Q. What about monoi oil? Is it as good as they say it is?
-Sally via Facebook
A. That's a great question, Sally!
True monoi oil is made by soaking gardenia flowers in coconut oil. Over time the compounds are released from the flowers and in to the oil. The main compound that gives monoi oil its skin soothing powers is methyl salicylate, the same compound found in wintergreen oil and icy hot patches. Topical overapplication of products containing methyl salicylate have resulted in death. (Source) It can be safe at low doses, but I would suggest using caution with this product. I would also suggest avoiding it during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Imitation monoi oils can be made artifically by adding methyl salicylate to an oil along with other fragrances and compounds. So, ask if it's a true monoi oil, how it was made, and for its full ingredients list. But keep in mind that natural monoi oils may not be safer than imitation oils.