Babassu oil or cusi is extracted from the seeds of the babassu palm, in fact from kernels of the trees’ nuts. When the nuts ripen and fall to the ground, women called “babassu breakers” gathers the nuts and break them open, then extraction begins and a clear light yellow vegetable oil is produced.
It is native to Brazil in South America. Babassu oil is considered a superior emollient that is beneficial for either dry or oily complexions.
It gently moisturizes the skin without leaving an oily sheen. This oil is similar to that of coconut oil and contains nearly the same properties and has a long history of use in soaps, and detergents, and is only recently finding its way into personal care products where it offers moisturizing benefits suitable to lip balms and hair products, especially dry, brittle, and damaged hair.
Babassu oil has been used for cooking purposes for decades its composition is made up of lauric acid while the remaining 50% is made from a combination of Stearic, Myristic, Palmitic and Oleic acids.
It is also rich in Vitamin E and Phytosterols which act as the oil’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents, the oil is being used to treat a number of skin diseases and illness like eczema.
Although typically used in small quantities in natural beauty products, it’s becoming a favorite ingredient for its ability to smooth and soften. Babassu oil is a natural emollient with restorative properties for dry and flaky skin.
For hair care, babassu oil is sometimes added to natural shampoo bars. Benefits include restored hair elasticity and prevention of dryness. Other applications include a pre-treatment to washing hair. Sometimes a small amount of babassu oil mixes with a carrier oil such as jojoba, and it’s applied to the hair for a moisturizing or conditioning effect after cleaning.
Babassu oil’s skin and hair products are for topical application and are not to be taken internally.