Candle nut oil, also known as kukui nut oil, holds a special place in our hearts at JUARA. Our very first JUARA product we launched was our popular Candlenut Oil Body Creme, a.k.a. Bali in a Jar, which became an instant kukui nut oil hit with customers, editors, and estheticians alike. By popular demand, many more Candlenut oil and kukui nut oil treasures followed.
But what exactly is Candlenut oil? Rarely do you ever see candlenut or kukui nut oil sold in a regular United States grocery store. Especially because its consumption is usually limited to the environmental regions of South East Asia and Hawaii where the kukui nut is cultivated, extracted, and obtained from Aleurites moluccanus trees, also referred to as aleurites moluccana (in store, it may also be referred to as Alerites moluccana seed oil). But the best description of what a candlenut or kukui nut looks like is similar to that of an oversized macadamia nut or walnut amidst its flowering on the tree aleurites moluccana. Even though it is not widely known, kukui nut and candlenut oil hold great value and quality amongst seed oil as their materials have been used for medicinal purposes, cooking, and skincare for centuries.
Omega 6 & 3 Essential Fatty Acids: The Ratio is Key
Like most nuts and oil, kukui nut and candlenut have a high oil content and density (70%). What makes Candlenut special amongst its peers is its high content of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). These acids include linoleic acid, or linolenic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid, which is considered an ideal ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. While linoleic acid and oleic acid both have significant health benefits according to data that has been recently conducted and reported, it has been shown that the typical Western diet is by far too rich in Omega 6 fatty acids relative to Omega 3 fatty acid consumption, leading to chronic and chemical inflammation. Nobody knows what the ideal ratio exactly is, but current references and estimates state a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of anywhere between 1:1 and 4:1 as ideal, AKA the exact ratio present within the extraction method used to process Aleurites moluccana seed oil. It is estimated that people in developed countries reach a ratio of about 15:1. It has been shown even higher in the typical American diet, where it reaches levels of 25:1 due to high consumption of fast, processed, and fried foods which are typically rich in Omega 6, and a low consumption of Omega 3-rich foods like fish and certain nuts and seeds. But Candlenut oil and kukui nut oil have a ratio of Omega 3 and 6 of about 1.7:1, which is considered in the ideal range. Additionally, as a comparison, Walnuts have a ratio of about 4:1, Pecans 22:1, Flax Seeds 1:4, Sunflower Seeds: 312:1, Corn Oil 46:1, Wild Salmon 1:12, Canned Tuna 1:30.
Other Health Benefits
Candlenut oil is also rich in saponin, flavonoid, and polyphenols, plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits as well as antibacterial effects. Plus, the saponification processing of natural Aleurites moluccana seed oil contains not only alpha-tocopherol (the most familiar form of Vitamin E) but also gamma-tocopherol, which works synergistically with alpha-tocopherol to provide antioxidant protection and properties.
Try it in Food!
In its native Indonesian and Malay cuisine, Candlenut or kukui nut oil is extracted from the tree and used in cooking to add a liquid thickener to curries and soups. One easy way to incorporate Candlenuts and candlenut oil into your food is to heat and roast the kukui nuts or kukui nut oil in the oven or frying pan. This will bring out the aroma of the kukui nut and should be done before chopping or shaving them and sprinkling them over curry, soups, or salad. There are also a number of ways to add raw kukui nuts to your cuisine so feel free to create your own unique dish!
Try it on your Skin!
As an oil, kukui nut is rich in EFA, the skincare benefits of which have been well documented by modern online technologies, data, and analysis. EFAs help to reduce inflammation and strengthen the skin’s own protective barrier while Omega 6 essential fatty acid specifically helps acne-prone skin clear up clogged pores. Candlenut oil contains both Omega-3 and 6, as well as natural anti-microbial properties like linoleic acid, making the oil suitable for all skin types (dry, oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin) and easy to add to one's skincare routine.
All of JUARA’s Candlenut products are formulated and cold-pressed on site with Candlenut Oil, but we have added this precious and light oil to a number of other treatments as well, including:
Kartini Body Oil – $58, 4 oz
This luxurious body oil, kukui nut sourced and cold-pressed on site from the tree and all, is fit for royalty (hence the name Kartini, named after a Princess who was also a big champion of women’s rights in Indonesia). A truly nourishing blend of Candlenut oil, Plumeria, Passionfruit, Moringa, and Turmeric Oil, with a silky, light, and free-as-air texture with firming, brightening, and softening benefits.
Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm – $20. 2.5 oz
Been on the search for a price-friendly, non-greasy oil and balm? How's this description of pure relief and moisture for dry, hard-working, industrial hands? This tree oil extract even stays on after washing your hands. A replenishing blend of oils and butter, plus soothing oat beta-glucan and brightening algae Energy immediately comfort skin & cuticles. Result: Hands that are soft and smooth, never greasy. Consider your search over.
Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer – $60, 1.7 oz
Energy for dry, dull skin. “Kombucha”, nourishing botanical oils and our unique Radiant Complex hydrate, firm, smooth, and boost skin luster, therefore, making it the perfect daily moisturizer for normal to dry skin in need of some cold-pressing action.
Miracle Tea Complete Eye Crème – $53, 0.5 oz
This miracle worker gives the fragile skin around the eyes the whole TLC package: It hydrates, smooths fine lines & wrinkles, reduces the look of dark circles, dark spots, related to aging, and under-eye bags for a refreshed look!
Radiance Vitality Oil – $75, 1.0oz
The Queen of Face Oils (Face Oil of the Year, Self Magazine 2015) addresses all related signs of aging with 12 pure plant oils and extracts by helping to firm, nourish, smooth, and revitalize, with results you can see and feel after only one application.
Nourish your natural beauty all over with Candlenut in JUARA products here!