. It is also extremely rich in omega 6 and omega 9 essential fatty acids, making it a very nutritive oil. Watermelon seed oil also has high antioxidant activity, with 5% higher levels of tocopherols (vitamin E) than most seed oils. Watermelon seed oil is high in vitamin A and rich in B vitamins, niacin; which is essential for skin health, folic acid, vitamin B6 and it also contain high levels of zinc. It is like a vitamin shot for your skin. I love it! The composition of fatty acids contained in watermelon seed oil helps to soothe and maintain healthy, nourished skin. Watermelon seed oil is also high in magnesium, as magnesium deficiency is one of the leading cause of most skin issues.
The rich composition of essential fatty acids contained in watermelon seed oil helps to restore elasticity to the skin. It is also wonderful for all skin types, including dry, oily, acne-prone or maturing skin. It is useful for oily skin by lowering the sebum production. It is helpful for skin problems like acne that is caused due to excessive oil production. Watermelon seed oil prevents the hair follicles from being clogged and the condition known as folliculitis, that a lot of people with curly body hair suffer from when dealing with hair removal. It also helps to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. This seed oil helps heal dry, chapped and cracked skin, balances the moisture in skin, and it conditions hair very well. It could be applied to the skin directly, although it can be mixed with other oils to create a cocktail. I mix mine with grapeseed and borage seed oil for my customized facial serum.
Watermelon seed oil acts as an antioxidant to the skin cells. It counteracts with oxidizing agents and free radicals which are the major cause for speeding up aging process and also induce UV radiation damage. Watermelon seed oil is a dry oil, so it can be used under makeup. Light and easily absorbed it helps to balance oil production while restoring elasticity to the skin. It does not clog pores and it allows the skin to breathe which also aids the skin’s natural detoxification process. Trace minerals and omega acids found in watermelon seed oil have been shown to reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation which is the darkening of skin with melanin as a result of a trauma (cut, scrape, pimple, burn).
I personally hadn't heard about watermelon seed oil, until last years visit to Super Foods Village. This Black owned health food store in Stafford, Texas has everything from adzuki bean powder to wild yam extract. Walking through this store front introduced me to many exotic oils I had never heard of before, as well as a vast array of medicinal super foods. I was super amazed then and still am, at the many benefits all the parts of watermelon provides to us, internally and externally. Watermelon is a yummy way to maintain vitality and beauty! Try it.