Botanical Name: Caryocar brasiliense
Color: Yellow orange
The Pequi tree (Caryocar brasiliense) is a native fruit of Brazil. It grows in the Amazon, Caatinga, and Cerrado regions and is a member of the Caryo Araceae plant family. Its name comes from the Indigenous Tupi community, and it can be found in the states of Bahia, Ceará, Distrito Federal, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Tocantins.
The fruit is of great importance to the economy and income of the local communities of the northern region of Minas Gerais, where most cultivation, harvesting, and extraction takes place. However, some areas where the Pequi tree grows are at risk mostly due to the cultivation of soybeans and eucalyptus, as well as the push to produce more fruit and oil at the expense of the balance of the specific ecosystem of the region.
The oil comes from the flesh of the fruit. And the fruit is the approximate size of an apple and has a green peel. Inside, there is a pit coated with a soft and yellow edible pulp. Underneath the pulp, there is a layer of very thin thorns, so when preparing to cook the fruit, one must be careful. Beneath the thorns is a soft and delicious almond.
It is high in calories, very fragrant, and has a unique flavor making it well-desired as an ingredient and condiment in the preparation of various dishes. The pulp of pequi contains a good amount of edible oil (about 60%) and is rich in vitamin A and proteins.
The edible almond-like seeds produce fruity-smelling oil, which is mainly used for flavoring, cosmetics, and soap making.
Pequi oil is obtained by an artisanal extraction process by pulping the cooked fruit and separating the oil from the pulp by immersion in chilled water. This process has been used by indigenous communities in the region for generations, who have been using the oil as food and as herbal medicine.
Its history of use among native communities has shown that Pequi oil has many benefits when used topically and internally.
Topically, the oil supports skin health and well-being by helping to maintain the skin’s internal balance. It has demonstrated antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a versatile and effective oil to add to a wide range of skin and hair products.
Benefits of Pequi Oil for Skin Care
Benefits of Pequi Oil for Hair Care
- Deeply restorative for damaged skin
- Protects the skin from free radicals and UV Rays
- Promotes a youthful glow
- Powerful anti-inflammatory
- Nourishes weak end and sensitive skin
- Support cell regeneration
- Protects hair from sun damage and environmental stressors
- Nourishes weak hair
- Increases natural shine
- Supports a healthy and balanced scalp
How to use Pequi Oil:
When formulating your own skincare products, we recommend using Pequi Oil at the following percentages for use in different applications:
- To lock in moisture and increase the skin's vibrancy, apply pure unblended Pequi Oil directly to cleansed, damp skin; good for both face and body.
- Alternatively, add approximately ½ tsp of pure Pequi Oil to one ounce of your current face and body products, like face and body oils, creams and lotions, and serums, to increase skin's glow, provide deeper nourishment and encourage tissue repair. Mix well, and apply as usual.
- Add between ½ tsp to 1 TBSP into a hair mask for softer, more nourished hair.
- To avoid staining clothing and skin, never apply directly to the skin and always blend into a carrier oil or skincare product at the ratio of ½ tsp of Pequi to 1 ounce of carrier or base.
- For anti-aging creams and lotions (emulsions), use between 5-10%
- For use in hair products, like shampoos, conditions, masks, and creams, use between 5-10%
- For use in body moisturizing creams, lotions, body butter, balms, and salves, use between 2-10%.
Pequi Oil will solidify at cooler temperatures; it's recommended to gently warm it until it becomes liquid.
Pequi Oil supports a Healthy Scalp
Because of its soothing and protective properties for the skin, it offers the scalp protection against microbes and environmental damage. Especially nourishing for dry, itchy scalps and weak, dull hair.
Pequi Oil hydrates and nourishes hair to improve the appearance
Our hair is constantly bombarded by extreme climate changes, numerous hair products, and heated tools like hair dryers, irons, and straighteners. And this damages and weakens our hair causing it to look dull and dry. By brushing Pequi Oil through dry, brittle hair, you can replenish hydration that will leave your hair looking healthier and shinier. It's especially nourishing for curly, dry hair that needs taming and smoothing.
Pequi Oil offers Skin a Youthful Glow
Due to high percentages of Oleic and Palmitic Acids, Pequi oil is a powerful antioxidant, providing protection against oxidative stress from environmental stressors. It offers a vibrancy resulting in a more youthful appearance and has been known to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduces puffiness and discoloration.
Pequi Oil promotes skin resiliency and immunity
Pequi Oil can fortify us against the constant assault of pathogens our skin battles daily. It's been known to tonify weakened skin and make it appear more youthful.
Pequi Oil promotes clear and healthy skin
Pequi oil is a strong anti-inflammatory and has been known to quickly re-balance, brighten and ease away irritation, discomfort, and swelling.
The Chemistry of the Oil
The oil extracted from the pulp is very high in Oleic Acid, making it an exceptionally stable oil, while the oil extracted from the almond is high in Palmitic Acid.
The pulp oil also has a large number of carotenoids which is responsible for its yellowish color. And these carotenoids are recognized as precursors to vitamin A, which has antioxidant action and contributes to the oil’s ability to support skin tissue regeneration and improve the skin’s appearance and vibrancy. The fruit and oil also have trace amounts of potassium, which support skin resilience and immunity. Plus, we can also find Sterols 580 gm/100g and Squalene 64 mg/100g