Guest Post: What the MF is Meadowfoam, Anyway?
Melanie Robin is a globe-trotting environmental scientist with 2 newly adopted dog-children, Tui and Brin.
My skin type is dry and sensitive. Plus, we just moved out to oh-so arid prairies. So the combination of the weather and my already constantly thirsty skin made me feel like I was pretty much pruning up before people’s eyes. I felt and feel like a raisin frequently. You know in the 80s classic Beetlejuice when they summon the dead couple at that seance towards the end of the movie and then they shrivel and age in a matter of moments hovering above the table? That’s how it feels for dry-skinned folk like me throughout the course of a day (minus the hovering above the table, haven’t quite gotten there in my yoga practice yet). I have frequently fantasized about a device that could pick me up comfortably by the shoulders with two clothes-peg type devices, and dip me into a vat of lotion. So when Jess went for the creation of this super-hydration oil, needless to say, I was stoked. So, dry-skinned sisters and brothers, gather round and rejoice because Stark has heard our pleas, and let me tell you a tale. A tale about a hero named meadowfoam.
So, what the shaz-nuts is Meadowfoam, anyway?! A kind of bubble bath that your British grandma uses? A grunge band from the 90’s? A new material that mattresses are made out of that promises the best night’s sleep ever? When Jess revealed to us Stark’s newest family member; Meadowfoam: the Everybody Oil, (or MF) I thought she was just being her creative self with the name, not that it was an actual seed. I consider myself relatively well-versed in the realm of natural health, but I had never heard of Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba) ever before. Besides having possibly the coolest name ever for a plant, I wanted to research for myself just what the heck this stuff is. If you, too, like to research just what prods are before slathering products them on your face and bod, then today’s your day, ‘cause I just did the research for you!
So aptly named as when the cute little white-and-yellow flowers are in bloom, a field of these suckers in the breeze looks like foam on the ocean’s surface. Native to the west side of North America, simply put, this plant and its oil are versatile genius.
Meadowfoam seed oil is over 98% fatty acids with chain lengths of 20 carbons or more, and, it has three long chain fatty acids that were previously unknown – Neat! It also has higher quality triglyceride levels compared to other vegetable oils. Translation: not only SUPER moisturizing, this stable, not-greasy oil adheres and absorbs very well into the skin/hair, and, forms a sort of moisture barrier, keeping hydration in and protecting the skin/hair from the elements. When Jess explained you could use it for whatever you want, she was kind of right! In my brief research, this oil: moisturizes/rejuvenates skin and hair, protects against UV rays (sunscreen applications), eases wrinkles and aging, is great with carrier oils, holds scents well, has a long shelf life, the list goes on.
Aside from these amazing cosmetic uses, Meadowfoam oil is also extremely agriculturally sustainable. This crop is so renewable that farmers actually use Meadowfoam at fallow field rotation time for extra income. Pressed seeds and seed hulls are used as a nutritious addition to feed for livestock. Meadowfoam also requires far less maintenance in the form of pesticides and herbicides than other crops. And, get this – it was first developed in the 70’s, introduced as an alternative to Sperm whale oil in order to protect the species. That’s right, this oil actually made it’s debut as an ACTIVIST for whale rights and conservation, WHAAAAT.
As much as you might want to make this oil a part of you in every way possible, I did not find any Meadowfoam salad dressing recipes, so please do not consume. (But OMG you can get Meadowfoam honey!!)
So the evaluation on Meadowfoam is: props, Mother Nature, on creating this ace card of a vegetation. Hydrate and protect myself with an environmentally friendly crop, yes please. On behalf of myself and Sperm whales I give Meadowfoam a round of applause and two thumbs up, from hands that are so wonderfully hydrated and nourished by the very plant that we are celebrating.