Tag Archives | Beauty Rituals

Transition to Fall Skincare

Kahina Fall Skincare Picks

Happy Fall! Today marks the autumnal equinox and New York is welcoming the new season with lots of sun and brisk temperatures. Here’s how we’re easing into the transition to cooler weather with our skincare routine:

  • Kahina Argan Oil is a favorite pick for this time of year as it’s balancing properties will help deter dry patches that may crop up while making sure you’re not too oily in case of Indian summer.
  • We’re bumping up our moisture game. Whereas in the summer, we may have gone with just argan oil during the day, we will begin layering Argan Oil with Kahina Facial Lotion or Kahina Night Cream to get an extra moisture boost as humidity levels drop. Need a guide to Kahina moisturizers? Read more here.
  • As with every seasonal change, exfoliation is key. Kahina Antioxidant Mask is our go-to, as its non-drying clay formula is detoxifying and moisturizing, while also providing exfoliation thanks to the natural gentle grit of rhassoul clay. If you’re using our Antioxidant Mask already, consider upping it to twice a week for the next month or so to swiften the shedding of dry, summer cells and encourage turnover which boosts luminosity and evenness of tone.
  • Though we were using it all summer, Kahina Brightening Serum continues to be a favorite in the fall. As your tan fades, you may notice hyper-pigmentation crop up. Brightening Serum helps lighten these dark marks caused by too much UV exposure over time. Apply right after cleansing and toning and layer it under your favorite oil, oil-based serum. You can use it morning and evening, as desired, as it won’t cause photosensitivity.

Skincare school lesson four: Masks

Kahina Antioxidant Mask

To recap skincare school thus far, we’ve been over:

Our next topic? Masks!

Why use a face mask?
Because isn’t it fun to scare your loved ones with a different colored face?! No, that’s just a fringe benefit. We consider masks like a ginger shot or a massage: an occasional, concentrated boost to round out your routine. There are many different kinds of masks on the market that can help with your particular skin concerns: exfoliating, moisturizing, clarifying, etc. Your daily skincare routine should be relatively simple and consistent; masks are a way of introducing variety without disturbing the equilibrium, and getting some extra results to boot.

How often should I use a face mask?
Depends on the mask. If it’s a gentle, moisturizing mask and you are doing some intensive treatment, up to three times a week. If it’s an exfoliating mask, or one with acids, once a week should be fine. For clarifying masks, if you have resilient skin, twice a week. Basically, use the mask as much as you like, with the caveat that you should never irritate your skin; if you’re experiencing redness, sensitivity, burning, etc. scale back on frequency. We like to use Kahina Antioxidant Mask once or twice a week.

We’re mask-happy over here; while some might consider a mask a secondary, non-essential product for their skincare regimen, we beg to differ. In fact, we encourage 99.99% of our customers to include Kahina Antioxidant Mask in their weekly routine. (That 0.01% is the ultra-sensitive.)

Benefits of Kahina Antioxidant Mask:

  • physical exfoliation
  • decongesting and detoxing
  • moisturizing
  • clarifying and brightening

Unlike some clay masks that are packaged as a dry powder that you need to rehydrate, we’ve done that work for you, carefully formulating the liquid component of the mask to get maximum benefits. Moroccan Rhassoul Clay attracts impurities just like any other clay, but it is not drying the way bentonite (looking at you, Aztec Secret) or even kaolin clays can be. Your face will not feel like it’s pulsing and about to burst. Instead, because we’ve mixed it with moisturizing argan oil (full of essential fatty acids), plus antioxidant-rich and calming pomegranate and acai, you’re doing a detox-moisturizing-exfoliating mask all in one. When you’ve left it on the requisite 5-10 minutes, you gently buff away and you should see clearer, more even skin.

Enough tooting our own horn, though. There are other masks on the market and we want to give you a primer on navigating the mask aisle (don’t you wish there were a mask aisle?!).

