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The Desert Date: Sustainable Alternative to Argan?

Full of beneficial nutrients vitamin E and fatty acids its, no wonder Argan Oil has skyrocketed in its popularity for individuals and cosmetic companies alike looking to incorporate the oil into routines and products for hair, nails, and skin. However, the recent jump in demand for argan oil has left traditional Berber communities and argan-reliant ecosystems struggling to keep up with industry pressures leading to concern over both ethical sourcing and sustainability of demand for argan trees which are located almost exclusively in south-western Morocco.

In the search for sustainable cosmetics, the Desert Date (also known as Balanites aegyptiaca) has recently been rediscovered for its wide array of benefits. Found in the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs and famous for trading in gold, desert date oil in more recent times has been lauded for its ability to regenerate skin, heal scars, alleviate acne, and provide relief from sunburns and rashes due to its high concentration of antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids (72% omega-6 and omega-9).

But the benefits of desert date are not limited to health and beauty. Balanites are a multipurpose tree species which can be used to restore degraded areas and are proven to have a high resilience to heat and drought. They are ideal for sustainable harvest as they thrive throughout the Sahel region and are known for heavy yields of fruit, up to 10,000 annually, each of which produces a kernel which can be pressed into oil for cosmetics. As such, the desert date tree provides an alternative to argan for the volume of oils required worldwide production of cosmetics.

Nauki Responsible Sourcing partners with landscape restoration and forest conservation projects to bring their commodities such as Desert Date oil to the European market. For more information on the project, wholesale prices and samples of Balanites Aegyptiaca Kernel Oil (INCI Name) sourced directly from the Sahel region, please get in touch.

Nauki works to source scarce, sustainable and climate-smart agricultural products and ingredients for the cosmetic sector - high quality ingredients that benefit climate, ecosystems and livelihoods.

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