Kahai Oil – the brilliant and ethical, skin nourishing ingredient you’ve never heard of
When we set about creating our skincare products, we knew that social responsibility would be at our core. This meant being conscious of our social, ethical and environmental impacts. And crucially, it meant sourcing sustainable ingredients that were both effective and aligned with our values.
All of the ingredients that go into our products have been carefully sourced for their ability to help soothe dry skin conditions. Dry, irritated skin is so often caused or made worse by outdoor pursuits. If you’re a runner, surfer, hiker or rider, or you work outside, then you’ll know what we mean!
Our Curious Discovery
Rather than turning to balms and lotions with harsh, questionable ingredients, we believe that nature all too often has the answer – and when we discovered Kahai oil, we weren’t disappointed.
Little known over here, in it’s native Columbia, Kahai oil is well respected for its ability to nourish, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. Also known as Cacay Nut Oil, it’s extracted using cold pressing methods from the nut of the Cacay tree.
The Cacay tree is a true stalwart of productivity. It grows in the Amazon Basin and can live for 100 years, and still produce nuts at a ripe old age. Harvest time is during the summer, when other crops are less fruitful, providing an income for farmers during an otherwise pretty barren time.
As it naturally grows in the rainforest, it’s an ideal crop to grow in areas that have been devastated by deforestation due to the rapid growth of ecosystem-damaging palm oil plantations. Now, there are numerous exciting Columbian Cacay tree reforestation initiatives, that are empowering communities.
We source our Kahai oil from farmers that had previously been forced by economic pressures to grow and harvest cocaine. Cacay trees are relatively easy to grow, are well-suited to smallholdings and can provide an income for generations of families. They also grow well alongside cocoa, banana, rice and corn plantations.
Cacay trees help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And as their leaves are constantly shed, they help to improve local soil quality, making it richly diverse for the healthy development of further crops.
Some say that this tree is set to become an icon of biodiversity for Columbia. Supporting these farmers and those like them is key to our brand.
The Science Behind the Skin Benefits of Kahai Oil
Kahai oil is rich in retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, which is renowned for its benefits to the skin. Retinol is widely used in anti-ageing skincare products. It helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage and uneven skin tone by boosting the production of collagen. Collagen is like scaffolding for the skin – it sits under the deeper layers of the skin, providing a framework for the skin to sit on. The more collagen, the plumper, and more youthful, the skin.
But anti-ageing aside, collagen also contributes to how well the skin is hydrated. And as we all well know, dry, irritated skin is crying out for hydration! This ability to help boost hydration in parched skin helps to explain why Kahai oil is such an important ingredient in Balmy Fox products.
Kahai oil is also rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin which supports a protective barrier within in the skin to help it retain moisture.
As if that wasn’t enough, Kahai oil also contains high levels of vitamin F. If you’ve never come across vitamin F, you’re not alone. We hadn’t until we started doing our research. Vitamin F isn’t technically a vitamin. Instead, it’s a type of omega six fatty acid called linoleic acid.
Linoleic acid forms a significant part of the membranes within the body. It’s responsible for controlling the movement of water between cells, including skin cells. It has a protective effect and will help dehydrated skin cells retain water, helping them to rehydrate.
Nature, Providing Solutions to Modern Problems
Why this naturally nourishing and hydrating, sustainable and ethically produced oil isn’t more well known, we don’t know!
Ideal for those with active lifestyles, we add Kahai oil to our balms and other products for long-lasting hydration. Naturally anti-fungal, it helps to form a protective, yet non-greasy barrier on the skin, allowing you to carry on doing what you love best.