Kahina Giving Beauty; Discover Organic Argan Oil

Kahina

Argan oil, which is extracted from the nuts of the argan tree, is the heart of the Kahina Giving Beauty skincare line. It is indigenous to Morocco where Kahina’s founder Katherine L’Heureux has lived and devoted much time and energy to the women who work in the argan cooperatives that provide the argan oil for Kahina. The argan cooperatives afford these women the opportunity to learn to read and write, sustain valuable friendships, and help provide financially for themselves and their families which is a dire need. When you buy a Kahina product, a generous 25% of the profits go back to programs that help these women.

wk_zahraAmarirThe word Kahina is the name of an 8th century Jewish Berber queen and prophetess who successfully resisted the first Arab invaders, and symbolizes empowerment to women worldwide. The last part of the company’s name Giving Beauty, is self evident.

I have been looking for organic argan oil to purchase for about a month now. I loved my little sample that came with my Josie Maran Earth Day Kit and knew I would purchase a full bottle at some point. Fortuitously, Lucy at IndiePerfumes brought Kahina to my attention and I wanted to give the line a serious look, due to Ms. L’Heureux’s generous donations back to the Moroccan women. When I checked out the Kahina website, I was thrilled to see several tempting skincare offerings.

sustainableBeautyI would have thought argan oil would be argan oil, but I have read several reviews of different brands that have alerted me to the fact that some argan oils can be rather unpleasant smelling. Not so with Kahina’s. It does have a very mild nutty scent, but it is not bothersome in the slightest and is hardly noticeable (and I am very sensitive to smells in my skincare products). My only comparison is Josie Maran’s, whose argan oil has a more distinct smell, almost a petroleum type scent. But that was not unpleasant either, just a bit odd and faded quickly. My point is, if scent is an issue for you, I don’t think you will be bothered by Kahina’sArgan Oil. As for its performance; I love facial oils and Kahina’s 100% Organic Argan Oil is wonderful. I use it at night and wake up with soft skin. It doesn’t break me out, and in fact is purported to have antibacterial properties. It’s also rich in vitamin e and antioxidants. If you’ve never used oil as a moisturizer I know it can be a little strange to consider, but it feels amazing to massage on your skin and discover its benefits.

The Kahina Facial Cleanser is a lovely foaming cleanser that I have enjoyed using on those days or nights when I’m wanting a little extra clean-up. I typically use a facial oil or cream cleanser, but I do like gentle foaming ones and Kahina’s is perfect. The scent is amazing, let me just tell you! The organic floral water and neroli oil create a light citrusy floral scent that is refreshing and relaxing. The gentle foaming action gets my face clean, but does not feel stripped dry thanks to the argan oil, oat amino acids and organic honey in the formula.

Finally, I have also been able to try the Kahina Facial Lotion which is a highly efficacious, yet lightweight moisturizer. 95% of its botanical ingredients are organic and like all Kahina products, it is 100% natural. It also contains organic argan oil as well as organic shea butter and is ideal for this time of year as it’s not heavy in the warmer temperatures. My skin gets quite dry in the winter months, so I’ll definitely need more hydration at that point, and would love to give the Kahina Seruma try underneath the lotion to give it a moisturizing boost. There’s no SPF in the lotion, but since it’s so lightweight, it would wear very well under a tinted moisturizer with SPF.

Here’s huge kudos to Ms. L’Heureux for creating such a gorgeous skincare line that gives 1/4 of the profits to programs that will benefit those women who work hard to create the argan oil. And not only that, just by purchasing the product you are helping sustain the argan cooperatives and thereby sustaining these women’s livelihoods, educations, sense of community and empowerment. Additionally, the Kahina website states : “Our products do not and will never contain parabens, synthetics, sulfates, petroleum, GMOs, animal byproducts, artificial colors or fragrances.”

I also give Ms. L’Heureux raves for the packaging. Yes, the bottles are recyclable and the boxes are made from 100% recycled materials, but scroll back up to the top image. Do you see the inscriptions on the bottles? Those are the signatures of some of the women who work in the argan oil cooperatives. Yet they are not words, as most of the women are illiterate. They are symbols and designs they have created to meaningfully represent themselves, and Ms. L’Heureux has chosen to put their marks on the bottles. Beautiful.

