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Skincare secrets from a Tongan beauty founder

Taking a simple approach to beauty, less is undoubtedly more for Mele Feniu Olivetti.
Mele Feniu Olivetti.

Brought up in an Australian-Tongan household, Mele Feniu Olivetti has immersed herself in traditional Tongan beauty practices from a young age. To showcase the richness of Tongan culture, she decided to create Feniu, a range of coconut oil-infused products.

“Growing up, Tongan coconut-infused oils were the primary form of nourishment and moisture for our faces, body and hair. As I got older, I could only source this oil from relatives who would make it in Tonga. I decided to look for a Tongan manufacturer to source and create my own coconut-infused oil”, explains Olivetti.

Feniu employs a Tongan youth organisation that uses traditional, sustainable methods to source and produce coconut and sandalwood oils, two integral ingredients found in the Feniu range.

Scroll on to read Olivetti’s Tongan beauty secrets, including the ‘less is more’ approach.

1. Embrace the natural elements 

Traditional skincare rituals are integrated around time-honoured practices part of everyday life, including regular dips in the ocean. 

Magnesium, calcium, and potassium are skin-friendly minerals found in saltwater. They help combat acne-causing bacteria, skin infections, and speed up the skin’s healing process. Just be mindful that the ocean can dry out the skin, so afterwards, ensure you’re re-hydrating from the inside out. 

2. Less is more, always 

We take a simple, uncomplicated approach to enhance what you already have rather than trying to change it. 

There are no 12-step routines, layering, or lots of ingredients. It’s not uncommon to cut a pineapple to eat, then rub the leftovers onto the skin, minimising unnecessary waste. 

The Feniu skincare range.

3. Nourishment from within  

Beauty is more than skin deep, so it’s vital to nourish the skin from the inside out. 

A bounty of fresh ingredients are consumed — the traditional Tongan diet relies heavily on produce derived from the land and sea, for example, coconuts, bananas, taro, yams and seafood. 

4. Coconut oil is the hero ingredient 

While coconut oil is used in cooking and perfuming the air, it is also used in various ways for skin and hair care. 

Coconut oil is massaged into babies’ skin, used to heal rough hands, soothe skin irritations, and massaged into the scalp to revive dry hair. It acts as a hydrator for the face and body, is an excellent after-sun oil, and is a highly effective make-up remover. 

The Feniu range is made from organic coconut oil and infused with avocado, argan, macadamia and sandalwood oil. Vegan-friendly and ethically sourced, discover more at


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