Tamanu oil is composed of phospholipids and glycolipids, and these are natural constituents of healthy skin and are good water-binding agents. Tamanu oil may have anti-inflammatory properties and there is some research showing it has anti-tumor properties, though this has not been proven in any direct research on skin. (Source)
Oil of tamanu contains three basic classes of lipids, neutral lipids, glycolipids, and phospholipids. The oil also contains a unique fatty acid called calophyllic acid, and a novel antibiotic lactone and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent called calophyllolide. These and other components of tamanu oil, including anti-inflammatory coumarins, account for some of the oil’s beneficial activity.
Based on the known activity of known constituents, it is clear that oil of tamanu possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities. The unique cicatrizing properties of tamanu oil are not yet explained in existing scientific literature, though this activity is established and accepted. The same is true for tamanu’s anti-neuralgic properties. Tamanu oil is well documented for its relief of neuritis, but the constituents responsible and their modes of activity are not yet known.
The oil contains the following fatty acids:
MAIN ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Calophyllolide, Lactone
OTHER ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Friedelin, Inophyllums B and P, Terpenic essences, Benzoic and 0xi-benzoic Acids, Phospho-amino- lipids, Glycerides, Saturated fatty acids 4-Phenylcoumarins
Tamanu Oil & Acne
There is no substantiated information about tamanu oil’s effect on acne, although there is some research showing it has wound-healing effects (Source: International Journal of Cosmetic Science, December 2002, pages 341–348), but fighting blemishes is completely different from healing wounds.
All other claims about tamanu oil’s benefit for skin are anecdotal, but its polyphenol content makes it a suitable antioxidant