For most types of skin complaint; there are generally many options of varying efficiency.
However, the problems of scarring and hyper-pigmentation appear to have far fewer treatment options and reports of their effectiveness are less than impressive.
For certain types of scarring. e.g, keloid and pitted acne scars; it is very difficult to find any positive reports at all for their effective treatment.
I have seen some good reviews for the product Bio-oil for the treatment of scars, particularly on the website; Ciao.
This is a product which has been around for a while, but even with this product; there are a significant number of disappointed customer reviews, some who have found the product totally ineffective, especially with regard to the treatment of keloid scars, pitted acne scars and pigmentation.
There are several other topical treatment options which are being marketed for the treatment of scars; such as Rosehip Seed oil, copper peptides, Mederma, Elicina; as well as other treatments, such as laser, dermabrasion and chemical peels.
Although there are some positive reports to be found for some people with these treatments; generally, this is far from consistent, with a significant proportion complaining of the ineffectiveness and slowness of action of these products for the treatment of their scars.
Also; I have not seen much photographic evidence for most of these products effects on scars, which is the clearest way to compare a products effectiveness.
It appears to be the case that the positive reports for these products are coming from those people whose scars are only minor, while those with more severe problems or with particular problems; such as pitted acne scars, severe stretch marks, keloid scars, hyper-pigmentation and age spots may account for the many frustrated and disappointed reviews I have read.
I have found this to be the case for my own particular hyper-pigmentation problem, which I have had for years now.
Despite having tried several treatments, including Rosehip Seed oil and copper peptides, it is still very much a problem and refuses to budge!
I first came to the attention of an intriguing substance being reported as an effective treatment for scars and pigmentation, whilst researching the new product Skinderma Pro.
Skinderma Pro’s website offers very impressive photographic evidence of results on scars, most excitingly, even for the most resistant types of scarring, e.g keloid scars, pitted acne scars and stretchmarks.
I examined the ingredients and the scientific references supporting the effectiveness of the ingredients in the product.
I found that there are a several ingredients in the product, which have been shown in studies to have beneficial effects for aging skin and for scarring.
Two of these ingredients are rosehip seed oil and pomegranate oil. Although these oils have been shown to be very effective for improving signs of aging in the skin and to have some benefits for scarring; the evidence of consumer review sites and from skin care forums, is that the benefits of these products for scarring are limited.
The unique element in Skinderma Pro; which would account for the outstanding results seen on the Skinderma Pro website, is a relatively unheard of substance, called Tamanu oil.
Having read the scientific reference for this ingredient, given on the Skinderma Pro website and finding it impressive; I decided to see if this could be backed up by consumer’s reports of usage on independent review sites and forums.
There was not a great deal to be found, due to its relative obscurity. However; the feedback that I did find was resoundingly positive.
I was unable to find any negative feedback at all, which as I have already mentioned is quite unusual, especially with regard to keloid and pitted acne scars and pigmentation treatments.
I would go so far as to say that consumers are ‘raving‘ about its effectiveness and speed of action in removing and reducing scars and pigmentation problems which have hither-to proved resistant to all previous forms of treatment, such as; microdermabrasion, laser treatment, glycolic peels, Mederma, Bio-oil, Elicina, Copper Peptides etc.
To read what consumers are saying about Tamanu Oil; here are a few links and quotes taken from independent review and forum sites;
Tamanu User Reviews (on health forum)
Tamanu User Reviews (on a Tamanu Oil product site)
“I have been a user of the Tamanu oil for the past 5 years. I discovered the product after moving to live in Vanuatu in 2002. The product has excellent skin repair quality and through daily use of the product on pigmentation blotch on my temple this has completely gone and I also treated a small wart on my knee which also disappeared within 3 months. I continue to use the product on the back of my hands which tend to dry out through extended exposure to the harsh Vanuatu sun whilst playing golf.”
