When it comes to shaving oils, jojoba, castor, and hemp always top the list and rarely do you hear about tamanu oil benefits. But tamanu is a gem of an ingredient that will redefine your shaving experience.
Tamanu oil is a fatty nut oil famous for healing wounds, improving skin conditions, and growing healthier hair. It is a botanical that Asian, African, and Pacific Islanders have used for centuries in their traditional medicinal practices.
If you have not heard about tamanu oil, we understand you have doubts if it is safe for your skin and effective for your grooming needs. Let us clear the smoke and give light to what tamanu oil has to offer truly.
- Where Did Tamanu Oil Come From?
- Tamanu Oil Benefits
- Tamanu Oil Benefits for Shaving
- How to Use Tamanu Oil Safely
Where Did Tamanu Oil Come From?
Tamanu oil comes from the tamanu tree and is known as Calophyllum inophyllum in the labels of several topical products. It is native to Asia, Africa, India, and the Pacific Islands.
This evergreen wonder loves tropical and warm climates. Hence it grows lushly, most especially on the shores of Southeast Asian countries. It usually grows beyond the high-tide mark of the coasts of sandy beaches and seashores. If found inland, they prefer sandy soils.
The barks, leaves, and fruits provide oil extracts rich in bioactive properties. Its resinous compounds and fatty acids all account for the tamanu oil benefits, especially in healing a wide range of dermatological injuries like burns, scars, infected wounds, and eczema. But above everything else, many use the tamanu oils extracted from the seeds for most topical applications.
Extracting tamanu oil is a tedious, long process, yet quite simple. The ripe tamanu fruits are sun-dried for one to two months to stimulate biosynthesis and other chemical reactions in the nuts. After, the shells are removed from the dried nuts and mechanically processed using cold pressure to create the “virgin” tamanu oil.
Virgin tamanu oil has a yellowish to greenish hue and has a nutty aroma similar to walnut. Meanwhile, processed tamanu oil can have a dark mossy shade with an off-putting nutty smell.
Tamanu Oil Benefits
Tamanu oil is an emollient that is rich in fatty acids. Its chemical composition is responsible for its purported skin-healing benefits and more.
As many cultures celebrated the myriad of rejuvenating properties tamanu oil has to offer, only a few studies support the anecdotal testimonials of its patrons.
So, here are the tamanu oil benefits that science approves:
The seeds of tamanu contain 50-73% of viscous oil that is primarily fatty acids, such as oleic, linoleic, stearic, and palmitic acid, which are known to replace and retain moisture on skin. Not to mention, healthy skin needs a perfect balance of these three fatty acids. That is why tamanu oil is an excellent addition to skincare products designed for ultimate and heavy hydration.
Several researchers found that tamanu oil offers antioxidant effects that significantly reduce intracellular damage. That said, using tamanu oil will help protect and heal your skin from the damage that free radicals, sun exposure, and pollution imposes.
Antimicrobial and Wound Healing
In relation to its antioxidant effects, several studies also proved the antimicrobial properties of tamanu oil. This study, in particular, used different bacteria cultures and observed how tamanu oil reacted. Not so surprisingly, tamanu oil did an excellent job at stopping the growth and spread of the bacterias, hence proving its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
The same study also confirmed the wound-healing abilities of tamanu oil. The researchers discovered that even a tiny amount of tamanu oil could offer its therapeutic properties, therefore being the first study that “provides support for traditional uses” of tamanu oil.
In this research, the tamanu seed oil is the only sample that showed good UVB absorption at a significant spectrum. The researchers used 14 vegetable oils tested, and none offered any benefits toward UVB protection.
Tamanu oil successfully stopped 85% of the DNA damage from the sample, which UV radiations caused. The researchers used only 1% tamanu oil, which did not disappoint.
In an interview with Byrdie, Hadley King, a dermatologist based in New York City, asserts that tamanu oil has “been shown to promote cell proliferation and the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans."
This study has supported this same claim, wherein the researchers observed how tamanu oil reacts on human skin cells. Their results “showed cell proliferation, glycosaminoglycan, and collagen production, and wound healing activity.”