CLAY
Who benefits from a clay mask?
Most clay masks are fairly drying, so for that reason, we typically recommend them for normal to oily skin types. If dry skin types are using a powder-based clay mask (one that needs to be rehydrated before using), they should mix it with some oil – argan would work well – in addition to soothing liquids (Kahina Toning Mist would work, or aloe vera juice or rosewater – never vinegar!) to counteract the drying properties of clay. Rhassoul clay is recommended for dry or sensitive skin types. Clay has been shown to attract and remove impurities that can contribute to inflammation and even acne. Clay is naturally exfoliating.

Look out for…
one more time: clay can be very drying and irritating. If it’s leaving your skin red, dry, tight, or sensitive, use the mask for less time and avoid letting it dry completely on your skin to where you have to crack it off or scrub vigorously to remove it.

ENZYME
Who benefits from an enzyme mask?
Enzymes are actives meant to dissolve surface dead skin cells, revealing brighter, more even-toned, softer skin. Enzyme masks are wonderful for devitalized (dull-looking) skin, combination, oily or acneic skin types, and slightly dry skin. We don’t love them for sensitive skin, unless the enzymes have been specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Enzyme masks can be an effective form of exfoliation.

Look out for…
Enzymes can be hard to preserve, meaning that by the time you receive the product, the actives might no longer be effective. Depending on what else the mask is mixed with, you might notice fringe benefits like more moisture or some exfoliation thanks to clay or powders, but you aren’t getting enzymatic exfoliation. Buy from brands you trust and feel free to ask them nicely how their enzymes are preserved.

MOISTURIZING
Who benefits from a moisturizing mask?
Dull, dehydrated, dry, flaky, or sensitive skin types. If you’ve been using retinoids or chemical exfoliators, a moisturizing mask might be in order to soothe irritated skin and reduce flakiness. Moisturizing masks can feel particularly nice after too much sun or wind exposure, or time spent in dry, dehydrating environments.

Look out for…
If you’re prone to acne or clogged pores, use the same discretion in choosing a moisturizing mask as you would a moisturizer. Avoid your particular trigger ingredients (could be coconut oil, plant butters, waxes, emulsifiers).

CLARIFYING
Who benefits from a clarifying mask?
A clarifying mask (detox mask is another common name) is a broad category and can overlap with clay or enzyme masks. A clarifying mask is perfect for oily, acne-prone skin types and for dehydrated or uneven skin tones, especially anyone that lives in a large city and is exposed to pollutants daily. A hallmark feature of clarifying masks is that they are exfoliating, oftentimes combining some sort of enzyme or chemical exfoliant with a physical exfoliant.

Look out for…
Clarifying masks that also contain soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients so your skin is clearer and less red even after the first use.

Pro tip:
Sometimes we like doing a double mask. Choose the more physically exfoliating mask first – perhaps a clay or clarifying mask. Then follow it up with an enzyme or moisturizing mask.

What should I do before and after I mask?
Start with a clean face. Some people like to steam their faces before masking. Use the mask, then follow up with a hydrating toner (like Kahina Toning Mist) and then your oil and moisturizer of choice. If we’re doing Kahina Antioxidant Mask before an event, we like to start with Kahina Facial Cleanser, then mask, then use Kahina Toning Mist and Serum (maybe mix some Prickly Pear Seed Oil in there too, for good measure!).

What to do when green isn’t working: part three

Kahina Giving Beauty

In case you’re just joining us now, we’ve been going over some common issues that people have when converting to a green beauty routine. Part one addressed clogged pores and acne, while part two addressed persistent dryness. Here, we’ll take on sensitivity, or a perceived increase in sensitivity, that some people report as they begin experimenting with green beauty products.  Read on if you’ve had problems with sensitivity and if you’ve already been evaluated by a physician (dermatologist, primary care and/or allergist) who has not discovered allergies or underlying medical reasons for your sensitivity.

The problem: As I’m converting to green beauty, I’m noticing more redness, irritation, or general sensitivity. I’m tempted to go back to my trusty Cetaphil products, which, though full of synthetic ingredients, never irritated my skin.

