How Does Using Tamanu oil Benefits Your Skin & Face?  

Natural products are booming in the beauty industry as we all become more educated on the ingredient we use on our skin. After all, your skin absorbs everything you put on it – the good and the bad. Tamanu Oil is becoming increasingly popular as a nourishing skincare ingredient. We’re taking a look at everything you need to know about tamanu oil, its benefits, and the top tamanu oil brands.

Quick Summary: Tamanu oil benefits your skin in so many ways. From providing moisture to anti-ageing, reducing fine lines, treating acne scars, fading stretch marks, to treating eczema, Tamanu oil is a true wonder oil that serves almost everyone. We conclude that Shea Terra is the best pure Tamanu oil brand, and Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate has the best blend of natural oils.


What is Tamanu Oil?

Tamanu oil has its origins as a medicinal ingredient in Asian, African, and Pacific Island cultures. It’s a natural remedy that’s been used by Polynesian people for generations for its skincare benefits. Only until recently, it made a reappearance in mainstream beauty products. The seeds from the nut of the laurelwood tree are used to extract tamanu oil. While any skin type can use tamanu oil, it’s a popular natural remedy for conditions like acne and rosacea.

The skincare benefits of tamanu oil come from its rich fatty acid components, which give the treatment its hydrating properties. Tamanu oil contains calophyllolide, which gives the natural remedy its anti-inflammatory properties.

tamanu oil benefits for skin tamanu oil benefits for skin

6 Benefits of Using Tamanu Oil for Face & Skin

Tamanu oil has been passed down through the generations as an ingredient with the potential to treat a myriad of skincare issues, from acne scarring to wrinkles. Like many ancient treatments, the research around tamanu oil is fairly limited. The knowledge we have about its composition does allow us to identify some of the benefits of using tamanu oil. Here are six things that tamanu oil can do for your skin:

1) Preventing Acne and Treating Acne Scarring 

Acne is something you can suffer from at any age. Tamanu oil contains calophyllolide, which is shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can kill the bacterial strains that can result in acne, including Propionibacterium acnes. The anti-inflammatory property also soothes existing acne and rosacea. It helps to diminish the appearance of imperfections by reducing redness in your skin.

If you already have acne, tamanu oil can help you treat acne scarring. It can promote collagen and glycosaminoglycan production in the dermis of your skin to help heal your acne scars.

2) Anti-Ageing Benefits

It’s never too early to start thinking about preventing premature ageing. You’ll often find tamanu oil as an active ingredient in anti-ageing products. Tamanu oil is rich in oleic and linoleic fatty acids, which hydrate your skin to leave it plump and firm. It works to protect your skin from free radical damage, thanks to its antioxidant properties. 

The collagen-stimulating ability of tamanu oil allows it to facilitate cellular rejuvenation to keep your skin looking youthful. One of the leading causes of premature ageing is sun damage, and research has shown that tamanu oil can help prevent wrinkles being caused by UV rays. Tamanu oil can absorb UV light and prevent up to 85% of the skin damage that can be caused by sun radiation.

3) Treat Dry Skin and Eczema

The fatty acids (such as oleic and linoleic), within tamanu oil give it hydrating properties that can improve your skin’s moisture retention. You’ll often find tamanu oil infused into moisturisers and other hydrating products to soothe dry skin. As an anti-inflammatory ingredient, tamanu oil has been used to treat inflammatory conditions, such as eczema. Tamanu oil also contains delta-tocotrienol, a type of vitamin E, which hydrates and nourishes your skin.

4) Soothe and Treat Ingrown Hairs

If you suffer from ingrown hairs, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Ingrown hairs come with inflammation and irritation, which tamanu oil can treat with its anti-inflammatory properties. You can use tamanu oil as a way of making shaving easier, as well as helping to improve any scarring that might have occurred from using a razor. Tamanu oil will reduce the redness and inflammation of the tell-tale bumps in your skin that come with ingrown hairs.

5) Treat Sunburns

The antibacterial properties of tamanu oil make it able to treat sunburns and similar skin issues. If you’re dealing with a sunburn, you can use tamanu oil to encourage cellular regeneration and to heal the new layer of skin underneath your burn. There is even anecdotal evidence to suggest tamanu oil can be more effective than aloe vera, everyone’s go-to treatment for sunburns. You can use tamanu oil as a natural sunburn remedy.

6) Fade Stretch Marks

Stretch marks can be caused by anything from pregnancy to weight gain. Thanks to its “skin regenerating” properties, Tamanu oil contains Vitamin E which is proved to be effective in diminishing the appearance of stretch marks. Tamanu oil does this by promoting the production of collagen within the skin itself. Increasing production of collagen and increasing cellular turnover, Tamanu oil will rejuvenate and repair the skin around your stretch marks. It is a great solution for firming your skin, and lessen the appearance of wrinkles or stretch marks on your skin.

