What is Kukui Nut Oil?
Argan Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil ~ they’ve all had their time in the spotlight when it comes to facial oils. But what about Kukui Nut Oil? It’s one of the lesser-known skincare oils, but is no less effective in its ability to moisturise, protect and support your skin
It also has a beautifully silky, non-greasy texture that rapidly absorbs into the skin. In fact, we think this natural powerhouse may have been overlooked, which is why we combine it with the benefits of Argan oil and Abyssinian Oil in our enhancing day & night face oil, l’étoile infinie.
Aleurites moluccana seed oil is the cold-pressed oil extracted from the nut of the Kukui tree, most commonly used in the beauty rituals of Hawaii. It is also known as candlenut oil, because it was originally used to make candles on the Pacific island.
While native to Indo-Malaysia, in the last millenia Kukui seeds made their way to Hawaii with Polynesian settlers, where Hawaiians quickly realised the abundant offering of this tree, and so named it ‘Kukui’ ~ or light.
Canoes were made of the tree’s trunk, the sap was used to treat ulcers and cold sores, and the oil was pressed for massaging into aching muscles and soothing sunburn and windburn. The Kukui is so loved, it is the state tree of Hawaii and you would likely recognise its blossoms which are used alongside the nuts themselves in leis (the traditional flower garlands worn by Hawaiians), as they are said to bring protection, renewal, and enlightenment.
What is Kukui Nut Oil good for?
Kukui Nut Oil is rich in vitamins and fatty acids which balance and restore the skin and hair. Together, this bountiful combination of skin-nourishing ingredients supports skin barrier function, reduces inflammation, protects against irritants and brings with it an overall glow of health.
It absorbs quickly too, making it particularly nourishing for dry skin and low porosity hair.
Kukui Nut Oil benefits for skin and hair
Encased in a hard, dark outer shell, the Kukui Nut within is actually a rich, nourishing seed filled with a multitude of benefits due to its levels of Vitamins A, C, and E and skin-supporting fatty acids…
Kukui Nut Oil contains vitamin A, but you may be familiar with its other name, retinol ~ known for its ability to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and, treat acne, and keep skin tone and texture even.
Vitamin A is fat soluble and comes from two sources ~ retinoids from animal sources and carotenoids which are derived from plants and include beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. It also contains antioxidants which help to boost collagen production and stimulate new cell growth.
This rich but readily absorbed oil acts as an emollient that soothes and moisturises the skin. Emollients seal in moisture and act like a protective layer. This can support in managing eczema, psoriasis, and other dry skin conditions. It also contains triterpenoids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can help protect skin from moisture loss.
Protects skin from environmental stressors
Vitamin C is an antioxidant which supports the skin in fighting off free radicals created by environmental stressors such as air pollution. Free radicals also occur within the body as a result of normal processes like metabolism.
The process of oxidation is natural and leads to ageing, but various stressors can accelerate it. Having healthy rituals around exercise and relaxation, as well as using products like Kukui Nut Oil that are full of natural active ingredients such as Vitamin C can help to counteract the negative aspects of free radical activity.
Acne-prone skin is often lacking in linoleic acids. An Omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid is part of the group of essential fatty acids which cannot be made by the body (we have to get them primarily from our diet), but are vital for optimum skin metabolism. When it comes to caring for the skin, as well as enjoying Omega-rich foods, we can apply them topically to help balance the levels of linoleic acid in the skin’s sebum. This has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps the skin to retain moisture.
In general, natural oils which have a higher percentage of linoleic acid than oleic acid are lower on the comedogenic scale.
Supports the skin barrier
The highly-effective fatty acids in Kukui Nut Oil are key to supporting your skin’s ceramide production which, in turn, is integral to ensuring a healthy skin barrier. When the skin barrier is functioning optimally, skin looks and feels its best – moisture is locked in and irritants are kept out.
The Kukui Nut Oil in l’étoile infinie typically contains 20-30% oleic acid, 32-42% linoleic acid, and 20-30% linolenic acid. This rich fatty acid content supports the lipids (also known as ceramides) in your skin barrier, keeping it strong and your skin looking visibly healthy.
Improves the appearance of scars
Vitamin and mineral-rich Kukui Nut Oil is a wonderful ingredient to reduce inflammation in the body, and as such, has been used traditionally by Hawaiian hospitals to treat burn victims and support the healing process. Many people believe that it helps care for their acne-prone or sensitive skin, as well as soothing eczema and psoriasis, and helping to fade stretch marks. This is potentially due to the levels of minerals in Kukui Nut Oil such as Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc which support various cellular processes such as wound healing.
Repairs dry hair
Kukui Nut Oil locks in moisture, softens, and detangles hair. It is well known for its ability to treat dry hair that’s been overexposed to the elements, whether hot summer sun or cold winter wind. Simply use as a leave-in treatment to see shiny, healthy hair restored. Applied lightly to the surface of hair it improves humidity resistance and helps to reduce unwanted frizz because it’s an emollient, which repels water. It’s also a great treatment for an itchy scalp or dandruff.
Does Kukui Nut Oil clog pores?
Kukui Nut Oil has a comedogenic rating of 2, meaning it is considered to have a low to moderate likelihood of clogging pores but is not deemed to be comedogenic.
We have meticulously formulated our balancing face oil, l’étoile infinie using ingredients which are easily absorbed by the skin and don’t leave an oily residue. Abyssinian Oil has a comedogenic rating of 1, while Argan Oil has a rating of 0, so is non-comedogenic.
0 ~ does not clog pores
1 ~ low likelihood of clogging pores
2 ~ low to moderate likelihood
3 ~ moderate likelihood of clogging pores
4 ~ fairly high likelihood of clogging pores
5 ~ highest likelihood of clogging pores
How to use Kukui Nut Oil in your skincare routine
To introduce Kukui Nut Oil into your skincare routine, it’s ideal for use on freshly cleansed skin. you can combine a few drops with your moisturiser on your fingertips and massage into your skin as usual.
You can also use it on its own, which some people like to do for a natural glow, or when their skin is feeling reactive. It can also be dabbed on the cheekbones and browbones to highlight the features.
How to use Kukui Nut Oil in your hair
Dry strands drink up this oil and it also supports a dry or itchy scalp. A few drops of Kukui Nut Oil can be applied very sparingly to the scalp (a little goes a long way) and massaged in for a deep moisturising treatment. Make sure you’re not going anywhere for a few hours (or apply overnight) so you can let it penetrate the skin before thoroughly washing out ~ you may need to shampoo a couple of times. You can also use a little on dry hair to smooth down flyaways.
Part of the collection
Kukui Nut Oil is a key ingredient in our dry oil elixir, l’etoile infinie. Deeply moisturising yet super light, l’étoile infinie is a harmonious blend of three oils: Kukui Nut Oil, Argan Oil, and Abyssinian Oil, boosted with Vitamin E, making it 100% natural.
To leave skin feeling plump and luxuriously cushioned, we recommend combining a few drops of l’étoile infinie with our hero silver face cream, la potion infinie, and massaging into skin.
Always sourced naturally and sustainably, our products are certified with the Positive Luxury Butterfly Mark ~ an independent verification of the highest sustainability standards.