To consider: A big fat myth surrounding green beauty is that it is inherently more gentle than it’s less-natural counterparts. The thinking goes something like, “Well, I’ve ditched the harsh chemicals my body doesn’t recognize, so automatically my skin will be calmer.” Not necessarily so. An irritant is an irritant is an irritant, whether created in a test tube or sprung from the earth. Opponents of green beauty love to bring up poison ivy as an example of something found in nature, 100% natural, that is highly irritating.  They also relish reminding us that everything, even water, is a chemical (“beware of dihydrogen monoxide!” is a common sarcastic refrain). If those two battle cries help get the point across, fine. But why is it so easy to conflate irritation with synthetic chemicals? Maybe because as an everyday skincare consumer it’s pretty easy to overdo it with the acids and peels and retinoids and benzoyl peroxide, most of which are found in conventional, non-organic/natural formulations. Regardless, there are sensitivities that extend into the organic/natural realm. Unfortunately, uncovering and positively identifying these sensitivities can take time, patience, and very, very careful observation.

The plan:

As mentioned in part one, be very careful about how you sample and test out new products.  Pick a gentle, simple lineup of products and stick to them for three months minimum before adding more products in. We like Kahina Facial CleanserKahina Toning MistKahina Argan Oil as your morning and evening routine, adding in Kahina Facial Lotion if you have dryer skin.

If you are concerned about sensitive skin, the fewer the ingredients, the better. There’s a reason we consistently recommend Kahina Argan Oil to those with finicky skin: it’s a single, organic ingredient. The more ingredients in a formulation, the greater the likelihood that it contains a potential irritant and the harder time you will have identifying which ingredient that is.

Do not over-exfoliate or over-stimulate. In parts one and two, we went over how important exfoliation is to healthy skin. That said, you have to choose the most gentle option that your skin will tolerate. If a facial brush like a Clarisonic leaves you red or raw feeling, it is not a good fit. Similarly, face masks with “warming” ingredients or very drawing (and drying) clay can wreak havoc.

Watch your treatment products. Vitamin C, retinoids, acids, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, etc. – these can be great, effective skincare ingredients but they are particularly active and when you overuse or misuse them, you are setting yourself up for sensitivity. Different people have different tolerance levels for these products, so when in doubt, go cautiously, and use one at a time for a month before adding in a new one.

Keep an eye on your makeup, oral care and haircare products, too. If you’ve made changes in these product categories at the same time as your skincare switch up, they’re also potential candidates for new irritation. We’d argue that these are very uncommon reasons for sensitivity but worth a mention nonetheless. Problematic hair care products will typically produce irritation on your neck, your back, or around your hairline. Toothpaste sensitivities show up as irritation around the mouth. Problematic makeup will produce irritation wherever you applied it. If you suspect irritation is stemming from one of these sources, stop using it for at least a week, ideally a month, and see if conditions improve.

Choose skincare products with ingredients shown to soothe skin; favorites found in many Kahina products include aloe vera, bisabolol, green/white tea, rosewater, calendula, resveratrol, willow bark, chamomile, blue tansy, and of course argan oil.

Go back to the beginning. By that we mean, pare it down! It is so, so easy to accumulate lotions and potions in your quest for the perfect routine. It is also easy to want to try to incorporate all of them into your regimen, since, you know, you have them in your cabinet and don’t want to waste them. If you’re using 10 different skincare products and it’s working for you, amazing! But if it’s not, go on an elimination diet and scale way back. Like three products max. Twice a day. For a month. Your skin could just need a reset.

A word on essential oils: essential oils are typically very healing and skin-positive; in addition, they are typically in very low concentrations which minimizes irritation potential. However, essential oils are also actives and therefore a few of them can be a problem for some people. If you are having an issue with extreme sensitivity, avoid formulations with essential oils for a while (often labeled as “unscented”) and see how your skin does. Does it rebound and become more resilient? Or is there no change? For sensitive skin types seeking to avoid scent or essential oils, our top recommendations include Kahina Argan Oil, Kahina Facial Lotion, and Kahina Eye Serum.

We hope this three-part series was informative and helpful to you as you continue exploring organic & natural options in skincare. Oftentimes, being aware of potential pitfalls in your routine, correcting them, and then giving time for your skin to re-balance itself (this takes minimum 1 month!) will help get you through any bumps on the green beauty journey.

