At 29, I’m willing to try anything that might delay the aging process, especially since I’m beginning to see fine lines appear around my eyes. The Moana Oil (NZ $89 or roughly $78 USD) is ideal for this purpose and helped to soften these fine lines when I applied it at night. I was leery at first, since I’m not a huge fan of facial oils (or hair oil, for that matter) and have tried a variety of different oils but always seem to find them both messy and obnoxious, leaving a bit of a film behind or worse, clogging my pores and causing me to break out. While I do have a few pet peeves with the product, I could clearly see a difference during days when I applied the Moana Oil versus when I skipped it.
One of the active ingredients is hemp seed oil, which is a well-discussed anti-ager (even Dr. Oz touts its anti-aging properties). However, being a very straight-laced girl, I was a little concerned about rubbing it onto my face until I did some research. I learned that hemp seed oil has some amazing properties (and is completely safe) — it’s even edible! Hemp seed oil is reported to help unclog pores and prevent breakouts, increase skin elasticity and reduce redness and inflammation. On the downside, though, it can be a bit drying — which is likely why Moana combined hemp seed oil with another oil, evening primrose oil, which contains fatty acids and can help the skin to absorb the hemp seed oil. Evening primrose oil, like hemp seed oil, is edible and is often used to reduce skin irritation and inflammation. After researching the active ingredients, I was pretty well-assured that the product likely wouldn’t clog my pores or cause a breakout, so I began using immediately.
Having oily skin, I decided to only use the oil around my eye area and on my neck. I can’t stand the thick heavy feeling of oil on my forehead or chin, so applying to a problem area (eyes) and a non-problem area (neck) seemed like the best way to give the product a fair try. I applied the oil religiously every night after washing, toning and moisturizing my skin. Since the directions mentioned using the Moana serum (which I don’t have) after applying the oil, I figured I’d be fine applying my night eye cream (Vichy LiftActiv) and my evening neck cream (Innarah Hyper Oxygenated Crème) on top of the oil. This process worked pretty well, and I began to notice that my eye lines were less visible in the mornings when I put on my makeup.
One night, about three weeks after I’d started using the oil, I fell asleep in the car on the way home from an event. By the time I got home, I was too tired to follow my usual routine and skipped the Moana Oil. The next morning when I went to put on my makeup, I was astonished at how different the skin around my eyes felt — and not in a good way! The makeup seemed to seep into my eye lines rather than hiding them — almost like the Moana Oil was providing an extra layer of skin, and without that layer, my skin went back to normal. I went back to using the oil nightly and will continue to do so, because I certainly saw a difference, and I would much prefer my lines to stay hidden.
That said, I did experience some downsides with the Moana Oil. But, in my opinion, they were all minimal compared to the positive outcome. First, the Moana Oil pump is unwieldy and either put out too much oil or not enough. I prefer this to the facial oil with droppers, but I constantly find myself amazed at how many skin care brands can’t seem to discover a useful dispenser! The dispenser also leaked when not stored upright (though the lid prevented it from getting all over everything). Also, the Moana Oil is, well, oily. It does absorb eventually, but it never seems to fully absorb, which would make it difficult to apply during the day under makeup. My husband could always see it on my face after application, no matter how much (or little) I attempted to put on — and because it’s an oil, it would get onto my glasses, and I found myself needing to clean them constantly.
The oil did have a slight scent, but nothing terribly offensive or noticeable. Also on the downside is that the product doesn’t seem to solve any aging issues — it merely masks the problem. Perhaps if I continued to use regularly over a longer period of time, I’d see more of a lasting difference, but as of right now, it’s merely a good product to disguise the problem. Finally, the directions state that the oil is “suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive, mature, and stressed skin.” I would argue with this — I think Moana has its intended audience wrong. This product seems to work well for younger skin as a mask for small problems. I don’t really think the product solves any issues though, and I worry that mature skin would be less satisfied with the outcome.
Overall, in my opinion, the Moana Oil was a successful product trial, and I certainly intend to continue using — at least until I find a miracle product to fix my lines rather than mask them! I’d recommend for people who are starting to see small skin issues but aren’t ready to jump into using the "big dogs" of anti-aging!