Bryan Death, General Manager Moorings Hotel, Vanuatu
“I am Tamanu Oil’s greatest fan. Having reached the age of 50 (okay, so maybe I’m a little older), I found that I was beginning to have some age spots appear on the back of my hands. I think this was due to spending too much time in a bikini when I was younger. Whatever the reason, I didn’t like it. After using straight Tamanu Oil, I don’t have one single age spot on either hand! I now use Tamanu Oil all the time. It is the greatest skin care secret of all time and but for moving to live in Vanuatu, I wouldn’t even have learnt that such a miraculous natural product existed.”
Pamela Reynolds, CEO PR’s Management Consulting & Financial Services Vanuatu Ph: (678) 58381 or (678) 51405
Anibanani – 06-07-2005 – 07:36 PM (on healthboards.com) – listing treatments she has tried;
“dermanew microdermabrasion- minimal sucess
slikia camelia oil- total bs made me break out and did nothing for the scars
retin a- did nothing but thin out my skin and made me sensitive to every element of the weather(took me years to get my skin back to normal)
mederma-made me itch like crazy, did nothing for my scars
in office microdermabrasion- lil to no results
tamanu oil-in seven months my scars are 95% smoothed out, not to mention I have practically no acne thanks to this and also good diet, really good stuff I highly reccomend it ” And one last review from the essentialdayspa forum, posted on a topic about scar treatments; “I hate to get all melodramatic here and start saying i’ve found my holy grail but i’m just loving tamanu oil!!!
Okay, let’s get away from the fact that it stinks and isn’t pleasant at all! it’s also quite viscous and yellowy. I can put up with that in miracle products!!
However, i’m hesitant to get all happy happy and proclaim miracles because i have only used it THREE TIMES. but, i’m noticing a difference already! Wow!!!! I’m just praying i don’t have an OCM purge type moment with it being oil.
Along with my many many other red marks, i’ve had an acne mark on my cheek for a year now, which i affectionally call my norway scar. It was a spot which developed on my holiday to norway last March – bang smack in the middle of my cheek – and ruined my holiday. Well, not ruined it, but you girls know what i mean!
Despite being so patient and not squeezing it, as i am apt to do, it still scarred and has been very noticeable being in the middle of my cheek. it’s never gone, albeit it has faded.
Now!!!!!!!!!!! Heck, it’s barely there!!!! I really can’t believe it after only three times! I keep looking in the mirror thinking maybe i’m looking in the wrong place!
My newer, more redder scarring hasn’t shown quite this remarkable improvement but i expect that will take a bit longer. But, I’m really really pleased! I just pray i don’t start breaking out again as i’m just starting to get my last OCM purge until control! Infact, that’s where all the scarring has come from!
So, i think i’ve cracked the best thing for my acne scarring – using tumeric (in either ready made cream or using it DIY style) to fade the spots, together with a good exfoliant once a week to clear the top layer of dead skin then tamanu oil at night. I feel more positive about being able to clear my skin again than i have done for ages! “
Outstanding results can be seen in ‘Before and After’ photographs, which claim to be from users of the product ‘Skinderma Pro’, at the Skinderma Pro website, and can be seen as further evidence of Tamanu oil’s powerful effects on all types of scars, as such dramatic results have not been reported or documented by users of the other ingredients in the product, despite their being present in the marketplace for several years now.
These outstandingly positive consumer reviews have persuaded me that this substance definitely deserved further investigation. The following is a summary of what I found out from the existing literature:
Tamanu Oil Background
Apparently, the indigenous Melanesians and Polynesians have been aware of the regenerative and curative properties of Tamanu Oil for centuries.
The natives regard it as one of nature’s sacred gifts – being sometimes referred to as the Sacred Oil Of Tamanu or Green Gold!
While there have been a number of scientific studies on Tamanu Oil, the research has been limited, due largely to the product not being well known outside Pacific Island countries such as Vanuatu and Tahiti
However, this does not put it behind most of the ‘high tech’ cosmetic ingredients to be found in top brand expensive cosmetic creams, which rarely have scientific studies to support their claims.
BioScience Laboratories conducted a study of Tamanu oil’s ability to improve the appearance of scars.
