All you need to know about monoi

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Of the total screen? You do not belive it ! In the 1970s and 1980s, tourists in vacation clubs all hum the same tune: “There is the sky, the sun and… the monoi”. It is because fashion is for a skilfully maintained tan and this heady scent beauty oil, whose name means “sacred ointment” in Tahitian, is proving to be a great ally in the race for tanning. With its scent of paradisiacal islands, it marries perfectly the great era of Club Med. This was before we looked at the harmful effects of UV A new era, new uses. From now on, monoi, coconut oil with tiare flowers, is positioned as a versatile product: emollient, softening, calming, anti-aging … On its land, in French Polynesia, it has never been used as a tanning accelerator.

An ancestral remedy

Formerly reserved for kings and queens, monoi remains a grandmother’s remedy prized by all Polynesians to ward off migraines, back pain, lice, sunburn … Some families prepare it themselves, following a recipe. unchanged for centuries. They grate fresh coconut, squeeze it, extract the oil, then macerate tiare flowers picked at dawn. Those in a hurry buy it ready-made. Because since 1942, the product has also been manufactured on an industrial scale. Today, the sector employs around 200 people in Tahiti and Moorea, and represents 2% of the region’s export earnings. This is not much, given the notoriety of monoi. But the market is booming: turnover has increased by 42% over the past ten years. Precious oils made using ancestral methods are on the rise!

Go up to the tiare

Recently, visitors to French Polynesia can discover the islands of Tahiti and Moorea by taking the Monoï® Route. This circuit of twenty-two stages unveils the secrets of making the elixir, from the fields of tiare trees and coconut groves, to production workshops, including spas. All the magic of the Pacific!

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Rich in symbols

Emblematic flower of Tahiti, the tiare is a symbol of welcome offered to newcomers. Tradition has it that the newlyweds’ house, bed and wardrobes are lined with it for a month. Worn behind the left ear, it means that we are in a relationship, behind the right ear, that we are looking for love. Beware of misunderstandings!

A guarantee of origin

The first beauty product to have benefited from a designation of origin, monoï has been protected from counterfeiting since 1992. It is therefore impossible to market a product marked “monoï” if it does not correspond to the specifications of “Monoïde”. Tahiti ”. That is to say a product made in French Polynesia, from fresh tiare flowers picked by hand (ten minimum per liter), macerated in refined coconut oil, obtained from coconuts grown on soils of coral origin.

On edge

Considered by the inhabitants of the archipelago as a second skin, golden oil has ended up arousing the curiosity of the textile industry. In 2013, Wrangler launched jeans whose fibers enclosed microcapsules of monoi, released until the eighth wash. Decathlon also tried the adventure, with T-shirts. These two products are no longer marketed.

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Recognized by scientists

Monoi may prove its worth since the dawn of time, it lacked the approval of scientists. Since 2000, it has been done. A study by Evic France laboratories demonstrated that the oil increased skin hydration by 15%, just fifteen minutes after application, and that this rate was maintained for two hours. Applied once a day, it firms and smooths the skin. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic action has also been proven.

Beauty elixir

Monoi is attracting more and more consumers looking for natural ingredients. In 2015, around 400 brands used it in at least one of their beauty products. To display “monoi”, an oil must contain 50%, a soap 30%, a makeup product 1%.

Article published in the issue Femme Actuelle Jeux Voyages n ° 18 June-July 2016

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