Winter Skin-Saving Ingredient: MONOI


Cold, dry air is my skin’s worst enemy.

A humidifier in my bedroom keeps me somewhat supple, but I still suffer from dry, itchy skin on my trunk (that sounds weird) and legs. Thankfully I found an ingredient that’s been saving my skin this winter: monoi.

Monoi is basically just pressed coconut oil infused with sweet smelling gardenia but it seems like so much more. Applied after a bath or shower to damp skin, monoi oil locks in moisture and relieves even the driest skin. Like the women of Tahiti (where monoi oil is part of a long-established cosmetic practice) I’ve also been using this as a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, applying to my hair 15 minutes before I shower, to restore shine and bounce to my dehydrated hair.

Here are my favorite Monoi oils:

Elemis Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt ($48)

I had a sample of this Elemis monoi oil sitting around for nearly a year before I discovered it. Of my three favorites, I like the smell of this one the best.

NARS Monoi Body Glow II ($59)

The most expensive of my three favorites, this luxurious NARS oil has an original tiare flower in each bottle for a special touch.

The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Monoi Miracle Oil ($20)

Affordable and moisturizing, I’ve had friends that have sworn by Spa Wisdom Monoi Miracle Oil for years.

Note: Monoi oil tends to harden in colder temperatures. To liquify, just place in a bowl of warm water (or, I prefer to keep a bottle on the floor of my shower where the hot water and steam liquifies the oil).

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  • Very timely post as I’m hear lots of complaints about dry skin these days.

    Have you tried Sundari Omega 3 and Flaxseed Body Exfoliator? It’s pricey but a 22 oz. jar will last me a good 6 to 8 months. I use about once a week and makes my skin feel like silk. (I’ve heard good things about Elemis— will have to give that a try.)

  • I’m a big fan of Jojoba oil, but I’ve never heard of Monoi. I’ll have to try it. Thanks~

  • i love monoi oil for my hair too, i’ve been using yves rocher’s for years now and completely reccomend it!


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