Frankincense extract from the Boswellia tree has always been a prized medicinal, beauty, and perfume/incense ingredient with evidence of it being traded in North Africa and the Middle East for at least 5000 years. The word Frankincense means ‘high-quality incense’. In Arabic, it is called olibanum meaning ‘of milk’ and in Hebrew it is called labonah, a word for white, referring to the appearance. It has been used in temples and churches for thousands of years. It is a medicinal ingredient in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Today, it is grown in mostly Somalia, Ethiopia, and India. The resin is harvested from trees as a hard substance known as tears that form after being purposely cut. As the essential oil has grown in popularity over the last 10 years, the demand has created an issue because harvesters are cutting the trees too much which eventually destroys them. It is important to know who is harvesting frankincense and if they are doing it sustainably. The supplier of the extract we purchase is FairWild® certified. That means only a few collecting families are authorized, thus yields are extremely limited. Their precious groves of Frankincense trees are rotated and scratched for gum harvest only every third year.
The reason why frankincense is so popular in skin care is because the same healing, antiseptic properties that heal its trunk also heal our skin. The reason we use the extract in our Carotene Glow Antioxidant Booster is because it contains potent triterpense such as boswellic acid that is shown to regulate collagen turnover by targeting the enzyme collagenase. Other valuable compounds that are also in the essential oil (found in our Patchouli Vibes Bath Salt and Cube) are caryophyllene, insensol, and alpha-pinene.
The scent is earthy, sweet, woody, and spicy.