Securing hydrated, supple skin seems to be the goal on all of our minds during this time of year when our scalps, lips, elbows, and knees could all benefit from an extra dose of moisture. Even if you’re slathering on a mask a few times per week and downing water like it’s your full-time job, it still may not be enough to combat the effects of the weather and toxins in your environment.
Well, your dry skin is about to get some much-needed relief thanks to a tropical, brilliant green oil that skincare professionals everywhere swear by: tamanu oil.
What Exactly Is Tamanu Oil?
Tamanu oil is a powerful elixir of healthy fats and antioxidants that makes for a nourishing treat for your skin. Among its beneficial components are oleic acid, linoleic acid, and fragrant antioxidant terpenes. It’s not your typical carrier oil but instead is a rich, thick, aromatic oil that will give your skin the intense hydration that it craves.
Also known as ballnut tree oil, pinnay oil, and beauty leaf oil, tamanu oil comes from the tamanu nut kernel, which lies inside the small yellow fruit that grows on the tamanu tree (Calophyllum inophyllum). This native South Pacific island tree only flowers and produces fruit twice a year, and the actual process of harvesting the oil can take many months—which makes it that much more special in our eyes.
Indulge With the Benefits of Tamanu
If variety is the spice of life, versatility is its closely related cousin. And that’s another reason we love tamanu oil. It’s a natural replacement for a multitude of skincare products, no matter what your age or skin type. Here are just a few of the many ways this oil is a perfect beauty choice:
• Natural hydration for sensitive skin. Tamanu oil is an excellent moisturizer, quickly penetrating deep into the skin to lock in hydration without an excessively oily shine. And because it’s so gentle, it’s even fine to use if you’re prone to sensitivity.1
• Ageless allure. You won’t have to turn to expensive anti-aging creams with questionable chemical ingredients and preservatives when you’ve got tamanu oil on hand. Tamanu oil’s unique combination of antioxidants and nutrients can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while encouraging healthy elasticity.2
• Oil cleansing. Tamanu oil lets you toss those harsh soaps, scrubs, and makeup removers you thought you needed to cleanse your face. Just a few drops of this mild oil removes dirt, grime, and makeup—revealing a truly radiant glow. As an added bonus, tamanu oil’s pleasantly sweet, nutty scent helps keep you smelling as fresh as you look. Simply apply a small amount to feet or underarms to feel confident all day without exposure to aluminum, parabens, TEA, or other unhealthy ingredients.
• Luxurious, shiny tresses. For the best hair of your life, add a few drops of tamanu oil to your favorite natural shampoo or conditioner—or you can massage a small amount directly into damp, freshly washed hair. The linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid in tamanu oil nourish and moisturize both the scalp and hair to help your crowning glory live up to its name.
• Naturally nice nails. Treat your hands and feet to some much-deserved pampering by working a drop or two of tamanu oil into finger and toenails for a deep level of conditioning and moisture.
• Silky, smooth skin. When used over time, tamanu oil may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.3
Choosing the Best Tamanu Oil
Sadly, just because a product calls itself tamanu oil doesn’t mean it’s the real deal. Some products are overly processed, made with poor quality oil, or may not contain much actual tamanu oil at all. To fully reap the benefits of tamanu, look for a high quality, organic, single ingredient, virgin oil like Valentia’s tamanu oil, that’s cold-pressed in small batches and is cruelty-free, sustainably sourced, non-GMO, and free of sulfates, parabens, preservatives, artificial colors, and synthetic ingredients of any kind.
Bringing a bit of the tropics to your natural beauty routine with tamanu oil can help you achieve the skin and hair of your dreams.
1. Yimdjo, M. C., Azebaze, A. G., Nkengfack, A. E., Meyer, A. M., Bodo, B., & Fomum, Z. T. (2005). Antimicrobial and Cytotoxic Agents from Calophyllum inophyllum. ChemInform, 36(11). doi:10.1002/chin.200511228
2. Ansel, J., Lupo, E., Mijouin, L., Guillot, S., Butaud, J., Ho, R., … Pichon, C. (2016). Biological Activity of Polynesian Calophyllum inophyllum Oil Extract on Human Skin Cells. Planta Medica, 82(11/12), 961-966. doi:10.1055/s-0042-108205
3. Dweck, A. C., & Meadows, T. (2002). Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum) - the African, Asian, Polynesian and Pacific Panacea. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 24(6), 341-348. doi:10.1046/j.1467-2494.2002.00160.x
4. Said, T., Dutot, M., Martin, C., Beaudeux, J., Boucher, C., Enee, E., … Rat, P. (2007). Cytoprotective effect against UV-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress: Role of new biological UV filter. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 30(3-4), 203-210. doi:10.1016/j.ejps.2006.11.001