Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser (& 20% OFF CODE!)


The beauty industry is such a fickle creature, even more so the green beauty niche, where brands, bloggers, retailers come and go like waves. One of my OG brands from the start has been Kahina Giving Beauty, who manages to swim the uncertain waters of this industry with a quiet poise, releasing gorgeous products aligned in their attention to quality and craftsmanship.

If you’re a sensitive-skinned reader who has e-mailed me over the years, I’ve most probably recommended a Kahina product or two (or the entire line) to you because of how gentle the products are. Even if you’re not sensitive-skinned, I probably suggested Kahina to you because their products are just plain wonderful.

The Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser continues to uphold the brand’s well-deserved reputation. However, I would go a step further to say that it’s beyond wonderful (which it is), and high-quality (which it also is). Here’s the spoiler: Kahina Giving Beauty’s Oil Cleanser hits all the marks for what an oil cleanser should be, I don’t just consider it one of the best oil cleansers around but the best oil cleanser around (and I’ve tried my fair share).

What’s in the bottle


When I first saw images of Kahina’s Oil Cleanser released over social media, it just felt cathartic. A fully transparent bottle where the golden goodness of the oils was the focal point just felt like something I had to have in my life. Researching it more, I soon landed on the ingredient’s list:

helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, isoamyl laurate, argania spinosa (argan) oil*, polyglyceryl-2 sesquioleate, polyglyceryl-2 caprate, daucus carota (carrot) seed oil, panicum millaceum (millet) seed extract*, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract*, tocopherol, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract*, curcuma longa (turmeric) root extract*, citrus aurantium amara (neroli) flower oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf oil*, tanacetum annuum flower oil, hypericum perforatum (st. johns wort) leaf extract, santalum spicatum (sandalwood) wood oil, bisabolol, citronelol†, geraniol†, linalool†, farnesol†, limonene†

* ingredients from organic farming

There really aren’t that many cleansing oils (green or not) that use this many plant-based oils. I had previously used the much-lauded One Love Organics Cleansing Oil, but truth be told, felt slightly underwhelmed at how there were only 3 plant oils in the formula. In this cleanser, we have Sunflower, Argan, Carrot Seed, Millet Seed, Rosemary, Calendula, Turmeric, Neroli, Geranium, Blue Tansy, Sandalwood – I think you’ll agree with me that the ingredients are so high quality that it’s basically a face oil grade oil cleanser.

The unpronounceable ingredients in there are the emulsifiers, which means that this cleanser has the power of an oil to get rid of waterproof makeup (including eye product) and stubborn sunscreen but will emulsify or break down into a milky fluid when exposed to water. This benefit is a non-negotiable for me as I need the cleanser to rinse off my skin without leaving additional residue or even worse, oxidizing with the impurities left on my skin to create more trouble. That is the major issue that I have with pure-oil cleansers which do not rinse off well, sure you can use a cloth to wipe but that creates more friction/irritation, presents another thing you need to clean daily to prevent bacteria build-up, and is a very manual process so there is still no certainty that you’ve effectively removed everything.


How does it feel

The texture of this oil is just right, not so thick that you’re not getting any traction with skin but not so thin that you’re just tugging and pulling at skin either. It has just the right amount of cushion and slip for a nice massage.

The fragrance is similar to their Kahina Giving Beauty Essaouira Perfume Oil, very light, crisp and refreshing. The sensorial experience is definitely sophisticated and luxurious, and I delighted in using it every night.

Final thoughts


This really is a case where a smart, well-formulated product absolutely hits it out of the park. I don’t need to hype it any more than that. I think Kahina Giving Beauty really thought about what an oil cleanser should be and what people needed in terms of real-life performance that wasn’t being met. They created something that I think is flawlessly executed. This will be the go-to cleansing oil that will be in my routine from now on. There is no FOMO (fear of missing out), I’ve tried the rest, save your time and money, invest in this, your skin will love it, and you will thank me.

