If you have recently walked down the makeup, skin, or hair-care aisles of a drugstore, you may have noticed that oils are everywhere. Argan, jojoba, and coconut oils can be found in everything from face serum to mascara to deep conditioner. While it seems that people cannot get enough of these ultra moisturizing additives, the unadulterated form of these oils is touted as a cure for everything from dry skin to cavities to constipation. It has become so prevalent with coconut oil that there are even memes about it.
One of the oils that is rarely mentioned however is Monoi Oil. Hailing from Tahiti in French Polynesia, it translates to “scented oil” and is considered sacred due to all of its wonderful properties and many uses. It is created by soaking Tiare (a type of gardenia) flowers in refined coconut oil for long periods of time. The resulting oil has the beneficial properties of coconut oil as well as a lovely floral scent and anti-septic properties from the Tiare flowers. It also has a lighter texture than coconut oil which results in faster absorption and less greasiness.
Tahitians have used Monoi oil for millennia for medicinal, cosmetic, and religious purposes. In addition to its intense moisturizing properties, it was used for protection from the elements by being rubbed on the skin to shield from the intense sun, cold winds, and drying salt water.
Healthy Hair Uses
Monoi Oil contains high amounts of Vitamin E which helps repair hairs elasticity and strength, as well as antioxidants which can prevent free radical damage. In clinical studies by the Monoi Institute, long term participants reported fewer split ends, less frizz, and less dryness as compared to other participants using coconut oil or jojoba oil.
Here are some easy ways to add Monoi Oil to your daily hair routine:
- Pre-shampoo Hot Oil Treatment: Microwave for a few seconds and apply to dry hair 30 minutes before showering
- Conditioner Enhancer: Add a few drops to your conditioner
- Shine Serum: Warm a couple of drops between hands and apply to hair for a healthy shine
- Summer Protectant: Before going in the sun/salt water/pool, apply to dry hair and put hair in a bun. Instead of hair being fried by the suns rays or dried out by the salty or chlorinated water, hair will actually become softer once you wash the oils out.
Since hair proteins are rebuilt from every use, if you use it continually, your result will be longer, stronger, and healthier hair.
Glowing Skin Uses
One of the best things about Monoi Oil is that it is all natural and does not contain any toxic chemicals such as parabens (potential carcinogens), sulfates (break down proteins in hair and skin cells), or triclosan (skin, eye, lung irritant). Since the only ingredients are Coconut Oil and Tiare Flowers, it is suitable for all skin types – as long as there isn’t an allergy to either of the ingredients.
Some simple ways to add Monoi Oil to your daily skin routine:
- Bath Oil: Adding a few drops to a bath promotes relaxation and subtly fragrances skin
- Moisturizer: After a shower or bath, apply all over to rehydrate skin
- Hands and Feet: Massage into dry nail cuticles. Apply to feet before bed and cover with socks.
- Massage Oil: A healthy alternative to some fragranced massage oils
- Treatment of Skin Conditions: Monoi Oil has been proven to help with eczema and dry rashes
- Sun Care: Can be used as a dark tanning oil or as a hydrating treatment for pain relief from sunburn
- Swim Protection: Can be applied before (for protection) or after (for rehydration) exposure to sun, wind, salt water, or pool water
- Shine: Can be used to highlight and give a healthy glow to legs, collarbone, cheekbones, or arms
Any of these uses will also come with the added benefit of leaving you smelling as if you are in the tropics even if you are in the middle of a snowstorm.
A final tip: As with all oils, the purer, the better. Read ingredients and reviews, and remember that you get what you pay for so if you see an 8oz bottle for $2, it is too good to be true. The one that I purchased was 4oz for about $10 and I bought it off of Amazon after reading a gratuitous amount of reviews of different products.
Will you be trying Monoi Oil? Comment below!