One topical treatment which has existed for millennia but only grown popular recently is tamanu oil, and it’s a good thing it has. Tamanu oil is among the most primitive, traditional, yet richest and potentially rewarding skincare oils out there.
This topical treatment has two key roles in the world of acne: preventing acne from forming, and keeping your skin youthful and strong.
Firstly, tamanu oil is proven to kill acne bacteria, AKA propionibacterium acnes, when applied to the skin. Tamanu oil is highly active against p.acnes, even beating the antibiotic oxfloxacin in one study. Its acne-clearing powers are unique among oils, relying on rare compounds like alaustralin and calophyllolides.
Secondly, tamanu oil is proven to accelerate the formation of collagen in human skin. Collagen is your skin’s structural protein, the protein which declines during ageing. Increasing collagen production enhances your skin’s strength, tone, and youthful glow, and it’s believed that unique compounds in tamanu oil called tamanolides and inophyllums increase it.
Tamanu oil is a secret the Polynesians have enjoyed for centuries, simply by harvesting the nuts growing on trees on the sandy shores of their islands, and luckily for acne patients, it’s now spreading to the West.
With it though, comes a small obstacle. You’re not a Polynesian islander lying in a small wooden boat, with vast forests of raw tamanu nuts to harvest at any time. You need to buy a tamanu oil bottle, and to help you in your quest, here are the 10 best products available. For a shortcut, Leia Naturals and Fushi are the ultimate brands.
Let’s get started:
One – Leia Naturals
The first tamanu oil on our list is perhaps the greatest available. This oil is derived from the south Pacific islands of Vanuatu, among a handful of Pacific bordering realms where the tamanu tree grows naturally.
The oil is dark green, with a woodsy and nutty smell, the optimal characteristics for acne. The bottle is glass and dark amber, the perfect colour for keeping UV radiation out.
Most importantly, Leia Natural’s tamanu oil is cold-pressed and unrefined. The tamanu nuts are NOT extracted with factory chemicals; they are harvested, pressed and sun-dried naturally by the hardworking local villagers.
The constant rule is that most skincare oils should be cold-pressed. Different oils have specific acne-clearing compounds which you simply can’t allow to be destroyed by the heat, like vitamin E in grapeseed oil or cinnamic acid in shea butter. Tamanu oil is particularly vital, because its list of unique plant compounds is long: inophyllum P, inophyllum C, calanolide B, tamanolide D, calophyllolide, tamanolide, inophyllum D.
That’s just a sample, as tamanu oil is a particularly special oil. These fragile compounds are responsible for both clearing acne and increasing collagen, and buying cold-pressed tamanu oil guarantees that they’ll make it to your face.
Finally, Leia Naturals is certified organic by both EcoCert and the USDA. The oil is bottled in the USA, while the many reviews are excellent.
Leia Naturals is the best tamanu oil product money can buy, fulfilling every requirement for acne and skincare.
Amazon link: Leia Naturals Tamanu Oil (links to Fushi Organic Tamanu Oil for UK readers).
Two – Slice Of Nature
This brand has tamanu oil as the sole ingredient and not a single additive: no phthalates, sulfates, parabens, synthetic preservatives, perfumes, or dyes. According to Slice Of Nature, their tamanu oil has a lengthy 2 year shelf life, but can be extended further with careful storage.
The smell, texture and colour are also natural, according to reviewers. While buying natural skincare oils, you should always know the characteristics of its raw and unprocessed form, and tamanu oil has very particular characteristics. A green colour, varying from dark forest green, to light green with a yellow tinge. A strong nutty or woodsy smell, not mild like jojoba oil’s natural scent. The smell will not necessarily be pleasant, but it won’t be foul and rancid either.
Finally, tamanu oil is a fairly thick oil compared to jojoba oil as well. Slice Of Nature meets each of those vital requirements, and also has the benefit of a defensive glass, amber bottle for keeping the oil fresh. The oil originates in Madagascar while the bottle is packed in the USA.
Slice Of Nature is a world class tamanu oil for clearing acne and strengthening your skin.
Amazon link: Slice Of Nature Virgin Tamanu Oil.