Price: 100 ml for $59 (the bottle will last a long time – pictured is what I still have remaining after using about 2-3 pumps every night, 5 times a week since July save for a total of 3.5 weeks of travel from July to now).

From now until November 4th, CREDO is having a 20% off Friends & Family sale (code: CLEAN20) while supplies last so be sure to take advantage and get this oil cleanser ordered quickly: Kahina Giving Beauty Cleansing Oil.

Other retailers:
The Detox Market
Kahina Giving Beauty

Advertisements

JULY 4TH WEEKEND BEAUTY ESSENTIALS


I hope everyone is having a good summer! This year’s July 4th was on Wednesday so I ended up making a very long weekend out of it and made the trip from NYC to the Hamptons.

My skincare isn’t really based on set routines because I believe in changing things based on what my skin needs, so I’m sharing a couple of the products I brought with me for my long weekend trip.

Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser

I’ve been consulting with estheticians and figured out that it doesn’t matter if you only wear sunscreen and “light makeup,” especially in summer, everyone needs to double cleanse to get that surface stuff off before going in for that actual cleanse. It is apparently one of the core tenants of Asian Beauty Rituals so I’ve committed to oil cleansing every night before going over my skin with my trusty Halcyon Cleanser which is like…. the most necessary staple in my routine and key for good skin during summer when everything feels grittier and sweatier, it leaves my naked skin soft and baby-like.

As mentioned in my previous post on oil cleansers, Kahina’s Oil Cleanser is my favorite oil cleanser. It has a subtle yet pleasant aroma, possesses a nice weighty texture for massage without tugging at the skin and rinses cleanly. Beyond good organic ingredients, it’s also anti-inflammatory which is a major plus for heat prone summer skin. I like to massage it and feel the impurities glide off my skin. Since using this in conjunction with Halcyon, my skin has been totally clear and pores look clean and tiny, even those around my nose.

African Botanics Rose Treatment Essence

Many people assume that summer means going lighter on moisturizing products but that’s a mistake. The water content in the skin can be even more prone to TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) due to the sun, air conditioning and high temperatures.

The Rose Treatment Essence is a nice weighty translucent gel that is far from the fluid textures of Asian essences. I gently rub this around my skin and it disappears immediately like a succulent serum. And the rose, oh my, the rose scent is such a pretty thing, so full and elegant, that the first few times I used it, I was so taken that I barely even paid attention to any results. Armed with botanical emollients, humectants, hyaluronic acid, and oligosaccharides, the results are worthy of the price tag: it’s very hydrating but not heavy or clogging which is exactly what you want from an essence, and the ingredients make skin feel firmer and pores look smaller.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

A classic as far as green beauty goes, this has been in my beauty ritual for years. I always purchase a new jar at the beginning of every summer because I know how beautifully it works to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and all that leftover residue that accumulates during summer. This leaves my summer skin feeling light, fresh and happy and the instant-ready jelly texture is convenient to apply and wash off. The refreshing aqueous-herbaceous, fruity scent is one of my favorites.

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream

Have you ever sat in an air-conditioned room and then felt your hands? For some reason, they always feel a little… rough, right? I first used Tatcha’s Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream years ago and continue to love it. This hand cream disappears so quickly that it feels like your skin just drinks it up like water. And my hands are always left so smooth and nice.

Truth be told, I love a chic, sophisticated tube of hand cream since I’m always taking it out of my handbag in public and Tatcha is a brand that I associate with elegant beauty. Unlike a lot of other brands that make chic, sophisticated hand creams like Byredo or Le Labo, Tatcha uses only natural fragrances so my hands (and the things they touch e.g. FOOD) do not carry any cloying scents. This is very important to me as strong, synthetic scents really get to me and make me feel sick after continued exposure.

YÜLI Cellular Lip Conditioner

I’m more laid back about lip balm usage during the summer, it just feels counter-intuitive to me to cover my lips in a layer of balm while my face is melting off. Cellular Lip Conditioner is a lip serum that is 100% food grade (yay!), but also serious business as there is a powerful antioxidant chemistry that strengthens against UV exposure. It has great, nourishing plant oils like avocado, sesame seed, and green tea.

