Top Menu

Cold-Weather Skincare, the Kahina Way

Kahina Giving Beauty Skincare

With the passing of one of my favorite “holidays”, Fall Back aka the end of DST, it was only a matter of time before temperatures plummeted precipitously, the heaters (hopefully) cranked on, and skin started to feel tight.  Colder temperatures can wreak havoc on your complexion; chapping, flaking and redness are all tell-tale signs that your skin is suffering.  Luckily for us, there are several ways you can combat the effects of winter weather and preserve a dewy, fresh glow, no matter the forecast.  Here are my favorite tips:

1. Continue your habits of sun protection throughout the short days of winter.  If you use SPF, keep up the good work.  Otherwise, cover up with hats, hoods, gloves, sunglasses, and scarves.  This helps shield you from UV rays but also from cold winds which can further dehydrate and chap exposed skin. Make sure to regularly clean any items that come into contact with your face and choose non-irritating fabrics (hello, pashmina!).

2. Apply a protective, emollient moisturizer like Kahina Facial Lotion over any oils or serums during the day.  The beeswax and shea butter act as a barrier to keep moisture in. You can also use the Lotion at night; combine with a few drops of Kahina Argan Oil or, better, Kahina Serum or Prickly Pear Seed Oil to make a denser consistency. For additional anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits, use Kahina Night Cream instead of Facial Lotion — but still layer over Argan Oil, Serum, or Prickly Pear Seed Oil for maximum moisturization.

3. Use a soothing cleanser with glycerin or oils and without harsh cleansing agents like SLS. Kahina Facial Cleanser is aloe vera and argan oil-based, so it will not leave your skin feeling tight post-wash.

4. Avoid the temptation to take very hot showers or use hot water when cleansing.  This can increase redness and the feeling itchy, chapped skin.  We love Kahina Argan Soap Trio – exfoliating but also moisturizing, conditioning and soothing.  Our Goat Milk & Honey Argan Soap is another super gentle option for softening skin while cleansing. Follow a shower with an organic body oil on damp skin, like Kahina FEZ Body Serum – rich in emollient oils like argan, coconut, sunflower, olive, and watermelon.

5. Restore skin at night while you sleep.  Kahina Serum is a rich blend of plant oils including argan, sea buckthorn, carrot seed, and coffee berry.  These assorted oils provide different nutrients and antioxidants to help rebuild and replenish overnight.  We recommend that those with normal to dry skin types who are using only Kahina Argan Oil switch to Kahina Serum during colder months. Apply Kahina FEZ Hand & Body Balm to hands, heels, elbows, and other dry spots before bed (and as needed throughout the day!).

6. If the heat in your home and/or office is particularly dry, use a humidifier during the day and at night to add moisture to the air.  Be sure to clean the humidifier according to manufacturer’s directions.

7. Use Kahina Toning Mist throughout the day to help retain moisture and soothe redness.  Sodium hyaluronate attracts water molecules in the air to your skin, while rosewater and aloe vera calm irritation.  Kahina Toning Mist can be applied over makeup.

8. Treat lips with an all-natural balm.  When you apply Argan Oil or Serum morning and evening, run a layer over your lips as well for additional benefits. Stay tuned for our Lip & Face Balm debuting in January!

9. Generally you can exfoliate less often in the winter months, but don’t stop altogether, especially if you’re noticing flakes.  Kahina Antioxidant Mask works in 5-10 minutes and will gently buff away dry, dead skin.

10. Now is the time to pay attention to the eye area.  Consider changing from a lighter weight serum to a cream that offers more substantial hydration and protection.  Kahina Eye Cream is a good choice, with sea fennel, peptides, argan oil, aloe vera, and antioxidants all working to soothe, moisturize, and comfort the delicate eye area while combating signs of aging and puffiness and dark circles.

 

Eco Diva Beauty Interview

I had the pleasure of meeting Katharine L’Heureux, founder of Kahina Giving Beauty, at the Elements Showcasein January. With her came a spirit of humility, gratitude, and an overall passion for life. She is the perfect example of sometime who is creating the change that they wants to see in the world, and that’s why this luxury organic skincare brand is going to be around for a long time.

