If you are looking for a natural moisturizer that will help keep your skin hydrated and nourished, then Cacay oil is your pot of gold. This plant-based oil has many benefits for the body including being an effective anti-aging oil that reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, while at the same time smoothing skin texture and improving firmness. Cacay oil is an excellent ingredient to jumpstart your skinimalism journey. Keep your routine simple and use it alone, along with your sunscreen. Or, blend it in with your current products to enhance their properties.
Cacay oil brings to you beautifying treasures from the Amazon, but with it also comes history and traditions. The oil derives from an evergreen tree that produces a fruit called cacay (caryodendron orinocense) and is indigenous to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. The cacay tree births a rich green fruit that contains 3 magical nuts. Oil is extracted from the nuts using the cold-processed method and it is used for food and cosmetics. Cacay oil has a high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which makes it the perfect alternative source of raw material in the use of cosmetics, health-promoting products and biotechnology industries.1 Colombia's Amazonian natives are known to have used the oil for healing wounds and conditioning their skin and hair. You’ll learn more about these customs later in the article. An amazing fact about the cacay oil extraction process is that the oil isn’t the only product derived from the fruit, but the entire fruit is used by native peoples of the distinct regions, for production of milk, flour, soil fertilizer and fuel.
Cacay oil contains essential fatty acids, and most importantly, vitamins A (retinol), E (tocopherol) and F (linoleic and alpha-linoleic acid), which make it a valuable source of nutrients for the skin and hair, as well as having other uses such as for cooking, baking and enriching soil through fertilization. Cacay is used in food because of its high fat content, but also its mineral contents of phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium.2
Cacay oil has higher linoleic acid than olive oil3, which helps plump up the skin. The immediate benefit you will see when using cacay oil is that it will improve skin and scalp dryness, flaking, and irritation. Continued use will bring to you a healthy glow, as well as improvement in wrinkle depth and a youthful, dewy appearance.
The best feature about this oil is that all of its properties come from nature, and also return to nature!
Increases skin hydration and smoothness
Cacay oil works as a natural moisturizer that binds to the outer layer of your skin and creates a protective barrier that prevents water loss, keeping your skin plump, soft and protected. This barrier also keeps out harmful elements such as dirt and pollution. Applying cacay as a face oil to your skin may reduce skin irritation, giving you a smooth and healthier glow. In a nutshell (no pun intended), cacay oil reduces signs of aging not only because it serves as a protective barrier, but also because it contains antioxidant and antibacterial activity1 that help protect your skin from free radical damage. Free radicals are a main culprit of oxidative stress, which can impact cell structures dramatically and enhance premature aging.
Enhancement of the biochemical properties of the skin towards the firm-elastic optimum
The biochemical properties of the skin can be enhanced towards a firm-elastic optimum by making use of effective oils, such as cacay oil. Being that cacay oil is plant-based, its molecules are significantly smaller and will allow for maximum absorption into your skin. Achieving a higher level of moisture is an essential factor in ensuring that the skin is not rigid or dry, while at the same time preventing cellular damage. Damaged and aged cells can shrivel and contribute to dull and saggy-looking skin. Cacay oil is very nutritious for the skin because it contains high levels of vitamins A, E, F, B1, B2, D and beta-carotene, squalene4, and it is also very rich in phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds have a wide range of uses and have been particularly used in dermatological settings to treat skin disorders and injuries such as burns.5
Furthermore, not only does cacay oil keep the skin smooth and supple, it also helps maintain a good balance between moisture and sebum levels (the oily substance in your pores that your body produces naturally). A balanced level of sebum is essential for healthy looking skin. One myth about face oils is that they can cause breakouts and make your skin feel greasy. This may be true for some oils, but cacay oil is light, dry, non-comedogenic and won’t obstruct pores. All of its properties permeate your skin and encourage plump cells to bounce and stay strong, giving you a more firm and toned complexion, while creating an environment of cutaneous homeostasis.
