Tamanu Oil: Nature's Remedy for Scars and Hyperpigmentation
Skincare can be a full-time job for some people, primarily those predisposed to skin blemishes like acne. That said, everyone is susceptible to these issues, and not all of them are genetic but are induced by external factors that we can typically avoid. Exposure to certain elements and certain injuries can cause damage to our skin, and certain blemishes can leave marks we might not be able to remove.
Fortunately, many of the issues on our skin faces can be healed or at least reduced with the proper tools. A lot of effort must go into these endeavors, but dedication and resources can help you overcome virtually any blemish. Unfortunately, some of these blemishes are harder to treat because their effects go deeper than the surface layer of our skin.
Some of the most frustrating blemishes in skincare are scars and hyperpigmentation, which can leave lasting damage to our skin. Sometimes, they can be treated, and we can recover most of our original complexion, but the option is not always available. The odds of reducing or reversing the impact of certain skin blemishes increase if we have the proper tools.
One resource that has become virtually synonymous with skincare is tamanu oil, though it might be an unfamiliar term if you are new to skincare. Nevertheless, learning about tamanu oil can help experienced and inexperienced skincare enthusiasts address their blemishes. The question is: Can tamanu oil repair scars and reduce hyperpigmentation?
What is Tamanu Oil?
As the name states, tamanu oil is derived from nuts but can be cultivated from 2 different kinds. Tamanu oil is pressed from Calophyllum inophyllum or tacamahaca nuts, though it is usually the former. Both nuts belong to the Calophyllaceae family and originated in Polynesia but have since spread to the rest of the world.
Harvesting the nuts to make the oil only occurs twice a year, in May and November, since the nuts have to ripen before they fall. A ripe tamanu nut is wrinkled and has a yellow or brownish-red color, and they are collected from the base of the tree from which they fall. The nuts can also be picked by striking the tree limbs or climbing into the tree to pick them by hand.
Either way, ripe tamanu nuts are essential for quality oil, so harvesters must wait for the proper season. Despite being a nut, tamanu is more like a fruit, each producing a single seed.
The tamanu seed accounts for approximately 43-52% of the fruit's weight, making it a particularly large example of seeds. Once the seed has been removed, they are decorticated by wooden mallets or pressed under planks. Some harvesters use automated decorticators, but this option is reserved for more industrialized farms. The seeds are refined into oil and sold as either a medicinal product or, interestingly, as hair grease.
Despite the name and the fact that you might not have heard of tamanu oil, it is fairly common and can be found in virtually any store that sells skincare products. The oil is lauded as one of the main ingredients in several mainstream skincare products and has several benefits that make it very popular amongst those with chronic skin blemishes. Of course, the bigger concern is whether tamanu oil actually has any value for the more intense skin blemishes we can develop.
Can Tamanu Oil Treat Scars?
Scarring is a common issue for human skin since our skin is highly susceptible to injuries like cuts or bruises. A deep enough cut can cause a lasting scar that might never fade and is sometimes too deep to remove with medical aid. While some scars are permanent, they do not necessarily have to be highly visible.
Some compounds used to heal scars can reduce the scar's prevalence even if it cannot be removed completely. This usually involves reducing redness on or around the scar and causing it to fade into your skin. Unfortunately, some scars are still noticeable despite the treatment because they are a different color, but their depth requires serious injuries to manufacture.
The bigger issue is the scars caused by smaller blemishes that manifest in large numbers and spawn from your pores. While our minds typically go to the scars caused by falls or cuts, acne can cause scarring akin to small holes in our faces.
Acne scarring is more subtle than major scars because they do not always consist of bright red marks and are simply a collection of indentations in the skin where the pimple was. The good news is that most acne scars fade on their own; the bad news is that the worst leave permanent blemishes on your face. The odds of scarring also increase if you pick at or pop your pimples instead of letting them fade naturally or using an anti-acne treatment.
Nevertheless, one of the biggest concerns in skincare is removing acne scars since the worst of them last for life. This is where tamanu oil comes into play since it has been used to treat acne scars. Tamanu oil can reduce or remove acne scars depending on the scar's severity, but you are probably wondering how it can accomplish this.
Tamanu oil has been linked to wound healing and skin regeneration, but it does not do this outright. Rather, tamanu oil helps our skin heal from scars and blemishes by stimulating the production of certain compounds. Specifically, tamanu oil promotes cell proliferation for glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and collagen, which are essential to our skin production.
Additionally, tamanu oil has a high concentration of antioxidant compounds, which have been linked to treating acne scars for some time. These traits mean tamanu oil can help us overcome acne scars by promoting the compounds used to make new layers of skin. If that were the only issue, tamanu oil would be the last skincare product you ever needed. Alas, other skin blemishes require treatment.
Can Tamanu Oil Treat Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is an interesting skin condition caused by various factors, but the biggest contributor to the condition is sunlight. Some people spend hours in the sun trying to get a tan or just because they enjoy the feeling. However, sunlight is very harsh, and our bodies are designed to minimize the impact as best they can because it can damage our cells.
