As some of the readers know, I bought 100% Unrefined Palm KERNEL oil from Coastal Scents last month.
I was initially impressed with the Palm Kernel because it is very, very soft and feels good when you rub it between your fingers. And my initial reaction has not changed.
The 100% Unrefined Palm Kernel oil I have is brown in color and semi-solid at room temperature. And before you go there, NO not all Palm/Palm Kernel oil is produced in an unsustainable way.
I can’t fully believe I’m saying this, but I love this oil. There are some oils which are barrier oils, meaning that they are more likely to sit atop the skin and hair to help keep in moisture.
Then there are oils like this one which absorb very easily and makes my skin and hair feel smooth and softer. This Palm Kernel oil is one of the few oils I can use, as is, on my face without a whole lot of trouble.
Reminder: Real unrefined palm KERNEL oil is darkish brown and semi-solid at room temp
I even like it better than the Organic Palm Shortening I got from Tropical Traditions.
Just to make it crystal clear: This is NOT Red Palm oil. This is Palm KERNEL oil, made from the kernel (nut) of the fruit.
The version at Coastal Scents as of this writing is the version of Palm that you can leave in your hair and use on your skin without staining.
There are many versions of Palm oil on the market:
- Red Palm oil is red, stains, and people use it for cooking and for deep conditioning the hair. Red Palm oil needs to be rinsed/washed out of the hair. This oil is made from the flesh of the Palm fruit.
- Refined/Bleached Palm oil is red palm oil which has been refined to separate the stearin (solid part) from the olein (liquid part). In addition, they remove the smell and the color. It is sometimes a stiff butter and is pale yellow color.
- Organic Palm Shortening is a USDA certified organic, non-hydrogenated version of red palm oil which has had some of its unsaturated fats separated out. Because of that, it is almost odorless and has a light yellow color. But because it is not harshly refined, it is not super-hard or solid white in color. Great for making whipped butters, by the way.
- Refined Palm KERNEL oil is made from the nut inside the Palm fruit. It has been refined and/or bleached to get rid of any colors or natural smells. Its completely different from red palm oil. They are not wholly interchangeable as they are made from two completely different parts of the fruit. People tend to use Refined Palm kernel oil in soap. This version is sometimes hard and solid white.
- Unrefined Palm KERNEL oil (the one I’m reviewing in this post) is made from the nut inside the fruit, except it has not been refined or bleached. It is brown, is easily absorbed into the hair and skin, and is semi-solid at room temperature. It feels very soft when rubbing between your fingers and applying to hair.
Palm KERNEL oil is a great substitute for any DIY product you would normally create with coconut oil.
Try whipping it with Shea butter and see if there is a difference in feel to your whipped butters. Make a leave-in conditioner using unrefined Palm KERNEL oil and see if you like it better than your regular mix.