Calophyllum inophyllum is the scientific name of the tamanu tree. The tree is slow growing and reaches a maximum height of about three meters with an irregular bold crown.
The tamanu blooms twice a year with fragrant flowers. The fruit is a green drupe that is round and has one large single seed. Once the fruit is ripened, it becomes wrinkled and the color will vary from yellow to brownish red.
The seeds when cold pressed yield a viscous dark green tamanu oil for medicinal use as well as hair oil. The nuts have to be dried before cracking after which the oil-laden kernel is removed and dried further still for two months until it becomes sticky with dark, thick, rich oil.
For 100 kilograms of tamanu fruit, which is the general amount produced by a single tree per year, it will yield 5 kilograms of precious tamanu oil.
It is interesting to note that although the oil might have many benefits for human use, the tamanu mature fruit sap is poisonous enough to be used as rat poison. The sap of the tree is also known for poisoning arrows in Samoa.
The tamanu tree is largely regarded as a sacred tree in some Pacific islands due to its ability to grow in sandy areas as a shade tree. Natives have long held that the tamanu tree was a sacred gift, its fruits a gift of nature and that the gods hid in its branches.
It is an indigenous tree to tropical South East Asia: Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Melanesian and Polynesian islands.
- What is tamanu oil?
- Benefits of tamanu oil
- Tamanu oil uses
- Tamanu oil comedogenic rating
- How to use tamanu oil for acne?
- Tamanu oil for acne compared
- Tamanu oil skin care recipes
- Things you should consider when using tamanu oil for acne
- Other kinds of acne treatments
What is tamanu oil?
Tamanu oil is extracted from the nut contained in the fruit of the tamanu tree. The large nut contains an odorless pale kernel called punnai in some Pacific areas.
It is this kernel that is dried in the sun for a period of about two months until it starts to ooze a sticky fluid which is dark and rich. The nut is then cold pressed to extract the tamanu oil.
Tamanu oil is known for its deep, rich scent with a bold dark color and is likely to alter the color and aroma of any homemade cosmetic creations. It is beneficial for topical use on the skin as well as an ingredient for mixing with other formulations.
Tamanu oil composition
This oil comprises of:
- 4% glycolipids
- 92% neutral lipids
- 6% phospholipids
Other therapeutically effective components include:
Benefits of tamanu oil
Most people who know the benefits of tamanu oil will always have it in the home pharmacy. The spicy scent is pleasant and the oil is a natural healer owing to its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
Tamanu oil for scars
Tamanu oil works wonders with scars associated with acne. You can be able to get rid of a face, back, body and cystic acne naturally with tamanu oil.
Over the counter medication like anti-bacterial agents, oral antibiotics and chemical-based topical products may have side effects. They might help but seldom will it have the same effectiveness as this natural healing oil.
Given that acne is often associated with oily skin, you will be pleasantly surprised to experience the amazing skin regeneration effects of this oil and see your acne and scaring subside.
Tamanu oil for skin
Despite the thickness and rich texture of tamanu oil, it still penetrates very well into the skin. The natural rich fatty acids contained in tamanu oil have emollient and healing effects on the skin due to its tissue regenerative ability. It is also an effective skin moisturizer.
Tamanu oil for face
Not only will tamanu oil moisturize your face, it helps in preventing your skin from harsh sunlight. It actually has UV protection properties. For persons who are olive or brown skinned who tend to tan rather than burn, you can use it on its own as a natural sunscreen.
Because of its antibacterial and antifungal inflammatory properties, it works very well against any kind of skin eruptions on your face or any other part of the body.
Tamanu oil for hair
The fact that tamanu oil can be used for healing burns makes it a great oil for hair especially for those who apply heat on their hair for straightening. This oil also works well with curly hair and is a valuable ingredient for naturally healing hair formulas.
For those endowed with kinky, curly or wavy hair tamanu oil is helpful as it stops breakage and promotes hair growth. It is the oil that you want to reach for in protecting hair loss and recovering from hair loss. This oil is great for all types of hair simply because of its naturally restorative and regenerative properties.
A fairly versatile tamanu oil can be used as an eye serum due to its high content of anti-oxidants. To use it as an eye serum, you will simply place a drop on your ring finger and gently dub it under your eyes.
It can also be combined with specific essential oils like lavender, frankincense to make an even stronger eye serum.
Being thick with a rich texture and well endowed with fatty acids, tamanu oil penetrates deep into the skin lubricating and nourishing it which helps maintain its elasticity and firmness.
