Kukui nut oil is a light yellow to clear oil, with a slight to odorless scent. It is cold pressed from the seed of the Kukui tree, botanically known as Aleurites moluccans. This nut tree was first brought to Hawaii by early Polynesian settlers. It quickly adapted, and is now Hawaii 's official state tree. The word "Kukui" means ‘enlightenment' in Hawaiian. And, traditionally, Hawaiian babies were anointed with the oil to protect their skin from the sun, salt, and other elements. In fact, the kukui nut oil was used to massage members of royalty, who were sometimes massaged [with this oil] for seven or more hours! In addition, it has routinely been used to treat skin irritations, wounds, and burns!
Kukui nut oil is high in linoleic acid, vitamins A, C, E, and protective antioxidants. It is quickly, almost immediately absorbed by the skin, and is able to penetrate into the deepest skin layers, while creating a protective shield that locks in moisture. At the same time, it does not leave you feeling greasy, or with an oily film, making it excellent for skin conditioning, especially after sun exposure. Long used in Hawaii, this oil has now made its way to the mainland, and is quickly becoming well known, even prized, for its soothing effects on the skin , as well as its rejuvenating properties.
Kukui Nut Oil needs to be kept away from high temperatures and direct light, but when it is properly stored, will last from 12 to 14 months. It blends well in most formulations, and is great for many different skin conditions. Because it provides moisture and nourishment so well and so fast, it is especially good for dry, mature, and
damaged skin. It can leave even the roughest and driest skin feeling smooth, soft, and hydrated, but it is specifically beneficial in treating; all manner of burns, including; sunburns, windburns, radiation burns, and heat induced burns; eczema; chapped skin; mature skin; prematurely aged skin; acne; scars; lesions; and dry scalp and hair.
Kukui nut oil can be used straight on the hair and/or scalp to treat dryness, and it can be added into bath water for a luxurious, skin softening treat. Just a few drops will make quite a difference. However, in order to use and retain its properties in your skin care formulas, you will need to remember to add it only after your product no longer needs heating, as it cannot be exposed to high temperatures. So, for soapers, you will need to add this oil at trace. My research shows that as little as 2 tablespoons per 5 lbs of soap, added just prior to incorporating the essential oils, will add a noticeable richness to your soap. Although I have seen notes on some soaping sites that recommend using this oil for 10-20% of the total fats, my research suggests that this would just be a waste of oil and money, since its properties won't survive the heat involved in the lye process.
*All bibliography references are listed on the reference page, the tab can be found at the top of this page.