Beauty often describes a mix of cultures. What I mean is that beauty products often contain a variety of ingredients from countries all over the world. These ingredients often have an important role in the respective country; they have economic benefits, shape cultural identity and impact the local and international beauty industry. Also, they encourage the intercultural exchange between farmers and manufacturers. As we have learned in some of our previous articles, one of these wonderful ingredients is argan oil from Morocco, which is very popular amongst consumers worldwide. Another one often found in hair and skin products is macadamia nut oil from Kenya.
What is Macadamia Nut Oil?
Macadamia nuts grow on macadamia trees, which originate from Australia. In Kenya, macadamia production has greatly gained popularity among farmers due to ideal climate conditions and excellent quality results, which is why more and more export is done from Kenya.
The farmers start harvesting nuts from trees that are at least seven years old. They hang from the tree in long clusters resembling bunches of grapes. As soon as the nuts are ripe they fall to the ground and local farmers pick them up for further production. The nuts yield a rich oil that finds purpose mainly in food consumption as well as cosmetic use.
What are the Beauty Benefits of Macadamia Nut Oil?
Another name for the macadamia nut is the “queen of the nuts”. This is due to its many health and beauty benefits. The oil resembles important components of human sebum and has antioxidant properties amongst others. It contains one of the highest levels of Omega 7, which softens and moisturises the skin and promotes its elasticity. Thus, in cosmetic purposes macadamia nut oil is particularly useful for soothing the skin and for anti-ageing effects.
How does Macadamia Nut Oil Bring Cultures together?
Using the Example of Dr. Hauschka and LIMBUA
The macadamia nut is covering a long journey before it finds its way into our daily beauty products. From the local harvest of the nuts in Kenya through quality control and the processing to oil. The cosmetic brand Dr. Hauschka is setting a good example of how building strong intercultural relationships can benefit both the global corporations as well as the local communities:
Dr. Hauschka is working with the local partner LIMBUA, a bio-certified Kenyan organisation that offers farmers and their families direct access to the export market and to large customers without any intermediaries earning large shares of the profits. With a special computer system LIMBUA records any sales made. The Kenyan farmers confirm their identity in the system using their fingerprint – here they can record inspections of their farms by organic consultants, as well as follow the number of kilograms of macadamia nuts sold to LIMBUA. Once the figures have been recorded, the farmers receive a text message indicating how much money they will receive.
The journey ends after the Macadamia nuts arrive in Germany, are processed into oil and added to the formulas of Dr. Hauschka and other manufacturers. A truly beautiful ingredient that makes your natural beauty ritual an even more special and meaningful experience.