Such is the case with the “beautiful leaf”—the common translation of the tamanu tree’s scientific name, Calophyllum inophyllum.
The trees not only offered shade and shelter, they even provided clandestine lookouts for approaching danger.
So abundant were its treasures in the lives of the Vanuatu people of the Melanesian Islands that they revered tamanu trees as being sacred, divine spaces where the gods hid in its branches observing them.
God-like healing powers.
The Vanuatu believed the “green gold” extracted from its fruit kernel possessed god-like healing powers on their skin, becoming central to their medicinal traditions and accompanying every stage of their skincare journey from the cradle.
Because of the high-octane wound-healing properties derived from its differentiated fatty acid structure, it’s even believed that tamanu oil was used to help leprosy sufferers.
They were onto something, and since the 1930s, the earthly benefits and effectiveness of tamanu oil have been studied throughout the world.
Amongst its wealth of skin-conditioning fatty acids is a natural antibiotic found almost exclusively in tamanu oil. This non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory acid, calophyllolide, acts as a cure-all for many skin ailments.
Backed by both ancestral practices and clinical studies, the rich fatty acids and other active phytochemicals amplify tamanu’s story as being a highly nourishing and protective carrier oil that aids in skin cell regeneration and collagen production to help calm, soothe, condition, and strengthen skin health.
It’s no wonder that generations of people for centuries have turned to tamanu oil for skin care and hair care.
Buyer beware: Not all tamanu oil is created equal.
The organic tamanu oil in eu2be products comes from the island of Vanuatu and is cold-pressed from the tree’s fruit.
Hand-picked from the ground once they’ve naturally fallen from the tree, its kernels are then left to dry in the sun for at least a month.
Finally, they are cold pressed to yield a very active oil for skincare—sticky high resin, deep green, and pungent smelling.
Often seen in other skincare product formulations amongst a handful of carrier oils, Tamanu’s hefty antimicrobial properties help soothe inflammatory skin conditions like dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and more.
But eu2be products actually contain—count them—about a dozen multi-functioning carrier oils.
Carrier oils are the hidden backstory of a skincare product’s efficacy and success.
Too often playing second fiddle to trendy, hyped-up derivative ingredients like retinol, carrier oils are looked upon as ordinary substances when they’re anything but.
That’s why our rare skincare blends combine tamanu’s moisturizing powers for dry skin, hair, and scalp with other powerful biomimetic carrier oils that have withstood centuries of time-tested skincare practices.
The ‘ordinary’ positioning of carrier oils for skincare is not unlike the ways we often view the value of our own stories as being ‘ordinary.’
The Vanuatu people followed the scent of their desire to understand the tamanu tree’s extraordinary role in their life stories.
Observing the impact and generous benefits of the sacred trees around them, they connected the dots to turn their insights into a powerful font of knowledge.
And this is why our formulations are created with some of the most nourishing, nutrient-rich, and potent foundational ingredients on the planet.
It is a good thing to be lured into the mystery of where things come from. The story of tamanu oil for skincare represents for me, a clarion call for you to flourish this month and for your skin ‘2be’ balanced and soothed by the ‘beautiful leaf.’