Saturday, February 11, 2017

Skincare: Tamanu Oil

Source: Lucky Vitamin
I purchased Tamanu Oil a while ago, mainly because it is recommended for acne-prone skin. Tamanu oil is a nut oil from a tree that grows in Polynesia and Southeast Asia. It takes the entirety of a single trees annual production, 100 kilograms to produce only 5 kilograms of oil. It's time consuming too, as the nuts are put in the sun for 2 months and must be protected from moisture from rain or humidity during this time. The nuts when they are dark and sticky with oil are then cold-pressed, producing the typical thick yellow-green oil.

Tamanu oil is supposed to be good for most skin conditions. It's got a comedogenic rating of 2 out of 5 (with 0 being the lowest and least likely to break someone out). For me, I was worried about this as I have extremely acne-prone skin. So what I recommend and what I did was a patch test. A patch test is where you take a small amount of the oil and put it on your skin in an area that will break-out but currently is clear. You do this daily for two weeks in the same spot. It usually takes about this long before you'll see a breakout form. Another good thing about a patch-test is you'll see if you have a sensitivity or an allergy to it too (you'll likely have a much quicker reaction time if so).

Tamanu oil has a fatty acid profile of:
  • 29-38% Linoleic Acid
  • 34-42% Oleic Acid
  • 13% Stearic Acid
  • 12% Palmitic Acid
  • 0.2% Linolenic Acid
Fatty Acids are the components that make up oils. All oils have different fatty acid profiles with different effects on the skin. Linoleic Acid for example is another name of Omega-6. An awesome article about the fatty acid profile of oils and acne-prone skin  is here by Minimalist Beauty. Another really great article about oils and fatty acids is this one by XO Vain.

What really drew me to Tamanu oil is it's use to lighten acne-scars. It's also supposed to have anti-bacterial properties, pain-relieving properties and regenerative properties. It's great on other healing cuts and scars too, reducing the time it takes to heal and the redness and pigmentation of the area.

It's best to store Tamanu oil in a cool dark place, I personally like the fridge. This will help increase the shelf-life of the oil. Over time all oils react with air and light and high heat and eventually go bad or rancid. This is usually characterized by a change in smell, normally Tamanu oil smells like a mix between butterscotch, nuts and bullion cubes- an odd scent but not an unpleasant one. Often when oils go bad they will smell like crayons. Tamanu is a fairly stable oil however and it lasts even longer in the fridge where it will go to a waxy-solid consistency wise.

How about anyone else, do you use Tamanu oil? Any other facial oils you use?

Mountain Rose Herbs
Holistic Health Herbalist
Garden of Wisdom

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