It’s that time of year where I feel like everyone is going to Hawaii. My social media feeds are absolutely full of Hawaii pictures. Or is that just because I live in Northern California and Hawaii is SO easy to get to with tons of nonstop flights. I can get to Hawaii more easily than I can get to Tennessee to visit my parents. Seems crazy, right?
Anyway, this little paradise is actually home to a few of my favorite skincare rituals and concoctions as well. And fortunately, you don’t have to trek all the way to Hawaii to get them (though you might feel like you are there….and that’s not a bad thing at all!) That said, you should feel free to hop on a flight at any time, citing skincare rejuvenation as the justification.
During my recent trip to Kauai, I stayed in Lihue, which is really central on the island. It’s not a big island, but it was my first time there and I didn’t know if staying in the South or North was better, so decided to stay in the middle and we could easily explore all areas. We picked the Marriott because it has it’s own beach out front where you can swim, SUP, and more. Plus, it’s kind of in a lagoon that is more protected from the crazy undertows and rough waters in other parts of Kauai. And it’s SO close to the airport – 10 minutes by car – which is exactly what you want when you land in paradise after a long flight. You could even walk there but it would probably take 30-40 minutes (and would be annoying with luggage). Also…having attended graduate school at UCLA I spent some time in Malibu and am borderline obsessed with Duke’s, and their Kauai location is right at the Marriott. I think I ate there 4 times during our 5 night stay. Their fish tacos are my favorite. When we go back to Kauai, I will stay in Princeville (North) or near Poipu (South), because I really like some of the activities, beaches and restaurants there but staying in the center was great for my first trip to Kauai.
On the topic of skincare and trying to recreate some of this Hawaiian je ne sais quoi back at home…Some of my favorites come from MAHALO Skin Care, a botanical-based line founded by Maryna and handcrafted in Kauai. She spent many years studying ancient practices of Polynesia, Eastern and western healing and combined that with modern beauty technology knowledge and advancements. MAHALO has some amazing products but I think one of the standouts is the Pele Mask. The Pele Mask has charcoal AND volcanic ash clay, both of which are toxin magnets.
It also has hints of turmeric, holy basil, guava, aloe vera, witch hazel and…cayenne. Yes, you read that right – cayenne pepper.
The mask exudes a bit of heat for the first few minutes but it’s not a burning sensation (at least not for me). It comes in a powder form and can be mixed with water or yogurt for applying to the face. And just like any good charcoal mask, you’ll want to follow with a cleanser to get ALL of it off.
My other fav from MAHALO is the Vacation Glow Body Elixir. It’s really a body oil, but a really REALLY good one. If you really prefer unscented products, this is not one for you. It’s full of avocado, macadamia, and argan oils then scented with Hawaiian kukui, jasmine, geranium and even frankincense. I admit I don’t know what frankincense smells like on its own but this little concoction is…decadent and effective.
I lather it on at night then close my eyes and almost feel as if I am in a spa in Hawaii.
And then one of my kids runs in and ruins that. But hey, it’s great for a few minutes, right? One other thing to note about MAHALO, which is in response to questions I’ve had. The products come in these beautifully crafted bamboo bottles. However, inside they are in glass, so they are well preserved.
One of my other favorites is a new discovery (for me), called Honua Hawaiian Skin Care. Honua Founder Kapua developed her own line of products to tackle sun damage and pigmentation in her own skin, while infusing her love for Hawaiian culture. I currently use the Aloha Youth Serum, which aside from sounding like a magical product, contains several Hawaiian Super Oils (‘Aila Kuku and Kamai), which hydrate and promote collagen and elastic production. One of my favorite ingredients, Olena (Hawaiian turmeric), is used as an anti-inflammatory and skin brightener, which…let’s be honest, we all need more of these days! Honua also has another product that is primarily Olena with infusions of kukui, cacao, chia and noni. Noni is a small evergreen tree that grows among lava flows. It is rich in antioxidants and is used to treat many conditions. Cacao is another great antioxidant, rich in flavonoid antioxidants, like procyanidin, which is said to be effective in preventing heart disease, strokes and cancer. Chia is yet another great….yes, you guessed it, antioxidant!
What I know about antioxidants mostly applies to consuming them, but including them in serums and oils certainly isn’t a bad thing! After all, about 60% of what we put on our skin sinks right in.
I really want to go into detail on all of these antioxidants and why they matter but this post will be 5 pages long if I do that, so I’ll do that separately and soon. Stay tuned!