Decreases in depth, area and volume of wrinkles
Cacay oil has been proven to decrease the depth, area and volume of wrinkles, per a clinical research study performed in Germany. Cacay oil intensifies the elasticity of the skin, increases its smoothness and decreases the appearance of fine lines. At Derma Consult in Germany, cacay oil was tested on 20 females between the ages of 36-55. The duration of the study was 28 days, and the application of cacay oil had a frequency of two times per day. The instruments used were the cutometer (measures viscoelasticity), corneometer (measures skin hydration) and PRIMOS tool (quantifies microstructure of the skin). Subjects were assessed at baseline, Day 14 and Day 28. As per the Derma Consult research report, the results were statistically significant and not only showed an increase in skin hydration and smoothness, but also confirmed a measurable decrease in depth, area and volume of wrinkles.6 Cacay oil is considered one of the best anti-aging secrets of the Amazon, and now we know why.
Cacay oil has long been used by our indigenous ancestors to treat wounds, burns, and skin problems, including dryness, redness and itchiness. Amazonian natives are known for creating healing salves and ointments as treatments for injured skin, but pure plant oils are also slathered on their bodies and hair, without the complication of chemicals or extensive formulations. Plant oils have been traditionally used for their anti-inflammatory effects and their ability to help protect the skin and hair from damage due to UV exposure and environmental pollutants.7
Cacay can be used on your hair and scalp
Cacay oil has successful results in treating dry, damaged hair because it easily penetrates the hair shaft and restores moisture balance naturally. It helps to keep the hair hydrated and nourished, which will reduce the appearance of frizziness and split ends. Cacay oil strengthens your hair strands, prevents damage caused by sun exposure or chemical treatments, reduces frizziness and provides shine. Don’t forget to use cacay in your homemade hair masks and scalp treatments. Cacay oil can nourish the scalp while at the same time lifting off dead skin cells and dandruff for a healthier environment where hair will thrive. Simply add cacay oil to any of your fav DIY recipes and enjoy the plethora of benefits.
Cacay oil can be used in many ways when it comes to skin and hair care, while it is also indirectly serving our environment. The more cacay fruit we use, the more trees that need to be planted in regions commonly known for deforestation and growing of illicit crops. As discussed earlier, the rich properties found in cacay oil provide many benefits for our skin, such as increasing skin hydration and smoothness, enhancing biochemical properties, and decreasing depth, area and volume of wrinkles. All you need to do to reap these benefits is pat a few drops directly into your skin, or add a few drops of the oil into your facial moisturizer. You can also add a couple of drops into your facial cleanser, shampoo, hair conditioner and masks. Additionally, cacay oil is often used as a carrier oil because it helps other oils penetrate deeper into the skin to provide maximum benefit. Therefore, cacay oil is perfect for diluting essential oils or creating your own beauty concoctions at home.
Take advantage of this gift from Mother Earth and enjoy a youthful appearance with minimal effort.
“The best beauty secrets aren’t new. They are simply overlooked.” -Natrabliss
Medeiros de Azevedo, W., et al. Physiochemical characterization, fatty acid profile, antioxidant activity and antibacterial potential of cacay oil, coconut oil and cacay butter. PLos ONE 15(4); 2020.
Martinez S., JB. El Inchi (Caryodendron Orinocense Karst). 1979.
Cisneros Torres, DE; Diaz Hernandez A. Obtencion de aceite de la nuez Caryodendron Orinocense originaria del Departamento del Caqueta en la Planta Píloto de la Universidad de La Salle.
Radice, M; et al. Chemical Characterization and Antioxidant Activity of Amazon (Ecuador) Caryodendron orinocense Karst. And Bactris gasipaes Kunth Seed OIls. J. Oleo Sci. 63, 2014; 1243-1250.
Dzialo, M; et al. The Potential of Plant Phenolics in Prevention and Therapy of Skin Disorders. 2016.
Derma Consult Clinical Studies, Germany 2013.
Tzu-Kai, L; Zhong, L; Santiago, L. Anti-inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. 2017.