What Skin Types Can Use Tamanu Oil?

Short answer: Any skin type can benefit from using tamanu oil. As it’s a naturally derived ingredient, even those with sensitive skin can use tamanu oil without being concerned about irritation and breakouts. As tamanu oil has the property of preventing UV damage and the development of wrinkles caused by sun damage. Therefore, all skin types can use it for its anti-ageing benefits.

Due to its hydrating properties and fatty acid components, this ingredient is ideal for those who have dry skin or deal with related skin conditions like eczema.

For people with very oil skin, you may want to incorporate Tamanu oil in your skincare routine moderately. It is because it contains oleic fatty acid which is slightly comedogenic (meaning pore clogging). However, people with oily skin can still benefit from Tamanu oil because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The key is to use it with balance. 

How to Use Tamanu Oil for Face and Skin

Tamanu oil is a multi-tasking ingredient that you apply topically on face, skin and hair. If you buy tamanu oil in its pure oil form, you can get even more uses from it by adding it to your face cream or face serum. You can use it on your body as a body mask, body moisturizer, or even a spot treatment.

1) You can take your tamanu oil and add a few drops of it to your daily moisturizer to benefit from its anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties. Mix the oil well with the moistrurizer. Gently massage it into your skin in circular motions to use it as an active ingredient and optimise its benefits.

2) You can also mix a few drops of tamanu oil with tea tree oil to use as a spot treatment on blemishes. 

As a nut oil, tamanu oil has a thicker consistency. If you have oily skin, you can mix tamanu oil with Jojoba oil or Almond oil to lower down the overall comedogenic scale. Diluting tamanu oil can prevent your pores from clogging.

How to Select and Where to Buy Tamanu Oil

When shop for any seed oil such as tamanu oil, look out for words like ‘pure’, ‘organic’, and ‘cold pressed’.

Cold-pressed means that the seeds, nuts or kernels have been processed at -35℃, under immense pressure. This forces out any bacteria and impurities, while keeping the vital minerals intact.

For the most potent delivery, look for 100% tamanu oil such as Shea Terra’s pure Tamanu Oil.

If you want to go for a product that has other beneficial oils or ingredients, just make sure the active oil is high up on the ingredients list. The lower down it is, the less volume there will be in the formula of the product. Daily Reviving Concentrate by Kiehl’s features a great blend of natural oils including Tamanu oil as one of their top ingredients. 

Side Effects of Tamanu Oil

Tamanu oil is largely thought of as being safe to use topically on your skin, with minimum side effects. If you’re allergic to tree nuts, you want to avoid tamanu oil as it’s derived from such a plant. Like other oils, you also want to avoid getting tamanu oil anywhere near your eye area and avoid using it on open wounds. If you are not sure, you can test a small amount on your hand before applying to your face.

Tamanu oil can be taken as a health supplement. However, tamanu oil is not regulated by FDA, meaning it can’t be advertised as a treatment for any disease. Due to this, there isn’t much known about the potential side effects of tamanu oil as a skincare ingredient. 

Top 4 Tamanu Oil Brands Review

Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of tamanu oil, you’re probably eager to hit ‘add to cart’ and get your hands on your own bottle of tamanu oil. We’re running through four of the top tamanu oil brands to help you find the right one for you and your skin.

#1 Shea Terra Madasgascar Tamanu Oil

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Why we like it: This 100% organic oil is formulated with blemish-prone, dehydrated, and mature skin in mind. This tamanu oil has been featured everywhere, from Cosmopolitan magazine to US Weekly. Shea Terra describes their tamanu oil as a “pharmacy in a bottle”. The brand’s tamanu oil is cold pressed to retain the potency of the ingredients, letting you get the most out of the vitamins in the oil.

Pros: This tamanu oil is sustainable and fair trade, with ethically sourced ingredients from Africa. Shea Terra recommends using this oil as a nightly treatment to prevent premature ageing and to smooth your skin’s texture. As an organic product, this tamanu oil is free of harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates, petroleum and phthalates. If you have sensitive skin, you can use this tamanu oil as it is free from synthetic fragrance.

Cons: If you have oily skin, you might find that you need to dilute this tamanu oil with other serum to decrease it thickness. As the oil has a thicker consistency due to it being cold-pressed, it can leave an oily consistency behind on your hands after use. It’s best to use it with your night scream before bedtime rather than in the morning.

