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9 Exotic Oils You Should Know About

Perhaps it’s due to the popularity of Moroccan Oil but oils for skin and hair seem to be popping up everywhere. Some of these oils are quite exotic and hail from locations all over the globe. I’ve done some research and found that there may be a reason for the beauty oil craze. All of the oils in this post are multi-purpose, nutrient-rich, moisturizing, and luxurious. They are also all-natural so these oils are beauty ingredients you can feel good about putting on yourselves and your children.

To that end, here are 9 exotic oils worth knowing about. I’ve provided a brief description of each including their origin, possible benefits and uses, and a product recommendation.


  • 9 Exotic Oils You Should Know About 1 of 10
    9 Exotic Oils You Should Know About
  • Emu Oil 2 of 10
    Emu Oil
    Emu oil is extracted from the fat of the emu bird. This oil is rich in fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. According to WebMD, emu oil can be used for a variety of purposes, many of them medical. It can used to treat psoriasis, eczema, rashes, burns, athelete's foot, and even hemorrhoids. One manufacturer of emu oil products, Jurassic Secret, claims that the fatty acids in emu oil are strikingly similar to those in our own skin, allowing the product to penetrate through all the layer of dermis. It's an excellent moisturizer and is used for beauty purposes including treatment of wrinkles, acne and acne scarring, stretch marks, age spots, and callouses.
    A beautiful friend of mine swears by the Jurassic Secret Emu Oil. $30.95
  • Argan Oil 3 of 10
    Argan Oil
    Derived from argan trees which are native to Morrocco, argan oil is rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants. The trees are quite rare and the oil is an essential source of income for the women of the Berber tribe. Popularized by the product Moroccan Oil, argan oil is a wonderful fortifying treatment for hair. It tames frizz and flyaways while adding shine. It can also be used on skin and nails as a hydrating and nourishing moisturizer.

    I like the Josie Maran Argan Oil found on Sephora because it is 100% argan oil obtained from the women's cooperatives in Morocco. $48
  • Tamanu Oil 4 of 10
    Tamanu Oil
    Known on the exotic islands of the South Pacific as "sacred oil," tamanu oil is a multi-purpose topical skin treatment derived from the tamanu tree. It's anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal and is effective for sunburns, rashes, insect bites, and wounds. Tamanu oil is also used to treat acne and dry skin and is increasingly found in lotions and lip balms. Share this one with your baby as it's said to prevent diaper rash.

    Use a few drops of this 100% organic tamanu oil to treat effected areas. Available on Amazon. $24.99
  • Marula Oil 5 of 10
    Marula Oil
    Collected from the the nuts of marula trees in Eastern Africa, marula oil is a sustainable product. The oil is high in palmitic acid which is protective for skin. It is used in anti-aging products as it's high in fatty acids and anti-oxidants, absorbs quickly, and intensely hydrates to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

    This fair trade Marula Pure Marula Facial Oil found on Sephora can be used on its own or you can mix a little in with your current moisturizer. $58
  • Baobab Oil 6 of 10
    Baobab Oil
    Baobab oil is extracted from the seeds of the baobab tree, native to southern and eastern Africa. Known as the "upside-down" tree, the baobab is famous for its spindly, root-like branches. The oil is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and F and omega fatty acids. It's very moisturizing and has been found to improve elasticity and fight free radicals. Baobab oil is also non-comedogenic.

    Get the hydrating and anti-aging benefits with Shea Terra Organics 100% Pure African Baobab Oil. $18
  • Black Currant Oil 7 of 10
    Black Currant Oil
    Black currants are a fruit native to northern Europe. They are high in gamma linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that is used to treat a number of skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema. Black currant oil is found in topical preparations and in supplements. According to Dr. Weil, taking black currant oil supplements, may help with thinning hair as well as promoting healthy skin and nails.

    This topical oil by Ole Henriksen combines black currant oil with other nourishing oils to repair damage and provide and extra barrier against the elements. $32
  • Maracuja Oil 8 of 10
    Maracuja Oil
    This oil derived from a passion fruit variety native to Brazil and along the Amazon. Maracuja oil is anti-inflammatory and is used to treat acne, signs of aging, and sun damage. It's loaded with vitamin C, making it a terrific skin brightener as well. The high levels of essential fatty acid, linolenic acid, make it ultra-moisturizing without being greasy. In fact, it's suitable for all skin types as it helps to regulate oil production.

    Warning: read the reviews on this Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil on Sephora and you will want to buy it. $46
  • Monoi Oil 9 of 10
    Monoi Oil
    This exotic oil is made from an infusion of the tiare flower (Tahitian gardenia) and coconut oil. This scented oil has been traditionally used by French Polynesians but is now making its way into European and American products. It is ultra-moisturizing and can be used for skin or hair. Try adding it to a bath, rubbing it on rough elbows and knees, and applying it pre-shampoo as a hair conditioning treatment.

    The Monoi Tiare Tahiti Scented Coconut Oil found on Vitacost is an authentic preparation of the oil. $6.99
  • Rice Bran Oil 10 of 10
    Rice Bran Oil
    Rice bran oil is extracted from the rice bran, the thin husks found on brown rice. The oil is fantastic for skin and hair and has been widely used in Asia as a beauty treament. It contains anti-oxidants that reduce free radicals, Gamma oryzanol and vitamin E that fight aging, and squalene, a potent moisturizer. Rice bran oil is known for giving skin a soft, velvety feel.

    Try this I Coloniali Velveting Hand Cream with Rice Bran Oil available at C.O. Bigelow.$22

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