Having a hectic week? In need of a little TLC? Well we may have just the treat for you. Elemis frangipani Monoi oil is an exotic aromatherapy experience that promises wonders on dry skin and hair to leave us smoothed and soothed head to toe.

It has already gained a place as InStyle’s Best Body Oil and has been raved about on Cult Beauty’s website, so what exactly is in this magic potion? We Beauty Geeks were dying to find out…

One look at the label and a familiar name appears. Coconut oil! Monoi oil is essentially coconut oil in which traditionally Tahitian Gardenia flowers have been soaked. It looks like Elemis have mixed it up with some frangipani scent to provide a calming aromatherapy element.

Now we here at BBTG are BIG fans of coconut oil (for reviews of other coconut oil products just click here!), and it’s seen a revival in the beauty world in the last decade. The French Polynesians and many other cultures have been using it for centuries as a skin and hair moisturiser, so we are a little late on the scene! So why is everyone going nuts for coconuts?

Well first a little skin anatomy…
Skin has its own protection system to prevent water loss. A layer of lipids (skin oils) form on the stratum corneum (that’s the top outside layer of skin) balancing the water content and providing a barrier to environment effects that dry out the skin. These lipids are a mixture of ceramides, cholesterol, and nonessential free fatty acids. In hair, sebum oils of the scalp act in the same way. Often this barrier breaks down and needs to be replenished if this doesn’t happen, skin becomes dry and hair become brittle.

And now on to coconut oil…
Coconut oil consists of triglycerides and stable saturated medium-chain fatty acids, mainly lauric acid, with a little capric acid and caprylic acid. It forms a protective barrier around the hair cuticle or skin epidermis, mimicking nature and preventing water loss. This ability to reduce water loss across the skin (transepidermal water loss – TEWL) is key for helping keep the skin hydrated, and ingredients that do this are technically known as ‘occlusives’.

ow this is a pretty standard mechanism and most oils used in cosmetics do this, but unlike some oils (like mineral oil) the fatty acids in coconut oil are the same as those found naturally in the skin. This helps replenish the natural acids whose loss can lead to dryness – no wonder it’s such a hit!

The breakdown products of the oil, particularly lauric acid, gives coconut oil antimicrobial properties as well. This includes P.acnes, a major acne-causing bacteria species, which is a big bonus in the fight against acne! So for spot-free super soft skin, coconut oil may be the answer!

Another benefit is that coconut oil is rich in Vitamin E, which has antioxidant qualities to fights those damaging, premature-ageing free radicals. Looks like we can add anti-ageing to the list of beauty benefits. Bonus!

The Verdict
First things first – this product certainly has the ingredients to deliver its promises of hydration, for both the skin and hair. At £34 for 100ml, it’s a pricey way to buy its active ingredient – coconut oil. However, if you’re willing to part with your money for the relaxing scent of frangipani, then you won’t be sorry as the glowing user reviews would suggest that those who did have no regrets. So if you’re willing to splash the cash then slick some on your hair, skin or nails and let the lauric acid and medium chain triglycerides work their scientific magic!

If you would like to treat yourself to Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil, click HERE!

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Best Body Oil – New Winner 2015
Novel Antibacterial and Emollient Effects of Coconut and Virgin Olive Oils in Adult Atopic Dermatitis
The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index,transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild tomoderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial
Image (thank you!): http://www.baobella.com/products/productview/frangipani-monoi-body-oil