Coming across an inspiring ingredient that is highly effective and somewhat of a local secret is a rare and precious moment. Cacay Oil, from the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, is one of those ingredients. Pure, unrefined Cacay oil is the perfect example of a hero ingredient. It doesn't compromise on sustainability, efficacy, and user experience. In fact, it's one of the most sustainable ingredients in the world. It also contains 3x the anti-aging retinoids of famous Rosehip Seed oil, is practically odorless, incredibly light-weight, and easily absorbs into the skin.
The Cacay tree is native and endemic to the Amazon rainforest where it grows across multiple countries in South America. (Our pure, unrefined Cacay oil is sourced in the Brazilian Amazon.) The Amazon rainforest is home to nearly half of the world's plant and animal species. It one of the world's most valuable natural assets. Yet sadly, it is being destroyed by deforestation and other unsustainable human activity. This precious ecosystem, which produces over 20% of the world's oxygen, is in grave danger. It is our responsibility, as the stewards of this planet, to seek out sustainable alternatives and solutions for the damage and destruction our species has caused. The Cacay nut and the industry surrounding it is one of those solutions.
The Cacay industry rates high on the sustainability scale because nothing harvested goes to waste. Every part of the Cacay nut is used, from it's outer shell to its meat and everything in between. Locals have long harvested Cacay nuts, using the dried meat to create Cacay flour or Cacay nut milk for use in cooking. The inner peels of the nuts are traditionally used as animal feed or fertilizer, and the outer shells are traditionally burned as fuel for heating and cooking. While locals have long used homemade Cacay oil to nourish, soften, and protect their skin, it's only recently that local manufacturers have begun cold-pressing nuts to extract the oil for commercial use.
This new industry, the Cacay oil industry, has the potential to reverse some of the damage caused by human activity on the Amazon rainforest. In fact, it's not drastic to say that this humble nut could save the most precious ecosystem in the world. The Cacay oil industry has the potential to do this in three ways:
More recently, the Brazilian government has put policies in place to protect what's left of the rainforest. This is an important step in preventing further deforestation but does little to rebuild what's already been destroyed. The Cacay tree is uniquely suited to promote reforestation because it continuously adds nutrients back into the soil after cultivation. This improves the overall quality of the soil in these regions, promoting the growth of other species.
Protection of Biodiversity
As the Cacay oil industry has grown, it has become a viable income alternative to logging. Where local families would normally resort to logging in order to earn a sustainable income, they can now harvest Cacay nuts (something many local families are already accustomed to doing) and earn a living wage. Some families are now choosing to farm Cacay trees, along with other food and income-producing species thanks to the shade produced by the Cacay trees and the fertile soil created by the cultivation of the Cacay nuts.
The outer shells of the Cacay nuts may be burned to produce activated carbon, and then processed as a fuel alternative to coal thereby reducing harmful pollution.