Welcome to our ‘All About’ series, where we take a look at some of the amazing natural ingredients available out there.
Native to Polynesia and southern Asia, the Kukui, or Candlenut, tree is most commonly associated with Hawaii. This tall tree has light green leaves with gray downy undersides and was introduced to the Hawaiian islands by Polynesian settlers. It produces fruit from small creamy white flowers, the kernel of which is where we get Kukui Nut oil.
Native Hawaiians embraced the Kukui tree, and used it for everything from medicines to canoe making to beauty applications. The oil, which is what we are interested in, was historically used to fuel lamps, soothe irritated skin and promote healing, stimulate hair growth, moisturize, and as a universal massage oil for everyone from infant to adult.
There has not been much modern scientific study on the cosmetic uses of Kukui Nut oil. We know that it is high in vitamins A, C, and E, has a similar composition as that of our skin’s natural oils, absorbs easily, and provides a semi-permeable barrier. It has shown some indication of antibacterial activity, is thought to be anti-inflammatory, and seems to promote healing of wounds. More study needs to be done to verify these claims.
What does all this mean? Well, it means Kukui Nut oil is an excellent moisturizer. It absorbs easily and provides a breathable barrier that holds in moisture. This barrier makes it especially well suited for rough, chapped skin. The high vitamin content and potential antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties also make it ideal for problem skin. I look forward to more research being done on this promising oil.
Have you ever used Kukui Nut Oil? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!
Sources: Power of the Seed by Susan M. Parker
Ethnobotany of the Ahupua’a : Kukui http://apdl.kcc.hawaii.edu/ahupuaa/botany/other/kukui.htm
Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil History : http://hawaiikukuinutoil.com/kukui-nut-oil-history-in-hawaii/
This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.