 

What to do when green isn’t working: part two

Kahina Giving Beauty Skincare

Last post we discussed a common issue people have when they convert their beauty routine to all natural and organic: increased breakouts and/or clogged pores. Here, we address another frequent stumbling block: getting proper moisture for very dry skin types. Just like last time, there are some presuppositions: you drink plenty of water (and are not drinking too much alcohol or caffeine); you’ve been evaluated by a dermatologist to rule out skin conditions; and your recent blood work suggests you are otherwise healthy.

The problem: While some skin types are acne-prone, others are (blessedly) not. A huge category of customers that write to us list very dry skin as their primary concern. They tend to be women in their 40s and older. They are used to using thick moisturizers and creams, procured at drugstores, department stores, or via prescription, for their face and body. When making the switch to all-natural/organic skincare, they occasionally find that their skin is still dry, possibly with flakiness, and they’re tempted to return to their heavy, super-emollient moisturizers.

First things first, let’s define our terms: what is a moisturizer? On a very basic level and for our purposes, a moisturizer is something that combines oil + water. Sure, the skincare industry has formulas that go against this principle, but in general, that’s the concept. Oil and water don’t mix so you need an emulsifier to help the formula change from oil+water to lotion/cream. Many all-natural/organic skincare brands consciously avoid this emulsifier, which is why you see so many oil blends and balms (plant waxes/butters/oils) – there’s no water in the formula and no need for an emulsifier. Obviously, at Kahina we love our balms and oils, but they’re not a complete moisturizer because they are missing the water component. This isn’t an issue for some people, but for others – especially those in dry climates (including indoor climates made dry by AC or heater) – using strictly oils or plant butters without a water component can lead to flakiness or oily-yet-dehydrated skin.

With that in mind, here are some best practices for those who find that they have persistent dryness, especially after switching to organic/natural beauty:

  1. Has an oil or oil-blend/serum become your primary moisturizer? Be sure to use a toning mist when you apply your oil. You can spritz it on generously before applying oil, or you can spray it into your hand, where you combine it with a few drops of oil, and apply both together. Look for a formula that contains sodium hyaluronate, a humectant particle that holds water molecules. This holds true for body moisturizer too: apply body serum on damp skin after showering or bathing.
  2. Are you combining products to get the most moisture possible? We always recommend either our Facial Lotion or Night Cream (both traditional moisturizers with oil and water components) to customers with dry skin, as they can help prevent moisture loss. However, sometimes customers say that they’re not heavy or rich enough. The simple solution is to combine these traditional moisturizers with Argan Oil, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, or Serum. You can add a few drops of any of the oils directly to the moisturizer before applying, or you can apply the oil (argan/PPSO/Serum) first, followed by either Facial Lotion or Night Cream. Finally, spot treat extra or persistently dry areas with Kahina Lip & Face Balm or Kahina FEZ Hand & Body Balm.
  3. Are you exfoliating? Even dry skin types need to exfoliate, especially the older you get, as skin cells start to shed at a more sluggish pace. How can moisturizers optimally penetrate skin if there is an extra thick layer of dead cells? There are a myriad of options for exfoliation and the best one for you is based on your sensitivity. Always start with the most gentle form and work your way up if necessary. If you’re new to exfoliation, get a feel for it with your washcloth – something you already have at home. Other options include konjac sponges, facial brushes, muslins, enzymatic/chemical exfoliants, and clays. Kahina Antioxidant Mask is perfect for even dry skin types; more on that below.

Bonus considerations:
Look at what kind of cleanser you’re using and make sure it’s not drying you out. Kahina Facial Cleanser is the perfect pick for those prone to dryness; its milky texture and high level of argan oil help maintain a proper oil balance. Cleansers – even all natural/organic – can be gels or foams, made from high concentrations of clay, or be soap-based, all of which have the potential to overly dry your skin.

Are you using clay in your routine? Certain clays (bentonite for example) are extremely “drawing”; you’ll know because when they dry, they harden and crack off the face. If you have very dry skin, we do not recommend using these kinds of clay masks or clay powder cleansers. Kahina Antioxidant Mask was formulated for even dry skin types. Rhassoul clay is much more gentle than a lot of clays, and because we’ve included argan oil and other ingredients in the formula, the mask will not harden or crack. In fact, many people report clearer, more hydrated and less red skin after use.

