Tamanu Oil – The most magical oil I’ve ever found
Updated 10/23/2017 with a new product recommendation.
Quite a few years ago, Matrix came out with a new line called “Exquisite Oils”. It was a hair oil/serum to help prevent breakage, etc. Oils had started to become a beauty trend, and this was their attempt at breaking into the hype. Being a Matrix Insider and obsessed with their products at the time, I grabbed a couple to try. One had Moringa oil, the other had something called Tamanu. I favored the Tamanu blend simply based on smell, and while they certainly smoothed rough ends, I really don’t remember much else about product performance. Pretty sure they aren’t sold anymore, but I still have mine!
Fast forward a year or two (or something), and suddenly oils are everywhere. YL and DoTerra, everyone is selling Argan, Rosehip, and Baobab oils- “skin” oils. I found myself in Whole Foods one day, standing in front of an Aura Cacia display of these “skin” oils wondering which one would help. In my early to mid 20s, I struggled with acne. Not just acne, but cystic acne. All over my cheeks. Deep painful just gross acne. I’d tried Proactive, I’d tried antibiotics, I’d tried laser resurfacing — I tried basically any and everything and whatever I could afford. I was two seconds away from filling my RX for Accutane when a college friend of mine told me she’d gotten off of it a year before, and had been struggling with suicidal thoughts as part of her “detox” off Accutane. (Yeah, I didn’t fill the RX). So here I am staring at all of these oils. I took a picture of my options, then went home to do some research. While there are other brands besides Aura Cacia, they had one oil no one else seemed to have. That’s right, Tamanu Oil. So naturally, I was curious. Is this because no one else thought it was good enough? Did it have some negative side effects? Or have people simply overlooked it?
To this day, my best guess is most people and companies just don’t know what it is, or how to combine it with their lotions or moisturizers, etc. I went back and bought my little bottle of Tamanu Oil (I love Aura Cacia, I have just recently opted for more cost effective brand through Amazon, but Aura Cacia is a great product). Guys —- if I could only tell you to by one oil (including essential oils) for your skin EVER — it’s Tamanu. It’s not costly in my opinion. It lasts a long time, and it’s so incredibly versatile. My acne (and my acne scars — even the deep pitted and ice pick scars) is gone. I’ve been using it for the better part of four years, and at first, I was using it twice a day, minimum. It’s got a bit of a nutty smell to it, and it’s a dark green yellowish color. I’ve never experienced the color impacting my skin, but I suppose it’s possible it could. Aside from helping my scars, I started to notice how much better my complexion looked. I have rosacea, and eczema, some of which has been held at bay through diet changes. But again, I firmly believe this magic oil should have a well-deserved nod to just how much it’s helped my skin.
Not only have I used it on my face (I know do spot treatments and once or twice a week use it as my night serum – sometimes with or without moisturizer after), but I’ve used it on other scars. I’ve gotten bruises, and it speeds the healing – same with kitchen burns. I’ve gotten scabs and scratches and things like any other person, and I always use tamanu now to help rebuild healthy skin faster. I’ve recommended it to friends, and one now swears by it as her primary beauty secret. Another has used it on a wasp sting and the swelling and pain went away in just a few minutes. I’ve seen people use it on their kids after they have inadvertently trampled through an ant hill — and gotten bitten. It’s my primary carrier oil for “hot” oils like peppermint or clove oil. The only thing it doesn’t seem to improve is my migraines. But in the world of all things skincare (even hang nails), this stuff is AMAZING. (Did I mention wrinkles? Those seem to be improving too….)
So let’s talk about what it is and why it works. I really like this post by Volcanic Earth for a more scientific breakdown, but essentially, Tamanu Oil comes from a tree that is indigenous to Southeast Asia. The tree is an evergreen, producing beautiful white flowers, which later product a small green circular fruit. Inside of the fruit is a small nut, and inside of the nut is a small kernel. From that kernel, there’s a cold press extraction method that brings you that beautiful bottled magical oil. Up-Nature gives a quick top 10 here but here are the basics: It’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, and the list keeps going. So if you want to try it, I highly encourage you do so! If you have questions on usage (I use a half a pump and spot treat when I DO have flare ups these days — it helps raise a white head faster (so I can use an extractor for minimal scarring) and helps virtually any broken skin heal faster), shoot me an email!
The bottle pictured above was purchased through Amazon and can be found here:
Inn and Co Tamanu Oil
*I contacted the company as my last batch was REALLY grainy. I’m now going back to using Aura Cacia, which you can find here: Amazon Aura Cacia Tamanu Oil
As with any organic alternative (you know, to steroidal creams and stuff), be patient, and consistent. If it seems to be aggravating a cut, burn, etc – trust your instincts and stop using it if you feel as though it’s the trigger! I’d also advise caution around the eyes but I’ve used it on my lash line and eyelids without an issue – but everyone is different. Best of luck!
Thanks, and Stay Shiny!