My Favourite Beauty Products Contain This Very Specific Super Ingredient

Like so many of you, I've found myself taking a closer look at the ingredients found in my beauty products, particularly over the past couple of years. And while I've certainly got a long way to go in terms of thoroughly cleaning up my routine, I'm beginning to phase out some ingredients which I know are doing my body more harm than good. As such, I'm becoming increasingly familiar with the names of ingredients which I previously wouldn't have given a second thought. 

It wasn't until recently, however, that I began to realise that several of my favourite beauty products all contain the same ingredient: something called monoi oil. Coincidence? I think not. All of the products I use that contain monoi oil, across haircare and skincare, happen to be incredibly moisturising and nourishing. And, after some research, I think it's high time this hero ingredient gets the recognition it deserves. 

What is monoi oil?
Monoi oil is an infused elixir made from soaking petals of the tiare flower—otherwise known as the Tahitian gardenia—in pure coconut oil, both of which are native to French Polynesia. The process of making monoi oil is steeped in Polynesian history. Traditionally, freshly grated coconut flesh was pressed to release the oil. Fresh tiare petals would then be added to this oil to create the potent monoi blend. In the interest of protecting the ingredient's integrity and heritage, by law, the oil can only be labelled "monoi" if the oil is made in French Polynesia.

What are the benefits of monoi oil? 
To this day, native Polynesians use monoi oil to moisturise and soothe the skin. The oil's fatty acids contain antimicrobial properties. It protects against harmful bacteria that can lead to skin infections, such as acne, cellulitis, and folliculitis. It is also anti-inflammatory and can reduce symptoms from skin conditions, including eczema and dermatitis. 

Many use monoi oil in their bathwater, too, as the scent helps to relax the mind. As far as hair is concerned, the properties within monoi oil promote growth and strength to the hair follicles, all the while making each strand softer and shinier. It also reduces split ends and keeps frizz at bay. Needless to say, monoi oil is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient in shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. 

How is monoi oil used? 
Monoi oil can be applied directly to the skin as a moisturiser, be it on the face or the body. It can also be applied to wet or dry hair, either after shampooing or as a between-wash treatment. It is also highly effective as a cuticle oil, bath oil, and massage oil. 

Are there any side effects of using monoi oil? 
Monoi oil is generally safe to use. Unlike pure coconut oil, however, it's perfumed. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, you may wish to consult a doctor or dermatologist before incorporating this oil into your hair and skincare routines. At the very least, you may want to perform a patch test before applying it liberally to your hair, face, and body to determine whether it will cause you any irritation. 

Now that you're well versed in all things monoi oil, browse some of the best monoi oil beauty products on offer. 

SHOP MONOI OIL BEAUTY PRODUCTS: 

I apply this just after my shower to lock in additional moisture. 

I swear my hair has never been softer or fuller since I started using this monoi oil–infused hair cream. 

This versatile oil also boasts the hero ingredient. 

Nars is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest brands using monoi oil right now. 

The spray nozzle makes for quick and significantly less messy application. 

Harnessing its relaxing superpowers, This Works's Sleep Balm is brimming with monoi oil. 

The scent of this massage oil is unbelievable. 

Use this oil on the ends of your hair when it looks and feels particularly thirsty. 

The addition of monoi oil in this scrub will help lock in your skin's moisture. 

Another cult Nars product that comes with monoi oil built in. 

This sustainable and natural formulation brings out the best in monoi oil. 

Run a capful of this oil under your tap to elevate your bath time experience. 

You may want to bookmark this monoi-infused after-sun balm ahead of your next holiday. 

If you prefer creams over oils, then this body balm is sure to appease. 

Elemis has an entire monoi oil range, but this hair and scalp mask is perhaps our favourite product. 

Monoi oil needn't cost the earth, as this hair treatment from pharmacist brand Palmer's proves. 

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