Tamanu oil is derived from the seeds of the tamanu nut tree, a tropical evergreen native to Southeast Asia. While it has yet to become the 'it' ingredient in modern skin care, it's definitely not a newbie; it's been used medicinally for centuries by various Asian, African, and Pacific Island cultures, points out King. Tamanu oil has a noteworthy look and smell. In its purest form, it has a thick consistency, a dark green colour, and a distinct deep, earthy, nutty scent (which admittedly may be off-putting to some).
Common NameTamanu (Organic)
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Benefits of Tamanu Oil
Is rich in fatty acids
Tamanu oil has a higher fatty acid content than many other oils, making it especially beneficial for addressing dry and irritated skin. More specifically, it contains both oleic and linoleic fatty acids, which may give it powerful moisturising abilities.
Has antibacterial properties
The fact that tamanu oil works against both p. acnes and p.granulosum—the bacteria associated with acne. Coupling that with its anti-inflammatory effects—more on those in a minute—and tamanu oil may be helpful in treating inflammatory acne.
Stimulates collagen production
Studies have shown that tamanu oil has wound healing and skin regeneration properties. It's been shown to promote cell proliferation and the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. (Also known as GAGs, the latter are polysaccharides that are essential for creating and maintaining healthy collagen and elastin).
More collagen and more GAGs help both with wound healing (it's what makes tamanu oil a good option for healing scars) as well as smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.
Offers antioxidant protection
On a similar note, tamanu oil is also rife with potent antioxidants, imperative for protecting skin from damaging (and ageing) free radicals caused by exposure to environmental factors such as sun and pollution.
Has anti-inflammatory benefits
Tamanu oil contains calophyllolide, a molecule well-studied for delivering anti-inflammatory effects similar to that of hydrocortisone. It also means that the oil could potentially be good for inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea.
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