Australian rainforest, 1857. The expedition trudged through bushes, leafy trees and clouds of buzzing insects. The air dripped with humidity while, a little further on, a waterfall designed wonderful natural lace around the stony wall. The leader of the expedition, Baron von Mueller, was the first to notice a tree he had never studied. His attention was attracted by the clusters of flowers, pink, with thin and elongated petals that opened and curved elegantly backwards. Hard fruit hung next to the flowers. They were nuts, but of a different kind from what von Mueller used to enjoy as a snack. The shells were opened and very light, rounded nuts peeped out. A boy following the expedition tried to eat them, no one else had the courage to do so as von Mueller thought they might contain poison. The boy claimed they were the most delicious nuts he had ever tasted. To be safe, von Mueller waited a couple of days and, when he saw that the boy showed no signs of poisoning, he tasted those delicacies too. And they really were yummy, full-bodied and crunchy, sweet and buttery with coconut notes. Enthusiastic and aware of having discovered something unique, which, had it not been for his expedition, would have remained forever hidden in the Australian forest, von Mueller gave the name to the tree inspired by a friend and great scientist of his, well known at the time, John Macadam. Did you understand what we are talking about? Exactly, about macadamia nuts, which today are found everywhere around the world. And an oil that is widely used in cosmetics is extracted from macadamia nuts. Thanking von Mueller and his expedition, let's see the benefits of macadamia oil for our beauty.
Macadamia oil, properties
Macadamia oil contains fatty acids, especially monounsaturated acids such as oleic and palmitoleic, which allow the oil to easily penetrate the skin, nourishing it and making it soft, hydrated and protected (Michalak et al, Journal of Oleo Science, 2019 - Moore et al, Front Pharmacol, 2020). Palmitoleic acid is a fatty acid that makes up the skin barrier and is found in abundance in young skin, while it tends to reduce with advancing age.
Therefore, applying this oil to the skin helps to keep it young and fresh, as well as counteracting inflammation and accelerating healing processes (Weimann et al, PLoS One, 2018). Macadamia oil also contains tocopherol, which is an antioxidant, and squalene, which is the main component of the skin's lipid layer, is emollient, moisturizing and counteracts cell degeneration (Huang et al, Molecules, 2009). Thanks to these substances, macadamia oil helps to counteract the aging processes, helps regenerate skin exposed to UV rays and reduces the formation of wrinkles and dark skin spots. It is a very stable oil and little prone to oxidation (Michalak et al, Journal of Oleo Science, 2019).
Macadamia oil, uses and applications
To benefit from the properties of macadamia oil, you can make a regenerating, anti-aging, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory face mask at home. Blend 3 tablespoons of rolled oats until you get a grainy flour. Oats are an excellent cosmetic since they are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, moisturize and protect the skin barrier (Pazyar et al, Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol, 2012). In a bowl, pour the oat flour and a few tablespoons of tap water, thermal or floral water, to obtain a creamy mixture, mix. Add 1 teaspoon of macadamia oil and half a teaspoon of honey, mix and apply to cleansed face for ten minutes, then rinse and continue with your usual treatment.
Alternatively, you can apply pure macadamia oil on the skin. Spray a floral water, such as rose water, and then massage a couple of drops of oil, with slow circular movements.