GOING NUTS FOR KUKUI
Oils of Aloha Uses Ancient Kukui to Make Some Modern Waves
By Jessica Skropanic from Spa Review Nov/Dec 2004
Located on Oahu's North Shore Oils of Aloha was founded in 1988 to produce kukui nut and macadamia nut oils for cosmetic manufacturers and the public. Many top cosmetics companies purchase their kukui nut oil to add to their products. Nuts from the kukui tree are squeezed in a screw press, a process that generates a minimum of heat and helps to protect the oil. The oil is then filtered in a filter press. Fresh kukui nut oil has a strong nutty smell, so most of Oil of Aloha's products are deodorized and possess either an added fragrance or almost no scent at all. The oil from the kukui nut is unstable. To stabilize the oil for storage, Oils of Aloha adds Vitamin E and Vitamin C. They say the shelf life of the unopened bottles of oil is about one year or more. Keeping the products away from high temperatures and direct sunlight is important for its preservation.
In addition to using Oils of Aloha's kukui nut oil as a moisturizer for dry skin and to remove eye makeup the oil can be used to relieve the symptoms of dry skin and sensitive skin conditions such as psoriasis-like and eczema-like symptoms. It is also being used in some hospitals in Hawaii and in several cancer centers for the care of radiation burns on cancer patients.
Oils of Aloha Only Tests on Human Animals
Oils of Aloha has produced a kukui nut skincare line that includes the pure oil itself, the oil with fragrance, face cream, moisturizing lotion (with or without fragrance), conditioning shampoo, and a variety of scented glycerin soaps.
Matthew Papania, president of Oils of Aloha, explained that they only test on human animals, and the first human animals to try any product are the two human animals who own the company. When I mentioned I was a vegetarian, Papania said they are currently taking (testing) by mouth kukui nut oil as a vegetable source of Omega-3 fat, a fat found In fish and lacking In the diet of many vegetarians.
My Town, My Skin
My California summertime world tests the metal of any skincare product, and usually leaves it shaking in its little pink container. When not traveling in a pressurized airplane cabin, my skin is subjected to summer temperatures usually well Into three digits and the air is so dry, I have to carry water bottles for survival. I am constantly seeking products that will not only moisturize my poor skin and hair, but also work for more than twenty minutes without wilting.
When I applied it, the unscented Pure Kukui Nut Oil absorbed quickly into my skin. I used a small amount of it all over my body after my shower and was able to dress less than five minutes later. It didn’t feel greasy and it left my skin feeling hydrated. The next morning I got up (what a beautiful glow my skin had!) and went to an eight-hour meeting, then to a company picnic for two hours. The most delightful surprise came later when I got home. I felt my arms and found my sensitive skin (exposed to the August sun, air conditioning, and 108 degrees In the shade) was still hydrated, soft and yes, glowing! I usually have slight allergic reactions to oils, but not to this one. I've used It every day for four weeks now, and plan to keep on using it. I gave it to my massage therapist and she was amazed how quickly it was absorbed by my skin and how nice it made her hands feel. I have since tried the scented oil. The scent is so delicate and pleasant I've just stocked up and bought a box of twelve bottles.
Regarding the application of the pure Kukui Nut Oil, Papania recommends that everyone use just a little bit at first. “If (your skin) hasn't absorbed (the oil) in five minutes, you've put too much on. “
The Kukui Kid
Okay, time to give the other kukui products a whirl. I was a bit nervous trying the Kukui Conditioning Shampoo because I need a medicinal shampoo for my itchy scalp. Besides, my hair always needs an extra conditioner in addition to shampoo, right? Wrong ! How'd they do that? And what happened to my ubiquitous itch? I love the texture of my hair and how light the product is. The fragrance - the same light scent as the scented oil and the lotion - practically disappears when my hair dries, so it’s just me smelling nice! Like so many skin treatments, the glycerin soap and the lotion really enhanced each other on my skin.
I must admit I gave up on all bar soaps ages ago, even for my hands. I humbly and happily eat crow. The Kukui Glycerin Soap felt like silk, not like soap! I used it with my loofa mitt and it cleaned like a dream, but didn't leave my skin tight or dry. The lotion is the perfect consistency for my skin when I visit more humid environments or in the rainy season here. The cream Is recommended for face and body, and my skin drank It with the same efficiency as it did the pure oil. The scent of the Sunset Massage Oil was nothing short of a religious experience! I took it to my massage therapist, fearing I might have to wrestle the bottle away from her. It penetrated as well as the other kukui products, but the scent was stronger without being overpowering to me; spicy but In an alluring exotic way, not "pumpkin pie” spicy.