Protective effects of Mideka Ximenia seed oil against oxidative stress and MMP-1 expression in an ex vivo skin pollution model


*Corresponding author
1. Kupanda Ltd, Johannesburg, South Africa
2. Callaghan Consulting International, Hamburg, Germany


Ximenia americana (X. americana) seed oil from the olacaceae family is unique in its fatty acid profile, containing specific long chain fatty acids which are reported to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. In this preliminary ex vivo study, human abdominoplasty skin explants were treated with a standardised environmental pollutant-mix with the PolluBox® system. Our initial findings demonstrated reduction of both Nrf2, a marker for oxidative stress, and MMP-1 expression, a marker for collagen-1 degradation, following treatment with Ximenia seed oil at both 2% and 5%, 5 days post-pollution exposure. Effects were assessed by immunostaining and microscopic observations.

Ximenia americana L. (Figure 1) is commonly referred to as ‘wild plum’ or ‘sour plum. It is a small, sprawling tree which bears lemon-yellow fruits that are slightly speckled, with an almond-like aroma. Mideka Ximenia Seed Oil (MXSO) (INCI:Ximenia Americana (Ximenia) Seed Oil) originates from many parts of Africa as well as being found in other parts of the world. The tree is a member of the Olacaceae family (which also includes the sandalwoods), of which there are a number of known species such as Ximenia caffra Sond. (1).


A variety of traditional uses are known for the fruits and seeds of Ximenia americana. Although sour, the fruit can be eaten raw and used in preserves and drinks. The seed oil, which has a honey-like consistency, is extracted from the kernel and used in various cosmetic applications, being ideal for soap manufacture and emollient products. It has been used traditionally as a cosmetic to anoint the body, and as a cure for chapped and dry feet (2,3). The yellowish wood of X. americana is scented and resembles that of sandalwood.


A unique characteristic of MXSO’s lipids is ...