Hawaii is a place that I have always dreamed of visiting. The culture and traditions have always been intriguing to me as well as its natural beauty. Realistically, a visit to this beautiful part of the world may not happen for a while but I think that I’ve found the next best thing that can whisk me away to Hawaii, at least in my mind. It’s called Honua Hawaiian Skincare. Franca at The Beauty Edit kindly invited me to help her launch Honua in Australia and gave me the opportunity to test and review the collection in celebration of its arrival to our shores.
Honua Hawaiian Skincare is a family owned business, founded by Kapua Browning who was inspired to enter the beauty industry after dealing with her own skin issues including sun damage and pigmentation. She embraced the botanical and medicinal herbs of her homeland, infused this knowledge into each formulation and launched the range in 2015. The concept of Aloha and the way it impacts the way of life of the Hawaiian people is weaved through the entire product line. This brand is about so much more than skincare. Honua encourage you to embrace the spirit of Aloha on a daily basis and they gently remind you of this by printing the pillars of Aloha on the inner packaging of their products. It is really beautiful to see a brand using their platform to try to bring some inner peace into people’s daily rituals. I certainly feel very uplifted when using Honua products and it is something I really look forward to each day.
Honua currently have seven products in their line up, designed for all skin types. I have been using them for the past four weeks so read on to see what I thought of them.
Paʻakai Cleansing Cream
The first product that starts off the Aloha experience is the Pa’akai Cleansing Cream. I have really been enjoying the lovely texture and scent of this silky cleanser. It glides beautifully allowing you to really work it in without pulling or tugging at your skin. The scent is something heavenly and in fact all of the Hanua products have a really unique scent that takes you away to that island paradise in your mind. Don’t let the gentle pinky hue fool you, this is a high performance cleanser perfect as a second cleanse or morning cleanse. Unique native ingredients such as Hawaiian Salt, Hibiscus and Wild Harvested Seaweed Extract feature alongside some well known favourites and offer benefits such as helping to even out skin tone and tighten pores whilst gently cleansing and hydrating. I hope that this comes in a larger bottle in the future.
Hawaiian Beauty Water
The Hawaiian Beauty Water is an exfoliating mist which you can use 1 to 5 times per week, depending on your skin type. For example, sensitive or dry skinned folk can use it 1 -2 times per week and those with normal to oily skin can increase the frequency to 5 times. I like to spray it on my face and then use a cotton pad to remove it and I find that this action really helps to remove any dead skin cells and ensure that my skin is clean. The inclusion of Hibiscus, Papaya Enzymes, Hawaiian Sugar and Willow Bark means that despite being a natural product it can still deliver AHAs and BHAs to the skin to help it achieve a beautiful glow. AHAs and BHAs are so effective in helping the skin shed dead cells and they are a must for any skin type especially skin that doesn’t react well to physical exfoliants. Aside from being a great exfoliant, it is also really refreshing so I have also been using it to freshen up my face before applying makeup.
Aloha Youth Serum
The Aloha Youth Serum was such a wonderful surprise not only because of its incredible scent but the light texture of the product and the intriguing ingredients. A true serum texture, it contains plants and botanical extracts that I have not come across before, such as Aloalo (White Hibiscus), ‘Awa (also known as the Kava root) and Turmeric which is known for being an anti-inflammatory. It’s an incredibly refreshing product to use, perfect as a wake up call for the skin in the morning, although I do use it at night time too. After testing it out for four weeks and applying it twice a day, I feel that it has brightened my skin so much (that must be the Vitamin C from the Noni fruit!).
It’s also very hydrating without feeling heavy and it layers well with other serums and under makeup. It’s not oily whatsoever which is really refreshing to see because a lot of “serums” in the natural beauty sphere are actually just facial oils. I think this would be perfect for all skin types especially those seeking a luminous glow.
ʻŌlena Beauty Oil
The Olena Beauty Oil is the perfect partner to the Aloha Youth Serum and it’s probably the most non-oily and fast absorbing facial oil I have tried to date. I am certain that skeptical oily skinned folk will love it as will those who live in warmer climates. Olena is Hawaiian Turmeric and as the main ingredient in this golden oil, it helps to minimise inflammation, signs of sun damage, eczema and acne. Despite being quite light in texture, it does a stellar job of hydrating with Kukui and Kamani plant oils whilst Cacao delivers much needed anti-oxidants. It smells like, you guessed it, Turmeric but it’s not offensive. It has a bit of a sweet twist to it which I really enjoy.
Malu Protecting Day Cream with SPF30
Malu Protecting Day Cream with SPF30 is a reef friendly facial moisturiser with sunscreen. I am a bit excited as I type this because I think it has knocked all of my other favourite facial sunscreens out of contention for the top spot. Forgive me if I sound like Goldilocks but everything about it is “just right”. I dispense around 3 – 4 pumps (it’s sunscreen, you need a lot) and I apply it to my face and neck following the Olena Beauty Oil. It’s so smooth and easy to spread and it leaves a lovely dewy finish on the skin with zero whitecast. It makes for a great primer before make up and I feel that it also improves the longevity of my foundation/BB cream.
I just love that this product makes me look forward to applying sunscreen. It also hits two birds with one stone and whilst it isn’t the first product to do that by any means, it is the most enjoyable one that I have tried. As they say, the best sunscreen is the one that you like using. I should also mention that a percentage of the sales of Malu go to Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii that educates the community and keeps the oceans clean.
Hawaii is banning sunscreens that kill coral reefs and by 2021 you will not be able to buy sunscreen there that contains oxybenzone or octinoxate. The reason for this is that these ingredients are one of the factors that can contribute to coral bleaching.
Moana Mask and ‘Aina Mask
Moana (meaning ocean) is a hydrating mask that will quench the thirstiest of skins. It contains a potent blue green algae called spirulina which gives the mask its green colour. There is something about Moana that almost feels alive and it has a wonderful jelly like texture. The Aloe helps to deliver a cooling sensation on application which sensitive or irritated skins will appreciate. This is the type of mask that could be used 2 to 3 times per week as it is quite gentle and hydrating. I like to use it on the same night as ‘Aina Mask and leave it on for about 15 minutes but I think it would also work well as a sleep mask.
‘Aina (meaning land) is designed to be used weekly and contains ingredients from the earth such as charcoal, clay and Kalo (Taro powder) which is regarded as a bit of a superhero ingredient in Hawaii. It contains a plethora of goodies such as beta-carotene, Vitamin A and C and Manganese which is a powerful anti-oxidant and can assist with collagen production. Probably the most surprising ingredient to see was Ni’oi which is Hawaiian Chilli Pepper! I was wondering what the tingle was that I was experiencing. The great thing about Ni’oi is that it stimulates blood flow which in turn makes your skin look glowing and plump. I really enjoy using this mask especially because I can leave it on for 10-15 minutes without it drying quickly, like some other charcoal and clay masks. It’s a thumbs up from me.
I love the story behind the creation of the Honua products and with the spirit of Aloha infused into each one it’s no wonder they are such a pleasure to use. Honua has also really impressed me with their commitment to their homeland, preservation of its culture and the environment. Honua Hawaiian Skincare is now available in Australia via The Beauty Edit. These products were gifted.
Next week: A review of Jillian Dempsey’s makeup range.