If you’ve never endured the painful horror of a rash, I envy you. I have suffered through many rashes, but I'm fortunate to live in a time and place where oils from around the world seem to be at my disposal. The benefits of tamanu oil have made this exotic oil one of my most trusted beauty products, especially when it comes to less-than-pleasant skin conditions.
Not only has tamanu oil been researched extensively for its potent healing properties from anything from eczema to leprosy, but it’s got some pretty unique properties that anyone can enjoy — even if you're rash-free. Tamanu oil contains moisturizing omega fatty acids and it’s well known to promote new, healthy cell growth. According to dermatologist Dr. Shari Sperling, DO, tamanu oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which provide wound-healing benefits for the skin.
Tamanu oil comes from the inside kernel of the fruit bloomed by the tamanu tree, which leads to a pungent, nutty scent and a weird blue-green color. But I wasn’t put off by the aesthetics of the oil once I learned all the amazing ways it can rejuvenate damaged skin.
Tamanu oil is so overwhelmingly versatile that it doesn’t need complex DIY recipes to do its job. Before you indulge in these five ways tamanu oil can revitalize your skin, do a test patch (and check your allergies!) because tamanu oil is considered a nut oil.
1. Treating Blemishes
Tamanu oil is great for healing acne. Thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, Sperling believes it can be helpful when treating blemishes. While some may think the thick oil would be the opposite of what your zits need, the antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties are going to give your pimples some ultra healing power. If you're wary of the consistency, sources at Aura Cacia recommend including lavender or tea tree oil to avoid clogging your pores.
2. Fading Stretch Marks
"Tamanu oil is often used in anti-aging products for its ability to promote collagen," explains Sperling to Bustle. "Due to its moisturizing effects, tamanu oil can be used to reduce the appearance of stretch marks."
3. Treating Ingrown Hairs
I've recently started using tamanu oil to alleviate the inflammation of ingrown hairs that still seem to creep up on me even though I've given up shaving. The bonus is that not only has it been helpful with the painful bumps, but I've noticed that, when coupled with a few other ingredients like lemon and bourbon, tamanu can lift the scars from shaving as well. According to Sperling, tamanu oil can calm the area and reduce the inflammation of ingrown hairs due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Healing Rashes
After trying several different oils, butters, and cortisone, I recommended tamanu for a friend that had a serious rash from using her dry brush too often. Pure tamanu oil has been most commonly used to treat rashes. The fatty acids in tamanu oil can moisturize the skin and could possibly speed up the healing process, according to Sperling.
5. Soothing Dry Skin
"Tamanu oil is rich in fatty acids, so it can moisturize and soothe the skin," says Sperling. Those with dry skin and acne will have a field day with this oil because it can work on two skin problems at once. Put tamanu oil on cracked knuckles or any other place that needs some extra TLC.
This post was originally published on Jan 29, 2016. It was updated and republished on June 26, 2019. Additional reporting by Sara Tan.
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