The texture is light, yet you feel nourished and hydrated. I like applying this also as a base layer before lipsticks and stains which can be drying (especially organic selections).

Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation

This has been my go-to foundation since I first started using it (see Kjaer Weis review). I love how versatile it is, it can be worn as a “naked your skin but better” foundation or a fuller coverage depending on how you blend and layer. For daytime, I do three swipes: one on each cheek and forehead, then blend in for a very minimal face that still evens and lightens my skin.

What I love about this cream foundation is how it soaks up oils that skin produces throughout the day so even by the end of the day, I’m left with a very natural dewy complexion with a highlighter-esque sheen rather than a greasy face.

YÜLI Metamorphic Elixir

It’s funny how long I’ve been using this line. When I first started, my skin was ridiculously out of balance, oily and acne prone. I was using Panacea Elixir (which is like an organic P50 without the acids) and now, I all about that tall drink of Metamorphic Elixir which is a very rejuvenating (translation: anti-aging) and hydrating face mist. One thing I’ve learned is that a non-water based mist is much better than water-based mists that can evaporate and leave skin even more dehydrated and Metamorphic Elixir uses botanical hydrosols and aloe vera which are more hydrating and do not have that evaporation problem.

In addition to that base, Metamorphic has serum-level ingredients with an instant-mist delivery so you’re loading up on things like hyaluronic acid, carrot seed, and immortelle flower (the star ingredient of Madonna’s MDNA line). This has helped my skin feel more plumped and satiated. I have been using it for 2 weeks straight, spraying anytime I felt like it and my skin analyzer indicated that my hydration went up by 26% – the real deal.


Let me know if you’ve been trying anything new for summer!

Cleansing Oils 101


I remember my first foray into cleansing oils. I was a college student staying with a friend during the summer at her grad student co-op. TSA had lost my bag with all my skincare products so when night time came, my friend shared her products with me and I was immediately drawn to the chic bottle of Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil. “Wait, what is this? An oil… to cleanse your face?” I asked – keep in mind this was a time before people were putting face oils on their skin much less cleansing with them – “Yes, it’s an oil but trust me, it’s really good and cleans well just try it!” my friend reassured.

To my surprise, the oil felt soothing and not greasy, cleansing and not messy. I became a convert and upon returning to work at Neiman Marcus, I immediately got a bottle for myself.

I imagine this is an experience that many who have discovered cleansing oils may share. Now, it seems that every brand has a cleansing oil and for those of you not acquainted with cleansing oils, I put together this little guide to help.


Cleansing Oils: What are they?

Let’s start at the beginning. Cleansing oils are not new, they’ve been around. In Fiore (who has their own LUSTRA Cleansing Essence) purports that oil cleansing is steeped in practices traced to antiquity, as chronicled in beauty rituals in ancient East Asian, Egyptian, and Greek civilizations.

In modern times, it was first prominently used as a dutiful makeup remover by makeup artists on fashion shoots and for performances. The oils are able to dislodge water-proof makeup including mascara and stains that water-based cleansers have a hard time removing and where strong soap-based cleansers may agitate skin. The oil’s powerful performance in removing makeup yet gentle nature (as only mild gliding on the skin is necessary), resulted in them becoming the go-to medium for makeup removal.

However, in the 90’s and early 00’s, the skincare game was dominated by “oil-free” products and any oil based product brought to mind a product that would be heavy, greasy, and skin-clogging, so cleansing oils remained an industry secret. Micellar Water, a suspension of oils in water was introduced as it was thought to be more easily accepted by the mainstream oil-phobic shopper, despite their performance being a literal watered down version of pure cleansing oils.

Although we now place them in their own category of cleansers, functionally it’s more accurate to class cleansing oils as makeup removers. Cleansing oils dislodge surface level impurities and are great for removing makeup and sunscreen. The oils can also be massaged around bare skin to help dislodge trapped and oxidized sebum on the skin surface, including pore-clogging blackheads.

