Tips from The Exmoor Herbalist: November Wednesday 22 November 2017 Highly-prized for their benefits, The Exmoor Herbalist, Jane Wallwork-Gush, introduces ways of using Baobab Powder and Oil at home to create wonderful facial treatments. The Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata), also known as 'the upside down tree', because its appearance gives the impression of the roots being in the air, thrives in astonishingly dry environments and lives for thousands of years. It contains and retains incredible amounts of moisture which certainly gives an idea to the benefits it has to offer for cosmetic uses. The high content of vitamins and minerals means it has more antioxidants than any other fruit, and the oil is naturally rich in essential fatty acids omega 3, 6 and 9. Baobab Oil, with its wonderfully silky texture, promotes skin elasticity and softness, is emollient, anti-inflammatory and hydrating. This makes the oil perfect for using on the skin on its own, or in a moisturising cream or serum to promote the regeneration of skin cells, reduce fine lines, even out skin tone, and also is reputed to protect the skin from extremes of temperature. The following recipe makes an easily absorbed balancing face serum, as the addition of Aloe Vera gel is a great vehicle for getting the antioxidants into the skin: 25ml Aloe Vera gel (to make 100ml of Aloe Vera gel, mix 3g of Vegetable Glycerin with 1g of Xanthan Gum and then whisk in 95ml of bottled water until thoroughly combined. Then whisk in 0.5g of Aloe Vera powder. Leave for around five minutes until the gel has formed, put in a jar and keep in the fridge) 5ml Baobab Oil 6 drops Rose Geranium essential oil Place the Aloe Vera gel in a small bowl and slowly mix in the Baobab Oil until a smooth cream is produced. Add the essential oil and continue to stir until fully blended. Place in a jar and keep in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. This versatile and hydrating oil has been used in hair products to rehydrate dry hair and improve its texture. In the same way that incredibly popular Argan Oil can be applied to wet or dry hair, so too can Baobab Oil. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to make a naturally fragranced product for great looking hair. Baobab Powder is certainly a super food when it comes to our diets, but there is more to this powder than a healthy skin-boosting smoothie in the morning. With a fabulous cocktail of super nutrients in its tool kit, a face mask can be made to tighten and tone the skin for a glowing complexion. The addition of some Hibiscus Flower Powder will further help brighten skin tone and also reduce fine lines. Mix together: 3 tsps of Baobab Powder 1/4 tsp of Hibiscus Add enough water or preferred hydrosol such as Rose or Neroli, to make a smooth paste. Apply to clean skin, relax with a herb tea for 20 minutes and then wash off with warm water. A pleasant way to relax on an Autumnal day.