Three – Fushi
It’s excellent value for money, and fresh pressed from harvest rather than using old tamanu nuts. Reports on the smell and colour are almost universally positive. The smell was described as strong and rooty, while the colour is an appropriate dark green.
This is an acne-friendly tamanu oil with the standard South East Asian origin. Originally, Tamanu oil was discovered on Fiji, but tamanu oil essentially grows on the shores of any island or continent bordering the Pacific: Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Madagascar are all sources.
It’s all down to the reproduction method. Tamanu trees grow on the sandy shores of islands. To spread and survive, the nuts drop onto the beach, are pulled into the sea by the tide, and bob up and down in the ocean for weeks or months before arriving on a new island and colonising it. Hence, tamanu oil grows everywhere.
Buy Fushi’s tamanu oil, and your days of dull and lifeless skin will be numbered.
Amazon link: Fushi Organic Tamanu Oil.
Four – Gio Naturals
It’s completely natural, with a 90 day money back guarantee. It’s sourced from India and bottled in the USA. Gio Naturals is even certified organic by the USDA and Ecocert. Reports on the smell are promising, detecting the classic nutty aroma. The colour is dark green, while most importantly, it’s cold pressed.
The cold pressing method happens like this: firstly, the nuts are picked, often using ladders to climb the 10 foot tall trees. The tamanu nuts are left in a sunny moisture-free environment for eight weeks. Eventually, a sticky black oil will appear on the oil’s skin, and finally, expeller machines will mechanically press the nuts, with no temperature increase or chemicals, to extract the oil that ends up on your face.
It takes 100kg of tamanu fruit to produce just 5 kg of tamanu oil. From the first picking to the final bottling, it takes two months to produce tamanu oil. Some companies only produce batches twice per year, as they are completely at the mercy of the tamanu tree’s natural production.
Despite these seemingly big challenges though, cold-pressed products are widely available, and Gio Naturals is one of them. It’s also one of the most affordable tamanu oils, while still keeping its outstanding quality.
Gio Naturals tamanu oil is one of the best topical treatments for acne in the world.
Amazon link: Gio Naturals Certified Organic Tamanu Oil.
Five – Inn&Co
From the bottle’s photos, this tamanu oil is very green indeed, and most reports bear this out. Smell-wise, some say it’s quite mild for a tamanu oil, whereas tamanu oil veterans claim that its smell is standard. The other benefits of Inn&Co are being cold-pressed and unrefined, and having a safe 1 year refund policy. They advise you to avoid their tamanu oil if you’re allergic to nuts, which you should.
Last but not least, the bottle is appropriately dark to keep UV radiation from penetrating the oil and damaging it. Luckily, the advantage of tamanu oil is its higher stability anyway. On average, tamanu oil contains mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats, the most stable types, whereas grapeseed oil contains unstable polyunsaturated fats.
Plus, with its darker colour, tamanu oil may have natural protection. Tamanu oil has even been found to increase UV light radiation when applied to the skin; does this mysterious power protect the oil itself? Regardless, tamanu oil has a lengthy shelf life of 2 years on average, but can last as long as 5 years.
Inn&Co tamanu oil is no exception, and otherwise, it’s high quality in almost every way.
Amazon link: Inn&Co Highest Quality Organic Tamanu Oil.
Six – ReJuve Naturals
The colour, meanwhile, is dark green or forest green. ReJuve Naturals comes in a glass, dark amber bottle and could therefore last for years if you store it correctly. The oil is paraben, hexane, BPA and preservative free, containing 100% tamanu oil as the sole ingredient. ReJuve Naturals is even Leaping Bunny certified, to guarantee that no animal cruelty was involved in making it.
As for their directions, ReJuve Naturals has a recipe for skincare: combine the tamanu oil with honey and mashed avocado. This is a fairly smart recipe, for the honey will take tamanu oil’s antibacterial properties and multiply them further. Avocado, meanwhile, may have an ability to increase collagen in the skin and contains plenty of antioxidants.
Overall, ReJuve Naturals is yet another excellent tamanu oil for acne.
Amazon link: Tamanu Oil by ReJuve Naturals.
