“ Brand: Soap Kitchen / Dosage: Oil / Dosage Form: Oil „
Refined Babassu Oil
Indigenous to Brazil the Babassu Tree (Orbignya martiana) is known as the tree of life and this is because the nuts can be eaten, the oil used for cooking and for putting onto the body. I use it as a base for lip butters and have tried it in soap making, recently I have been using it with some peppermint oil as a foot rub - bliss!
The Soap Kitchen are one of a number of wholesalers I use to buy raw materials from and I have thus far found their products and service very good. They claim: "This oil has similar properties in soap-making to Coconut or Palm Kernel oil, being high in lauric acid, giving good lather and also containing high palmitic acid content to add hardness to bar soaps. It is also an excellent emolient oil when applied directly to the skin, producing a cooling effect and has been shown to form a protective, soothing coat with a velvety feel."
The refined oil arrives in a bag wrapped well in bubble wrap and packed into a box. It resembles coconut oil in many ways and indeed is the Brazilian equivalent.
It to melts at around body temperature and I store it in a cool larder until I need to use some, when I remove the amount I need and warm up by placing near the wood-burner - but not too near. I tried this as a soap addition, but it works far better as a lip balm or foot treatment. When rubbed onto the skin the oil feels soft and silky and is quickly absorbed and certainly seems to help moisturise my tired feet at the end of the day.
The fragrance is almost completely removed by the refining process and what remains is barely discernible and reminds me of walnut whip for some reason.
I'm pretty confident that this oil can be used in the same way as coconut oil, it has certainly outperformed Shea butter/oil for every use I have attempted.
The oil is extracted from the kernels of the nuts of the tree which are common in Brazil. Therefore it is a little surprising that this is quite an expensive oil as it is so readily available in its native area. I have not managed to discover how ethically sourced of fair trade the oil is either and when I buy some more, I will ensure it is from an ethical sourced supply.
A lovely versatile refined oil that performs really well as a foot cream and lip balm, so almost tip to toe. I'm confident it will work as a very good body lotion and hair treatment too, but I am using up a stock of body lotions at the moment.
It is more expensive than coconut oil though and does much the same job.
I have dropped a star because the supplier does not state how ethically sourced this product is, the review is for a particular suppliers Babassu Oil (Soapkitchenonline), so I am reviewing them as much as the oil itself.
Additionally, it is quite a pricy oil and I hope by the time I update this review in a few months that I will have used it in other ways and can offer further advise and maybe it will have reduced in price if it is more popular too.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY:
I paid £8.00 for 500g the oil is also available in smaller and larger quantities, available from https://www.soapkitchenonline.co.uk/acatalog/Solid_Oils_Butters_and_Waxes.html
Soap Kitchen are my most recent find, and are a treasure trove of all sorts of oils, butters and soap raw ingredients etc. If you like making your own body products, then you will enjoy their website. They also stock some unusual products, powdered banana anyone?
I placed an order and one of the products that caught my eye was their Babassu. I had used Babassu before but it is a luxury product due to cost.
Babassu comes from the Babassu palm, a tree native to Brazil. The leaves of this lovely tree are feathered and the babassu nut is the source of the butter. Like a lot of nut butters, this is a pale creamy/white colour and it melts at body temperature.
Babassu is extracted from the kernals of the nuts. These trees grow wild around Brazil and it is traditionally women (called "Babassu breakers"!), who collect the fruit of the tree. The nuts are collected up when ripe and broken open to get to the good stuff. This is hard work because the outer shell is tough, and an upturned axe is often used alongside a special wooden club.
Babassu acts in a similar way to coconut oil, it provides fantastic moisturising and re-balances moisture levels in the skin. The residue is minimal too so you will not feel greasy. Something unique to Babussu is that it has a cooling effect on the skin which is very tangible when you apply it. In the context of irritated and sore skin, this would feel fantastic.
Babassu helps to preserve the elasticity of the skin and like cocoa butter can be used for stretch marks. This oil is high in fatty acids, 50% lauric acid and the rest containing amounts of naturally occurring stearic, myristic, palmitic and oleic acids. There is a good ratio of Vitamin E in this also, plus phytosterols which are naturally anti-inflammatory.