Tell us about yourself and Kahina Giving Beauty.

I’m the founder of Kahina Giving Beauty, a simple and effective skincare line based on highest quality and ethically sourced ingredients from around the world.  With organic and fair trade argan oil at its core, Kahina Giving Beauty provides real skincare solutions that advance people and the planet.  A percentage of profits from the sale of all Kahina products goes to the indigenous Berber women of Morocco who extract the oil at the heart of our line.

“I am certainly ecologically minded and don’t believe I need to sacrifice my personal style to do so.”

Kahina Press

 Name one of Kahina’s recent successes, and tell us about your next big goal!

My latest business success was to be able to provide 100 sheep for the Berber women who source the argan oil at the heart of Kahina.  My next goal is to provide them with clean, solar-powered cooking stoves so they don’t have to cut down argan trees for cooking.

Take us behind your brand, what does a day in your life look like?

Since I just returned from visiting my argan suppliers in Morocco, I’ll tell you what my day in the village of Tazghelilt looked like.   After waking up to the sounds of donkeys braying and roosters crowing, I eat a breakfast of crepes and eggs in the home of my supplier. Then I’m off to see the sheep I donated living in the homes of the Berber women.  I’m happy to discover that the sheep have grown big and fat.  A quick visit to the center for weaving in the village, where I purchase some hand-loomed rugs from the women.  After that I do an inspection of the facility where argan oil is cold-pressed by machine and have a meeting with my supplier before driving down the mountain toward Agadir, where I eat fresh fish at the port!

What part of your job do you love most?

My favorite part of my job is working with the Berber women and being able to help them materially.  I also love developing fabulous new products for our line using argan oil and other amazing all natural ingredients.

Do you think it’s important to love what you do, or make good money?

I hope that if you do what you love, the money will follow.

Is owning your own business as glamorous as it sounds?

Owning a small start-up means I have to be ready to do most all jobs from doing interviews to packing up boxes for shipping and to sourcing the argan oil.  Some of it feels very glamorous, but the majority of my time is spent doing pretty unglamorous work.

Would you consider yourself an Eco Diva?

I am certainly ecologically minded and don’t believe I need to sacrifice my personal style to do so.  To the contrary, I believe that being conscientious is the most on-trend way to live – and hopefully will be for a long time to come.

Tilda Swinton at the Veni 001

What celebrity do you look at for style inspiration and why?

I love Tilda Swinton for her beautiful minimalist style – and that she doesn’t follow trends, but has identified her own individual style and adheres to it.

Where are Kahina products made? And how did you choose your supplier?

I import the argan oil from Morocco and manufacture products in the US.  In selecting my argan oil supplier and my manufacturer, it is important to me that they share my vision of providing the highest quality products based on ethically sourced natural and organic ingredients.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

French fries and red wine

Favorite way to unwind?

French fries and red wine :)

Fes Morocco

What is your favorite travel hot spot?

I prefer to avoid hot spots, but my all time favorite destination is Fes, Morocco.

Thank you Katharine! To buy all Kahina‘s ethically sourced and sustainably made products, head over to Eco Diva.

luxury organic skincare

My personal faves are the Serum and Cleanser and Brightening Serum.

See the original post on Eco Diva Beauty.

A word on pricing when shopping internationally

Are you shopping for Kahina in Germany? What about Canada? Australia? This is for you.

Retail pricing varies by country for three main reasons: currency valuation, import fees/taxes, and freight costs. There is not a 1:1 correlation between US pricing and another country’s pricing. When you purchase from a retailer in any country but the U.S., the retailer has paid shipping costs including broker fees, currency exchange fees, and duties/taxes on top of product cost, so the prices may be higher than if you simply converted USD to your own currency.

Recently the Canadian dollar (CAD) has lost even more value to the USD. As a result we are having to slightly increase the MSRP in CAD. This is not your retailer being greedy; they simply need to make money (and not lose money) in order to stay in business and keep offering you the best in beauty.

Eighth and Wild on Toners & Kahina Toning Mist

Eighth and Wild

PSA: for those of us subjected to dry heating in these coming months, please make sure to use a hydrating mist as part of your skincare. Topical water + humectant sodium hyaluronate = great way to combat dry, flaky skin and get those oils/balms/moisturizers to absorb even better.