Tamanu oil is jam-packed with anti-oxidants and fights off free radicals known to cause fine lines and wrinkles.
Being a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and a moisturizer this oil speeds up the rate at which wounds heal. If you have been pricked, burnt, scratched, or have sores, gently apply tamanu oil on the area using a cotton ball to bring a hastened healing process.
Tamanu oil has UV protection properties. You can try it in place of sunscreen by applying a thin layer of all over your body. Other than protecting your skin from the sun, it will also serve the second purpose of moisturizing it as well so that it remains smooth and supple.
Tamanu oil can also be used for sunburn to help soothe, moisturize and promote regeneration of new tissue.
5. Acne treatment
Tamanu oil is known to have a good inhibitory effect on bacterial growth, and specifically on Propionibacterium acne. This is a bacteria germ that causes acne.
This further proves that tamanu oil is helpful in treating acne and scars caused by acne. Due to a comedogenic rating of 2 in this oil (meaning it might clog your pores), it is not recommended for use as a moisturizer on your face but rather for spot treatment.
Tamanu oil can be also used as a multi-purpose balm and is amazing for lips. It readily repairs scarred and damaged skin.
Tamanu oil comedogenic rating
Thanks to generous amounts of unique fatty acids and calophyllic acid, tamanu oil can help skin cells regenerate or repair themselves effectively combating aging and wrinkles.
Its antibacterial properties allow the oil inhibit acne caused by bacteria and prevent infection from forming. For smooth supple skin, tamanu delivers great results as its anti-oxidants help keep environment oriented damage from harming the skin cell.
There is no doubt that this oil is beneficial to the skin. However, if your skin is acne prone, or you are highly susceptible to clogged pores, then you want to apply it with caution. This is not to be misunderstood that tamanu oil is not good for oily skin or acne. But, it has many obvious benefits to the skin including acne treatment.
What throws most people off balance when it comes to tamanu comedogenecy of 2 is the accompanying disclaimer of applying with caution if you suffer from acne.
Exploring the fatty acids composition of tamanu oil reveals that it contains the fatty acid of both oleic acid and linoleic fatty acids. Oleic is a comedogenic fatty acid while linoleic is not. Another fatty acid contained in tamanu oil is 13% stearic acid which has a low comedogenic rating.
Thus, the comedogenicity rating of tamanu oil is low and the combination of the above fatty acids makes its composition very beneficial. For persons with acne or oily skin can use it selectively and in small areas only for maximum benefits.
1. Acne moisturizer
Despite being a thick oil, it is remarkable how well it gets absorbed by your skin even when used alone. You also just need to apply very little to form a light layer on your skin. Too much of it is likely to get your skin clogged so going light is better. A dab on your skin will be more than enough.
Oils react differently on different skin, this is certainly no exception with tamanu oil. By giving it a test run you will know for sure if it works for your skin. Some people may find it dries out their skin instead of moisturizing it.
Due to its composition of unique fatty acids, this oil has amazing cicatrization properties, which is basically the formation of new tissue. It has superior abilities in helping your skin rehydrate, repair and restructure.
2. Apply to acne scars
A light dab of tamanu oil twice a day will help with any scarring on your skin, including those caused by acne. Over time you will begin to notice the scars begin to disappear.
Although it may not eradicate the scars completely, you can be sure to note a significant improvement in your skin condition.
3. Cleansing and reducing inflammation
A mixture of tamanu oil and tea tree oil is effective in dealing with severe acne inflammation. By simply adding a few tea tree oil drops to your tamanu oil, you can then apply a thin layer to your skin and leave it for 20 minutes before washing it off.
You can also put a warm cloth over the affected area whilst the oil is in place. This is thought to help open up the pores so that the tamanu oil can go in and start killing off bacteria ultimately reducing acne symptoms. It cleanses the skin by dislodging all the dirt and grime which is stuck on all those pores.
Tamanu oil for acne compared
Tamanu oil vs. rosehip oil
Tamanu works just as well as rosehip oil. You can expect antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities from rosehip just like you would get from Tamanu. However, tamanu works faster and has less of a potent smell to contend with.
Tamanu oil vs. tea tree oil
Tea tree is a powerful oil and although it works well with tamanu, it overpowers tamanu slightly. It has potent medicinal properties that are slightly more powerful than tamanu’s but that doesn’t make tamanu any less effective.
Tamanu oil vs. neem oil
Tamanu and neem oil work very well in tandem. Neem is strong in medicinal value as is tamanu although neem has more potent components when compared to tamanu oil.