Photographs from the Kahina Giving Beauty website. Photos from Morocco taken by Katherine L’Heureux

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Rose, the scent that snuck up on me. Part I

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I have never considered myself a rose type of gal. Certainly I enjoy strolling through our rose gardens here in town, and in our front yard we have the most gorgeous rose bush and its fragrance is one of my anticipated summertime pleasures. But while I have a nature lovin’ appreciation for this classic flower, I have never sought it out in my fragrances, or so I thought. Over the past several weeks, I have noticed that in my collection of perfumes and body products, there’s a lot of rose I was not appreciating.

t_16666Daybreak Lavender Farm: By U, 4 U- Aromatherapeutic Rose & Rosehip Facial Cleanser

I have to thank Dain over at ARS Aromatica for her post on Daybreak’s skincare, or I might never have found this fabulous cleansing oil. Jody Byrne, the owner of Daybreak Lavender Farm, created By U, 4 U Facial Oil because so many of her customers were clamoring for a cleansing oil and she listened. From what I understand, she took input from the customers via the forum board on Daybreak’s website to help formulate the cleanser. And the end result is my new favorite cleanser. I have been looking for an all natural cleansing oil since I feel in love with Shu Uemura’s, but unfortunately found that its main ingredient is petroleum derived mineral oil. Luckily, I enjoy Daybreak’s even more and am happy to support an independent business woman who runs an organic farm!

The oil itself is infused with chamomile, comfrey and calendula. The vibrant and vital rose scent comes from rose otto and rosehip seed oil, also known as rosa mosqueta. The rosa mosqueta endows the facial oil with its wild, almost thorny fragrance, as if you’d been out in the garden all day with the essence of the entire rose plant surrounding you. According to Jody, rosa mosqueta contains fatty acids that help maintain healthy skin and natural tretinoin that aids in cell regeneration. After only using the oil for a short while I’m not ready to comment on life changing results, but it’s an effective cleanser, leaves my skin soft and smells absolutely wonderful.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume: Rosail_430xN.62639121

I have only a sample of Rosa, and would never have thought I’d be pining for a full bottle of something based around rose. But I reach for my little vial frequently enough that it’s just about gone, and it would be fabulous to have an Illuminated Perfume French flacon arrive in one of its hand crocheted pouches filled with this woody rose natural perfume called RosaRosa’s rose is comprised of an otto (essential oil) from Turkey and an absolute of rose bourbonica from India. But before you sense the full blossoming of those gorgeous flowers; woods, agarwood (oud), vetiver and subtle leather introduce the fragrance. The woods/agarwood begin slightly sharp but rich, and then mellow into vetiver’s deep earthy vibration. When the rose finally blooms at the drydown, Rosa’s bouquet is full but close to the skin. It’s complex and provides a beautiful evolution on your skin.

Bonny Doon Farm: Rose Creme Parfum

17119-300This creme parfum was quite a surprise to me. I had never heard of the company, but gave it a try when a little sample pot arrived in a Beautyhabit order. I was blown away. To begin with, the creme is like a balm that spreads over the skin readily, absorbs quickly, and provides hydration. (I’ve been applying it to the top of my hand). And the scent is pure rose heaven. It smells as if freshly picked rose petals have been infused into your skin, so tender and yet so vibrant. Aromatherapists believe rose can calm, relax and even open one’s heart to love. This little pot of creme has made me a believer! It also feels good to support Bonny Doon, a farm in Santa Cruz, Ca. owned and operated by Gary and Diane Meehan. A true mom and pop business.

Frosting_KashmirVelvet & Sweet Pea: Organic Kashmir Rose Neck & Decollete Whipped Frosting

Laurie Stern of Velvet & Sweet Pea has really outdone herself with this body butter. She calls them frostings, and they are decadent enough to deserve the name. Each one is hand-made by Laurie with organic shea butter, organic virgin oil de coco creme, vitamin E and organic jojoba oil that has been infused with vanilla bean. The lovely rose scent comes from Himalayan rose otto and Moroccan rose absolute. Smoothing the luxurious frosting on my hands is a ritual reserved for those times when I feel like I really need some pampering. The rose is subtle and mixes well with the not too sweet, perfectly spicy hint of vanilla. I love this rose treat and will be sure to always have a little jar at the ready. I say little, because the jars are only one ounce, but a tiny dab is all you need to moisturize both hands and to delight in Kashmir Rose’s redolence.

Please come back to Scent Hive later this week for more of my Rose Discoveries.

 

Orange Crush photograph by beatriceclay on etsy

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