Green beauty blogger Eighth and Wild recently reminded you “Don’t Skip the Toner” and wrote about the benefits of toners and how to use them. (Cheat sheet: pH balance, exfoliation, and absorption/moisture) Check out her post here.

What she has to say about Kahina Toning Mist:
“It has a nice soothing scent, you can feel it on your skin after using it… The Toning Mist leaves my skin the most moisturized out of all of them, so for those who have drier skin, this might be what you’ve been looking for.”

Kahina pledges assistance for those impacted by Moroccan flash flooding

Photo by gulf-times.com

Photo by Huffington Post

Severe flash floods in Morocco’s south over the weekend have left at least 40 dead and many more missing, according to reports from the Moroccan Red Crescent. The argan region near Agadir and the Anti-Atlas Mountains was heavily impacted. The torrential rains also destroyed hundreds of mud homes and damaged the countries’ infrastructure, closing one hundred roads, including six national highways. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones and are otherwise affected by the devastation.

In the coming months, Kahina’s donations will be directed towards relief for our friends in the Anti-Atlas village of ait Goh, which was heavily impacted by the storm.

You can read more and provide additional support by visiting the website of the Moroccan Red Crescent which has responded to the emergency with more than 600 volunteers for the distribution of relief items such as blankets, mattresses, water purification and hygiene kits for 1,100 families.

Interview with Bare Beauty

Katharine took some time with Jessica of Bare Beauty to share the history of Kahina and what keeps her motivated – enjoy the interview! Read the original here.

THE PERFECT GIFT: KAHINA GLOW BOX

Kahina Glow Box on Bare Beauty
Bette Walker Photography

Girrrrrrl, I’m about to save your @$$ this holiday season. The Kahina Giving Beauty Glow Box is the best Green Beauty gift set I’ve seen for under $100. It contains Kahina’s organic, fair trade argan oil, a beautifully wrapped handmade rosemary lavender argan soap and their intoxicating FEZ body serum. Not only is it a fantastic sampling of Kahina’s life-changing, eco-conscious product line, the packaging is so beautiful – all you need to do is tie a ribbon around the box. Done and done. Why haven’t you bought five of these already? Cost: $75. Purchase it here.

And because you should know a thing or two about what exactly you are giving this holiday, (hint: when you give the Glow Box, you are doing more than just gifting your sister some high-end argan oil) read on for an informative and inspiring Q&A with Kahina Giving Beauty’s founder, Katharine L’Heureux.

Katharine L'Heureux in Morocco

BB: There are so many Argan oil companies out there. What makes Kahina Giving Beauty different?

KGB: There are quite a few companies selling argan oil and claiming argan oil as an ingredient in their formulations now. This wasn’t the case at all when we launched Kahina in 2009. At that time, argan oil was hardly known and people were reluctant to use pure oil on their faces. Times have really changed and argan oil has become extremely popular. As is often the case with popularity, companies tend to jump on trends without attention to details that ensure quality. We have always gone to great lengths to ensure that our oil is of the highest quality, carefully harvested and produced using the best extraction techniques, then packaged with an eye toward preserving the ingredient. We create thoughtful formulations using high concentrations of argan oil with other high quality, carefully sourced ingredients from around the world, with as much organic content as possible to create products that really work and that have a minimal impact on the environment.

BB: Kahina is Fair Trade. What does that really mean for the women who work at your co-op?

KGB: Purchasing certified Fair Trade Argan Oil means that women are paid a fair wage for their work and that a percentage of the purchase price of the oil goes to programs that support them. At Kahina Giving Beauty, we go beyond Fair Trade requirements and donate an additional percentage of our revenue to support the Berber women of Morocco. Kahina provides support to these women in the areas of health, literacy, work education and increased opportunity.

BB: What are your favorite, cannot-live-without beauty products?

