It’s the ancestor of the common watermelon. The Kalahari melon (citrullus lanais) is also known as the Tsamma melon and it is found all over Southern Africa. It’s mainly associated with the Kalahari sands of Namibia, Botswana, south–western Zambia and western Zimbabwe.
Kalahari melon is rich in fatty acids, especially linoleic, oleic and palmitic fatty acids and the oil is cholesterol-free. It is high in antioxidants – which might be the reason behind survival in the harsh Kalahari Desert environment.
The yellow Kalahari melon seed oil has traditionally been used in Sub-Saharan Africa as a moisturizer to protect the skin from the sun, to promote hair growth and as an ingredient for soaps. The ground seeds also have a history of use in cosmetics, mainly being used as a face or body scrub, which is said to impart a blemish-free complexion of the skin.
Kalahari melons are sourced from the wild in a sustainable manner. Subsequent processing takes place at below 60 degrees C and includes deodorization and ultra-filtration.
It’s a perfect moisturiser. Kalahari melon is a superb source of omega-6 essential fatty acids for skincare. It also has the additional benefit of high phytosterol content. The omega-6 fatty acid composition of the Kalahari melon seed oil is comparable to evening primrose (68% vs. 72%).
It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-pruritic. The oil contains 72% unsaponifiable sterols. This includes β-sitosterol , campesterol, stigmasterol and 5-avenasterol. Sterols help the skin retain moisture and leave a protective, anti-inflammatory, antipruritic and reconstructive barrier on the skin.
It regenerates the skin. Kalahari melon seed oil is stable to oxidation in comparison to conventional oils, and this is primarily due to high γ-tocopherol content. Further resistance to oxidation is caused by phenolic acids.