Tamanu oil skin care recipes
This oil works very well in various blends and effectively meets varied needs. You can merge the many benefits of tamanu oil together with a myriad of other essential oils for stunning recipes with amazing effects. Below are few recipes that you will find beneficial.
Blend for small cuts and scrapes
- Tamanu oil
- Tea tree oil
Mix these two oils to consist of 50% of each in the mixture and apply to affected area with a clean Q-tip. Leave it and allow the mixture to get absorbed. Repeat as often as necessary for great results.
This recipe is very simple yet has an amazing healing and antiseptic effect on wounds and bruises. It works very well for areas prone to fungus as well and the blend can be slightly tweaked to 75% tea tree oil to make it effective for use on nails.
Blend for massage oil and sore muscles
- Tamanu oil 50%
- Arnica oil 25%
- Jojoba oil 25%
Mix together in a jar and stir well, although not too vigorously, to blend the mixture completely. You should end up with a blend that is a powerful muscle stress reliever and soothes tired aching joints and muscle while deeply nourishing the skin. Massage to the affected area or for a full deep tissue body massage.
Tamanu, argan facial serum
- Cold pressed argan oil
- Rosehip seed oil
- Tamanu oil
For extra skin benefits, add a few drops of jasmine, which is great for soothing the skin and a few drops of frankincense which has great healing properties.
Add equal parts of argan, tamanu and rosehip oil. Mix to ensure the mixture is blended well and add few drops of this serum to your moisturizer or your favorite mask, your skin will simply love it.
Things you should consider when using tamanu oil for acne
Tamanu oil is quite a unique oil with a one of a kind composition and is gentle enough to be applied to the skin at full strength without causing skin irritation (we always recommend testing the oil on a small patch of the skin before general use).
Naturally, since we are all very different, if you experience redness or skin discomfort after use, then it is only prudent to discontinue and find another solution.
It is also important not to ingest this oil because it is toxic.
Try and use only 100% organic tamanu oil in order harness all of its powerful components.
Other kinds of acne treatments
Acne is the condition affecting all types of people across different continents. There are many other ways that have been used in treating it over the years including the below home remedies.
Masks have been in use for a long time and you have probably already tried a mask or other if your skin is acne prone, with relative success or not. The correct mask that works well with your skin is bound to be beneficial in terms of skin terms of exfoliating your skin as well as well as suck out the gunk from those pores.
Facial acne masks are made of different ingredients including turmeric, sulfur, charcoal, chamomile, salicylic acid and so much more.
Through a concoction of natural products and chemicals, the aim is to help your skin breath and remove the dirt and bacteria from the skin pores.
There is no shortage of acne creams out there and no doubt people with acne can get frustrated in trying one cream after another in the hope it will clear their condition. It is good to have a realistic expectation of what a cream can do for acne.
Creams with benzoyl peroxide clear out the oil and an antibiotic to kill bacteria will definitely show some positive result within two weeks. A cream with some sort of moisturizer is best so as not to have oil production triggered because of dry skin.
3. Acne body wash
When it comes to a body wash for acne, the rule of thumb is the more bubbles the better. Bubbles and other exfoliating cleansers help clear away natural oils that clog the pores and removes dead skin as well as sweat.
It is important to note that harsh or scented cleansers can be irritable to the skin and may lead to bigger breakouts or immediate flare-ups.
Choosing a gentle alcohol cleanser gives you the best chance of ensuring the best possible results on your skin.
4. Hormonal acne treatment
Hormonal acne can be fairly easy to recognize. In a typical case of hormonal acne, it would mean that you are well above puberty and you are breaking out around your period and usually in the jawline area. Treatment may include powerful prescriptions, but the challenge may lie in the lack of patience from patients as the prescription drugs may take up to three months before noticing any visible change.
For this reason, most patients tend to quit the consistency of applying medicine and can easily get stuck in a rut of trying and quitting too early resulting in a sense of despair that nothing seems to work.
5. Cystic acne treatment
Cystic acne is when the skin pores get blocked, mostly with dead skin cells. Bacteria also may get trapped inside the pores causing the area to become red and swollen.
This infection can spread deep into your skin creating a red tender bump that is full of pus and may be itchy. Treatment can include prescription strength creams, lotion, and gels with the retinoid. Oral antibiotics help control bacteria and lower inflammation although sometimes the acne may fail to respond to antibiotics.
Although acne can be a discomforting situation, there is solace in the fact that a natural remedy like tamanu oil will work for most people. So be sure to add some tamanu oil in your skincare arsenal as it has enormous benefits for your general skin health.