KGB: I use the entire Kahina line everyday. The product I’m especially loving right now is our FEZ Hand and Body Balm. Other products I use on an almost daily basis are Suntegrity 5 in 1 Moisturizing Sunscreen, W3LL People Foundation Concealer, Yarok Feed Your Volume for hair, and Ilia lipstick in Arabian Nights.

BB: Kahina Giving Beauty was somewhat of a happy accident; you “discovered” an amazing product while on vacation. What drove you to persist in establishing and growing your company?

KGB: I strongly felt that there was a need in the market for beautifully packaged, organic skincare that delivered, but I was also driven by my love for Morocco and desire to help the impoverished women of that country.

BB: You are a mother. What do you hope your children, particularly your daughter, learn from you and your venture with Kahina Giving Beauty?

KGB: I hope I set an example for them to live consciously, compassionately, and healthfully. I hope to show them that they can create, and succeed, while helping people and the planet.

Thank you, Katharine!

Creams vs. Balms

Green beauty maven Sarita Coren pitted balms vs. creams and asked the experts to weigh in on when to use which and why. Katharine spoke about Kahina Night Cream, FEZ Hand & Body Balm, and (surprise!) our newest launch, which will be a Lip & Face Balm, out in mid-January.

Photo Credit Sarita Coren Photo by Sarita Coren

What advantages are there to using a cream vs. a balm?
Our skin is made up mostly of water. As oil and water don’t mix, the liquids, whether water, or in the case of our Night Cream, aloe vera juice, glycerin and grape juice extract, in a cream create an emulsion with the oil allowing the active ingredients to penetrate more deeply into the lower layers of the skin. For the same reason, we recommend applying a hydrosol, such as our Toning Mist before applying oils. Because fluids aid in oil absorption. The liquid ingredients in our Night Cream are also working to hydrate and calm skin and to deliver powerful antioxidants.

It’s important for skin to be hydrated and moisturized. Emollients like oils or butters accomplish moisturization but hydration comes from water. Think about “dry skin” vs. “dehydrated skin.” You can have oily, dehydrated skin. What is your skin lacking in that case? Water. All the oil/butters in the world are not going to help you if your skin is dehydrated.

Why did you choose a cream base and not a balm? Was a balm a consideration?
There is a place for both in our skincare line. The Night Cream was developed for nightly use (although many people love it during the day) as a deep moisturizer with serious anti-aging properties that will allow skin to breathe during its restoration cycle while you sleep. Balms are wonderful for protecting and healing surface layers of skin. We have a Hand and Body Balm that is great for moisturizing and healing extremely dry hands, feet and elbows, and we will soon be introducing our Kahina Lip and Face Balm, which will be wonderful to protect skin during the cold NYC winter.

How have you handled the issue of preservatives, emulsifiers, additives that are necessary when water is an ingredient?
The primary preservative we use in our formulations is p-anisic acid, derived from anise, and rosemary extract. Our formulations undergo extensive challenge testing to ensure stability and shelf life of at least two years.

You include many outstanding ingredients in the formula. Can you tell me about absorption of nutrients?
As I mentioned earlier, the aloe vera juice, glycerin, and grape juice extract, create an emulsion to assist with absorption of the resveratrol and the oils and plant extracts in the Night Cream.

Read the full article here, with insights from brands like Osmia and Cecilia Wong.

Fresh Faced Interview

Katharine L'Heureux of Kahina Giving Beauty Interview by Fresh Faced

A lifetime believer in the potential of beauty rituals to delight and empower, Kahina Giving Beauty founder Katharine L’Heureux discovered argan oil on the first of many journeys to Morocco. Recognizing a need in the marketplace for beautifully packaged, effective organic skin care that nourishes skin and spirit, Katharine conceived of a niche beauty brand that would give back. To realize her vision to connect women across the world through beauty, Katharine developed and produced the Kahina product line and brand, infusing it with her minimalist esthetic and philanthropic spirit (the company donates 25 percent of its profits to the indigenous Berber women who extract the oil at the heart of the line). She personally sources the argan that goes into Kahina products to ensure the highest quality oil and fair compensation for the women who extract it.

I had a chance to ask Katharine about her inspirations, how she balances business with personal life, and her own beauty philosophy. (And I’m super excited to share the new products she’s working on!)

