Macadamia oil (or macadamia nut oil) is the non-volatile oil expressed from the nut meat of the macadamia (Macadamia integrifolia) tree, a native Australian nut. Macadamia oil is sometimes used in food as a frying or salad oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient or fragrance fixative.
Macadamia oil contains approximately 60% oleic acid, 19% palmitoleic acid, 1-3% linoleic acid and 1-2% α-linoleic acid. Some varieties contain roughly equal omega-6 and omega-3. Although macadamia is cultivated in many different parts of the world, the oil’s fatty acid profile is not greatly influenced by environmental factors. The oil displays chemical properties typical of a vegetable triglyceride oil. It is also very stable due to its low polyunsaturated fat content.
Macadamia oil is liquid at room temperature. The refined oil is clear, lightly amber-colored with a slightly nutty odour. It is possible to refine it to complete transparency, but the faint odour of macadamia nuts remains.
Macadamia oil’s rich, cushiony skinfeel and high oxidative stability make it especially suitable for heavy creams and suncare formulations. Derivatives of macadamia oil in cosmetics include the light emollient ethyl macadamiate and water soluble PEG-16 macadamia glycerides.
Macadamia oil is an excellent botanical replacement for mink oil in most applications. Also used for hair.
Macadamia oil’s INCI name is macadamia ternifolia seed oil.