Babassu oil (INCI Orbygnia oleifera (babassu) seed oil) is an oil, even though it is solid at room temperature. It has a melting point very close to our body temperature – 76˚F or 24˚C – which means it will melt upon contact with your skin. It is a non-greasy oil, meaning it feels a bit dry on your skin.
Its fatty acid profile is interesting. With 42% lauric acid (C12), 17% myristic acid (C14), 10% palmitic acid (C16), 4% stearic acid (C18), 15% oleic acid (C18:1), and about 3% linoleic acid (C18:2), it covers the range of fatty acids with a little bit of everything. Stearic acid is a great moisturizing fatty acid. Oleic acid is a great moisturizing and possible anti-inflammatory. And linoleic acid can help restore skin’s barrier functions and reduce trans-epidermal water loss.
Because of this higher level of unsaturated fatty acids, babassu has a shelf life of about one year – but I don’t think anyone could leave it on the shelf that long!
Babassu is considered a great replacement for coconut oil with a non-greasy, silky, slippery, glidy skin feel that doesn’t feel occlusive or greasy.