This arrived in a box of stuff from The Soap Kitchen, each item individually wrapped in bubble wrap. It was placed in a plain plastic jar with a white lid and was white in appearance.
I treated it as I do coconut oil, ie it needs to be warmed before use. I used a hot spoon to get some out of the jar and then I applied it to my hands and arms. It has no discernible smell other than a gentle "nuttiness", and melted into my skin quickly, leaving behind a velvety texture and softness. I did not feel that the product caused my skin to be greasy, as it absorbed quickly. The texture of this Babassu oil becomes less solid as you work with it and warm it up, until you are left with a runny product with less viscosity than say a hemp oil.
I used the rest of the Babassu as a part ingredient for a whipped facial butter containing Vitamin E oil, Hemp oil, Jojoba and Shea. It combined beautifully with these ingredients and there was no separating. There are no impurities at all in the white solid and it is excellent quality. I have included the recipe below.
My whole order was delivered quickly and everything that I purchased was wrapped carefully with attention to detail. I also bought some jars off them and used these to store some of the Babassu facial butter in.
Native Brazilians use Babassu oil as a cooking oil for food and an ingredient in detergents and soaps, in much the same way that we use coconut oil. It is used as a traditional remedy for eczema and scalp issues and can be applied neat on the skin with no ill effects.
Babassu can be used as a base for body butters, lip balms or melted and applied to the hair tips as a conditioner. It can be used "as is" on the skin or blended when melted with other oils. It makes a great additive for home-made soaps and lotions.
FACTS ABOUT BABASSU:
* Solid at room temperature
* Melting point very close to body temperature 76F or 24C - which means it will melt upon contact.
* Non-greasy oil, meaning it feels relatively dry on your skin.
* Shelf life is one year.
* Contains a huge ratio of fatty acids.
* The Babassu tree bears clusters of up to 500 fruits, each looking like small coconuts.
* It saponifies easily making it brilliant for soap.
* Babassu is cold pressed from the kernel and is therefore produced without chemicals.
The Soap Kitchen's Babassu oil is an excellent product which comes ready to use. It is pure, melts easily and has no additives. It has a range of uses both culinary and for beauty and I will be buying more of it asap. I have a tiny bit left which I am using on my hands. A word of warning though, like Shea, this stuff is addictive.... and expensive!
Available from: https://www.soapkitchenonline.co.uk/acatalog/Solid_Oils_Butters_and_Waxes.html
Priced at £8 for 500g up to 25KG (!) at £225.00
"Spiritwood's Whipped facial butter" - This is an intensely moisturising but light butter which is non greasy. You can use any essential oil that you prefer but these ones were chosen for being specifically great for the face. All of the ingredients were obtained from "The Soap Kitchen" apart from the oils which were already in the house. They do sell them though.
30ml jojoba oil (organic)
10ml hemp seed oil (organic)
50g organic Shea butter
100g Babassu oil
10ml Vitamin E
12 drops each of Jasmine, rose (both are usually blended due to price) essential oils
2 x drops french lavender
2 x drops lemon
8 x drops sandalwood
Melt the solid butters (Shea, Babassu) until liquid and then shove in the rest of the ingredients. MIx well and place the lot into a plastic tub and put in the freezer. Once it starts to get solid around the sides, you need to whip it out of the freezer and use a food mixer to mix it up until it doubles in size. This will fill the mixture with air and make it look like a good butter cream icing.
This will make a very light and airy facial moisturiser which can be stored in glass jars (even a jam jar will do). Be warned that one you start to whip this stuff, you will end up with quite a lot of it. It should look and feel mousse-like on your skin and then melt away into nothing. This is best used at night as it is very intensive. Can also be used all over the body if wished.
Edit: The Soap Kitchen have informed me that all of their butters and oils are food grade. So if like me, you eye up that Shea and scoff a bit, you will not suffer for it ...
"We buy food grade oils and butters almost without exception, so although we're selling them for 'technical' uses, they and many other products we have are either food or BP grade"