Are you using any kind of treatments that include acids or retinoids? Retinoids, AHAs, BHAs – they’re proven effective and can be wonderful when used properly. The key is to gauge dosage and frequency (i.e. maybe you need it only a few times a week rather than every day) to make sure you are not overdoing them. Symptoms of overuse? Dryness, tightness, flakiness, small rashes, redness, and increased sensitivity. Overuse can include using too many different kinds of these products in a one month period. Finally, be sure to use adequate sun protection or SPF when on a program that includes sun-sensitizing ingredients.

In the third and final post in this series, we’ll be talking about the third most common complaint when transitioning to a green beauty routine: increased sensitivity. Stay tuned!

What to do when green isn’t working

Kahina Line Spring 2014 Low Res lightened and cropped
A recent article got us thinking about what happens when your green beauty products don’t seem to be working. You make the transition from dermatologist-recommended medications or from department store marquis brands to organic/natural products. You’re excited; you love the green beauty community and the new formulations you get to try. You read morning routines, you order samples, or buy from a store with a generous return policy, and you start testing. Eventually you find a bundle of products that work for you. But then. Then you experience a change for the worse. Of course, this does not happen for everyone. But we read about it enough that we want to address it here and provide some common complaints and how to address them. We absolutely think that it’s worth it to stick to a more organic/natural beauty routine, for a myriad of reasons, so we hope this helps you troubleshoot, get over your hump, and persevere.

I am breaking out (more) now that I’m using organic/natural products.
This has to be the most frequent issue we read about. Breakouts have so many causes. Let’s assume that you’re not suddenly experiencing heightened stress levels, or fluctuating hormonal levels, or a substantial change in diet. Let’s assume you’ve been evaluated by your primary care physician, with blood work, to confirm you’re perfectly healthy. Perhaps you were using benzoyl peroxide or a retinoid but you’ve stopped. And now you have more acne than you’ve ever had. Why and what to do?

1. It is fun to try new products, but your skin may not love the process as much as you do. The single most important thing when delving into green beauty is to pick a simple routine to start with and to stick with it for at least a month, but ideally more like three to four months. Our standard recommendation to anyone with acne-prone skin who is just trying Kahina is Facial CleanserToning MistArgan Oil, AM & PM, with a bi-weekly Antioxidant Mask. Save serums, targeted moisturizers, etc. for later. Incorporating them one at a time down the road will help you determine if the new product is the offender in new breakouts.

2. If you used benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids to treat acne, try incorporating their natural counterparts into your routine.

  • Tea tree oil is the typical swap for benzoyl peroxide, but it, just like benzoyl peroxide, can be irritating so go about testing carefully and be sure it is well-diluted in a carrier oil. Another promising option for killing acne-causing bacteria is a thyme hydrosol.
  • As for salicylic acid, you have some options. Salicylic acid is a member of the salicin family, so in the green beauty world, willow bark (white or black) is often the comparison, as it’s also in this family. Willow bark does provide anti-inflammatory benefits, which can help with redness and inflammation, hallmarks of acne. Willow bark is in both the Kahina Cleanser and our Toning Mist. To help clear pores, which salicylic acid also does, your best bet might be apple cider vinegar. Again, dilute this guy with water because he’s strong and the goal here is to avoid irritation at all costs. You can splash or swipe some apple cider vinegar + water over your face post-cleansing and pre-toning. The malic acid it contains can help clarify and decongest.
  • Regarding retinoids there are a lot of brands making comparable organic/natural products that are gentle. As mentioned in #1, however, as these are not single ingredients but rather formulations with lots of ingredients, we’d say it’s best to wait a few months before adding a new product in.
  • A word on vitamin C: vitamin C is a proven skincare champion, BUT it can be irritating and therefore exacerbate acne. Getting a stable form of it and in the right dosage for your particular skin can be difficult. We would not recommend experimenting with vitamin C products until you’ve achieved many months of clear skin, and we would not recommend looking to vitamin C products as breakout-fighting solutions. Everyone’s skin is different and good on you if vitamin C somehow cleared your acne, but in our opinion, it’s not worth using at first if you’re prone to breakouts or sensitivity.