In short, tamanu oil helps improve cellular functions and encourages collagen production. Both of these effects aid in propelling healing wounds and promoting healthier skin.
Tamanu Oil Benefits for Shaving
Given what the experts have to say about tamanu oil, there is no wonder why people have been using it as an essential topical treatment for skin conditions. Not to mention, its moisturizing, wound healing, and antimicrobial properties makes it a revolutionary candidate as an ingredient for men’s grooming products, especially for skincare, beard care, and shaving.
When you use tamanu oil as a carrier oil for your mix of essential oils for shaving, you can guarantee a game-changing effect on your grooming routine. You will be hitting two birds with one stone: your aftershave skin will be better and more manageable, and your beard will become extra-hydrated and healthy.
What more could you ask for? Here are the benefits of tamanu oil for shaving:
Ultimate pre-shave protection
Here is the irony: wet shaving can cause dry skin. That is because too much water exposure rids the skin of its natural oils and serums. Hence, experts recommend applying a pre-shave oil to lock in the moisture on your skin before soaking it in a warm bubbly lather.
Tamanu oil’s ultra-hydrating properties make up for the best pre-shave protection. It locks in the oil on your skin while keeping it moisturized because of tamanu oil's natural fatty acids. Add its antimicrobial properties, and you will know that your skin is disinfected well enough to prevent infection while wielding a sharp razor on your skin.
Excellent beard conditioner
Tamanu oil’s high viscosity allows it to seep into the skin slowly yet effectively. When you use a shaving cream, like Naked Armor’s Solomon Conditioning Shave Cream with tamanu oil and other skin and beard-nourishing oils and extracts, you can stop worrying about having dry skin and beard after shaving or trimming your facial mane.
When you shave with a product that has tamanu oil, your beards will get softer. It will then be easier for your blade to cut through. The result? The closest shave you can get!
After shaving, the most crucial step is to apply an aftershave. It will bring back the freshness into your skin. Next, your skincare should follow by using a moisturizer.
Remember that water dries the skin out, and your skin has been under a lather for a long time. Although you are using hydrating shaving cream, it would still be best to add extra moisture to replace whatever was lost. Applying a mix of essential oils with tamanu oil will be a great addition to your post-shave routine.
How to Use Tamanu Oil Safely
Before anything else, tamanu oil is not safe for ingestion. It is excellent for topical applications, but it is not an edible oil and should not be eaten or taken as a supplement.
Also, if you have any known allergies to nuts, it is not advisable to use tamanu oil on your skin. After all, it comes from a nut tree, and using it can lead to irritation and other allergic reactions.
There is a debate about the oil being comedogenic, too, because of the presence of oleic and linoleic oils. However, the chances of the oil clogging your pores are only minimal compared to the benefits tamanu oil offers.
Putting that aside, here is how you can use tamanu oil safely:
Use it as a carrier oil
Tamanu oil benefits elevate when you mix them with other essential oils and natural extracts. The best way to unleash the powers of this green gold is to use it as a carrier oil for your homemade shaving oil mix. We have a great recipe that you can find here.
Never apply on open wounds
Although tamanu oil is famous for its wound healing properties, it would not be wise to use it on open wounds. Applying oil-based products to open wounds can disrupt the body’s natural healing response.
For example, in a BBC report, Prof Robert Ariens and his colleagues from the University of Leeds discovered that our bodies create a protective film or plaster on top of an open cut as part of our natural clotting process. Their study found that oil-based products, like petroleum, “perforated” this film.
So, we recommend washing your wound and letting the natural clotting process take place for at least an hour before applying tamanu oil. It would even be best if you wait first for your wound to form a scab.
Get products with organic tamanu oil
Because tamanu oil is potent, like any other extracted oils, it would be best to get products that have the oil in them. Doing so saves your time from experimenting on the right amount to mix into your DIY oil mix and lessens your chances of mishandling the oil.
Here at Naked Armor, we ensure that the oils and extract we use, like tamanu oil, are all-natural, organic, and well-processed. Hence, we can guarantee that you will enjoy only the actual benefits of tamanu oil and more.