Sunlight includes ultraviolet radiation, which casts rays on whatever it hits (though the levels vary depending on the source). Insofar as sunlight is concerned, it is the most powerful UV light in our solar system and has a very intense UV radiation signature. The sun's distance from the planet means sunlight usually takes a long time to cause permanent damage, but spending excessive time in the sun accelerates the process.
The biggest concern with UV radiation is that it can cause cancer, but some effects are less dangerous and more inconvenient. UV radiation triggers a defense mechanism in our bodies to inhibit its progress in our cells. We produce a pigment called melanin, which darkens the skin and makes it harder for sunlight to penetrate our dermal layer (this pigment is also responsible for sun tans and naturally darker skin tones).
Tamanu oil has been used to treat sun damage because it contains compounds that shield us from ultraviolet light. Therefore, you might assume that it can reduce the impact of hyperpigmentation just as easily. Unfortunately, hyperpigmentation has less to do with UV radiation and more with faulty melanin production. When we are exposed to sunlight, our bodies produce melanin, but excess exposure can confuse our bodies and cause them to release melanin without cause. As a result, we develop dark patches of skin that do not match our overall complexion.
Unfortunately, no evidence suggests that tamanu oil can correct this issue, though the preemptive application might prevent the radiation from triggering the melanin response. Regardless, we cannot rely on tamanu oil to correct hyperpigmentation since it does not seem to have any qualities that reduce the symptoms.
What Can Treat Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is irreversible because the UV radiation triggers a change in our cells, and the melanin soaks into them. This causes permanent changes to our skin that will not fade, and the damaged cells cannot be replaced. That said, it is possible to brighten the affected areas by applying a compound that inhibits melanin production. The million-dollar question is: What compound inhibits melanin production? The answer might be a surprise since it is something remarkably common in our everyday lives.
Vitamin C is one of the most effective skincare products in the world despite being something we regularly consume. While we do not produce vitamin C naturally, it is essential to our ability to produce skin. Without vitamin C, our skin would not exist since we would be incapable of producing collagen. However, vitamin C' skincare benefits go beyond this since it is one of the few natural compounds that inhibit melanin synthesis.
Vitamin C reduces tyrosinase's activity, an enzyme crucial to our body's ability to create melanin. By reducing tyrosinase activity, our bodies naturally produce less melanin and lower the concentration of what has already been produced. As a result, applying vitamin C to skin affected by hyperpigmentation brightens the skin and helps it blend with the rest of our complexion. Vitamin C's ability to brighten skin has become one of the main skincare tools in modern practice.
This is not to say vitamin C can fix every skincare issue, but it can address hyperpigmentation concerns. It even has anti-inflammatory characteristics that reduce redness and swelling that might discolor parts of the skin. Of course, we still need to know if vitamin C can replace tamanu oil for the other topic in this article.
Can Vitamin C Treat Scars?
Tamanu oil has proven itself as a resource for treating scars, which has cemented its value even if it cannot treat hyperpigmentation. While vitamin C addresses that handicap, it is worth knowing whether it can stand in for tamanu oil for more mundane injuries. Fortunately, vitamin C exceeds tamanu oil as a skincare product since it can treat skin injuries and brighten skin. We mentioned vitamin C's anti-inflammatory effects and how it reduces redness and swelling, which means it doubles as a treatment for sunburns.
Further studies of vitamin C discovered that it helps accelerate wound healing, just like tamanu oil. A review of studies from 2017 determined that vitamin C supplements positively impacted skin healing and growth. The studies showed that vitamin C boosts antioxidant levels, protecting our cells from damage and allowing regeneration.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effects are a natural foil to scar development since inflammation and swelling are part of how scars form. By subduing this effect, the scars never form or are not as intense as they could have been. Ultimately, vitamin C does the job tamanu oil does and treats what tamanu oil cannot. While you might need other specialized products to address other concerns, vitamin C should always be near the top of your list of skincare products. The biggest challenge is getting ahold of a reliable vitamin C serum.
Finding the Right Blend
Tamanu oil has been a longstanding resource for the skincare industry and remains a viable tool for treating several issues. The only shortcoming it has (which all products have) is that it cannot treat everything, and dealing with both scars and hyperpigmentation necessitates a product that can do both singlehandedly.
Vitamin C can treat scars and hyperpigmentation, making it marginally more valuable than tamanu oil. The problem is that vitamin C serums are a dime a dozen and might include ingredients you would prefer to avoid. Finding a natural serum is difficult but not impossible.
We at Teami understand that our skin needs to be loved and pampered to maintain a healthy complexion. That is why we have created a catalog of skincare products made from natural ingredients. One of our top sellers is our Hibiscus Infused Vitamin C Serum, which has everything you need to treat pesky scars and hyperpigmentation. We encourage you to visit our website and try it for yourself. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
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