Babassu oil:

Babassu oil is a Brazilian oil that is used for medical, cosmetic, and food-related purposes. This oil is often seen and used in soaps, lotions, and many applications in the bath & beauty market. In fact, it can even be an upgrade or substitute oil for coconut oil in soaps, lotions and hair products. Babassu oil adds the same firming and moisturizing properties of coconut and palm oil. However, is lighter then coconut oil and absorbs more readily into the skin.

The Basics:

Color: Clear/light yellow

Origin: Babassu Palm Seeds

Location: South America

Usage: Cold Process Soaps: 2-33%; Lotions: 3-5%; Balms: 3-10%

Consistency: Typically Solid at Room Temperature

What is Babassu Oil?

Babassu oil is a type of tropical oil made from seeds of the babassu palm tree. The tree itself is native to South American rainforests. To make this oil, manufacturers are able to extract the oil from the seeds. The oil extraction is actually a main source of income in some communities in northeast Brazil. Furthermore, parts of the Babassu palm tree (leaves, roots and fruit) are used for medicinal purposes.

Babassu oil is full of rich nutrients, antioxidants, fats and is perfect for a host of skincare and beauty products. In addition, you can also use this oil to make your very own soaps. Usage rates are similar to coconut oil at 33%, with the only drawback being the slightly elevated price compared to coconut oil.

Babassu Oil Skin Benefits & Uses:

It seems as one oil looses some of it’s “luster” or fame in the bath and beauty market, there is another one quickly to fill it’s shoes. Surely, babassu oil could be the next craze. However, it’s certainly not new to the industry.

As we continue, we’ll discuss some of the potential benefits of adding in babassu oil to your daily skincare routine.

May Aide in Skin Healing & Decrease Inflammation:

Babassu oil has been used for medical purposes in South America for many years. In fact, this oil is touted for it’s ability to help with wound healing and inflammation. Babassu oil has antioxidative and antibacterial properties with a wide range of uses. For example, it’s been been used medically for skin wounds, inflammation and vulvovaginitis, in some communities.

Some animal studies exist suggesting the potential for skin benefits. For example, this 2017 study that looked at babassu oil as a topical anti-inflammatory in mice ear-edema, concluding a significant anti-inflammatory increase with this particular oil.  

Another 2009 study, revealed lauric acid which is a rich component of babassu oil, and it’s potential use as an alternative treatment for antibiotic therapy of acne vulgaris.

Further studies have also shown it’s ability to treat certain stomach related issues. For example, gastritis. One study in particular, concluded that products derived from babassu oil are beneficial for gastritis, leukorrhea, as well as certain types of wounds.

Like olive oil, babassu contains oleic acid. Oleic acid has been noted for it’s uses against inflammatory diseases, but also suggest a benefit effect on cancer, autoimmune diseases and wound healing, as shown in an animal study (2006).

Moisturizes and Absorbs Into Skin Easily:

As beforementioned this oil blends extremely well in soap making projects or in lotions, and cream products. However, it’s popular for various other reasons. Firstly, it absorbs extremely well into the skin. Secondly, it is a lightweight emollient onto the skin. Unlike other heavier oils and lotions, babassu oil goes into the skin readily, absorbing quickly, leading to a fast and hydrating appearance, and feel.

Babassu oil contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fats include lauric, myristic, and palmitic acids. These acids are used in many facial cleansers. Oftentimes, due to it’s ability (lauric acid) to treat skin conditions like xerosis (dry skin) and psoriasis. Myristic acid is useful for clearing away oils and keeping the skin hydrated and youthful looking.

The monosaturated fat (oleic acid) is also a component of babassu oil. In fact, oleic acid (in one research study in 2019), has been linked to have potential in treating atopic dermatitis.

Helps With Hair Health:

Not only can babassu oil improve the look of your skin, but this natural oil can also aide in hair health. One of the advantages of using babassu oil over oils like coconut oil, is it’s lighter weight. According to Teodora botanicals, if using this oil for a “leave-on” application, after about an hour, you may not even notice you applied it. After a few weeks of usage you may notice smoother textured hair and less breakage. The fatty acids within this oil help to form a shield and lock in moisture, giving your hair a heathier appearance.

No one wants flat dead looking hair, right! Luckily, babassu oil can help change the way your hair looks and increase volume. In addition, it may be beneficial for those who suffer from dandruff or dry scalp, as this oil not only absorbs easily, but will not cling to roots or clog pores.

Mood Boost:

Although more related to oral supplementation of babassu oil, we thought this was a cool fact. In one study of cancer patients, researchers found that with babassu oil supplementation, fatigue was decreased and overall quality of life was improved!

Final Thoughts!

What a cool oil, with lot’s of potential benefits. If you or someone has used this oil before, whether as a stand alone hair application or incorporated into other products, please share your experience(s).

In soap-making, this oil is easy to use and will blend in nicely with other oils. Surely, if you’re looking for a moisturizing ingredient to add to your soap or DIY beauty products, babassu oil is a perfect choice.