Sustainable Babassu Oil – A Fantastic Alternative to Palm Oil

Written by: | February 7, 2017 | one response

If you’ve been looking for an environmentally responsible alternative to palm oil,  USDA Certified Organic Babassu oil may become your new favorite. This beautifully clear, light-yellow oil is higher in lauric acid than coconut oil. Lauric acid is a fantastic moisturizer that also soothes the skin and hair, and has a very very faint hint of bay leaf aroma. Sustainable babassu oil also brings along anti-oxidant powerhouse vitamin E, and phytosterols great for helping aging and mature skin look and feel hydrated, smooth and soft.

Native to the northern and central regions of Brazil, the babassu palm tree has wild, fan-shaped fronds and grows in an 18 million hectare area adjacent to the Amazon basin. Each babassu tree produces more than 500 nuts per harvest, and the fronds are used in housing.

The babassu tree is a critical subsistence resource in Maranhão, where more than 300,000 families– mostly women, harvest babassu and are often dependent upon this activity for their economic survival.


Cold-pressed babassu oil has an emollient factor similar to coconut oil but is not greasy. Think silky, soothing, and soft. You can substitute it 1:1 for mango, cupuacu, shea, and of course, coconut and palm oils. Babassu is considered a soft oil with a melting point of about 80F and is well suited for skincare and cosmetics designed for mature or very dry skin. Also great for natural hair care, it is deeply hydrating and leaves hair soft, shiny, and silky. It can also be used as a single-note oil for facial cleansing and as a pre-shampoo conditioning. Babassu is a good beard oil and after-shave skin-conditioner for men.

Babassu oil blends wonderfully with pumpkin, borage, cranberry, pomegranate, apricot, and avocado oils. Replace coconut or palm in moisturizers, creams, and hair care products to reap the environmentally friendly benefits of this terrific oil. And, unlike shea, sustainable babassu oil it isn’t prone to that crystalizing crunchy effect that happens after it is heated and cools.

Sustainability Notes

The sustainable Technology Project has a great list of why babassu oil is good for the planet, as well as your skin. I’ve copied it here so nothing is lost in translation. You can find more at

  • Nothing is wasted from the babassu nut – as well as its use in cosmetics, the shell is used as fuel, fibers in porridge, and it is a source of alcohol, charcoal, and oil for fuel.
  • Babassu nuts are a readily available natural resource and are harvested by local people.
  • The women babassu breakers work locally, collecting nuts and extracting kernels at the same time as looking after their children and homes.
  • The babassu palm is vital as a source of income for local people.
  • The status and influence of women have been significantly improved as a result of their involvement in COPPALJ.
  • Trade has increased the importance of the babassu palm and its conservation has become more important.
  • COPPALJ has invested money in improving its oil press and conditions in the factory.


While essential oils are amazing for creating beautiful scent profiles, sometimes the most desirable scents like lilac and lily are just not available as essential oils. With an enfluerage, you can extract those lovely aromas into the oil.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Yield: Approximately 1 Pound

Equipment You’ll Need

Glass bowl preferably with a cover
Flowers of your choice


1LB         Babassu Oil or RBD Coconut Oil
1Tbsp    Non-GMO Vitamin E
Flower petals


  • Remove the petals only from your flowers, be sure you have a good amount of petals. Heat the babassu oil until it becomes fully liquid. This should be about 80F. Add the Vitamin E and Mix well.
  • Add the flower petals to your glass bowl and then pour the babassu oil over the petals. Cover and keep in a warm place – ideally 75F -80F
  • Every 12 -24 hours, remove the flower petals from the oil and replace with fresh petals. This may take several times to achieve the fragrance level you desire.
  • Once you have the fragrance level you desire, remove any excess water from your oil with a pipette.

Please note that this recipe has not been challenge tested for preservation efficacy. If you use this recipe for market sales, it is up to you to ensure the safety of the product. We strongly recommend 3rd party challenge testing. If you need additional help, please contact us at or 866-252-9639.

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