Six subjects with obvious scars aged for one year or more participated in the test. Subjects were not allowed to use moisturizers on their scarred areas for seven days before the test or throughout the nine-week test period.
Scars were rated for roughness, length, width and degree of difference from surrounding normal skin. Measurements of darkness and redness were also taken for scarred and surrounding normal skin. Digital photos of scars were taken prior to initial application and at the end of week nine.
Tamanu oil was applied to the scarred area twice daily for nine consecutive weeks.
There was significant improvement in appearance of scars after six weeks, and improvement continued through week nine.
Scar length was reduced by an average 0.28 centimeters, and width was reduced by an average 0.12 centimeters.
Source: Dweck, A.C.: Calophyllum inophyllum – Tamanu oil the African, Asian, Polynesian and Pacific Panacea. International Journal of Cosmetic Science 24, 6, 1-8 (2002).
This study only lasted 9 weeks, only a couple of months, and these results are quite a significant improvement, when you compare it to the agonisingly slow progress often experienced with other scar treatments.
Healing benefits of Tamanu Oil
Scientific studies show that Tamanu Oil is a significant healing agent because of its ability to produce new skin tissue and because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-neuralgic, antibiotic and antioxidant properties.
While Tamanu Oil can be used effectively to treat a range of infections including ring worm, athlete’s foot, itching and dermaphytosis of the scalp or beard (due to the presence of Friedelin) and infected wounds and burns (due to the anti-bacterial presence of Canophyllol and the antibiotic presence of lactone), it is its cicatrizing capacity that sets it apart.
Cicatrization is the process involved in the formation of new tissue.
Consequently, Tamanu Oil is amazingly effective for the treatment of everything from;
insect bites and stings,
dry or scaly skin and
MOST IMPORTANTLY – the reduction or COMPLETE REMOVAL of unsightly age spots and hyperpigmentation.
The natural anti-inflammatory qualities of the oil also produce significant pain-relieving properties – this is especially so when it comes to conditions such as neuralgia, sciatica, shingles and rheumatism.
It is this anti-inflammatory quality that is primarily responsible for the reduction of general swelling, rashes, sores, and abrasions.
The combination of the oil’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities can be particularly beneficial in the case of pulled muscles, ligament damage and sprains.
Tamanu Oil can be applied to the surface of the skin to promote healthy, blemish-free skin. Many Ni Vanuatu women apply use it on babies to prevent nappy rash.
It may be applied to treat a variety of skin irritations, including those caused by warts, allergies or skin ulcers.
Some of the other skin care benefits of this tropical first aid remedy include the treatment of dermatitis, chemical burns, skin grafts, post surgical wounds, vaginitis, chilblains
The Cancer Chemopreventative Agents
In a search for anti-tumor-promoting agents, a Japanese study found that one of the components of tamanu oil exhibited a marked inhibitory effect on mouse skin tumor promotion.
Source: Cancer Letters, Volume 169, Issue 1, Pages 15-19 M. Itoigawa
While these tests were conducted on rats, the scientific findings strongly suggest that Tamanu Oil could well operate as an anti-cancer promoter in humans as well.
Anti-Aging Qualities Of Tamanu Oil
Given Tamanu Oil’s unique ability to promote the growth of new, healthy skin tissue, the benefits of using natural Tamanu Oil-based products are obvious.
Although I was unable to find any scientific studies on the effects of Tamanu oil for aging skin; I would guess that it will prove as effective, if not more so, than most of the cosmetic ingredients being used in the ‘high tech’ cosmetic offerings currently to be found in the market place.
Wrinkles are caused by changes in the lower layer of the skin, the dermis, which result in reduced production and repair of damaged skin components (elastin, collagen and Hyalonuric acid).
However, according to Leslie Baumann, a world-renowned dermatologist; most skin care ingredients can’t penetrate that far into the dermis to affect wrinkles.
Baumann asserts that there are only a limited number of cosmetic ingredients which have been proven to be able to penetrate all three skin layers and therefore stimulate the regeneration of new skin tissue.
