Wellness Encyclopedia: Tamanu Oil + DIY Tamanu Rose Face Oil

Renews, prevents, heals and reduces, all while blending seamlessly with your other favorite products…

To me, January has always felt like a time of renewal. After the rush of the holidays is over, sitting down and crafting my intentions for the new year not only allows time for reflection on the events that came to pass, but builds anticipation for what’s to come in the next 365 days. While I’ve yet to choose a word for what I’d like 2017 to represent, I do know that this year I’m vowing to take more time for self care, investing in the practices that connect me to my body and mind, the foods the fuel me and the beauty routines that make me feel like my most gorgeous, natural self. I recently overhauled my skincare routine, ridding my cabinet of the products that no longer served me or didn’t work in the first place, replacing them with all-natural alternatives and cruelty-free organic products, including a little bottle of miracle… er, tamanu oil. If you’re unfamiliar with this incredible oil, now is the time to get acquainted. Emerald green tamanu oil is the perfect ingredient to add to your wellness routine this January — it renews, prevents, heals and reduces, all while blending seamlessly with your other favorite products. If you’re new to tamanu, today I’m making introductions. Read on to learn how to use this beautiful oil in your own skincare ritual, and be sure to scroll to the bottom for an easy DIY facial oil that blends the power of tamanu with the renewing scent of rose.

What is it? Tamanu oil is the emerald green oil pressed from the nuts of the Alexandrian laurel tree (Calophyllum inophyllum), an evergreen tree native to parts of East Africa and Southeast Asia. Blooming twice a year with snow-white, fragrant flowers, Alexandrian laurel (also called the tamanu tree) bears yellow fruit after blooming within which the valuable nut is hidden. After the fruit is gathered, the nuts are harvested and cracked open to reveal the kernels inside, which are then sun-dried and cold-pressed to extract the rich green oil within.

What are the benefits? One of nature’s most potent oils, tamanu oil boasts powerful healing, anti-aging and skin-rejuvenating benefits thanks to fatty acids such as omega 6 & 9 and cannopyllic acid, and compounds like canophyllol. These fatty acids and beneficial compounds have antibacterial and antimicrobial effects, which, when applied to skin promote healing, lightens scars, reduces acne and fights premature aging and sun damage. This makes tamanu oil ideal for people suffering from skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, persistent acne, scarring, and sun damage, and for those looking to fight the signs of aging and prevent future damage from UV rays. Tamanu oil has been shown to speed the growth of new cells aiding in tissue renewal and wound healing and minimizes the scarring that could come after trauma to the skin. For those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, tamanu’s anti-inflammatory nature reduces redness and promotes calming of the inflamed skin and has even been shown to reduce pain caused by compromised skin. If you’re lucky enough not to have any outlying skin condition, scarring or acne, tamanu happens to be an incredible moisturizer that can preserve skin’s elasticity, glow and youthfulness.

How do I use it? Though it’s not as strong as, say, neem oil, tamanu oil does boast a bit of an aroma. Luckily the smell is easily masked with beneficial essential oils or by mixing it or layering it with other products (the scent also dissipates quickly). Tamanu is simple to use and can be applied to the face and body alone or coupled with an additional moisturizer. I like to use it after cleansing my face, layered between a serum and my final priming moisturizer in the AM or a deep skin conditioner in the PM. It mixes well with other oils, such as almond and coconut oils, and you only need a small amount to reap the rewards. Because oils like tamanu can be compromised easily, always choose a 100% organic tamanu oil that hasn’t been blended with other oils. Choosing an oil sold in a dark glass container will ensure its exposure to light (which can spoil the oil) has been minimal. Read on for a simple recipe for a beneficial tamanu-rose oil blend that will leave your skin feeling extra soft and supple.

DIY Rose-Tamanu Face Oil Roller


100% Organic tamanu oil

Rose essential oil

Dark glass roller bottle (available at most health food stores)

Uncap the roller bottle and fill it almost all the way to the top with the tamanu oil. Add 10-15 drops rose essential oil. Re-cap the bottle and give it a shake to mix.

To use this facial oil as a moisturizer: After washing your face (check out some of our favorite cleansers here) but before applying moisturizer, roll the rose-tamanu oil across forehead, over cheeks and on the bridge of your nose. Use fingertips to smooth or pat it gently across your face. Follow with your regular moisturizer (or try some of our faves here).

To use as a deep moisturizing treatment: After washing your face, smooth the oil generously over your clean skin as instructed above. Dampen a clean washcloth with warm water and wring it out. Place the washcloth over your face and relax for 10-15 minutes. When your time is up, splash face with warm water and pat dry to remove excess oil. Follow up with moisturizer, if needed.

Tip: The roller bottle makes this gorgeous oil simple to apply, but if you can’t find one, don’t fret. You could also use a glass dropper bottle or a small glass vial. Just be sure your container is dark glass to prevent spoiling and arrives with a tightly sealable cap.

+ Shop products containing tamanu oil here

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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

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Never heard of tamanu oil! The DIY oil roller sounds like a great present!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog