You've probably heard of the more familiar carrier oils out there such as jojoba, avocado, argan and sesame, but you've possibly not heard of tamanu, the unsung hero with a myriad of skin healing properties.
Native to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific islands, tamanu, pressed from the fruit kernel of the tamanu nut tree, has been used for medicinal purposes by these cultures for centuries. Natives believed the tamanu tree was a sacred gift from nature and that gods hid in its branches. The oil helped protect their skin from the hot sun, high humidity, and ocean winds. It was also used to treat a variety of skin conditions from cuts, burns, acne, dermatitis, bites, dry skin, ulcers and blisters, earning it's reputation as 'First Aid Oil'.
Since the early 1900's, it's been studied and researched in hospitals in America, Europe and the Pacific islands, proving it to be an effective topical healing agent due to it's antimicrobial properties and wound healing abilities.
What are the skincare benefits of tamanu oil?
- Effective at treating wounds - Tamanu oil has the ability to accelerate wound healing by forming new tissue. It also displays antimicrobial properties, making a valuable candidate to treat infected wounds especially in tropical areas as shown in this study. Further research has found that tamanu oil accelerates wound healing through its anti-inflammatory effects. It is also effective at reducing fibrosis, or scarring as displayed in a 2006 study conducted by Mariette Chanson where it was used on hospitalised patients for significant diminution of scars.
- Stimulates collagen production - Studies have shown that tamanu oil has skin regeneration properties by promoting cell proliferation and the production of collagen. These regenerative abilities help to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, thus supporting healthy skin aging.
- Moisturises the skin - Tamanu oil is richer in fatty acids than many other oils. Fatty acids are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes and help to maintain the skin's natural oil barrier which is critical in keeping the skin hydrated.
- Helps to fight acne - As a proven anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, tamanu oil is effective at reducing the symptoms of irritable skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
- Treats insect bites and stings - The anti-inflammatory compounds found in tamanu oil help to reduce the swelling and relieve the pain and itching associated with bites and stings. It's soothing and calming properties are also effective at relieving the effects of sunburn and rashes.
Tamanu oil found in our skincare
The tamanu oil we source at Merkaba skincare is unadulterated, unrefined and cold pressed. It has a thick, velvety consistency, a rich, dark green colour and a distinctive earthy scent.
You can find tamanu oil in our healing balm, a multi tasking balm which may be used to soothe rashes, moisturise, repair minor cuts and grazes, relieve insect bites and stings, nourish dry lips and cuticles. It's complimented by black seed, rosehip and hemp oil, making it a powerful addition to your first aid kit.
We also love tamanu oil in 'Soothe', our calming serum. With added calendula, evening primrose, chia seed, sandalwood and roman chamomile it's perfect to calm inflamed skin conditions and minimise breakouts.