Can any skin type using cleansing oils?

Yes, with caveats. As I stated before, cleansing oils should be thought of as make-up removers or what some people like to call the “first step cleanser”. It’s not a product that I recommend using as the sole cleansing step because it works on a surface level so you aren’t giving your skin that deeper level of daily cleansing maintenance.

As a first step cleanser/makeup remover, even those with acne prone skin and sensitive skin will benefit because cleansing oils work very gently, are good at removing surface level impurities that can contribute to irritating skin, and the oils do not strip skin which is really ideal for the skin barrier. Bonus: if the oils come from good plant oils, skin receives a wonderful addition of antioxidants and vitamins.

Do follow through with an actual cleanser, which can be a cream or gel, that cleans deeper and you’ve got a great system in place.


What types of cleansing oils are there?

I categorize cleansing oils as those that emulsify with water and those that do not. There is no clear-cut winner because there is a trade-off: purists may prefer straight oil blends that are filled only with the good stuff (see May Lindstrom Pendulum Potion) even if they’re harder to wash off, while the performance-minded may prefer cleansing oils (like One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil) that have emulsifiers that rinse cleanly.

I prefer cleansing oils that emulsify with water for an easy rinse to make sure no residue is left on my skin. I do not want there to be an excess layer of oils that can block the penetration of essences and serums that follow cleansing. Pure oil blends also require muslin cloth, steaming and/or hot water to wash off, a process that I believe to be too abrasive for daily cleansing that it could actually sensitize skin. With that said, if you have a great 2nd cleanser (I swear by YÜLI Halcyon Cleanser), you can do a casual rinse and follow with your second cleanser to get everything off.

How do you determine if a cleansing oil is good or not?

Always read the ingredients list. I like my cleansing oils to be made from high-quality plant oils, so if I see a cleansing oil made from mineral oil or plant oils that are not organic, it’s a no go. You might as well buy a bottle of organic Sweet Almond Oil or Olive Oil instead.

Also, if you have a preference between emulsifying cleansing oils versus pure cleansing oils, check the ingredients to make sure the product is the type you like by looking for emulsifiers which typically have a non-botanical name. It also helps to read the “how to” to see if things like muslin clothes are required to get an idea of how easy the oil is to rinse.

If you are able to sample the cleansing oil, find an oil that has a nice “bouncy” texture where you can glide it around your skin without it pulling or tugging. That weighty texture also helps nourish skin and is a good indicator that the oils have a larger molecular size so they stay on the skin surface which is good in an oil cleanser as you do not want the oils to sink into your skin.

 

What are your favorites?

Similar to face oils and juicing, for cleansing oils, I will only buy clean formulas made from organic plant oils.

Jose Rosebrook, May Lindstrom, In Fiore oils are where I’d steer you toward if you want a pure oil that does not emulsify. You can’t go wrong with any of their formulas which use high-quality organic plant oils, just play around and see which texture or scent suits you.

Now, onto the emulsifying oils that I prefer to use: the green community long-standing favorite, One Love Organic’s Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil is one that I’ve tried, loved and repurchased. It’s a nice hefty weight, made from sunflower and papaya seed oil, smells like pina colada, and emulsifies for easy and fuss-free removal.

I’ve purchased Tata Harper’s Nourishing Oil Cleanser which I honestly thought was going to blow all other oil cleansers out of the water but it left me surprisingly disappointed. The oil is great, it smells wonderful, feels fabulous, and even has this ability to soften skin. Where it falls short is how it emulsifies, upon contact with water, the cleanser congeals with the surface impurities (sunscreen and makeup) into a sticky almost rubbery white film on the skin surface that is nearly impossible to rinse off without the help of a cloth and second cleanser that foams. I don’t think this is a case of a product not working with my skin or individual preference, the formula falls short in delivering the cleansing experience because I can’t imagine anyone would find the stubborn rubbery film desirable.

