Is Kukui Nut Oil Good for Your Skin and Hair? 8 Awesome Benefits!
By Jacqueline Samaroo
Popular oils like jojoba, lavender, and coconut need no introduction. But, there is a plethora of lesser-known oils that can and do measure up to these skincare and haircare staples in terms of their benefits for your skin and hair.
One of those is kukui nut oil. You’ve probably heard about it before but are still stuck wondering just what is kukui nut oil and is kukui nut oil good for your skin and hair. Keep reading! We’ll answer both of these questions, shedding some light on the impressive benefits of kukui nut oil for hair, scalp, and hair growth.
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What is kukui nut oil?
Kukui nut oil is extracted from the nut of the kukui or candlenut tree (scientific name: Aleurites moluccanus). It is also called candlenut oil and Aleurites moluccana seed oil, among other names. The kukui nut has a very high oil content and is about 50-70% oil, by weight.
Although the kukui nut is mildly toxic if eaten raw, kukui nut oil is not known to be toxic and is generally considered harmless. The nuts have a strong laxative effect and are traditionally mixed with other plants to create a treatment for constipation.
This tropical oil is light to dark yellow in color, depending on the method of extraction. It has been used for centuries as a source of fuel and in traditional medicine, as well as in tattoo ink and dyes. It is also a lightweight oil with a very mild nutty scent to no scent at all.
Eight benefits of kukui nut oil for hair, scalp, and hair growth
Kukui nut oil’s benefits for your hair are directly related to how good it is for your skin, including the skin on your scalp. By helping to keep scalp skin healthy, kukui oil also helps to ensure that the hair growing from your scalp is also healthy.
Here are some of the benefits of kukui nut oil.
- Kukui nut oil has moderate amounts of beneficial fatty acids, including oleic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid, as well as some palmitic acid and stearic acid.
- Kukui nut oil’s fatty acids help to give it its emollient properties. It has the ability to moisturize, lubricate, and protect the skin. These functions are normally carried out by sebum, the oily/waxy substance naturally produced by the skin.
- Kukui nut oil can be very useful for skin that is deficient in sebum. It can help to prevent skin dehydration, as well as relieve dry skin and dry scalp.
- Kukui nut oil is readily absorbed into the skin where it will not clog the pores but instead assist with strengthening the skin barrier.
- Kukui nut oil is said to help brighten and clear the complexion, as well as provide relief for various skin conditions, such as acne and psoriasis.
- Kukui nut oil is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as several other phytochemicals, such as flavonoids, polyphenols, and saponins. These plant compounds are variously noted for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, along with helping to support the immune system.
- Kukui nut oil is not heavy or greasy, making it a good choice for use with fine hair. It will not weigh hair down or leave it looking and feeling too slick and oily.
- Kukui nut oil assists with sloughing off dead skin cells and helps to reduce flaking. It leaves skin rejuvenated, looking and feeling smoother and softer.
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A few interesting facts about the kukui tree.
Did you know the kukui tree is the state tree of Hawaii? Here are a few other interesting things to know about this amazing tree.
- Kukui is the Hawaiian name of the tree. It has spiritual significance in Hawaiian culture and is known locally as the “tree of light.” Its lumber has traditionally been used in canoe making.
- The tall, wide tree grows in forests throughout the tropics, predominantly in Hawaii, South Asia, Australia, China, and the West Indies.
- The tree sap has been used in traditional medicine to help with soothing bites and healing sores, as well as relieving chapped lips.
- Its nuts, which look like large walnuts or macadamia nuts, are traditionally cooked or toasted as food.
- The tree goes by several other names, including candleberry, Indian walnut, and varnish tree.
Do you use kukui nut oil for hair and skincare? Tell us about it!