FF: What inspired you to start Kahina Giving Beauty?
KLH: I had been searching for a natural skincare line that was truly effective. In 2007 the choices were limited.When I discovered argan oil on vacation in Morocco that year, I realized I had finally found the skincare ingredient I had been searching for. When I learned more about the women who work to extract the oil and about the argan forest, I realized I could create a company that could have a positive impact both socially and environmentally, while providing high-performance, results-driven skincare.

FF: What does a typical day look like for you?
KLH: My day starts at 6:45 when I wake up to get my kids breakfast and off to school. Luckily, my youngest goes to school close to our apartment in Manhattan so we can take it a little easy until 8:30I usually get some emails done over morning coffee. When I’m not travelling, I’m at my office, which happens to be my dining room table. We’re a small company, just myself and one employee, so we both have to wear many hats.I spend most of my time managing the sales team, developing new products, working with Moroccan suppliers, and overseeing production, but I can also be found packing boxes for shipping or affixing tags to our limited edition gift sets. The good thing about working from home is that I can be there when my kids return from school. In between the travel, the work, and the kids, I try to fit in some sort of exercise routine, whether it’s a yoga class, some time spent on the treadmill, or a walk along the Hudson River. I’m at home for family dinner and helping my kids with their homework most nights.

FF: Where do you draw inspiration?
KLH: My father for his sense of humour in the face of life’s challenges and his integrity. The Berber women for their strength, their spirit, and their ability to create beauty from the simplest of materials. Morocco inspires me for the complete sensory experience it providesvivid colours, exotic smells, and the beautiful sounds of music and the daily call to prayer. Finally, Donna Karan for her minimalist but accessible aesthetic and for creating Urban Zen, a company and foundation based on the principle of helping others.

FF: Can you tell me a little bit about your ingredients and how you select them?
KLH: First and foremost, our ingredients need to be effective, whether they’re the actives that contribute to skin health or the preservatives that support shelf-life and stability. Our products are certified by Ecocert, so the ingredients and their processing methods must pass Ecocert’s rigid standards for environmental protection and consumer safety. Finally, we source ingredients ethically, from small family farms and certified fair trade whenever possible.

FF: What sets Kahina apart from other brands?
KLH: Kahina was one of the first brands to bring argan oil to the U.S. In 2007, there were a handful of brands using it in their formulations, but we were the first to create a complete natural and organic skincare line based on its amazing properties. We use very high concentrations of the best, selectively-sourced argan oil, something that can’t be said for most brands piggy-backing on the argan oil trend. Kahina is also one of the pioneers of the “luxury organic” category, bringing luxury packaging and efficacy to the natural market. But what really makes us stand out, I think, is our dedication to sustainability from the ground up, beginning with our sourcing the best organic ingredients, to our recycled and recyclable packaging, and finally to our support of the women who extract the oil at the heart of our line.

FF: Can you share your personal beauty philosophy?
KLH: I hate to sound cliché, but beauty really does come from feeling good about yourself. When a woman is confident and happy, she is beautiful. As for my own routine, I keep it simple. I believe in eating well, getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, using natural products on my skin, and trying to minimize stress. If I lapse in any of these areas it tends to show up on my skin. I am very no-frills about hair and makeup, so having a good skin and hair maintenance program is important.  

FF: How do you balance running a business with family and other priorities?
KLH: It’s a bit of a juggling act.But the advantage of running my own company is that I can be somewhat in control of my time. My family always comes first, but they know that I am running a business and respect my need to work most evenings and on weekends. I’ve learned not to stress about the things that aren’t that important at home and at workif it means we’re eating scrambled eggs for dinner, or the beds don’t get made sometimes, so be it. Exercise at least four times a week helps me stay sane and I try to get at least eight to nine hours of sleep every night. I also couldn’t do it without an amazing support systemmy husband and my incredible, but small, team. 

FF: Your argan oil has become a bit of a cult favourite among Fresh Faced customers. Can you tell me what new products you’re working on?
KLH: We are very careful about adding new products to our line as we intentionally want to keep the line tight and simple.  After two years in development and testing, we are excited to be launching two new products this fall and wintera wonderfully restorative night cream and a beautifully scented body oil. That’s all I can give away now!