A new release from Kahina Giving Beauty, the Oil Cleanser, is one I’ve been testing for the last two weeks and it’s been an absolutely flawless experience. The oil’s subtle fragrance reminds me of the Kahina Giving Beauty Essaouira Perfume Oil which is one of my favorite oil perfumes (bright, fresh and crisp). I used 3 pumps and it cushioned my skin with soothing sunflower, argan, carrot seed and calendula oils. Although I was done, I kept massaging the oil on my skin as it just felt so good. Upon rinsing off, the entire formula just melted off with water. The packaging is also gorgeous as you get to see the beautiful oils. I’m not going to beat around the bush here, Kahina Giving Beauty’s Oil Cleanser is hands down, my favorite cleansing oil.


If I left anything out or if you have a question about cleansing oils/any of the products I mentioned, please leave a comment!


My Current Routine: Winter 2018

There’s something about the winter season that inspires what I deem “hibernative self-care”, which I loosely define as cozy evenings/weekends of take-out, and skin pampering while a Netflix marathon plays. To me, there is no better time to explore products; playing with their textures and exploring their intricacies in layering and mixing them with other potions.

As we all know, I’m unable to keep to a pared down routine. I didn’t think it made sense to talk about a single cleanser, or lone face oil that I’m using because by the time you read this, I’m already experimenting with another product. So I’m going about this more through the steps and processes in my routine to achieve plumped, radiant, well moisturized winter skin and the products I’ve been use regularly.


Cleanse

Cleansing is so important regardless of your skin type. I’m actually very turned off when I see a skincare brand founder say that they don’t cleanse their skin for whatever reason. There are impurities expelled through basically every orifice of our body including the pores of the sponge-like epidermis. Pollutants, smoke, oxidized residue from stale sebum and protein deposits, proliferation of microscopic mites and parasites, accumulation of dead skin cells, etc. are all reasons why every skin type should take cleansing seriously.  

During the winter, I like to rotate in the creamy cleansers. For a deep skin pampering session, I use Aurelia’s Miracle Cleanser, a very luxurious creamy cleanser that I massage for a good 5 minutes and remove with muslin. This has a familiar cold cream-esque texture and an uplifting, fresh scent that feels very spa-like.

If I’m looking for a quicker or less involved cleanse, the cream cleansers I go between are In Fiore’s Treate Gentle Cleansing Emulsion and Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser. For make-up removal and deep cleansing, I apply around 4-5 quick pumps and massage onto dry skin. This allows the cream to create a nice emollient texture so you’re never pulling or tugging at skin. As a daily cleansing step, I massage 2-3 pumps on wet skin and re-wet if it dries during massage. These creams both rinse off cleanly with water. While I love both cleansers and would repurchase them both, I really think everyone should try the Kahina Cleanser as it has really been an under-the-radar product which is a shame because it has one of my favorite cream textures, has an ever-so-subtle luxurious scent, and is a great price for the quantity. There really aren’t any negatives and I highly recommend it.


Tone/Mist

It may seem like I’m on a Kahina kick, but I first used the Kahina Giving Beauty Toning Mist 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve wanted to revisit it, despite the fact that there are already so many beautiful organic mists out there. What I really vibe with from Kahina is their gentle, sophisticated nature. This mist uses soothing and hydrating aloe vera leaf juice, rose water, and anti-inflammatory argan and white tea leaf extract. It’s lightly scented with Moroccan desert rose (very similar to MŪN Anarose Toner) which makes this hydrating mist impeccably luscious.



Serum

Serums are the power players of any routine. My MVP serum since it’s release in late 2017 has been YÜLI’s Ambrosia Beauty Nectar, a highly impressive hydration/anti-aging serum that is the topic of 80% of the e-mails I receive. On that note: I hear you, I’ll post an in-depth review for Ambrosia Beauty Nectar. I have to admit that receiving all the requests just makes it harder for me to start putting together a review as I feel like the expectations are at a point where anything short of writing a book will not be enough.

