Orbignya oleifera seed oil, commonly known as babassu oil, is a natural vegetable oil derived from the seeds of the babassu palm tree (Orbignya oleifera). This oil has gained popularity in the cosmetic industry due to its various beneficial properties.

Babassu oil is lightweight and non-greasy, making it suitable for use in skincare and haircare products. It is rich in fatty acids, including lauric acid, myristic acid, and oleic acid, which help nourish and moisturize the skin and hair. These fatty acids also possess emollient properties, making babassu oil effective in softening and smoothing the skin, as well as reducing moisture loss.

In addition to its moisturizing benefits, babassu oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe and calm irritated or inflamed skin. It is often used in formulations targeted at sensitive or dry skin, as it helps restore the skin's natural barrier function and improve overall hydration.


History of Babassu Oil

Babassu oil, derived from the seeds of the babassu palm in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, has a rich history rooted in indigenous use and traditional practices. Utilized by local communities for centuries, the oil gained attention during the colonial period for its culinary, lighting, and medicinal applications. With the advent of industrialization, babassu oil became commercially produced and found its way into the global market, particularly in the cosmetic industry due to its moisturizing properties. Efforts towards sustainable harvesting have emerged to balance economic interests with environmental conservation and the well-being of local communities. Today, babassu oil faces challenges related to deforestation, prompting the need for responsible sourcing practices to ensure its continued viability as a valuable natural resource.



  • Cosmetic and Skincare Products: Babassu oil is known for its moisturizing and emollient properties. It is a common ingredient in cosmetic and skincare products, such as lotions, creams, balms, and soaps. The oil helps hydrate the skin without leaving a greasy residue, making it suitable for various skincare formulations.
  • Hair Care Products: Babassu oil is used in hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks. It helps nourish and moisturize the hair, promoting shine and manageability. The lightweight nature of the oil makes it an attractive choice for hair products.
  • Cooking Oil: In regions where the babassu palm is native, babassu oil has been traditionally used as a cooking oil. It has a high melting point, similar to coconut oil, and is suitable for frying and sautéing. The oil is edible and has a mild, nutty flavor.
  • Medicinal and Traditional Uses: Indigenous communities in the Amazon region have used babassu oil for its potential medicinal properties. It has been employed to soothe skin conditions, alleviate inflammation, and as a general-purpose ointment.
  • Industrial Applications: Babassu oil has been used in the production of soaps and candles due to its cleansing and solidifying properties. Its versatility makes it a valuable ingredient in various industrial applications.


Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of babassu oil begins with the harvesting of babassu nuts from the native babassu palm in the Amazon rainforest. After cracking the nuts open to access the kernel, the oil is extracted through mechanical pressing or traditional methods. Filtration is employed to remove impurities, and in some cases, optional refining processes may be used to enhance the oil's qualities. The final product is then packaged for distribution, with variations in the manufacturing process depending on producer preferences and emphasis on traditional or modern techniques. Sustainable practices and fair trade considerations play a crucial role in ensuring the ethical and environmental aspects of babassu oil production.


Environmental Properties

  • Renewable Resource: The babassu palm is a renewable resource, and its nuts can be harvested without harming the tree. This makes babassu oil a sustainable alternative to other oils that may contribute to deforestation or environmental degradation.
  • Biodiversity Conservation: The babassu palm is native to the Amazon rainforest, and sustainable harvesting practices can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. This includes protecting the natural habitat of the babassu palm and the various species that depend on it.
  • Carbon Sequestration: Like other trees in the rainforest, babassu palms play a role in carbon sequestration. The preservation of babassu palm populations helps mitigate the effects of climate change by storing carbon dioxide.
  • Reduced Deforestation: Babassu oil offers an economic incentive for local communities to sustainably manage and harvest babassu palms, reducing the likelihood of deforestation for alternative purposes such as agriculture or logging.
  • Traditional and Indigenous Knowledge: The extraction and use of babassu oil often involve traditional and indigenous knowledge passed down through generations. This cultural aspect can contribute to the preservation of local ecosystems and sustainable practices.
  • Fair Trade Practices: Ethical and fair trade practices in the production of babassu oil help ensure that local communities benefit economically from the resource. This, in turn, promotes a more sustainable and equitable relationship between the industry and the communities reliant on babassu.


Brands Using Babassu Oil

1. Ethique: In 2012, Ethique began crafting innovative formulas in their Christchurch kitchen, New Zealand. Fueled by expertise in chemistry and biology, Ethique aimed to revolutionize cosmetics with a commitment to healthy, sustainable, and naturally derived ingredients. Transitioning from the kitchen to a dedicated lab, their core principle remains unchanged. Ethique addresses the need for a transformation in hair and skin care by offering simple, concentrated, and eco-friendly products without excess packaging. Using Babassu oil among other natural ingredients, Ethique's solid bars are densely packed with goodness, promoting effective results without harsh chemicals. The choice of bars reflects their commitment to sustainability, providing long-lasting, concentrated alternatives to liquid products while eliminating the need for preservatives. Ethique's ethos revolves around doing no harm and improving beauty product standards.


Manufacturers Using Babassu Oil

1. TOBASA: Since its establishment in 1968, TOBASA has been a beacon of innovation in the babassu coconut supply chain. The company's expertise spans from the collection and husking of coconuts to the advanced technological processing of its products. Today, TOBASA stands as the sole industrial complex in the country producing a diverse range of items, including oil, protein feed, energetic biomasses, amylaceous flours, starch alcohol, Babassu oil, and activated carbon—positioning itself as the leading producer and supplier of Coconut Activated Carbon in Brazil.

With a rich tradition spanning 55 years, TOBASA is widely recognized as one of the most esteemed industrial groups in Tocantins and the northern region of Brazil. The company has garnered numerous awards and accolades for its significant contributions to social, economic, and environmental initiatives. TOBASA's impact extends beyond recognition, playing a pivotal role in job creation, both directly and indirectly, and earning acclaim for its innovative technological achievements.


News and Updates on Babassu Oil

Reviving Brazil’s Babassu: A Sustainable Alternative to Imported Palm Oil for a Greener Future

Where Babassu Oil Can Be Sourced




Standards Related to Babassu Oil

B corporation