She cites vitamin C, copper peptides and retinoids as having this unique ability.
Most cosmetic ingredients temporarily mask the wrinkle by temporarily ‘plumping’ the skin, rather then ‘treating’ the cause of the wrinkle at the dermis level.
However, Tamanu oil has also been proven to have this unique ability to penetrate all three layers of the skin ; thus putting it in this exclusive category of effective skin tissue regenerating ingredients.
The superior scar treating effects reported by users may indicate that its regenerating abilities are superior even to those substances cited by Baumann and Tamanu Oil may therefore be similarly superior in its anti-aging abilities.
Unfortunately, due to its newness to the market; a lack of reports, reviews and studies means that there is little evidence to really compare it to other products for its anti-aging abilities at present, apart from to say that the anecdotal evidence is stronger for its success with age spots and pigmentation than the anecdotal evidence of most treatments that I have read.
In order to gain greater clarity on the extent of the strengths and limitations of Tamanu oil; I invite users to leave their reviews, feedback and progress with use of the product with regard to its anti-aging and scar reducing benefits on the BBT forum.
You are also invited to leave overall ratings of the product; though this is best given after several months of use, to get a more complete picture of its effects.
How Tamanu Oil is Produced
The Tamanu tree only bears fruit once a year and the fruit itself is inedible. However, inside the fruit is a pale-coloured nut kernel. When this nut kernel is dried (which takes 1-2 months), it turns a deep, chocolate brown and releases a sticky, rich oil.
The oil is then extracted by cold-pressing and filtration. It takes an awful lot of nuts to produce a small quantity of oil – in fact, it takes around four trees to produce approximately 20 Liters of “pure” Tamanu Oil, depending on the size and yield of the trees!
How to Use Tamanu Oil
Tamanu Oil should be applied topically. That is to say, it should be applied directly to the surface area of the affected skin, not ingested.
Once applied, massage in. The oil will absorb readily into the skin, without leaving any oily residue.
The real trick to using Tamanu Oil, especially when it comes to removing age spots, is to only use 100% pure Tamanu Oil.
While it can safely be mixed with other oils such as Olive Oil, all this really achieves is a higher profit margin for the seller or manufacturer and a less effective treatment for the consumer.
The other trick to achieving effective and rapid results is the frequency with which you apply the oil.
Initially, it’s a good idea to apply the oil 4, 5 or more times a day and then cut back as the problem begins to heal.
If you are applying the oil to a large area then the frequency should be 2-3 times a day. It can have a drying effect on the skin when applied to a large area. If the area does start to become “scaly”, don’t be alarmed – it means the oil is doing its job. Ease off on the application or even stop for a few days.
Apply some pure 100% Virgin Coconut Oil to ease the drying effect and then re-commence the application of Tamanu Oil, if necessary.
Having perused the literature and read the positive responses from Tamanu oil users given on independent review and forum sites; I feel confident that this is indeed a very exciting breakthrough ingredient for the treatment of scars and pigmentation problems and could well be the best treatment for scars to be found at present.
However, due to its obscurity; I found that there are very few sellers of 100% pure Tamanu oil. In the UK, I could not find any!
There are a few sellers in the USA, but buying from these companies (if you live in the UK and Europe) involves high shipping costs and the painfully long wait for delivery, which can sometimes involve even further delays and costs with customs.
Many of the products containing Tamanu oil are also diluted with other, less effective oils and are also vastly over-priced (this is the case with the Skinderma Pro product).
As a result of the dearth of options with regard to Tamanu Oil products available; the evidence pointing to its unique and superior effectiveness for scar and skin healing and requiring an affordable, attractively packaged and conveniently available product for my own usage; I have ventured into the world of product development and developed a Tamanu Oil product, available for purchase in and from the UK.
It retails at a fraction of the cost of the Skinderma Pro product and it contains only 100% pure, undiluted Tamanu oil, to ensure maximum strength, effectiveness and speed of action.