How to Use Tamanu Oil for Acne


Like roaches, acne pimples always seem to have line-up of new individual to replace the ones you just popped out – popping them is a bad idea by the way – and they are just as good looking. There are many gentle natural remedies that can help to cure acne scars and pimples and tamanu oil is touted to be one of them. So, is it worth the hype in as far as real results are concerned? Read on to find out more about tamanu oil acne healing.



tamanu oil acne scars cure
Tamanu oil is a natural oil extracted from the tamanu tree, Calophyllum tacamahaca or Calophyllum inophyllum. The tamanu tree is an evergreen, tropical tree that grows in the Polynesia (the tropical islands in Central and Southern Pacific Ocean e.g. Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, etc.) and South East Asia countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.

The tree blooms two times each year to produce nice smelling white flowers that then yield apricot-sized, yellow fruits containing a pulp that taste like apple. The fruit contains a large nut inside and inside that nut lies the kernel used to produce tamanu oil. To do that, the kernel is first dried in the sun over the course of about 2 months. At this point, it will have turned black in color and the oil in it can then be squeezed out mechanically (usually by cold-pressing).

Tamanu oil is hailed for its ability to heal a whole range of ailments, from cuts and scrapes to diabetes ulcers, sunburns, psoriasis, scabies, shingles, bug bites, diaper rash, sore throat, athlete foot, join pains, and - most interestingly – acne pimples and scars.

These unmatched health benefits of tamanu oil has earned it the name “miracle oil”. The indigenous people of the pacific regions where the tree grows have recognized these benefits - and used the oil for medicinal purposes - since ancient times.

Tamanu Oil and Acne Healing

Tamanu oil acne healing potency hinges upon its ability to promote the formation of new tissue. This process is scientifically referred to as cicatrization. It helps to expedite the healing of acne pimples, blackheads, cysts etc. as well as scar healing and is thought to be linked to a unique fatty acid in tamanu oil referred to as Calophyllic acid.

Tamanu oil also contains strong anti-inflammatory properties thanks to calophyllolide and coumarins. As such it helps to soothe the swelling due to inflammation of the tissues around acne lesions and also soothe the associated redness (those ugly red spots) in the skin around the breakouts.

The mild antibacterial properties of this South Pacific “miracle oil” also constitutes an important part of the tamanu oil acne treatment equation. This is important because bacteria often have a role to play in the development of acne pimples and cysts. The antibacterial potency of tamanu oil is linked to lactone (a mild antibiotic), canophyllol, and canophyllic acid.

Tamanu oil is also rich in fatty acids, including oleic acid (38.3%), linoleic acid (31.1%), palmitic acid (13.4%), stearic acid (13.3%), and linolenic (0.3%). These fatty acids help in regeneration of damaged skin tissues and thus get rid of acne pimples and red marks.

Above all, tamanu oil is fast absorbing and will not leave your skin feeling greasy neither will it clog your pores. It can also be used on any skin type, including acne-prone oily skin. What is more, the pH of the oil falls within the range of the natural skin oil (sebum). Couple that with the fact that it is hypoallergenic and you have solid justification for tamanu oil acne treatment.

Tamanu Oil Comedogenic Rating

According to HolisticHealthHerbalist, tamanu oil has a comedogenic rating of 2. This essentially means that it carries moderately low risk of skin pore clogging. This may be attributed to the higher levels of oleic acid in the oil. It is for this reason that Dawn Michelle suggests using the spot treatment option (discussed below) if you have a case of severe acne.

Tamanu Oil for Acne Scars

Acne breakout comes in hand in hand with the problem of scarring which then begs the question, “is tamanu oil good for acne scars? The answer is an emphatic YES. Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of tamanu oil in not only minimizing the formation of new scars but also healing of the existing ones.

Now talking of acne scars, tamanu oil help to clear not just new scar tissues, but also old scars that have been left behind long after the acne breakout has cleared. Scientific studies have shown tamanu oil to be effective in clearing of scars as old as over one year.



Tamanu Oil and Acne Scars – Making the Connection

Scar tissues form naturally as the body tries to heal a wound and protect it from harmful foreign objects. They tend to develop on wounds that take very long to heal (longer than 2-3 weeks) and on areas of the skin that experience inflammation over an extended period of time. Pitted scars (atrophic scars) are more common with acne breakouts. These are usually sunken as opposed to hypertrophic scars (which are usually raised above the level of the skin).

in the case of acne pimples and cysts, the body responds to the infections by “depositing” white blood cells in the infection area. The white blood cells help to fight the pathogens but when they stay around for too long, the body resorts to a more drastic healing move. The skin winds collagen fibers into a dense matrix which are then deposited into the site of wound to close it end to end.

