Why the Pili is the Star Ingredient in this Grooming Product

It protects your skin from everyday pollution.
IMAGE Wikimedia Commons - Ringer

Over 10 years ago, while traveling in the Bicol region of the Philippines, organic advocate Rosalina Tan bought a bottle of pure pili oil from a farmer. She was intrigued by how locals were using pili oil, which was extracted from the fruit of the pili tree, for certain skin problems. 

Curious about its benefits, and with the help of a chemist, Tan experimented and developed a few skincare products. She also invested in research to scientifically prove the benefits of pili oil. 

Research showed pili oil is highly concentrated with antioxidants and essential fatty acids, even more potent than most exotic natural oils. She also found that elemi oil, which comes from the bark of the pili tree, contains rich anti-aging and anti-bacterial ingredients. These studies convinced Tan to develop a skincare line that seriously addresses dry skin and skin aging problems.

Thus, Pili Ani was born, with the goal of providing natural skincare products. All trees used in creating its products are allowed to grow naturally without chemicals or pesticides. Remarkably, a single pili tree takes years to mature. It takes five years before fruit can be harvested, and 10 before elemi oil can be collected from the sap. 

Already, the Filipino company and its pili-based products have developed a following, with devotees buying products online and at shops in the U.S., from Beverly Hills to Santa Fe.

Tan strongly recommends the Intense Hydrating Facial Cream for men. “This not only moisturizes your skin, it contains elemi and pili oil, rich in antioxidants that protects your skin from everyday pollution while elemi helps firm the skin,” she says via e-mail.

To combat dark circles and minimize the appearance of fine lines around the eye area, there’s also the Eye Perfecting Serum. Its exclusive formula is perfected with hyaluronic acid, which retains skin moisture, and a combination of marine glycosaminoglycans and seaweed extracts, which brightens dark circles and helps lift sagging skin.

A newly launched product is the Deep Detox Volcanic Exfoliating Mask. Made with the pili tree's nutrient-rich oils, volcanic ash that helps clear pores and exfoliate dead skin cells, and bamboo charcoal powder that detoxifies and absorbs impurities, this combination of all natural ingredients is excellent for oily and acne-prone skin.

Other products in the range include the Intense Hydrating Facial Oil, Youthful Glow Facial Cream, and Natural Radiance Facial Moisturizer Cream. Pili Ani boasts that it is the world’s only skincare line made with both pili oil and elemi oil, and all its products are verified in laboratories in New York, Singapore, and the Philippines.

InStyle magazine has weighed in on the pili-on-skin proposition, with its writer Marianne Mychaskiw noting how she's had “sugar-coated variations” of the pili nut before, but its use as a nourishing ingredient for skin health is unique. has also praised the Filipino company and the local nut, saying, “after two months of testing, Pili Ani smoothed out fine creases, and the viscous oil lent skin that sought-after dewy look.”

Of course, the best way to find out whether it works is to try it.

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Margaux Salazar
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