Tamanu oil: Benefits and uses
Lauren Bullen
Tamanu oil: Benefits and uses
Lauren Bullen

What is Tamanu oil?

Tamanu oil is an emollient derived from the nuts and seeds of the tamanu tree, a tropical plant native to the sub equatorial regions of Asia and Australia. It’s not how we would know it as an essential oil, but a fatty nut oil applied as an emollient and enhancer to essential oils or alone as an antibacterial remedy and moisturiser. For this reason it has been used for hundreds of years in many parts of the world, most notably in a number of South pacific and Southeast Asia, for both cosmetic and skin protective purposes.

Tamanu oil is extracted from the seeds of the Tamanu tree (also known as the Laurelwood, Mastwood, Indian doomba, Tacamahac tree or the beauty leaf tree) by crushing it and collecting the pressed oil into a container. Once enough is collected, it takes on a thick and rich consistency, beginning to give an earthy nutty aroma and appears to have a dark green smooth complexion.

"The plant itself is hardy, invasive, self-propagating and grows best with no maintenance or water at all, which aligns with our zero-waste ethos perfectly."

In the skincare industry, Tamanu oil is widely known and labelled as Calophyllum inophyllum (seed) oil. It can be found in a number of skincare products meant to hydrate and smoothen skin, treat acne scars and maintain skin balance.

Tamanu oil benefits

Like most oils, Tamanu oil hydrates and moisturises the skin, helping to stave off dryness and maintaining your skin’s youthful sheen. However, unlike most oils it provides a number of unique benefits to its users.

 

  • Maintaining skin balance

    Firstly, Tamanu oil is particularly good at helping your skin to maintain an optimal fatty acid skin balance. A rich helping of oleic and linoleic fatty acids inherent in Tamanu oil, once applied, provide the skin with a thick layer of defense against arid climates and dryness prone skin.
  • Anti-bacterial

    Most comedogenic oils have the tendency to block pores when applied on skin, making them very ill suited towards keeping pores free of dirt and dead skin build up. However, Tamanu oil has been shown to being the best cleansing oil for acne whilst also being an oil that won’t clog pores. Tamanu’s ability to counteract the effects of p. acnes and p.granulosum (i.e. bacteria that induce acne) has been shown to be safe to use as a moisturiser on acneic skin. Some studies have even shown that it has been helpful in treating severe cases of inflammatory acne.
  • Collagen production and healing

    Tamanu oils are also very efficient at speeding up the healing process and even in some cases applying regenerative healing properties onto skin tissue. Similar to calendula extract oil, Tamanu oil increases production of collagen and other regenerative cells gives Tamanu oil the ability to not only close wounds and breakages in the skin faster but also fade acne scars, smooth stress lines and wrinkles. This is one of Tamanu oil’s defining qualities, few enough naturally sourced oils are able to tout this as one of its positive aspects and it is why it is so sought after in the world today.
  • Antioxidant rich

    Tamanu oil is also rich in antioxidants and application of it on the skin has shown noticeable improvements in skin texture. This gives Tamanu oil the added bonus of being able to protect skin from not just acne and the odd wear and tear but also against things such as air pollution and free radicals borne from aging and UV exposure.

  • Anti-inflammatory

    Acne and pimples tend to have the unfortunate side effect of not only being unsightly but also sensitive and inflamed. One of the core aspects of Tamanu is its ability to treat these unfortunate side effects and more. In some studies it has been shown to ease the severity of eczema outbreaks, a very common occurrence in busy cities along subtropical and tropical areas of the world where humidity and pollution often plays merry hell with one’s skin microbiome.

 

Recommended products to use with Tamanu oil

As informed practitioners of maintaining health, it’s important to know what kind of products to use and how to apply it onto your skin.

  • RENEW

    Renew remedy oil is an organic and complex combination of Tamanu Oil with Organic Argan Oil, Organic Rosehip Oil, Vitamin E, Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Organic Helichrysum Essential Oil, Gotu Kola and Wildcrafted Japanese Knotweed. It combines these unique and ecologically friendly ingredients to provide you the perfect tincture for renewing your skin by cleansing and smoothing unsightly scars, marks and acne blemishes.
  • CALM

    Calm remedy oil by comparison uses a different set of oils such as Tamanu Oil, Organic Black Cumin Seed Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Baobab Oil, Vitamin E, Organic Myrrh Essential Oil, Organic German Chamomile Essential Oil, Wildcrafted Burdock Root and Organic Plantain. Utilising this particular set of oils, World of Myoth has created an oil ointment, that combined with a base oil, that can treat dry and irritated skin. Ideally suited to treating those who have dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, Calm helps to make your skin luminous once again and restore balance to your skin microbiome.

How to apply oils

However as with all things it is best to find out if applying Tamanu Oil doesn’t have any unintended consequences for you. To begin with, think about applying a very small amount of Tamanu Oil onto a non-sensitive area of your skin, like a forearm or hand and see if there are any reactions to it being there.

If no reaction is felt then you may begin consistently applying a base oil and one of the oils listed above to the affected area of skin. Adjust the amount needed to be applied on the size of the affected area of skin.

For further instructions on how to apply and use World of Myoth oils and powders refer to this instructional guide.

Links to products/definitions

World of Myoth: RENEW (Scars + Marks)

https://www.worldofmyoth.com/products/remedy-oil-renew-scars-marks?variant=18931246039113

World of Myoth: CALM (Dry + Irritated, Sensitive Skin)

https://www.worldofmyoth.com/products/remedy-oil-calm-dry-irritated-sensitive-skin?variant=32276743094355

World of Myoth: How to apply oils

https://www.worldofmyoth.com/pages/process

World of Myoth: Base oil selection

https://www.worldofmyoth.com/collections/base-oil

Calendula: The healer flower

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10YdCqBzz280pVBBEOQtsicmEZ6jEb1G11V4NtM_0xcc/edit

Emollient

https://www.healthline.com/health/emollient

Comedogenic

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/comedogenic

Footnotes for further reading:

    1. https://www.ocl-journal.org/articles/ocl/pdf/2018/05/ocl180019.pdf
    2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138602
    3. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138602
    4. https://www.phcog.com/article.asp?issn=0973-1296;year=2019;volume=15;issue=60;spage=135;epage=139;aulast=Mah
    5. https://www.ocl-journal.org/articles/ocl/full_html/2018/05/ocl180019/ocl180019.html
    6. https://www.ocl-journal.org/articles/ocl/abs/2018/05/ocl180019/ocl180019.html
    7. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1467-2494.2002.00160.x
    8. https://analyticalsciencejournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mrc.2482
    9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544295/
    10. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/health-benefits-tamanu-oil#1
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