What Exactly Is Babassu Oil?
Babassu oil or cusi oil is a clear light yellow vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the babassu palm (Attalea speciosa), which grows in the Amazon region of South America. It is a non-drying oil used in food, cleaners and skin products. This oil has properties similar to coconut oil and is used in much the same context. It is increasingly being used as a substitute for coconut oil. Babassu oil is about 70% lipids, in the following proportions:
Lauric and myristic acids have melting points relatively close to human body temperature, so babassu oil can be applied to the skin as a solid that melts on contact. This heat transfer can produce a cooling sensation. It is an effective emollient.
Why People Love Babassu Oil
Babassu oil has been used for centuries to soothe dry skin, and comes from the seeds of the Babassu palm that is native to the south eastern Amazonian region of Brazil. Babassu oil is a wonderful emollient that is beneficial for both dry and oily complexions, because it gently moisturizes the skin without contributing to oil production. It’s especially helpful for eczema, itchy, dry and inflamed skin.
Babassu Oil is often overlooked as a natural skin ingredient by soap makers and health + beauty experts. This wonderful oil is definitely not one that should be absent in any soap makers base oil collection, because it fits such a broad range of preferences.
Babassu Oil contains glycosides, vitamins and minerals. It can also make a great massage oil. Use it in lotion bars, lotions, balms and of course, soap making. It saponifies easily and yields a mild soap with good lather. It can be used as a large percentage of the fats or as an oil added at trace. Babassu oil is white in it’s solid form.
Babassu Oil draws the heat from the skin to initiate melting. This heat transfer produces a cooling effect on the skin, which is great for summer soap making. Babassu also forms a protective, soothing coat when applied and provides a pleasant, velvety feeling.
The name ‘Babassu’ comes from the Tupis (an Amazonian tribe), whereas its genus name “Orbignya” comes from the French paleontologist A.D.d’Orbigny who first discovered the palm in the early 1800’s in South America. The fruit of the Babassu palm forms several clusters that bear 500 or so fruits that look like small coconuts. Its principal product is a clear, stable oil that may be used in cosmetics and toiletries after refinement. The oil becomes a soft solid at room temperatures (below 24° C), but melts readily upon contact with the skin.
Like coconut oil, Babassu Oil can be used as a large percentage of the fats at the start of the soap making process or to superfat the soap at trace.
INCI:Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil
Suggested Babassu Oil Use Levels: Lotions & Creams: 3-5%, Balms: 3-10%, Bar Soaps: 2-7%, Hair Conditioners: 3-5%.
Cibaria Soap Supply sells 7 lb, 17.5 lb, and 35 lb quantities of Babassu Oil.
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