Throughout the world health and beauty lovers are becoming more aware of the power and nourishment of Cacay Oil. Compared to some of the more established beauty oils, Cacay is little known and little grown, but this is changing rapidly. One of the reasons for this growth is its increasing popularity in anti-ageing circles, and its inclusion in a number of high-end beauty products. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about Cacay and how you can use it in your beauty routine and your homemade cosmetics, including a beautifully natural and simple Naissance recipe.
Where does Cacay grow?
Cacay grows wild in the Andes Mountains in Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia and the adjacent Amazonian lowlands1. In most cases the nut is wild harvested but greater industrialization is also taking place.
What is it used for?
Cacay has culinary, cosmetic and nutritious uses. The size of a lemon, all parts of the Cacay fruit are useable. Whether as cattle feed or compost, as a biofuel, or as a high nutrient nut to eat or extract oil from. Parts of the Cacay are also used to produce an omega filled food supplement containing up to 40% protein and essential amino acids. Cacay milk is also sold as a milk substitute, which is why Cacay is also known as ‘the vegetable cow’. The nut resembles a hazel nut in flavour and is eaten raw, roasted, fried or ground as a drink or sweet. Crushed nuts and milk are used to feed weaned children2.
Why is Cacay used as beauty oil?
Cacay can be used on the face, body, hair and hands. As an oil that is bursting with nutrients, Cacay is reported to be good for anti-ageing, healing and nourishing the skin. Cacay has triple the natural Retinol of Rosehip, and twice Argan’s Linoeic Acid content. "A three-item set of anti-aging products with cacay retails for 1,060 pounds ($1,555) at Harrods department store in London."3
How does Cacay grow?
After planting, the Cacay starts producing fruit in the 3rd or 4th year. In most areas, the Cacay trees are already established and so don’t need to be grown, only wild harvested when the fruits are ready4. For a Cacay farmer, selective breeding has reduced the time for the plant to mature from 8 to 3 years5. The plants grow in acid soils with poor nutrients and live for 80-100 years still producing fruit. The plants can reach 15 - 20 meters in height.
Harvesting and Pressing
Cacay harvest takes place in the summer when other crops are not producing fruit. This creates a stream of income for local people and farmers at an otherwise fruitless time of year6. A ten-year-old tree can yield 100-250 kg of nuts per year. The nuts are easily separated from the thin shell before being cold pressed to extract the oil from the seed7.
The Cacay industry
Its economic benefits have been known for over 60 years but it is only in more recent years that the plant has gained popularity. This has saved the tree from being chopped down and used as firewood, reduced deforestation, and in the case of Cacay farms, has helped reforest previously deforested areas. To help keep up with recent demand certain companies and governments are encouraging farmers to grow Cacay, either as a sole crop, or to double as an income and shade for their cattle8.
Is Cacay bad for the environment?
Wild harvested Cacay seeds come from well established trees in the rainforest. Farmed Cacay creates a monoculture. Many Cacay producers are working sustainably to ensure the continuation of the health of the land, to prevent deforestation and to help local people have a sustainable income with a limited effect on the local environment. The tree is also grown as a shade tree for coffee, cacao and cattle. The plant sheds its leaves onto the forest floor, improving the quality of the soil. Cacay trees are often cut down for firewood and to make room for cattle. However, commercial farming of Cacay has increased the number of plants.
For wrinkles, fine lines, stretch marks and scars. An easy to make and use natural roll-on to target fine lines, scars, stretch marks and other signs that you’ve been alive. For healthy looking skin, includes Vitamin A & E, Linoleic acid and Omega 6. Nourishing and natural. With the wholesome power of Cacay and the revitalising magic of Frankincense.
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Hello Rebecca, Cacay Seed Oil is a vegetable carrier oil and so should be safe to use during pregnancy on your skin. If you have any concerns please consult an aromatherapist. Do let me know if you have any other questions. x
Is this safe to use on skin during pregnancy? Thanks