Hope this week is treating you well (me not so much, but hopefully getting there)!
This post is going to be about two little gems made by a brand that I find is not widely talked about: Hei Poa. Hei Poa specialises in bodycare, haircare and suncare products, all of them containing a natural ingredient: monoi oil.
Now, I don't know how much you know about monoi oil (and if it wasn't for @SukaAndSpice, one of the loveliest bloggers out there, I wouldn't have known about it in the first place), but it's actually a traditional beauty secret amongst the women of Polynesia, used to condition their skin and hair.
Monoi oil is considered to be a fairly rich - but not heavy - oil and it's essentially coconut oil soaked with tiare flowers (Tahitian gardenias), which add to its moisturising and soothing properties. It's mostly suited for drier hair and skin, but with its variety of uses I personally think it would be appropriate for all skin- and hair-types.
So, seeing as I suffer from dry skin and very very dry hair, I naturally had to give it a try. And I went straight to the source: the actual, pure monoi oil in the glass bottle.
When it first arrived, it didn't look like an oil, more like a wax and that's because pure monoi oil (and in this Hei Poa bottle there's 95,81% pure monoi oil in it) is known to solidify at 24 degrees C. That's easily solved by putting the bottle in a glass of warm water for a few minutes, you will see it starts melting right away.
What I first used it for was my hair.
If you know me, you know that I 'm always on the lookout for products that will help my coarse, wavy, bleached and overprocessed hair (aka straw-like and fried), however there's not many products out there that can help with that.
To my surprise, monoi oil can, it's a great product that will nourish and deep condition your hair, not sth that will just coat it.
I usually pour a tiny amount in my palm, rub it against my hands and run them through my hair before I blow dry them - if you have the option to let your hair air dry that's the best, otherwise be careful of your blow dryer's temperatures; I use the cooler scale for my ends, just to be safe. That will do the trick and it will leave me with shiny, conditioned hair.
If I want to go out, I may add a smaller second round after the blow drying, to eliminate any possible frizz.
I also use it ocassionally as an overnight leave-in type of treatment, without having to wash it off in the morning, provided of course I 've only used a little amount of product, as I find that my hair benefits from that the most.
The only hair type that I wouldn't recommend use monoi oil in this way would be very fine, stick straight hair that goes oily quickly, since it would probably weigh your hair down.
But that's not all you can use monoi oil for:
1. It makes an excellent pre-shampoo treatment. If you leave it for a few hours, with a warm towel around your hair for maximum results, the oil will penetrate and moisturise your hair, and don't worry, it washes off really easily.
2. It's great as a scalp treatment. I 've only tried this once (I don't really suffer from dandruff, but sometimes my scalp gets sensitive during the winter) and it works beautifully (used like above).
3. You can use it as a skin moisturiser. Now, I 'm not one that really enjoys moisturising with an oil after the shower, but I did try it and it is great for that too: my skin was silky smooth afterwards and it didn't feel greasy at all.
4. You can add a few drops to your bath (that would smell amazing)!
5. Lastly, it would make a great after-sun treatment, as it is soothing and prevents dryness and peeling (well, provided of course you 've been sensible with your spf), not to mention it would prolong your tan.
Overwhelmed much? I know I am!
The only problem would be which scent to choose, I got the coconut one, but I want to try the tiare next (or maybe vanilla?)!
And, seeing as I loved the pure oil, I decided to try another product as well:
The Hei Poa Body Scrub (or Gommage Moussant if you prefer), which is another winner.
This scrub is yet another product that contains monoi oil, but not just that: it also contains papaya leaf extract, something which helps remove dead or damaged skin. Add Tahitian black sand, crushed coconut shell and tamanu seed particles (tamanu oil derived from the seeds is used for its wide skin healing properties and is found that accelerates the formation of new skin) and you 've got one of the most luxurious body scrubs you 've ever tried!
You 'll notice that it's a thick gel consistency and has a high concentration of rather large granules, more than enough to do the job. It's also slightly foaming when you massage it with a bit of water and that makes your skin feel extra squeaky clean afterwards. The scent it leaves is that of tiare, and in the case you 've never smelled tiare in reality, I 'd say that you 'd enjoy it if you like the scent of gardenias or jasmine or lilacs (btw they only make this tiare scented one atm).
My ultimate test for this product however was trying it on my peeling shoulders (serves me for wearing a tank top at noon) and even though I didn't think it would do much, I was proven wrong: it got rid of my peeling bits after only one use! My skin felt smooth, not tight at all (sth I 've yet to find in a scrub that actually scrubs well) and suprisingly moisturised! I dare even say I think I found my HG scrub in this Hei Poa one!
Hei Poa can be found on a variety of websites (I know asos, zuneta and lookfantastic carry Hei Poa, but I 'm guessing there's more).
If you are in Greece, you can also find Hei Poa in Attica mall, Beautyworks and some Hondos Center stores (τώρα δεν ξέρω εάν όλα τα Hondos σε όλη την Ελλάδα φέρνουν τα Hei Poa, συγχωρέστε με).
So, have you tried monoi oil and what do you think of it?
What is your experience with other oils and what are your uses for them?
Oh, and do share if you 've found an HG body scrub, I 'd love to know! :)