Tamanu Oil



  • Base oil
  • INCI: Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 2
  • Composition: Oleic acid (up to about 50 %), linoleic acid (up to about 20 %), palmitic acid (up to about 15 %), stearic acid (up to about 12 %).
  • Iodine number: 75 -82.
  • Cosmetic Use: Acne, wound healing.
  • Shelf life: Due to the high content of glycerides of saturated fatty acids the oil has a very long shelf life, several years even.



The evergreen Tamanu Tree is native to Africa, East India to Polynesia and grows up 10-20 m tall. Twice a year the tamanu tree blooms with fragrant, white flowers. The tree produces 3-4 cm large fruits, which grow in clusters. The fruits, which are green at the beginning, take on a yellow color when ripe and taste similar to apples. In the fruits is a roundish nut with a thin shell containing a light yellow kernel.

Extraction of tamanu oil

After harvesting, the fruit is lightly crushed to remove the nuts. The nuts are then dried in thin layers in the sun for at least 2 months until a rich, dark, very tough oil layer has developed on the outside. A special feature of this process is that the oil is only created during the drying process. The dried nuts are then cold pressed and the dark green and nutty-bitter smelling tamanu oil, also called calophyllum oil, is obtained. About 5 kg of cold-pressed oil can thus be obtained from 100 kg of fruit.

Cosmetic Use of tamanu oil

Tamanu oil has an anti-inflammatory and antiviral effect. It is also attributed a moisturizing, scar healing, soothing and even UV-absorbing effect. The oil can promote the formation of new tissue and thus support the healing of wounds and the development of healthy skin. It also ensures that wounds do not become inflamed. In the Pacific region, the oil is used for wound healing in deep wounds and also against sore spots in diabetes, psoriasis and herpes. Due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-infective and healing properties, tamanu oil can play an important role in the treatment of acne. In studies against the acne-causing bacterium “Propionibacterium acnes” the oil has shown an antibacterial effect. The oil is also said to be able to prevent skin aging and wrinkles, since the neoflavonoids of the resins of tamanu oil are said to have an antioxidant effect. Furthermore, the oleic acids contained in the oil are said to absorb UV radiation and repair sun-induced UV damages.


Benefits of tamanu oil for skin

  • provides moisture
  • has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects
  • stimulates cell growth and wound healing
  • helps with acne
  • prevents wrinkles
  • soothes irritations
  • has an antioxidant effect

Buy tamanu oil – what to consider?

When buying Tamanu oil, as with other vegetable oils, you should make sure that it is a pure and cold-pressed oil. Therefore, a look at the specification of the ingredients helps. Only Tamanuöl (Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil) should be mentioned here.

If the oil is free of additives, it tends to become viscous at low room temperature and slightly thinner at higher room temperature. If the temperature is about 20 degrees celcius or less, crystallization may occur. This, however, is not a sign of loss of quality, but typical for oils.

Sources: Krist, Sabine (2013): Lexikon der Pflanzlichen Öle und Fett. Vienna: Springer Verlag. | Braunschweig, R. (2020): Pflanzenöle - über 50 starke Helfer für Genuss und Hautpflege. Wiggensbach: Stadelmann Verlag.

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