Seven – Pur360
A tamanu oil which is USDA certified organic, cold-pressed and unrefined. Pur360 is 100% pure as the name would suggest, with no chemicals, hexane, BPA or preservatives. There’s no reason to add any ingredients to tamanu oil – the only potentially beneficial one would be natural vitamin E, to push the acne benefits to the maximum. Pur360 also has an ironclad satisfaction guarantee, with a refund with no questions asked, making the product risk free.
Pur360 is bottled in the USA, and sourced from Vanuatu, Polynesia. How much does location matter for tamanu oil? For acne, only slightly. One study on 5 samples found that Indonesian tamanu oil killed p.acnes bacteria most effectively. The Indonesian and Tahiti samples increased collagen most powerfully, whereas New Caledonian was the weakest. However the differences were only minimal, not sufficient to hunt down different regional varieties.
Pur360 is an excellent tamanu oil for acne patients or anybody obsessed with getting amazing skin.
Amazon link: Pur360 Tamanu Oil.
Eight – Lagoon Essentials
This tamanu oil is as natural as it gets, being cold-pressed and unrefined, produced naturally with care over many weeks by Polynesian locals, whose economy is now benefitting massively from demand for this oil by overseas acne-clearing enthusiasts.
The bottle is dark, to keep UV radiation at bay. According to Lagoon Essentials, their tamanu oil is “dark green in color and has a strong earthy aroma“. This tamanu oil has a 30 day refund guarantee and comes with a dropper for easy dispensation.
What would my recommended recipe be? A good idea is to combine tamanu oil with cinnamon, either the powder or essential oil. Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which locally increases the hormone IGF-1 when applied to the skin. The result? A surge in collagen. Combine tamanu oil with cinnamon and you’ll get a double dose of youthfulness and glow, and the fats will enhance cinnamon’s penetration too.
Lagoon Essentials is easily one of the best tamanu oils on the market.
Amazon link: Lagoon Essentials Tamanu Oil.
Nine – Pursito
Pursito is another brand with just one ingredient: organic calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu) oil. Reports on the smell include earthy and this tamanu is also certified organic by the USDA and Ecocert. Pursito tamanu oil is also extracted from the first pressing of tamanu nuts, to guarantee nutrition and quality.
The oil is cold pressed and virgin, with a fairly thick texture, and that’s the standard for all tamanu oils. With its higher saturated fat content compared to grapeseed oil, tamanu oil may even turn to a cream-like consistency if you store it in the fridge. At room temperature, meanwhile, it’s moderately thicker than other skincare oils.
Pursito is sourced from the sandy shores of India, and packaged in a dark amber bottle. There’s a dispenser for mindlessly simple application and there’s a no-questions-asked refund policy.
Pursito has everything an acne patient could want from a tamanu oil.
Amazon link: Pursito Organic Tamanu Seed Oil.
Ten – Rise N Shine Online
Rise N Shine Online will help you to Rise N Shine with more astonishingly clear skin than you’ve ever witnessed in your life (possibly). Or at least, it has as strong a chance as any tamanu oil, for this brand is cold-pressed, unrefined, hexane free, BPA free, and in a top quality glass and dark amber bottle.
This tamanu oil is sourced from Madagascar and packaged in the USA. Like other tamanu oils, its shelf life is 2 years, but can be extended to 5 years with expert storage. The oil has a nice, dark green colour, with the classic forest smell.
The bottle isn’t certified organic, but according to the company, every stage of the manufacturing process is completely organic. Tamanu oil is like argan oil: the locals have maintained a tight grip on production, so there’s little infiltration by big skincare companies anyway. Your main objective is to look for specific characteristics: mixed with cheaper oils, a watered down colour, a funky smell, and so on.
If you buy Rise N Shine Online’s tamanu oil, your acne will be in serious trouble.
Amazon link: Rise N Shine Online Pure Tamanu Oil.
You are now officially an expert on the top ten tamanu oil brands for skincare and acne. Should you stumble across another brand, however, always keep in mind the signature signs: forest green, an earthy and nutty smell, and a reasonably thick texture.
The tamanu oil market is pretty healthy and similar to argan oil: free from chemically blasted and cheap products simply because the local villagers won’t allow it. A bigger problem is formerly pure and natural tamanu oil diluted with another oil, like a cheap and ineffective cooking oil.
Nevertheless, buying the correct tamanu oil is an easy task with the bare minimum of knowledge.
Thanks for reading!