The Tahiti Traveler

Polynesian beauty secrets

© Tourisme

In French Polynesia, you are always surrounded by a lush and generous nature, from which people, since their origins, managed to extract natural recipes and beauty secrets. Those ancestral traditions continue nowadays, very few have been modified and adapted to modern life.

All around the world, the Polynesian vahine became iconic in terms of beauty thanks to their beautiful hair and golden glow tanned skin, besides, we regurarly find articles in international women’s magazines revealing some of their secrets.

Among all of them, the incontestable star is the monoï mixing 2 emblematic natural resources of Tahiti : tiare flower and coconut oil. Tiare flowers are macerated into the oil extracted from the dried coconut pulp. This sacred oil is used from the birth to do massages on babies and then throughout the life, everyday to moisturize the skin, sun exposure, hair care or to prevent mosquitos biting. Progressively the monoï got recognized in international cosmetology and has now a professional origin certification.

©Danee Hazama-Tahiti Tourisme

Monoï is the most famous but not the only one! The coconut milk is very rich and very good for the skin and hair with an entrancing smell…

Ancestral receipes

From ancient times, thanks to their inventiveness, Polynesian people found in nature eveything they needed even for « cosmetology ». Some hibiscus flowers where used to darken women’s eyebrows and « roucou » where used as a lipstick. Facial ritual was made with jasmine flowers (pitate in Tahitian) infused in water.

Tamanu oil (extracted from the tamanu nut) is different from the monoï with its dark colour and woody smell and is widely used for its multiple healing properties (antiseptic, soothing burns) and also known as an anti wrinkle.

©G.Boissy-Tahiti Tourisme

Tahitian flowers are a must in their beauty set. In traditional society, tiare flower was sacred and exclusively used by kings and princes. In everyday life, flowers are everywhere, women and men proudly wear flower at the ear or flower crown and leis for important events. Those who already traveled to French Polynesia will never forget the delightful smell of tiare and tipanie flowers welcoming them at the airport. It is about 110 millions of tiare that are picked up evey year in Polynesia !

The umuhei, is a small aphrodisiac bouquet (« umu » means ignite and « hei » crown) made under a secret receipe from Marquesas islands. It is composed of a subtle mix of ylang-ylang, jamsine, miri, pineapple, santal and monoï. Worn in the hair or on the body it develops women sensuality and is supposed to awaken the male senses…

Naturelly, all those exotic fragrances are represented in the different Hotels Spa in Polynesia, you can also get traditional monoï in Papeete market place where the mama present their own recipes and if you want to know everything about Monoï, try the great “Monoï Road”  a journey in the heart of Tahiti, to meet people who make the monoï and an introduction to Tahitian rituals.