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Tamanu Oil: How to Use This Rich Tropical Seed Oil for Gorgeous Skin and Hair

You’ve most likely heard of jojoba oil, argan oil and avocado oil. But there’s another powerful seed oil that you may not know much about yet: tamanu oil. Tamanu oil doesn’t get talked about as much as the others, but it deserves every bit of attention. From anti-inflammatory to anti-aging properties, the magic of this versatile seed oil has something for everyone.

The rich, dark green oil, which has earned the title “green gold,” comes from the seeds of the Tamanu tree (Calophyllum inophyllum), a tropical evergreen also known as nyamplung. Tamanu oil isn’t new to the scene. It’s been known and used for centuries as a health and beauty superstar in many cultures in Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands, where the tree originates from. These cultures have used this earthy-smelling oil for many medicinal purposes and for healing wounds, eczema and sunburns.

Now, it’s showing up in skincare products for your face, body and even your hair. And there’s research to back it up for many of its wonderful benefits! Read on to find out how tamanu oil can benefit your skin and how to use it.

The Benefits of Tamanu Oil

  1. Incredibly Moisturizing

While all seed oils can moisturize your skin, tamanu oil does this better than most. That’s because it’s richly abundant in the fatty acids oleic and linoleic acid. These fatty acids go deep to replenish lost moisture, but they also help the skin retain it by healing the skin’s protective barrier. This makes tamanu excellent for dry or mature skin that’s lost its softness and plumpness.

  1. Soothes Irritated Skin

Tamanu’s ability to hydrate skin also enables it to relieve skin irritations and redness associated with eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and sunburn. But along with being a fabulous emollient, tamanu also has anti-inflammatory properties that help calm these conditions. The inflammation-reducing compound in tamanu oil is called calophyllolide and is said to provide similar results to cortisone.

  1. Helps Control Acne

Tamanu oil is relatively non-comedogenic compared to other oils, meaning it isn’t likely to clog pores. But it also contains anti-bacterial compounds, and it may help combat acne due to infections caused by the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). The anti-inflammatory abilities of tamanu coupled with its ability to fight bacteria work together to control breakouts if you have acne-prone skin.

  1. Promotes Collagen Production

Tamanu has long been used to treat wounds and help them heal faster. The reason it works is that the oil boosts collagen production and cell regeneration. More collagen in your skin and increased cell turnover can help prevent and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as saggy skin. These properties also make tamanu oil effective for reducing scars from acne or other injuries.

  1. Fights Skin Cell Damage

Tamanu oil is bursting with antioxidants too. It has the power to heal damage caused by the sun’s UV rays and other stressors that lead to free radicals running rampant in our bodies. Antioxidants can stop free radicals in their tracks to prevent them from causing harm to cells. Skin will become more resilient to damage and appear healthier and brighter with the use of tamanu oil.

How to Use Tamanu Oil

Tamanu oil can be used on your face, body and hair and is an ingredient in many products. Our own Intensive Hand Cream uses the power of tamanu to help smooth and repair dry, cracked hands. It’s important to note that if you’re allergic to tree nuts, you might have a reaction to tamanu oil. Always test a small section of skin first.

You can buy tamanu oil by itself as a single oil. It’s ok to use it sparingly directly on your skin, but it is thick and works better when it’s combined with a lighter oil like jojoba or almond oil. Or you can add a few drops to the moisturizer you already use. Don’t use tamanu oil on broken skin or open wounds, however.

If you‘re a DIY fan, you can make your own cleanser, mask or exfoliator with tamanu oil and other ingredients like clay, honey and sugar. It also makes a great serum by itself or combined with other oils for your hair to reduce dryness and tame frizz. For deep conditioning, make a hair mask with tamanu and other oils like coconut or castor to leave on overnight if your hair is very damaged.

Tamanu oil hasn’t made front-page news quite yet, but it’s a hero all the same. All skin types will enjoy the benefits of tamanu, and it works particularly well for oily and acne-prone skin. This oil is one you’ll want to keep on hand at all times for an extra nourishing boost for your skin and hair whenever you need it!

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