Ambrosia Beauty Nectar is a beast, it blows hyaluronic acid serums out of the water, it raises the bar for how anti-aging serums can work, and I’ve even seen others say it has the benefits of all of the immensely popular Kristina Honey+Marie Veronique serums combined.

The oil-free texture is engineered to be identical to skin’s natural moisture reservoir, a layer of cushion that depletes with time. It’s active but unlike active serums with ingredients like Vitamin C, Retinols or Acids, it works WITH skin rather than trying to overturn it, so there is a lot of support for things like restoring the barrier, strengthening cell immunity, rather than creating irritation or inflammation. Though YÜLI is smart enough to know their customers are probably also using actives like Vitamin C (a notoriously difficult active that can have side-effects when in contact with the wrong preservatives, pH, etc.), so the formula is one of the rare ones that not only plays well with others but also boosts functionality, making it wonderful as the essential serum that can be the base of any cocktail.

Depending on how I feel, I either pump enough Ambrosia to create a thin layer before mist or mist and then apply a cocktail of Ambrosia + Face Oil. Ambrosia does for hydration, what face oils do for nourishment, so you want to use both. This is why one of the most common complaints I hear from readers who use primarily oils and balms, is this feeling of chronic depletion that is often mistaken for dryness but is really due to incorrectly relying on oil-based products to target hydration and reverse trans-epidermal water loss. If you are using a face oil by itself or only with a mist, Ambrosia is not only going to quench that underlying thirst for moisture but it’s also going to really elevate the way the entire system of products comes together.

When I want to go heavy hitting, my face oil of choice to pair with Ambrosia is YÜLI Liquid Courage Antioxidant Serum. Spirit Demerson refers to this more as a serum in oil form rather than a face oil because it’s not a straight blend of oils, there is pure Vitamin C (for glowing skin), Ferulic Acid, biofermented plant extracts that make it kind of a super-oil. I like to mix it or layer it after Ambrosia because they both contain concentrated, potent antioxidant complexes. Liquid Courage contains an antioxidant seed complex derived from the most nutrient dense seeds of superfoods while Ambrosia contains pharmaceutical grade antioxidants like Astaxanthin, so their concoction delivers the richest antioxidant cocktail. These two products combined are skincare nirvana and delivers such a radiant glow.

If I’m going more minimalist, I pair Ambrosia with African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil which is a very pure Marula oil topped with Neroli for a very crisp, refreshing fragrance. African Botanics has the best Marula oil that is organic and comes from protected South African reserves. It’s so beautiful to just massage and lightly press into my skin. It’s really lightweight and sinks in quickly while feeding skin with all the necessary omega-rich goodness that comes with marula oil. Just very simple, high quality and beautiful.


Moisturizer

I’ve been all about textures lately and the African Botanics Cloudburst Micro-emulsion Balancing Moisturizer is this ingenious creation that is light as a serum but tops up perfectly after applying face oil. My skin is never left dry or thirsty. Thicker creams can clog pores, or dull the complexion, this one is quite different. The ingredients include marine algae, copper and plant peptides, and skin loving minerals like magnesium and zinc. The green gel is also immediately cooling and calming, thanks to wonderful anti-inflammatories like green rooibos tea, resurrection plant, and chamomile. It really is a serum level product, but intelligently utilizes molecular science to act as a moisturizer.

If I want something heavier or just crave that rich “slather on” feeling, I reach for the MV Skincare Rose Soothing & Protection Face Moisturizer, which is full bodied and indulgent without making skin feel suffocated. There are times where I get a little lazy and skip face oil, and this is that rescue product that really works well even by itself. When used alone, my skin is soft and comfortable. When layered after serums, my skin is glowing and has that extra oomph.

For daytime, I finish with Suntegrity Natural Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30. It’s a great, green sunscreen that uses only Zinc Oxide as it’s active sunblock. I like the texture compared to other physical sunblocks in that it’s easier to apply without leaving white streaks over my skin. I actually use this almost like a highlighter to take advantage of the white Zinc Oxide cast.  One tip is that the initial white cast does fade within 2 minutes, so don’t let that scare you. In fact, it wears incredibly well to the point that it “blurs” imperfections.