#2 Daily Reviving Oil by Kiehl’s

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Why we like it: Kiehl’s is one of the most recognisable names in the skincare game. Their Daily Reviving Oil has a blend of ginger root, sunflower and tamanu oils to rejuvenate dull-looking skin. This blend of botanical oils boosts your skin’s natural protective barrier to reduce oxidative stress. You can use it to create a radiant glow for your skin. You can use it as a facial oil after cleansing your skin as an all-over face treatment.

Pros: Unlike pure tamanu oils, this Kiehl’s product is lightweight and easy to layer with your other skincare products. It’ll protect your skin from free radical damage and brightens your complexion. Kiehl’s recommend using this product as a facial oil for your morning skincare routine, as it’s suitable for all skin types.

Cons: This product is a blend of various oils, instead of being a sole tamanu oil serum. If you want to get the most from tamanu oil, including its versatility, you might prefer to buy a pure version of the oil. Although the price tag is higher than a pure tamanu oil in the market, it is definitely a worth-while investment as your skin will benefits from other organic ingredients in this serum.

#3 Valentia Organic Tamanu Oil

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Why we like it: This tamanu oil is USDA certified organic and 100% pure. Each bottle of Valentina organic tamanu oil is cold press in small batches. As a 100% pure oil, you can enjoy all the antioxidant and hydrating benefits of tamanu oil without losing its potency by being blended with other ingredients. The brand recommends that you can use this tamanu oil as a natural cleanser to remove dead skin cells and support your lipid barriers to prevent oxidative stress.


Pros: You can use this tamanu oil on dull-looking hair, and your skin, as a moisturising treatment. It will restore the shine to your hair and seal in moisture to your skin. It is also cruelty-free and vegan-friendly with sustainably sourced tamanu oil. You can incorporate this oil into your skincare products, like moisturisers and lotions, as well as using it to make your own soaps. This tamanu oil can be used on your scalp, skin, and nails.

Cons: The Valentina tamanu oil has an aromatic and earthy fragrance that might not be your cup of tea.

#4 Aura Cacia Soothing Tamanu Facial Oil Serum

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Why we like it: Aura Cacia is a wellness brand ‘inspired by nature’, which sustainably sources its ingredients from around the world. This dermatologist-tested facial oil serum soothes and purifies your skin. The brand recommends using this facial oil serum on freshly exfoliated skin.


Pros: The Aura Cacia tamanu oil is certified organic. The brand has an annual grand program called ‘Positive Change Project’, which supports organisations that help women transform their lives. Aura Cacia proportion their tamanu oil with 30% saturated fatty acids and 70% absorbent unsaturated fatty acids. While the oil has a strong scent, it quickly disperses once you apply the product to your skin.


Cons: This tamanu oil contains a blend of lavender and tea tree oils, meaning that it isn’t a pure formula. You’ll find sunflower oil, jojoba oil, lavender, and tea tree on the ingredients list. It’s also infused with essential oils. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to check out the rest of the list of ingredients first before using it.


Can you use Tamanu oil for hair?

Yes. The fatty acids within tamanu oil are effective in moisturizing your scalp and preventing dandruff. Tamanu oil also contains calophyllolide which is a compound proven to calm itchy and inflamed scalp. You can also apply the oil on your split ends to boost moisture.

If you are allergic to nuts, you can also use Rosehip oil on hair is an alternative for treating dry scalp or nourishing split ends. Using Lavender oil on hair is particularly effective in balancing oil production on scalp.

Can Tamanu oil clog pores?

For people with very oil skin, you may want to incorporate Tamanu oil in your skincare routine moderately. It is because it contains oleic fatty acid which is slightly comedogenic (meaning pore clogging). However, people with oily skin can still benefit from Tamanu oil because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The key is to use it with balance. 

What Does Tamanu oil smell like?

Pure and unprocessed tamanu oil has a nutty, earthy and woody smell to it. The scent is not particularly sharp compare to say tea tree oil.

What are the alternatives to Tamanu oil?

If you do not like Tamanu oil for any reasons (such as dislike the scent or nut-related allergy), you can try tea tree oil as a substitute for treating acne. If you want to look for another oil that offer anti-ageing benefits, we recommend rosehip oil or marula oil.


Tamanu oil is a very powerful oil that offers a wide range of benefits including calming acne, diminishing acne scars + stretch marks, anti-ageing, nourishing, hydrating, and treating skins problems such as eczema or dermatitis. We conclude that Shea Terra is the best pure Tamanu oil brand in the market, and Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate is the best blend of natural oil that provides antioxidant protection. You can get it on Amazon Here.