Although this helps the infection to heal quickly, the collagen fiber left (now an acne scar) takes some time to fade away. They are ugly too. This is where tamanu oil may come in handy. A study conducted by Bioscience Laboratories showed its unique ability to improve the appearance of scars that are one year or more old.

The study involved six participants who had obvious scars aged one year or more. The participants refrained from using any kind of moisturizer on the scar tissue for 1 week after which they were to apply tamanu oil twice daily for a period of 9 weeks. The study recorded significant improvement in the appearance of the scars (length, width, redness etc.) after the first 6 weeks which continued through week 9.

Tamanu oil acne scars healing potential is attributed to its unique ability to promote the growth of healthy skin cells.

Online reviews sites and forums provide extensive anecdotal evidence to support tamanu oil acne scars, cysts, pimples, and blemishes cure potential.

How to Use Tamanu Oil for Acne Treatment

Tamanu oil should not be consumed internally (orally) for whatever purpose, including treatment of sore throat. It should strictly be used topically, that is, applied directly to the skin. With that said, here is a brief guideline on how to use tamanu oil for acne:

Facial Acne Treatment

  1. Get your face cleansed with a gentle cleanser, the dry it with a clean towel.
  2. Pour a few drops of tamanu oil into the scalp of your hands, rub your hands gently to spread it out, and then apply a thin film on the face.
  3. Rub your skin in gentle circular motion.
  4. Repeat the treatment 1-2 times daily (preferably in the evening and morning) and those acne scars, pimples, and red marks will soon be cured.

Tamanu Oil Acne Spot Treatment

You can also apply tamanu oil directly to acne scar and/or spot affected areas as opposed to rubbing it all over your face. Simply pour a few drops of this miracle oil onto a clean cotton wool and then dab it gently on the scars or spots.

Tamanu oil and MSM Cream Blend for Acne Scars

For acne scars, the LivingEarthBeauty website suggests a combination of tamanu oil and MSM Cream. MSM cream is recognized as a great natural source of sulfur which aids in the formation of both collagen and keratin. These two skin components are important for healthy skin development.
MSM should ideally be applied topically on the areas affected by the scar, even though oral intake would still be helpful. Topical application ensures direct targeting of the scar tissues.

Tamanu Oil for Rosacea

Rosacea has no cure. It comes and go, but doesn’t fully heal. Tamanu oil is however claimed to help reduce the appearance of rosacea symptoms. I scouted the internet looking for tamanu oil recipes for rosacea and here are some of them:

Tamanu oil, chamomile and Helichrysum Recipe for Rosacea

  1. In this case tamanu oil is used a carrier for the essential oils.
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon of tamanu oil with 1 drop each of chamomile and Helichrysum essential oils.
  3. Soak a cotton swab with the oil mixture and dab it on the skin without rubbing
  4. Repeat 3 times daily for the first week then cut down to two times each day in the next week, and then once daily in the subsequent weeks
This recipe helps to reduce the pain, redness and inflammation that is typical of rosacea.

Tamanu Oil, Chamomile, Lavender and Helichrysum for Rosacea

This rosacea recipe is more powerful and may not be suitable for those with sensitive skin.
  1. Mix 1 teaspoon each of tamanu oil and lavender oil, 2 drops of Helichrysum, and 3 drops of chamomile
  2. Apply the mixture to the rosacea affected area of the skin with the help f a clean cotton swab
  3. Repeat three times daily in the first week, 2 times daily in the second week, and once daily in the following week

Tamanu Oil Side Effects

There are no reported side effects of tamanu oil when used topically – which is by the way the only recommended usage – but the possibility of allergic reactions cannot be fully ruled out. To be on the safe side, always perform a patch test on a small, invisible area of your skin to see how it reacts with your skin before applying it on larger areas.

If you experience any sign and symptoms of allergic reactions e.g. redness, itching, and irritation, discontinue use.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also consult with their doctor before using any new treatment product.

Tamanu Oil Acne Before and After Pictures

Pictures (and reviews of course) are arguably the best evidence that someone can give to attest to the effectiveness of an acne treatment and it has always been my endeavor to include before and after pictures whenever I can find them perhaps. Listed below are a few photos showing typical tamanu oil acne scars and spots treatment results:

Update: So far we have only managed to get one picture. Please share with the community if you have some before and after pictures showing the results you got from using tamanu oil for acne.