When choosing from various plant and herb-based oils, have you ever wondered if there was something that could fulfil comprehensive beauty needs? If you could use one product for both nourishing the scalp and hydrating the body, would not that be wonderful? The truth is it is not hard to find such products, though you will not find them everywhere. Monoi oil is the answer to your skin care and hair care needs. The Polynesians have used this wonderful oil over the centuries (1).
What Is Monoi Oil?
Monoi oil is not extracted from any single plant or flower. It is made by blending pure coconut oil with Tahitian gardenia flowers. For native Tahitians, this fragrant oil is quite sacred and has served as a beauty and skin-healing secret for generations. The oil has a light fragrance that is not overpowering. Monoi oil is manufactured in a process that involves no artificial aroma or chemical substances (2).
Origin Of Monoi Oil:
Its origins can be traced back to the beginning of Christianity, as per folklores. It was used extensively in the present New Zealand. The oil was used by the Polynesian tribes to anoint newborns in worship ceremonies. The legendary 18th Century explorer, James Cook, noticed its usage while exploring New Zealand. That was the first time the western countries got the whiff of Monoi oil. It was in 1942 that the commercial production of Monoi oil started.
The Making Of Monoi Oil:
The Tahitians resort to a natural manufacturing process for Monoi oil, and not much machinery is involved. At first, they collect locally harvested coconuts. Only matured coconuts that fall from the trees are collected for this purpose. The coconuts are then spilt and dried in the sun. This makes the coconut kernels lose moisture, and they become ready for oil extraction after sun drying. Then, the oil is extracted by crushing and pressing them. After that, the oil is filtered and left to become matured.
Then, they soak Tahitian gardenia flowers in the refined coconut oil. It is kept for soaking for over a month. The manufacturers ensure organic coconut oil and fresh gardenia flowers are used. After that, the prepared oil is stored in glass bottles.
Where To Find Monoi Oil:
Nowadays, you can find Monoi oil in many forms in the market. There are a few brands that sell Monoi oil-infused hair care products including shampoos, masks and conditioners. Whether you buy Monoi oil or any such product containing the oil, ensure it is made with authentic ingredients. You will be able to find such products online and in natural food stores. It is better that you read reviews of those products before buying one.
Why Use Monoi Oil For Skin And Hair Health?
Dermatologists largely praise Monoi oil for its tremendous healing and beneficial properties. The essential fatty acids derived from coconut oil help heal numerous skin and hair damages. Its antioxidant quotient and nutrients help your skin fight various damages. You need not worry about staining your clothes or bed after applying the oil as it gets absorbed by the skin pretty fast. The nice thing is that it continues to hydrate the skin and hair even hours after application. Your skin will remain aromatic for some time as well.
Besides, it does not contain any paraben, sulphate or ingredients that can cause side-effects or cause damage to the skin in any way. It is quite safe to use on children as well.
Top Uses And Benefits Of Monoi Oil:
Below listed are top uses and health benefits of Monoi oil:
1. As A Skin Moisturiser:
Coconut oil works as a natural skin moisturiser and Monoi oil enhances the benefit. It is lighter in texture and thus, gets absorbed by the skin more easily. It does not give a sticky feeling and leaves your skin lightly perfumed. You can use it instead of buying OTC skin creams and lotions for sure! It suits nearly all skin types, and you can also use it on sensitive skin. You can use the oil to nourish the skin all through the year. In winter, it can be used on extra-dry skin spots like the elbows and the knees.
2. As A Hair Nourisher:
You may have used coconut oil to nourish the scalp and hair. Monoi oil, being lighter and aromatic, aids in scalp and hair nourishment. You can massage it on the scalp before a bath. Wash off with a mild shampoo. It would be even better if you use the oil on the scalp and leave it on overnight. It can be used on dry as well as sensitive scalps. You may also use this oil instead of regular coconut oil to make hair masks.
3. As An Anti Hair Frizz Solution:
How many times have you resolved to buy an anti hair frizz serum, more so on winter days? Monoi oil can be used to tame hair frizz without side-effects. It contains Lauric acid, which seeps in the hair roots and softens the hair follicles. Take a small amount of Monoi oil on your palm and apply on the tips of your hair strands. Use a long toothed comb to tame frizzy hair.
4. As A Hair Conditioner:
No matter whether you have long or short hair, conditioning your hair from time to time becomes necessary. There is no need to buy expensive OTC conditioners when you can use Monoi oil. You can pour a few drops of Monoi oil in your existing hair conditioner and mix well before applying on the hair. After washing your hair, you will be amazed to observe how silky, soft and fragrant it has become!
5. As A Hair Repair Solution:
Your hair gets subjected to so many elements that damage the roots and makes it dull, damaged and lifeless. The usage of hair colours, dyes, gels, etc. take their toll on the hair strands. Exposure to harsh sunlight and weather elements also impacts your hair and scalp negatively. Using OTC shampoos and serums may not be very effective to reverse the damages (3). Sometimes, such products can end up worsening the scalp and hair conditions. In such situations, you can deploy Monoi oil as the saviour. It helps reverse the damages done to the hair and the scalp and restores the shine to dull hair. It also works on damaged hair quite fast.
6. As A Skin Damage Reliever:
You may have undergone various skin problems in life. These include skin darkening, wrinkling and damage by the sun, etc. While these are caused by exposure to the weather and environmental factors, you can do your bit to reduce the damage. Monoi oil contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. Massaging the oil on the skin not only softens and hydrates it, but also offers a weapon to fight the damages done by free radicals. With prolonged usage, you will find the signs of ageing and sun damage on the skin getting reduced. It also lends a soft glow to your skin post-application.
7. As An Anti-Inflammatory Agent:
You can benefit from using Monoi oil for getting relief from skin inflammation related conditions. This is owing to the natural methyl salicylate present in the tiare flowers that are used to make the oil (4). This substance has proven anti-inflammatory properties.
8. As A Shield From Colds:
The Polynesian tribes have used Monoi oil since ages for protection from cold, water and weather elements. They have used it to protect the skin from salt water while canoeing at sea. Even now, a lot of deep-sea divers use this oil on their body before diving into the depths of the sea.
9. As An Aromatherapy Massage Oil:
You don’t really need to invest in aromatic essential oils for a massage when Monoi oil is within reach. This can be used for massage therapy without any problem. You may also pour a few drops of this oil in a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak your body in this water for 20 minutes or so. This will help you rejuvenate the body after a tiring day’s work and induce sound sleep at night.
10. As A Shield For Avoiding Sunburn:
When you want to hit the beaches during a vacation in a tropical destination, keep Monoi oil in the bag along with a sunscreen (5). Apply the oil on your skin before taking a sunbath or playing on the beach. It will safeguard the skin from the impact of the harsh sun, sand and wind. You may also massage the skin with the oil before dabbing the layers of sunscreen for added protection from UV rays.
Tips To Use Monoi Oil:
You should store Monoi oil in glass bottles and keep them in the shade. The amount of oil you will need to apply on the hair or the skin depends on your hair and skin type. A spoonful of this oil should suffice for women with medium to long hair, on an average. To ensure you do not end up with greasy hair after applying the oil, use in small amounts initially and then, add more. The same thing can be said for applying this oil on the skin.
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