Roucou oil: Features of the lipstick tree

Repeatedly, while examining composition of a cosmetic, we come across substances the names of which do not tell us anything about the beauty product in particular. As a consequence, little we know what we apply to, for example, our hair. For that reason, it is crucial to have just the basic knowledge about the origins of some ingredients. Today, we are covering roucou oil, which can be found in some products designed for hair care. Where does it come from? What are its features?

roucou-oil.jpgRoucou oil is sourced from Roucou tree (South American regions) due to cold-press process. Probably this information does not shed light on the issue much; therefore, let us take a closer look at this plant. Let us start form its common names. In Latin, Roucou oil is known as Bixa Orellana. Annatto, Urucum, Achiote are other names the tree carries. Since extracts of the fruit are typical ingredients delivering red shade of cosmetics and body paint, the tree is also known as the lipstick tree.

Ethnic tribes of America used Roucou tree oil mainly as a protection for skin against scorching sun and insects. The flesh of fruit was used for producing a red colourant called bixin, which was applied on body during various ceremonies the tribes conducted. Today, bixin is used as a food colourant and as a seasoning, however, these are not the most important features of the lipstick tree. Oil extracted from the seeds of small Roucou tree is a real mixture of nourishing substances. What can be found in roucou oil?

In short, roucou oil is a diversity of carotenoids, amino acids, sucrose, salicylic acid, ellagic acid, and minerals (selenium, magnesium, and calcium). Rich tapestry of vitamins and minerals from Roucou tree makes roucou oil an ideal cosmetic because it:

  • delivers strong anti-oxygenating action,
  • eliminates first signs of premature greying,
  • protects against harmful external factors (i.e. UV radiation),
  • works regenerating and rebuilding on cellular structure,
  • provides deep nourishment and delivers softness,
  • works antibacterial and relieves irritations.