ingredient focus: kukui
the bottom line
Native to India and Indonesia, the kukui tree eventually migrated to Brazil and Hawaii. Translated as “light” or “enlightenment” from the Hawaiian, the oil from this little nugget has been used to bathe babies, hydrate the skin, and nourish the hair. But did you know that it can also ease pain, decrease inflammation, and assist wound healing?
Crazy for more? Read on.
first layer: history
Kukui nut, candlenut, Indian walnut, tuitui, lama…many names for one little ingredient, Aleurites moluccanus. Transported by the Polynesians to Hawaii, the tree became naturalized to volcanic islands. The oil expressed from the nut was used in ancient Hawaii to anoint babies’ skin, to massage royalty, and to varnish wood. The nut itself was burnt for light, strung up to form leis, carved for canoes, and ground to create ink and dye. Kukui was even named the state tree of Hawaii in 1959, and in Maui, the kukui represents enlightenment, protection, and peace. That’s one powerful little nut.
second layer: science
Kukui nut has high levels of oleic and linoleic essential fatty acids – which translates to a highly effective emollient (soothing agent) for the skin. It has been shown scientifically to have analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties as well.2 Finally, it can even fight the bug bugs, including Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeroguinosa.3 Small nut, big results.
third layer: skin
As a “dry” oil, kukui nut oil is able to penetrate the skin easily and is rapidly absorbed. By slowing the exodus of water from the skin, it helps to moisturize and protect even very dry, damaged skin. It’s used in hospitals in Hawaii to help treat burns, including sun, chemical, and radiation injuries. Its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects help with wound healing, and possibly the reduction of acne.4 Swipe a small amount under the eyes for an effective and simple treatment to plump fine wrinkles and soften crows’ feet.
fourth layer: hair
And last but not least, kukui nut oil crowns us with her glory by nourishing dry hair damaged by overexposure to elements such as the sun and wind.
A little plug: Soothing and hydrating, anokha’s blue lotus body oil glides effortlessly onto skin, beautifully absorbing and moisturizing. The ultimate body oil for thirsty skin.
All this and more at www.anokhaskincare.com .
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2Cesca TG, Faqueti LG, Rocha LW et al. Antinocioceptive, anti-inflammatory and wound healing features in animal models treated with a semisolid herbal medicine based on Aluerites Molucca L. Willd. Euforbiaceae standardized leaf extract Semisolid Herbal. J Ethnopharmacol 2012 143: 355-362.