It’s no major secret that we at Kiehl’s are big fans of oils. Face oils, body oils, cleansing oils—they’re all great in our book. We’re also fond of using specific oils as ingredients in our formulas (and educating you on them, of course). While you may be familiar with squalane—a lightweight, plant-derived oil and Kiehl’s signature ingredient—it’s by no means the only lipid we use. One lesser-known oil that you can find in a handful of our products is called pracaxi oil, and it’s an ingredient that deserves to be on your radar.
Here, we’ll give you the rundown on pracaxi oil. You’ll learn where it comes from, what it does, and how to add it to your daily routine. Plus, we’ll clue you in on the most notable pracaxi oil benefits for skin and hair. Get ready to meet a new favorite ahead.
What Is Pracaxi Oil?
Pracaxi oil—pronounced “pra-ka-shee”—is a nutrient-rich oil derived from the dried fruit of the Pentaclethra macroloba tree, which is native to the Amazon rainforest. Like many other plant oils, it’s been used for centuries to address various skin concerns, including dryness and scarring.
Pracaxi Oil Benefits For Skin and Hair
The majority of the beauty benefits of pracaxi oil can be attributed to its lipid composition: It contains a wide range of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic, oleic, and behenic acids. Several of these essential fatty acids are considered key components of the skin’s natural moisture barrier. In short, they’re partially responsible for keeping the skin well-hydrated.
Unfortunately, our skin’s ability to moisturize itself dwindles over time, resulting in dry, dull-looking skin. When used topically in skincare products, pracaxi oil can help replenish your skin’s natural lipids, giving your skin a more hydrated look and feel. It can have a similar hydrating effect when applied to the scalp and hair, which makes sense—your scalp, after all, is skin too. Additionally, pracaxi oil can help protect the hair from damage, tame frizz, and add shine, making it a popular choice for both rinse-out and leave-in haircare formulations.
How To Add Pracaxi Oil To Your Routine
With the background information out of the way, we’re ready to get to the good stuff: How to use this unique lipid in your skincare and haircare routines. Ahead, discover four Kiehl’s favorites with pracaxi oil and learn how to incorporate these must-haves into your day-to-day.
1. Grooming Solutions Exfoliating Body Soap
Incorporate pracaxi oil into your shower routine with Grooming Solutions Exfoliating Body Soap. The body-buffing soap bar, which also contains glycerin, jojoba seed powder, and pumice, helps cleanse away dirt and oil while gently exfoliating the skin. It’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and can be used daily to reveal softer, smoother skin over time.
To use it, first, dampen your skin in the shower, then rub the exfoliating bar soap over your body, focusing on rough areas like the elbows and knees (avoid your face). Work it into a lather (with your hands or a washcloth), then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Once you step out of the shower, apply some moisturizer while your skin is still damp—you’ll find a few of our favorites here.
2. Grooming Solutions Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner
Another way to use pracaxi oil is with Grooming Solutions Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner, a two-in-one shampoo designed for men’s hair. The moisturizing cleanser with pracaxi oil gently removes buildup to help cleanse your hair (and beard). The fragrant, essential oil-infused formula refreshes the scalp and skin, leaving your hair feeling soft, healthy, and hydrated.
Use this dual-action cleanser like you would any other shampoo: Dispense a small amount onto your fingertips, massage the rich gel onto your strands until it lathers, then rinse with lukewarm water. If you’re using it to wash your beard, we suggest doing so prior to washing your face—that way, your face wash can get rid of any shampoo residue you may have missed with your rinse.
3. Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil
If you’re a guy with facial hair, a good beard oil is a must. We recommend Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil, which is suitable for all hair (and skin) types. This unique beard oil is made with 99.8% naturally-derived ingredients, including pracaxi oil.* It absorbs quickly and helps tame and smooth coarse facial hair. It also helps nourish the skin beneath your beard to diminish dryness and reveal a more refined appearance over time.
You don’t need much of the oil: Just a few drops, worked through your beard, is more than enough to keep your facial hair looking and feeling its very best. Plus, the non-greasy oil boasts a gorgeously woodsy smell that perfectly complements the rest of the products in our Grooming Solutions collection.
*We consider ingredients to be naturally-derived if they retain more than 50% of their molecular structure after being processed from a natural source.
4. Grooming Solutions Clean Hold Styling Gel
Last but certainly not least is Grooming Solutions Clean Hold Styling Gel, a non-sticky hair gel with pracaxi oil and cedarwood essential oil. The fragrant formula provides long-lasting firm hold and helps give your chosen style a hint of natural-looking shine. It won’t flake—even when dry—and is suitable for all hair types. Work a dollop throughout damp hair before styling for all-day hold with a clean-looking, non-greasy finish.
I. Banov, Daniel, et al. “Case Series: The Effectiveness of Fatty Acids From Pracaxi Oil in a Topical Silicone Base For Scar and Wound Therapy.” Dermatology and Therapy vol. 4,2 (2014): 259-269.