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Beautiful Skin with Kukui Nut Oil

Updated on August 26, 2013
Kukui Nuts or Candlenuts
Kukui Nuts or Candlenuts

Where Does Kukui Nut Oil Come From?

Kukui oil comes from the nut of the Kukui tree. Also known as the Candlenut Tree, or by its Latin name Aleurites moluccana, it is a flowering tree of the spurge family. This tree is a native of Hawaii and has been spread widely throughout the tropics due to human intervention. In Hawaii, this tree is associated with Kamapua’a, who was a demi-god who was part man and part pig, who was believed to have been able to turn himself into a Kukui tree. The Hawaiians also believed that the Kukui tree represented peace, protection and enlightenment. They had many uses for the kukui nut and the various parts of the tree in Ancient Hawaii. These ranged from using kukui oil to preserve their fishing nets, using the wood from the tree to make parts for their outrigger canoes, and making a reddish-brown dye from the bark. They also used the kukui nuts as candles and would string them along the midrib of a palm leaf, burning the nuts one by one every quarter of an hour or so. The Ancient Hawaiians used these burning nuts as a method of keeping time as well as for illumination.

The name Candlenut derives from the fact that the nuts have a very hard seed case and high oil content, which is what allows them to be used as candles. The kukui nuts are slightly toxic when they are raw, but are cooked and used in many cuisines. They are used in Malaysian and Indonesian cooking, and are one of the ingredients of a thick sauce that is poured over rice and vegetables in Java. In Hawaii, they are roasted and mixed with salt to form a paste, that is then used as a condiment. Kukui oil is also used as a traditional remedy in the areas where the trees grow, and it is used as a laxative and a hair treatment. In Malaysia, poultices are made from the boiled leaves or pulped nuts that are said to relieve headaches, fevers, swollen joints and ulcers.

Kukui Nut Oil and Caring For Your Skin

So why is Kukui oil regarded as being such a wonderful product when caring for your skin? Your skin is an important organ of your body that can both absorb chemicals from the environment and excrete waste materials from your body, so needs to be as clear and healthy as possible. The appearance of the skin is very important to most people, and skin conditions, especially on the face, are usually a cause of acute embarrassment and distress. Kukui oil has been hailed as a great anti-ageing skincare product and is said to even out and diminish those fine lines and wrinkles. A research study at King’s College London is looking at kukui oil’s ability to relieve the symptoms of painful and debilitating skin complaints like psoriasis, eczema and very dry skin. The scientists are looking to see if kukui oil can reverse any damage, such as sun damage, that has been done to the skin and are examining the composition of the kukui oil and checking how it affects the skin in scientific terms. It contains very high levels of essential fatty acids and is incredibly rich in vitamins A, E and F, which all promote healing and renewal of our skin. Using kukui oil can help to prevent scarring after scrapes and cuts, and can really help to soften rough, chapped skin.

How To Use Kukui Oil

Kukui oil is a yellow, pale, clear and non-greasy oil, and it has a light, slightly sweet and nutty fragrance. It is obtained from the nut by hydraulic pressing and the resulting nut oil is very high in polyunsaturated vegetable oils. If you want to try using it, you need to smooth it gently over your skin, where it will be very rapidly absorbed. It is a deeply penetrating oil and will take the sting out of sunburn, and soothe irritated and very dry skin. The high levels of essential fatty acids in it, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils, immediately reduces the level of water loss from your skin, stimulates the growth of anti-inflammatory metabolites and enhances skin elasticity. As well as being applied directly to your skin, it can also be added to sun screens, moisturising lotions and hair care products to help you gain hydrated, elastic skin and glossy, healthy hair. It has a shelf life of around twelve months, and should be stored away from direct sunlight and high temperatures.

Where To Find Kukui Nut Oil and Products

You can find kukui nut oil products in health food stores and quality drug stores, but one of the easiest ways to choose them is to find them online. Amazon has a great range to browse through, so why not have a look and make your selection online today? You can choose plain kukui oil or skincare and hair care products that contain the oil. You can find the oil in various sizes, which is useful as this nut oil also makes an excellent massage oil. You can also use it as a carrier oil if you are doing an aromatherapy massage; just add your wonderfully fragranced essential oils to the kukui oil and ensure that they are well mixed together. If you want to try some indulgent and luxurious skincare products that contain kukui nut, why not splash out on some hand and body lotion, moisturising lotion, body butter or body wash? Or give kukui oil hair care treatments such as conditioners, shampoos and intensive treatments for dry hair a go?

So if you want to pamper your hair or skin, treat yourself to some wonderful kukui oil, as it is the ultimate way to soothe, heal and protect your skin. So go and find yourself some kukui oil and add a little piece of Hawaiian heaven to your bath, skincare regime or to massage deeply into your hair.

Copyright 2010 CMHypno on HubPages

Disclaimer: Please be aware that any information given in this article should in no way be used to replace any advice given to you by your medical practitioner. Anybody suffering from a skin condition or who is at all concerned should always consult their doctor before starting to use any new skincare product. Also be aware that while using kukui oil on your skin is generally regarded as being beneficial, there are no guarantees that the appearance or health of your skin will improve.


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    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Thanks for reading the hub Fanny and glad you love Kukui Nut oil for your dry skin

    • profile image

      fanny 4 years ago

      i love this oil in my dry skin and also in my's fantastic

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Glad that you find that kukui oil is a good skin moisturiser for you, OldenbuzzDotCom. Hopefully more people will become aware of the benefits of kukui oil from reading the Hub and will try it out for themselves. Thanks for the read and the comment

    • OldenbuzzDotCom profile image

      OldenbuzzDotCom 7 years ago

      Kukui nut oil is absolutely my favorite skin moisturizing oil. I started using it about five years ago. It sinks into my skin so easily and doesn't look or feel greasy. I know your hub will make people more aware of its benefits.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Glad that you enjoyed discovering kukui oil bingskee. There are so many wonderful natural skincare products out there these days and most natural oils have a pleasant scent

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 7 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      what is good about hubpages is you get to discover new things. and this is new to me, first time to hear about oil that is beneficial to the skin and hair. am just anxious about the smell.

      very nice. :-)

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Glad that you enjoyed reading about kukui oil Lamme. I think that it is a skincare product that we will hear more of in the coming years. Thank you for commenting on the Hub.

    • Lamme profile image

      Lamme 7 years ago

      I've never heard of this before. Very interesting article!

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      The popularity of kukui oil is spreading, so I think that we will see it around the shops more - remember you first heard about kukui nut oil here! Thanks for the read and the comment

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      First time I have heard of this oil. Thanks.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Hi Hello, hello, glad you enjoyed reading about kukui oil. It's becoming more popular, so I think that we will hear more of kukui oil. Thanks for the read and the comment

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I have never heard of it and thank you for pointing it out.