From by-product to nutritious goodness
Watermelon seeds. We love them. Next time you bite in your juicy slice of melon, think twice before spitting out these tiny brown bunches of goodness.
We appreciate them for various reasons. Firstly because the watermelon seed oil, also known as ootanga and kalahari oil, is not only skin loving, which is why we use it as a base ingredient for all of our skincare products, but can also be considered a zero waste product. In Africa, watermelon seeds have been prized for the highly nutritive oil that they contain and traditionally, the seeds are removed from the flesh and then dried outside in the sun. Once dried, the seeds are then pressed to extract the beneficial oil. Because the seeds are essentially a by-product, using the cold pressed watermelon seed oil in cosmetics is a sustainable choice.
Today, watermelon seed oil comes mostly from China, India and Africa, where whole communities in remote locations and with no other business opportunities often economically benefit from its production. The oil contains a rich source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant and one of the most beneficial vitamins for the healing and repair of the skin. The high antioxidant content of watermelon seed oil may assist in reducing and combating the signs of premature ageing caused by environmental and lifestyle habits.
Besides being beneficial for your skin, watermelon seeds are also considered superfood and are super nutritious when roasted and eaten as a snack, just as sunflower and pumpkin seeds. As standard.co.uk states: ‘Just 100g of watermelon seeds contains a Dwayne Johnson-worthy 34g of protein — by comparison, sunflower seeds have 21g and pumpkin seeds a measly 19g. And naturally they have the standard seedy nutritional credentials when it comes to vitamin and mineral content: 100g has 130 per cent of your recommended daily amount of magnesium, 102 per cent of bone-strengthening phosphorus and 50 per cent of iron’.
A popular traditional snack in Iran for centuries, food bloggers like Deliciously Ella and emerging food brands are now starting to appreciate the new cool kernel on the block, such as the brand Mello which offers roasted and even chilli infused melon seeds.
We still like them best as the source of our star ingredient - the watermelon seed oil.