That’ll do it! Please leave a comment if you want to share your experiences with any of these products, your winter skincare tips or have any questions!

Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Body Serum

KG016_BodySerumFez_HIGHestRES

Body oils were never a category I perused, they always felt so superfluous and unnecessary to me. With that said, I had always had drier-enough-that-it-bothers-me extremeties. My elbows and lower legs are prone to scaly, dryness but to be honest, moisturizers and body butters always worked well enough that I was okay with not exploring body oils which felt like such a frou-frou bath indulgence.

Then one memorable day in my past life working behind the counter at Neiman Marcus we got a new shipment from Tata Harper and Omorovicza. I was tasked with labeling the testers which of course meant some exploration time! To my surprise their body oils were among the most addictive in the entire line. Beautiful fragrances, addictively rich textures and skin loving goodness easily swayed me over from lotions and creams.

Kahina Fez Serum Beauty Idealist

When Kahina Giving Beauty introduced their FEZ Body Serum, I was intrigued. Then came the reviews: spicy, earthy, warm – all interesting descriptors but for scents that I typically don’t gravitate toward. Yet I had always known this line to make products with a sophisticated fragrance so luckily travel sizes were introduced to the line which gave me ample time to try for myself.

Now the fragrance descriptors might be correct BUT… as someone who does not like spicy, earthy, warm fragrances… I can say this interesting serum is a little more unique than simply being labelled by those three notes. I wouldn’t even use any plant notes to describe it as in my mind the closest descriptor is actually “sexy drying ink” which will either make a lot of sense or none at all. First of all, it’s sophisticated…. and sexy. And I mean it. Where Lina Hanson’s body oil is sunshine and cotton candy, Kahina’s Fez Body Serum is what one would wear under a trench coat accompanying their lingerie on the prowl to seduce a man. If Mata Hari and Cleopatra wore a body oil, this would be the one.

Besides the fragrance, this works. The blend is 36% pure Argan Oil followed by sunflower oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and watermelon seed oil. All super moisturizing oils. Though if I’m being honest I barely had time to concentrate on the performance as I was so enraptured with the scent and how it worked with my body to cool down certain notes and leave a dry, powdery note. The texture is fine, never greasy or thick, and it will sink into skin like a tease – lingering just long enough before it disappears. And yes, it moisturizes but at $98 for a (generous) bottle of this stuff what you’re really paying for is the way that within the power of a few pumps, you’re transported to another place. Now, while this worked for me, I do realize that strong scents like this might be polarizing so even if you’re not tempted to go for a full sized purchase, I feel like you owe it to yourself to at least get the travel size to see how it works. As for me: Full sized bottle, here we go.

My day with Kahina Giving Beauty

Kahina

I recently had the chance to check out Kahina‘s full line in person. As a luxury green beauty buff, it was my version of a playground: the entire range at my disposal! Here are my quick notes on the entire range from my limited time with them:

Kahina Giving Beauty Cleanser: A white creamy cleanser, almost no scent. Turns milky with water with no foaming or lather. Would probably be great for dry or sensitive skin. ($56)

Kahina Giving Beauty Toning Mist: Very light and refreshing, no strong fragrance but smells slightly of rose and aloe – feminine yet subtle enough for men to enjoy as well. I could see this being a staple item because it felt moisturizing without being heavy. ($46)

Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Lotion: I’m not one to willfully experiment with lotions due to my skins ease with breaking out but a few pumps of this lotion convinced me this might be the next item to give the full test run. It felt light and hydrating without heavy fragrance (a recurring theme with Kahina that is welcomed in my opinion), and I feel like this might be wonderful over an oil or serum. ($62)

Kahina Giving Beauty Serum: I think this is Kahina’s version of a facial oil. It’s a dark and earthy oil that I think will be an upgrade for those who want something a little more fancy than Kahina’s renowned Argan Oil. ($90)

Kahina Brightening Serum: Read my review here.

