There is nothing more exciting than discovering a new and life-changing product. In this case, I use the term new quite loosely as Monoï oil (translated to "scented oil") has technically been part of Polynesian culture for centuries, and the benefits of the elixir have been passed on from generation to generation. The clear, amber-colored liquid is traditionally employed for natural medicinal remedies, beauty treatments, and even during sacred ceremonies. But it's new for me just the same.
NARS Monoï Body Glow II ($59, narscosmetics.com)
According to the Monoï Institute, "Monoï de Tahiti is the result obtained from Tiare blossoms soaked in refined coconut oil that is extracted from ripe coconuts grown in the coral-rich soil of French Polynesia." In fact, only the coconuts from a specific species (cocos nucifera) and the buds of the Gardenia Tahitensis (Tiare blossoms) are used in the preparation of this particular product. Chic, no?
What's more, is that these age-old claims have been scientifically substantiated in recent research. Tiare blossoms can "cure earaches, certain types of eczema, or simply prevent insect bites." Which, definitely sounds like a step up from the cancer-causing deet products that we've all come to tolerate. It heals dry, itchy, sunburned skin, as well as improves the appearance of stretch marks. More glamorously, though,Monoï de Tahiti oil acts as a sexier version of coconut oil—moisturizing, protecting, and strengthening everything from your skin, to your hair, to your precious mug—all the while adding a sophisticated look to your vanity. (Which, of course, your Insta followers are bound to appreciate). The lightweight oil begets glowing, hydrated, and naturally fragrant skin, without a drop of synthetic ingredients.
I spoke to Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group to get a dermatologist's perspective. Of course I love the product, but is it really capable of doing all the magical things it promises? Nazarian explained, "Monoï oil is essentially a fragrant, perfume-infused coconut oil. We all know the benefits of coconut oil: It's naturally antifungal and antibacterial—and its a wonderful natural moisturizer." She added, "The addition of flower extracts to the coconut oil certainly make it smell more luxurious, but I'd advise caution to any of my sensitive skin patients. Patients with conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema are at risk for irritation. Remember, skin is a delicate organ! The best bet for those with sensitive skin is to limit their use to hair, using Manoi Oil as a intense conditioner. Scalp skin is more resilient than skin on the body, and is less likely to have an adverse reaction. The oil can really penetrate and smooth the hair shaft, and the added perfume is a bonus."
Monoi Tiare Tahiti Scented Coconut Oil ($7.29, vitacost.com)
So, those with sensitive skin beware. Perhaps try the oil out on just a small patch of skin to make sure your skin doesn't become irritated. But, because I've tried the product and haven't noticed any adverse affects, I'm hooked. Now that summer has come and gone and the beach is a distant memory, it's time to invest in what I'm deeming the VIP of vacation. What's better than de-frizzed curls, soothed skin, and the faint, but ever-present scent of flowers? I'll tell you: Nothing.
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