There seems to be new trending ingredients popping-up in skincare all the time; some are natural, some are manmade. Though something which unifies them in similarity is the common focus on aiming to improve the appearance of skin which has either aged or been damaged by both environmental and physical external factors.
Within the last 3 years or so, the K-beauty market has begun to rekindle the appreciation of homegrown ingredients native to Korea itself or South Asia in general. This involves resurfacing ancient natural remedies, which are indeed trustworthy and safe for use; this of course excludes herbal remedies or some aspects of Hanbang (Korean Traditional Medicine/Therapy), which have since been debunked of being beneficial. Aside from the well sought-after ingredients such as Matcha Green Tea, Yuzu/Yuja citrus fruit and Chaga Mushroom being used in modern-day K-beauty, the demand for organic and natural Tamanu Oil-based skincare has increased within recent years. It is considered as an all-round ingredient.
So what exactly is Tamanu Oil?
Tamanu Oil is the product of pressed nuts derived from various tropical trees, belonging to the Calophyllaceae family originating from Polynesia. Centuries ago, Polynesians discovered the wound healing properties of Tamanu Oil; the result being that the use of the oil grew exponentially across the land, as well as the number of ways in which to utilise it. It has been suggested that originally, this “green gold” was used to treat minor wounds to aid the healing process, whilst also lessen the risk of infection, whilst hydrating and soothing dry skin and perhaps also for the odd cosmetic reason. However, by the time the French discovered Tamanu Oil during the early 1900s, the use of Tamanu Oil for beauty-related purposes became more favourable.
Now that we have sufficient knowledge surrounding Tamanu Oil, we have been able to officially and more scientifically, recognise it for its skin rejuvenating properties; Coaxing the production and turn over the cycle of healthy and strengthened skin cells. In the present time, Tamanu Oil is more greatly advertised as an intensive treatment for diminishing the prominence of dark or reddened acne scarring, dark spots, ageing spots, hyperpigmentation and as topical relief to chapped areas of the skin (e.g. lips, elbows, knees and heels of the feet).
Countless online reviews and surveys have noted that Tamanu Oil is more effective than Vitamin C, which is widely used for solving numerous skin discolouration issues. Some report that overall, Tamanu Oil irradiates scarring and pigmentation issues within a shorter time frame than Vitamin C rich skincare, whereas others stated that Tamanu Oil performed best overall. Are we tempting you yet?
For those who are skincare enthusiasts and have delved into K-beauty, their first encounter with Tamanu Oil (or at least the first time they hear about this ingredient) is via KRAVE Beauty – a Korean skincare brand founded blogger Liah Yoo. Some say that KRAVE Beauty should not be defined or categorised as “K-beauty”, as Liah’s skincare line is unique and encompasses more than just Korean ideals – although her and her team’s creations are heavily influenced by the knowledge she gained, whilst working at Korea’s most successful beauty company ‘Amorepacific’.
KRAVE Beauty’s “Great Barrier Relief” skin-soothing serum is centred around Tamanu Oil and actually contains a generous 10% worth of the nicknamed “miracle oil”. Great Barrier Relief contains Tamanu Oil for strengthening weakened skin barriers and encouraging skin to recover from acne and other common skin issues. 2% of all sales for the product are donated to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, which is in need of protection.
There are plenty of other easily obtainable Tamanu Oil skincare products to chose from; most of which happen to be cruelty-free, mostly natural and vegan (it depends case by case so always refer to the product descriptions). You can now find Tamanu Oil or Tamanu Oil infused skincare – in balm form for example – on websites like Amazon, Facetheory, Tropic, Holland & Barrett and more.