Like Coconut Oil But Better
A white, translucent, and creamy semi-soft oil, Orbignya oleifera (babassu) seed oil is similar in composition to coconut oil, but has a better skin feel and absorption rate.
Among its many desirable attributes is how it melts on contact with skin, spreads easily, and penetrates quickly, leaving a velvety feel afterward without greasiness. It is delightfully moisturizing, softens and conditions skin, and has very little scent which makes it easy to incorporate into many types of formulations.
I like to formulate with it to address severely dry, mature skin or damaged and inflamed skin complaints. It is nourishing, hydrating, and calming when used in the right ratios. Many body butters will use coconut oil, but I find that babassu oil is lighter and absorbs better so that the application doesn't feel heavy or suffocating on the skin. Its fatty acid profile also makes it an effective ingredient for facial cleansing oils and balms.
Three Primary Fatty Acids In Babassu Oil
47% Lauric Acid
This is a medium chain fatty acid that offers notable antimicrobial effects, reduces inflammation and has a moisture-locking, reparative benefit for severely dry skin conditions.
When used in a carefully balanced way alongside other lipids, babassu's high lauric acid content can add an important element to the overall reparative effect of a natural skincare product.
15% Myrisitc Acid
Named as such because it was first discovered in the nutmeg tree, Myristica fragrans, myristic acid is a beneficial saturated fatty acid that penetrates quickly. It is one of several fatty acids naturally produced by our skin's sebum and helps keep inflammation in check while assisting with the regeneration and repair of our skin's barrier environment.
In the nineteenth century, myristic acid was a component of the highly prized and coveted sperm whale oil. Thankfully, we now have vegetable sources!
12% Oleic Acid
If looking at a pie chart of the fatty acids found naturally in our skin, oleic acid represents about 30%. It is found, to some degree, in all oils and in significant amounts in animal fats. Olive and avocado oils are sources where ample amounts are found, along with camellia and macadamia.
Oleic acid softens the skin and helps keep it flexible, and supple. It is highly compatible with our own sebum and can assist with carrying nutrients.
Little Bird Sourcing Notes
Little Bird uses non-GMO, certified organic babassu oil. It is expeller pressed from the kernels of the babassu palm tree. The tree is native to Brazil and serves as an important economic resource for the region. The seeds are sustainably collected, and the procurement methods used help to support the Brazilian cooperative that collects the seeds. The seeds are transported to Europe where the oil is then produced and fully refined.
You will find babassu oil as a key ingredient in our Everyday Oasis Moisturizing Salve.