TAMANU OIL – A SKIN SUPER FOOD!
You may have heard of some natural oils commonly touted for their skin-improving benefits like neem oil, argan oil, coconut oil and tea tree oil for example. But have you ever heard of Tamanu Oil? It seems like every day we hear about some passing fad–a new miracle super food or age-defying plant extract. But I’m here to tell you this is not one of them! And to let you in on all the Tamanu Oil Benefits.
Tamanu oil contains a unique fatty acid called Calophyllic acid, a natural antibiotic called Lactone, and a natural non-steroid anti-inflammatory called Calophyllolide. Extracted from the nuts of an evergreen tree called Calophyllum inophyllum, tamanu oil is a remedy long used in Polynesia and Southeast Asia on the face, hair, and skin for conditions such as acne, psoriasis, scars, burns and cuts. But it’s not just an ancient remedy rarely known by the developed world. In fact, it is used as an ingredient in a variety of personal-care products, including lotions, serums, and moisturizers. Tamanu is found in many creams said to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
Tamanu is a sustainable oil since there is no negative impact on the trees. The nuts are collected by hand after they naturally fall from the trees. Each tamanu fruit contains just one odorless, seed or nut kernel. They are laid out 6-8 weeks to cure and then cold-pressed to produce a small amount of oil. While this natural processing yields only a few drops of oil per nut, the oil retains all the incredible nutrients of the tamanu this way and is one of the things to look for when purchasing it. Because of the process of curing and collecting the oil – it can be a little on the pricey side. However, tamanu oil is rich and thick but easily absorbed when applied to the skin so a little goes a long way!
A pure, unrefined tamanu oil has a thick consistency, a rich, deep nutty and woodsy scent and a bold dark green color. Unrefined tamanu oil has a thick consistency and may naturally separate or solidify at cold temperatures. To ensure the highest quality when purchasing tamanu oil, be sure that:
- The nuts are gathered by hand
- The nuts are sun-dried
- The oil is cold-processed (using a screw press)
Tip: Pay attention to the process of which your tamanu oil is made – there are many fake oils on the market!
BEST USES FOR TAMANU OIL WITH PROVEN RESULTS
- Athlete’s foot
- Dark spots
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
THE RESEARCH IS IN
Since the 1920’s Oil of Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum) has been studied in hospitals and by researchers in Europe, Asia, and the Pacific islands. The results of these studies are impressive.
In more recent years, a study titled “Anti-inflammatory effects of Calophyllum inophyllum,” done by Tsai SC, Liang YH et al, was published in Oncology Reports on September 28, 2012. In this study Tamanu oil was found to be a very effective anti-inflammatory oil, helping in skin conditions such as acne, rashes, and other irritations such as insect bites, sores, and eczema.
Another study was done in 2015 entitled, “The Wound Healing and Antibacterial Activity of Five Ethnomedical Calophyllum inophyllum Oils: An Alternative Therapeutic Strategy to Treat Infected Wounds,” published by Teddy Léguillier, et al. This study evaluated the wound healing and antibacterial properties of Tamanu Oil extracted from trees growing in five different locations. They concluded that when used topically tamanu was effective in treating infected wounds and skin diseases such as acne.
Researchers have found that tamanu oil contains calophyllolide (a substance known to possess anti-inflammatory properties) and delta-tocotrienol (a form of vitamin E), as well as a number of antioxidants.
SIDE EFFECTS AND SAFETY
Although tamanu oil is generally safe when it is used topically, it may trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. People with tree nut allergy should avoid tamanu oil, as the oil is pressed from the nut of the Calophyllum inophyllum tree. If you experience itching, redness, irritation, or other adverse effects when using tamanu oil, stop using the product immediately and consult your physician or dermatologist.
It’s recommended to speak to your primary care provider or dermatologist before using tamanu oil or any new topical product to see if it’s right for you. It’s also advisable to test a small spot first.
MY TOP RECOMMENDATION(S)
Product Name: Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve Tamanu Oil Herbal Salve AND Sea Buckthorn Tamanu Oil (2 different products – both with tamanu oil as main ingredient)
Product Description: USDA Organic, Unrefined Tamanu oil salve with chickweed and plantain & Tamanu Oil with Sea Buckthorn and Jojoba oil
My Rating: 10 out of 10 for salve | 9 out of 10 for oil
Pros – All Natural | Many skin and hair benefits | Sustainable | Easy to Use | Affordable when used sparingly
Cons – Due to the sea buckthorn in the oil, it can cause a slight orange tint when applying and can stain fabrics. Be sure to take care when handling, use a small amount and massage oil in well and evenly to diminish the appearance. The salve does not have this issue. For this reason, I use the salve in the AM and the oil in the PM – just know if you have light colored sheets, the oil could stain those.
Price: $20.74 for a 2 oz tin of the salve | $22.50 for a 1 oz bottle (that may sound expensive but you can make a small amount go a long way!)
Best Place to Buy: Currently the only place you can purchase this is off of the Chagrin Valley Website – get $5 off your first order here with my referral code link. Also, if you sign up for an account, you will get 200 points and 5 points for every order – which can be redeemed later for discounts.
Guarantee: Chagrin valley guarantees their Tamanu Oil is All Natural, Certified Organic, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, and Non-GMO. I was directly informed their nuts are gathered by hand, sun cured and cold processed. You can find out more on their blog. I was also informed their ingredients are sourced from a few certified organic distributors.
Return Policy: Due to the nature of their all natural products, they cannot assure the purity of merchandise once it has been shipped. For safety and hygiene reasons this merchandise cannot be restocked or resold so returns are not accepted. They do offer sample or trial sizes for most products but unfortunately not this one.
THE TAKE AWAY
I absolutely love tamanu oil! I’ve been using it for about 2 years or so now as my moisturizer – the final step in my facial cleansing process morning and night. I have combination skin (oily and dry) and had found it difficult to find something that wouldn’t either dry my skin out or make it too oily. I ended settling for an over the counter acne regimen in my teen years into young adult hood. It seemed to be effective for a while. When I turned 25 I started getting adult acne. I tried everything! I was already on birth control and tried a prescription cream even. Then I developed a rash on the sides of my mouth/around it. After doing tons of research I discovered tamanu oil and all of the skin benefits it was touted for. Since I’ve started using it, tamanu oil has been one of my biggest allies in healing my acne and rash and keeping my skin supple and healthy. Some may shy away from an oil for fear of it clogging pours and causing more acne – especially if you already have oily skin. But I promise this is not true! In fact, it is known that stripping your face of oils causes MORE oil production! So, using an oil can help calm the over-production of oil your face is creating. In the end, this is a product I use every day and stand by 1000%! Go ahead and try it – you won’t be disappointed :).
Have questions or want to share your own experience with Tamanu oil? Comment below!