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All about Tamanu Oil for your skin

You’re familiar with olive, avocado, sunflower, and jojoba oils. Rosehip, argan, marula, and macadamia too. But do you know about the most underrated skincare oil of all? Setting aside the song parody, let’s talk about tamanu oil. Though it might not be the most popular or well-known skincare oil, tamanu oil offers a host of genuine benefits and deserves a spot in your skincare routine.


What Is Tamanu Oil?

Tamanu oil is extracted from the seeds of the tamanu nut tree, a tropical evergreen native to Southeast Asia. Although it hasn’t yet gained widespread popularity in modern skincare, it’s far from a new discovery. Tamanu oil is known for its unique appearance and aroma. In its pure form, it has a thick consistency, a dark green color, and a distinctive deep, earthy, nutty scent, which some may find off-putting. In many skincare products, you might see it listed by its scientific name, Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil.


Type of Ingredient: Emollient


Main Benefits: Tamanu oil provides excellent moisturization, acts as an antioxidant, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates collagen production, aiding in wound healing, and possesses antibacterial qualities, particularly effective against acne-causing bacteria.


Who Should Use It: Ideal for those with dry skin, minor acne, scarring, or those seeking anti-aging benefits.


How Often Can You Use It: Usage frequency depends on the specific product, but generally, it can be applied once or twice daily.


Works Well With: Tamanu oil is often combined with other popular skincare oils like rosehip, cranberry seed, and avocado in serums or lotions.


Don't Use With: There are no known negative interactions with other ingredients.


Benefits of Tamanu Oil for Skin

While all skincare oils provide moisture, tamanu oil stands out with a range of additional benefits:


Rich in Fatty Acids: Tamanu oil boasts a higher fatty acid content than many other oils, making it particularly effective for dry skin. It contains both oleic and linoleic acids, which enhance its moisturizing abilities.


Antibacterial Properties: Tamanu oil is effective against p. acnes and p. granulosum, the bacteria associated with acne. This antibacterial action is supported by scientific research, including a 2018 study. Its anti-inflammatory effects also make it useful for treating inflammatory acne.


Stimulates Collagen Production: Studies show that tamanu oil promotes wound healing and skin regeneration. It encourages cell proliferation and the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are vital for healthy collagen and elastin. This helps heal scars and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.


Antioxidant Protection: Tamanu oil is rich in antioxidants, which protect the skin from damaging free radicals caused by environmental factors like sun and pollution.


Anti-Inflammatory Benefits: Tamanu oil contains calophyllolide, a molecule known for its anti-inflammatory effects similar to hydrocortisone. This molecule is also crucial for the oil's wound-healing properties. It may be beneficial for inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea, though more research is needed.


Side Effects of Tamanu Oil

First and foremost, avoid this oil if you're allergic to nuts, as it is derived from a tree nut. Aside from potential allergies, tamanu oil is generally safe to use. However, its comedogenicity, or likelihood to clog pores, is a consideration. Although tamanu oil is only slightly comedogenic, if you notice it clogging your pores, discontinue use. Used correctly, it can be beneficial even for oily or acne-prone skin.


How to Use It

Given that not all tamanu oil products are the same, we advice following specific product directions for use and frequency. To avoid potential reactions, test a small amount on your forearm first, using it less frequently than directed and gradually increasing usage. While tamanu oil aids in wound healing, but you should avoid applying it to open wounds.


The Best Products With Tamanu Oil



Aura Cacia Organic Tamanu Skin Care Oil. This is a pure oil that is good for treating areas of irritation, dryness or redness. Click here to buy.



Kiehl's Daily Reviving Face Oil. We recommend applying this in the morning to reap the benefits. It has protective antioxidants that come from sunflower oil, ginger roots and tamanu oil. It is also very hydrating and is very good in reducing wrinkles and making the skin look fresh and revitalised. Click here to buy.


Honest Organic Beauty Facial Oil. This is a one stop solution with benefits from multiple oils. Tamanu oil is one of the key ingredients that help to nourish and restore dull, dry skin. Click here to buy.

Natura Bisse Rosa Mosqueta Oil with Pure Tamanu Oil. This oil is mixed with tamanu oil, delivering ample antioxidants, fatty acids, and Vitamin C. It is very good for anyone dealing with extremely dry or wrinkled skin. Click here to buy.


Kaye's Beauty Book is here to help you choose better products that suit your skin, hair and lifestyle. All of the products mentioned are carefully researched and selected to ensure that the most credible information comes to you. If you do buy a product from one of our links, Kaye's Beauty Book may earn a commission.


II DISCLAIMER: Every skin is different, not everything works for everybody. I recommend you test the product before completely using any new product. II

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