Tahitian for “scented oil,” monoi is a fragrant elixir that is made by steeping the petals of Tahitian gardenias (tiare flowers) in coconut oil. While only recently building buzz in beauty circles, this hot ingredient has been a South Pacific beauty staple for centuries. Read on to uncover three health and beauty benefits of monoi oil, as well as our tips for adding this unique ingredient to your skin care routine.
What Is Monoi?
Monoi oil is one of the most ancient preparations of Raau Tahiti - the use of healing plants in Tahitian medicine. Polynesian cultures traditionally used this lightweight, amber-colored liquid in religious ceremonies to purify sacred objects, as a medicinal remedy to alleviate common ailments and as a multi-purpose beauty ingredient to soften skin and hair.
Monoi oil is produced according to very specific standards passed down by generations of South Pacific healers. Here’s how the Institut du Monoi describes the production process: “Coconuts of the Cocos nucifera variety must be grown on coral soil and harvested at a mature stage. Tiare flowers (Gardenia Taitensis), handpicked as buds, must be used within 24 hours of harvesting. According to local tradition, the maceration must last a minimum of 10 days and requires at least ten Tiare flowers per liter of refined oil.”
Health & Beauty Benefits Of Monoi Oil
What makes this ingredient so unique? Here are three health and beauty benefits of monoi oil for your skin, hair and health:
1. Deeply Hydrates & Protects Skin & Hair
Monoi is a soothing and protective oil that deeply hydrates skin without stripping it of its natural oils. The people of the South Pacific have traditionally used monoi as a full-body moisturizer to protect their skin against the damaging harsh winds, intense tropical sun and drying salt water of their environment.
In more recent years, the hydrating and protective qualities of monoi have been a sought-after commodity in the beauty and skin care industry. Dr. Whitney Bowe tells Huffington Post Style: “Monoi oil contains coconut oil, which has been shown to have tremendous moisturizing benefits for the skin and hair. The essential fatty acids in coconut oil, like lauric acid, may repair hair damage and increase shine.”
2. Delays Signs Of Aging
There’s a reason that South Pacific cultures have passed on their monoi beauty secrets from generation to generation. Monoi’s base is coconut oil, an incredible superfood packed with protective antioxidants like Vitamin E and ferulic acid. These ingredients neutralize the free radicals that cause fine lines and wrinkles and delay the visible signs of aging.
3. Has Healing & Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The benefits of monoi go well beyond a beauty boost. This multi-purpose oil has been traditionally used in Polynesian medicine to tackle a variety of ailments. According to the Institut de Monoi: “The tiare blossoms are used to cure earaches, certain types of eczema, or simply to prevent insect bites.” The flowers contain high levels of methyl salicylate and lauric acid, ingredients known for their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
How To Add Monoi To Your Skin Care Routine
At Eminence Organics, we use monoi to deeply hydrate skin, improve the look of firmness and delay the visible signs of aging. Here are a few products that incorporate this luxurious ingredient:
Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating Cleanser - Gentle, multi-action exfoliating cleanser that washes away impurities, removes surface debris and smooths skin.
Monoi Age Corrective Night Cream For Face & Neck - Ultra-rich night cream that replenishes moisture and leaves skin with a smooth, youthful appearance.
Monoi Age Corrective Night Body Cream - Moisturizing body cream that leaves skin looking denser, firmer and smoother by morning.
Are you intrigued by the benefits of monoi for your skin? Experience these monoi-infused products and more at an Eminence Organics partner spa near you.