See the original post on Fresh Faced.

Introducing Erica Tanov x Kahina Giving Beauty

Erica Tanov for Kahina Giving Beauty

Erica Tanov for Kahina Giving Beauty

We’ve teamed up with San Francisco-based designer Erica Tanov to create our most luxe gift set ever. Fez Hand & Body Balm and Argan Oil come inside a clutch perfect for day or nighttime use. The two limited-edition woven clutches are reminiscent of Moroccan textiles with a modern twist. The bags are hand cut and sewn in the San Francisco Bay Area, using a mix of fibers from France to create beautiful textured patterns.

“I feel that both Katharine and I share the same values in drawing inspiration from nature, believing in natural beauty and working with traditional artisans and supporting their craft,” explains Tanov.

“I have long been an admirer of Erica’s designs. Her use of the most exquisite materials with a global influence in pieces that are simple and wearable is very much aligned with Kahina’s aesthetic vision,” says Katharine L’Heureux.

These limited-edition clutches are available at givingbeauty.com, Erica Tanov stores, and at select retailers.

FacebookWallPost_KG029B_GreySweater

FacebookWallPost_KG028T

Gratitude Speaks Interview

Gratitude Speaks Interview with Katharine L'Heureux

Thanks for the interview! Gratitude is so important to the work we do at Kahina!

“Through Gratitude Speaks, I get to interview people whose work and presence I admire; who embody that divine spark of aliveness that draws you in; whose love has touched souls and saved lives, and this planet is kinder for it; people who are bright, spirited, and rooted in joy,” Miriam Ava, author of Gratitude Speaks.

Who: Katharine L’Heureux, founder of Kahina Giving Beauty

Katharine L'Heureux with her children

It’s a pleasure to feature Katharine L’Heureux, the founder of Kahina Giving Beauty, on Gratitude Speaks. When I met Katharine for the first time in person at this year’s ANFGB, I was drawn in by her radiance. Yes, her skin is beautifully radiant but she’s also got a good aura that adds to the light. We had a sweet chat and I got to say hi to her lovely daughter, Grace. Being a green beauty enthusiast, I’ve used Katharine’s creations for quite some time. The Antioxidant Mask and the 100% Organic Argan Oil are staples in my routine; the Facial Cleanser doubles as a nice enzyme mask. Oh, and the new Fez Hand & Body Balm is divine. The beauty of Kahina reaches beyond skincare, though. Katharine works with the Berber women of Morocco who extract the organic argan oil using techniques passed down through generations. By the sharing of traditions, a bridge between Northern Africa and New York has come to life that honors the craft of the Berber women, improves their lives, and offers pure beauty to women around the world. Named after a Berber queen and prophetess, Kahina reminds us that beauty is power and power is beauty. I’m excited to share Katharine’s life experience and wisdom with you. Hope you enjoy.

1) How do you define gratitude, and what are you grateful for?

Gratitude is being thankful, and I have so much to be thankful for: my health and the health of my family, the love of family and friends, the privilege of living in the society I do, the opportunity to create and operate a successful business

2) What is art to you?

Art lies in the intention of the creator. The best art connects one to something larger, such as a shared human experience.

3) When did you experience significant personal growth, and how did it impact your perspective on life?

When I was starting Kahina, which was a time of great excitement as well as tremendous anxiety, my then teenage daughter became critically ill. Over the next two years she was hospitalized and underwent numerous surgeries that severely impacted her quality of life during her high school years. It was during that time that I learned to pray. To me, this meant focusing on what was good in my life, even if only feeling love and support from those around me, and giving thanks for those things. This kept the negative thoughts at bay and helped me stay afloat and moving forward through a very difficult time. I learned to practice gratitude during that time.

4) What other gems of joy & wisdom would you like to share with us?

Put out positive energy and you will attract positive energy

Create beautiful things that you can be proud of

Avoid waste in anything, ie. time, words, materials

Live simply and appreciate the moment

Be satisfied with what you have

Always consider those less fortunate

Know you can achieve great things

Indulge often”

See the original post on Gratitude Speaks.