Kahina Antioxidant Mask: Read my review here.

Kahina Eye Serum/Eye Cream: Okay so I played around with both to get an idea for who each product is for. The eye serum is light and sinks into skin. The eye cream is thicker and has longer presence on skin. Both are hydrating but the eye cream is what you want for dryness and more intense repair. The eye serum is great as a lighter weight product that may however be more active. ($78/$65)

Interesting note: the Eye Cream and Antioxidant Mask jars were nearly depleted so I definitely think those are the customer favorites.

On the whole I found the range to be very well made, the scents were always light and subtle, the textures were just right, and all products had great moisturizing qualities. After playing with the entire range, the products on my list are definitely the eye serum, facial lotion and toning mist.

Interview with Katharine L’Heureux, Founder of Kahina Giving Beauty

Image

 

I am beyond excited to bring to you an interview that Katharine L’Heurex (founder of Kahina Giving Beauty) graciously took time to answer for me. I started this blog to chronicle my love for beauty, specifically luxury, natural beauty. Kahina Giving Beauty is one of the pioneer lines that managed to bridge the gap between the two ideas and set an example that natural and luxury can exist in the same sentence. Since launch, their line of Argan focused products has expanded to multinational high-end retailers and has a solid following among beauty junkies. Their Brightening Serum remains a key multitasking product for my summer routine. I’m so honored to bring you this wonderful interview from a woman who I consider one of the icons of the luxury, green beauty movement, Ms. Katharine L’Heureux. Enjoy!

As the founder of a line that I consider one of the pioneers for the green luxury movement, what do you consider to be Kahina Giving Beauty’s greatest accomplishments?

That is so kind of you.  I am very proud of creating a line that truly meets a high standard of sustainability while competing in the luxury category.  Part of our job has been to educate consumers that natural and organic products are as effective and luxurious as their traditional counterparts, and that there is no need to sacrifice anything in terms of texture, scent or design for healthy and responsible products.  As consumers catch on and demand more sustainable products, we put pressure on traditional companies to clean up their acts.  Another thing I’m proud of is our work with the Berber women.  It has been so rewarding to be able to help these women in a material way through our fair trade practices.

What do you think is the biggest misconception when the typical luxury consumer thinks about green products?

Many people still think that green beauty products are those products on the shelves of health food stores that smell kind of funky and don’t really work.  The category has come such a long way – and people are catching on.

 
Image
Which of your products would you recommend to someone who has never used a green beauty product before?

For someone new to green products, I would have them try our award-winning Eye Cream and/or Eye Serum.  These two high-performance products really work to address problems associated with the eye area and could convert even the biggest skeptic.

Tell me about the first time you saw someone using your product when you were just ‘out and about’.

Well, it’s rare to see someone applying skincare on the street, but I was at a dinner party once when I overheard a group of women I didn’t know conversing about a fabulous new skincare line they discovered called Kahina.  It was such a thrill to introduce myself!

What has been the most touching response you’ve received from a customer?

We receive so many amazing testimonials expressing gratitude from customers who have finally found relief from skin conditions like severe eczema and rosacea.  So many people are really suffering pain and embarrassment because of problems like these.  I’ve realized that the line is much more than merely cosmetic.

How would you finish this thought: 5 years from now, here’s where I see Kahina Giving Beauty:

We’ve only been in business for four years.  I could never have imagined that we would now be sold in more than 10 countries around the world.   I have no idea what the future holds, but I look forward to finding out!

If you could go back in time to speak to yourself when you were just starting your line, what single piece of advice would you give to yourself?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  It has been an extremely challenging journey, with many sleepless nights, but I’ve learned that with persistence things usually work themselves out.  Now I just try to remember that and tell myself that everything will be all right.

Finally, what can we expect from Kahina in the near future?

We have several exciting launches coming up in the Fall and Winter, taking us into new categories and utilizing some incredible active natural ingredients.