Skin care Ingredient- Palm Oil

Palm Oil


You know…., my realisation of the use of palm oil in natural skin care reminds me of this long told story of a farmer who left home and sold everything he owned including his farm in search of gold all the while not realising that there was gold in that farm land he sold.

I was chatting with a lady a few days back lamenting as usual about the fact that I have to literally import all my skincare ingredients including carrier oils, and she said something that really got me interested. We were discussing skin lightening products and all that….. and as usual I was saying I was not a big fan as most of these skin lighteners even the natural ones tend to be tyrosinase inhibitors…


Then she said… how about using palm oil for skin lightening… now I have never thought about palm oil as a skincare ingredient talk more as a skin lightener.


However, with an inquisitive mind such as mine, nothing is ever tossed aside without thorough research, and this is what I found about our dear old unrefined red palm oil:


  1. Red palm oil contains two of the most important types of Vitamin E which is a rarity among carrier oils as most have only one type of Vitamin E.
  2. It is really good for dry skin moisturising the skin and supplying it with essential fatty acids and nutrients.
  1. It has a high amount of Beta carotene which is a precursor to Vitamin A.
  1. Palm fruit oil contains 15 times more beta carotene than carrots and 30 times more than tomatoes.
  1. Rich in antioxidants because of its bright deep colour, it also protesct the skin from harmful UV rays.


What more can I say, even though it has not been scientifically proven to lighten the skin, it definitely makes the mark as a very useful and potent carrier oil for use in skincare.


Having said all that however, I do know that it can be a staining oil when it gets to clothes, so might be wise to dilute with any of your favourite carrier oil e.g almond oil, coconut oil in less than 5% concentration, if you intend to use it as a body oil.


Please share your experience using palm oil in skincare…..



    1. Hi Serah, Palm oil is not a quick penetrating oil, it tends to stay on the skin a lot longer than most other oils , forming a protective barrier around the skin, which is especially helpful for people with dry skin types. I specially love it because it is found quite commonly in Nigeria where I live and most of the plants are grown organically in the forests without much human intervention. It also contains a rare form of vitamin E not found in most carrier oils. Downside is because it tends to stay on the skin for quite a bit and has such deep orange pigmentation, it can be staining when used in very high percentages.

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