Tonka bean - What is that?!

One of the more unusual sounding ingredients we use in several  of our products is Tonka Bean Ferment.  I have to admit that, until I came to work for Nourish I thought Tonka was a brand of toys I played with in the 70’s and I hadn’t heard of Tonka Bean.

Tonka bean is the fruit of the Dipteryx Odorata tree which  originates in South America. Guyana, Brazil, Venezuela and Columbia are  the main producers of Tonka Bean.  The tree grows up to 30 metres in height and it is believed it can live for over 1000 years. 

The tree bears fruit and  each fruit contains a single bean; a tree yields  1 to 3  kg per year.  The fruit are harvested by hand and dried for a few days in the sun before removing the bean from the fruit ready for sale.  This crop provides an important income for rural families and, as the tree can also be used for its hard wood timber, it is important that use is managed in a sustainable way.

In ancient folklore it was believed that if you held 3 Tonka Beans in your hand and wished on them, then placed them under your pillow your wish would come true.


So why is  Tonka Bean in Nourish  skincare products?

Tonka Bean ferment, when applied to the skin, acts as an optical brightener reducing the appearance of uneven skin tone and ages spots.  It absorbs UV light and  leaves the skin looking healthier and more radiant. Finally, it has anti-ageing properties thanks to the antioxidant protection it provides against extrinsic damage.

At Nourish, we use this extract of Tonka Bean in our Radiance range including our Radiance moisturiser which is why we call it Radiance Brightening Moisturiser.  We also use it in our Rejuvenating Peptide Serum which, we are proud to say,  has just been awarded ‘Best Skin Serum’ in the 2014 Beauty Awards from  Natural Products Magazine.  Perhaps one of our team held 3 beans in their hand and made a wish…