Monoi Oil: One of Nature’s Last Kept Beauty Secrets

Monoi Oil: One of Nature’s Last Kept Beauty Secrets

What is Monoi Oil?

Put simply monoi oil is a type of scented oil that comes from the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia. The oil itself is derived from soaking Tahitian gardenias within coconut oil. It has been used by indigenous groups, the Mahoi people, as well as French Tahitians as skin and oil moisturizer. More recently monoi oil (or monoi de Tahiti as it has been sometimes called) has been gaining recognition within the US and abroad as an alternative to coconut oil for its beauty benefits.

How is Monoi Oil Made?

As previously written, monoi oil is made by soaking the petals of Tahitian gardenias (commonly called Tiare flower) in coconut oil. While being manufactured for small, individual uses for at least 2000 years, monoi oil began to be commercially produced in 1942.

Authentic Tahitian monoi oil follows quite strict guidelines and rules that dictate processes from picking to shipping for it to be considered true monoi oil. This process was codified and set into precedence by an Appellation of Origin, which is a legal classification of intellectual property that relates to products to a specific region.

If this sounds confusing, think of authentic Bordeaux wines or similar cultural products coming from specific geographic regions.

Ingredients for Monoi Oil

The process for recreating monoi oil involves two major “ingredients”, the first being the Tiare flower and the second being coconut oil.

Tiare Flower

The Tiare flower, the national flower of the island, has been used across Polynesian cultures for a variety of uses, however, the flowers are picked and then allowed to soak in coconut oil for at least 15 days. This process is called “enfleurage” which means “flower soaking” in French. In addition to soaking the flowers for 15 days, the Appellation of Origin dictates that a minimum of 15 Tiare flowers must be used as well.

Coconut Oil

Being the most abundant tree within all of Polynesia, the coconut tree and its fruit are used to extract the oil to be used in monoi oil production.

Once the coconut falls from the tree, the coconuts are cracked open into various pieces. These pieces are then left to dry out in the sun. Afterward, the coconut fragments and shards shrink due to moisture loss.

After the drying process has occurred, the coconut fragments are shipped to be further processed. From there, the pure coconut oil is then extracted to be further refined to remove any impurities such as plant particulates, dirt, or insects.

Once the enfleurage has occurred and monoi oil created, the oil is then stored in lead-sealed drums that protect the oil from variances in humidity, light, and heat as part of the Appellation of Origin guidelines.

The Beauty Benefits of Monoi Oil

While monoi oil was used in a variety of applications outside of its beautifying properties, from medicinal purposes to even anointing sacred objects and temples, it has more recently caught the attention of Western audiences for its beauty benefits, moisturizing prowess, and perhaps for its unique history.

Recently, monoi oil has been verified to contain large amounts of a chemical compound called methyl salicylate, which is used in other moisturizers as a skin-soothing agent.

However, outside of simply being used as a moisturizer, monoi oil can have a variety of applications!

Sun Care and Dark Tanning Oil

Perfect to help you achieve a great tan in your TeenyB bikini, monoi oil can be used as a tanning accelerator that can speed up the tanning process. Monoi has no sunscreen or other chemical additives to prevent sunburn so be sure to apply frequently while avoiding excessive exposure during peak hours. The best part of monoi is that unlike traditional sunscreen, it is absorbed quickly into the skin without the greasy or oily feeling left by traditional sunscreens.

Hair Care

After a long day at the beach, the saltwater can seriously damage your hair and scalp, luckily monoi can be used as an oil treatment for the harsh, drying effect that saltwater can do. The oil can help hydrate, moisturize, strengthen, and revive any type of hair as part of your pre-shampoo hair routine.

Monoi’s large amount of methyl salicylate can condition your hair, leaving it soft, shiny, and supple no matter how long you’ve splashed around the sand. Be sure to massage it into your scalp then rinse it out with shampoo after letting it absorb into your scalp after 10 or 15 minutes.

Skin Moisturizer

Whether it's poolside at the resort or beach-side in Croatia, Monoi is also perfect to help soothe and moisturize your skin after a long day in the sun, tropical winds, and saltwater. Hydrating dry skin without leaving an oily mess. Monoi also leaves your skin smelling like the beautiful tropical flower from which it is made, leaving you with gorgeous and supple skin. A must-have for any beach babe!

TeenyB Monoi Oil Recommendations

Since the production of monoi is a highly regulated process, many companies have yet to start production, however, TeenyB cannot recommend enough the original Monoi Tiki Tahiti! With a variety of fragrant scents, from sandalwood to vanilla, their super affordable monoi oil cannot be beaten for your skin and hair.

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