You've heard of Mongo Kiss. Maybe you haven't yet tried it...or maybe you own 10 Mongo Kiss lip balms (it's ok, we won't tell). What you may not know is that our revered Mongo Kiss lip balms feature a unique and powerhouse ingredient that stands out above the oil crowd.
That oil is Mongongo [mon-gong-go] Oil.
While not a super well-known oil (yet!), it's actually been used for centuries as a body rub by the !Kung bushmen of the Kalahari to cleanse and moisturize their skin and protect it against the harsh desert environment. The same tribe also eats the mongongo fruit as their primary food.
The oil is derived from the fruit of the manketti tree. It's actually hand picked and harvested by rural African women! The fruit is very nutritious, but also has many useful and beneficial properties as a super emollient and protectant for hair and skin.
Each seed contains a substantial amount of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps deeply moisturize and fight free radicals, in addition to nutrients like calcium, copper, and zinc. Mongongo seeds also feature linoleic acid, which is wonderful for calming skin irritation (like chapped lips).
Another reason why we love (and you should love) mongongo oil is that it's high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are known to remain on the skin longer than saturated fatty acids like coconut oil or monounsaturated oils jojoba oil. Fatty acids offer up a protective layer on the skin's surface to prevent moisture from escaping - which is why you don't have to constantly reapply Mongo Kiss.
It also provides the silkiest, smoothest lip glide you can have. Mongongo oil is nutrient dense and truly protects and restores even the driest, most cracked lips. It feels good going on, tastes/smells fruity and is certified organic and fairly traded. It's also never tested on animals!
Is there anything this oil can't do?
We know mongongo oil is effective on dry lips (which makes us feel physically good), but it's also sourced sustainably and provides a source of income for African villages where there previously was none (which makes us feel even better).
About 12 years ago, a social worker noticed the opportunity to help a group of women create an income by starting a business and learning how to efficiently harvest, process and perform quality assurance of their mongongo nuts.
The mongongo nuts are harvested from the wild by organized groups of rural women. The women are organized into groups from each village and then work together thus enabling them to monitor the quality of the nuts with their peers. The women extract the kernels manually. The kernels are then sold for pressing, filtering and packaging.
The goal was to help them create more self worth while increasing their net-worth. The income from the Mongongo nut harvesting makes a difference in the lives of the entire village providing income and assurance of a better life.