3. If you’re experiencing clogged pores, check four things: your moisturizer, your makeup, your sunscreen, and how you exfoliate.

  • A big word of caution we’re constantly telling our customers is this: do not use more moisturizer (oil, lotion or cream) than you need. You probably need fewer drops of argan oil than you think you do. Feel free to layer our products if your skin is dry, but also feel free to use just argan oil, or just a lotion/cream if that’s all your skin needs to feel comfortable (not taut). Always apply an oil with a toning mist containing sodium hyaluronate – a humectant particle – to ensure you get a complete moisturizer (oil + water). This helps prevent flakiness which causes some people to overdose on oil, ignoring the water component of properly hydrated skin.
  • As for makeup and sunscreen, coconut oil can be a big offender in formulations (admittedly not everyone has a problem with coconut oil, but many do), as can excessive plant butters and waxes. Where possible, we suggest using mineral makeup (like Alima Pure) rather than creams or sticks. Look for sunscreens with simple ingredient lists. Zinc oxide is our favorite method of sun protection, as topical zinc can be soothing for acne.
  • Finally, are you exfoliating? How often? Aim for gentle exfoliation as often as your skin can take it. For some skin types, this could be every day via a washcloth or konjac sponge. For others, it might be once a week with our Antioxidant Mask. Can you use the Clarisonic? Absolutely, if you keep the brush clean – try soaking in hydrogen peroxide every few uses – and if your skin is not irritated at all afterwards; we wouldn’t recommend it for use during active breakouts. Your skin does a great job of shedding dead skin cells on its own, but some skin types shed more sluggishly than others, leaving dead skin cells on the surface where they can mix with sebum/excess oil and clog pores. If you do your part to exfoliate – gently without irritating – you can help your cause. The malic acid in ACV mentioned in #2 will help, but we also recommend recommend gentle physical exfoliation (washcloth, muslin, konjac, clarisonic, clay). Kahina Facial Cleanser contains papaya enzymes which are a super-gentle daily enzymatic exfoliant.

Examining these three areas and making improvements where possible should help resolve any bumps (pun intended!) along the road as you transition to organic/natural beauty products.

In part II, we’ll discuss two other common transition complaints.

Why we love geranium oil

KAHINA ESSAOUIRA BODY SERUMIf you’ve tried our new ESSAOUIRA Body Serum, you’ll notice a bright note of rose geranium on first sniff. Not only is it a favorite scent of ours, rose geranium has wonderful skin and aromatherapy benefits.

Here are three ways rose geranium in ESSAOUIRA Body Serum can come to your aid:

1. Rose geranium helps support your body’s lymph system and can temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite. For best results, as you massage the body serum in, focus on long, vigorous strokes toward your heart.

2. Rose geranium is a female hormone balancer, meaning it can help relieve uncomfortable pre-menstrual or menopause symptoms. For cramps or other discomfort, add a few pumps of ESSAOUIRA Body Serum to a bath to take advantage of the aromatherapy benefits while also moisturizing and soothing. For hot flashes, we recommend a cool shower or spritzing the body with water and then applying a light layer of ESSAOUIRA Body Serum all over.

3. Rose geranium calms frayed nerves. Paired with lavender, the Essaouira scent blend is the perfect aromatherapy ritual for relaxing at the end of the day, or beginning your day in a centered frame of mind.

Don’t just take our word for it – the ladies at No More Dirty Looks are also big fans of this wonderful oil!

Shop ESSAOUIRA Body Serum.

DIY Luminizer without coconut oil

Make your own luminizing balm

RMS Living Luminizer is a legend amongst green beauty products… but it also contains coconut oil, which can be problematic for some skin types. Its signature cool pearl tone works for most skin types, but it can be fun and useful to highlight in other colors. Here, we show you how to make your own highlighter sans coconut, with Kahina Lip & Face Balm. We used a rose-gold like powder for this, but there are powders in gold, silver, and lavender hues as well. You could also make a luminizing bronzer the same way.

Effect: pearluster, velvet finish, with a more concentrated, luminous result than using a luminizing powder on its own; rather than applying all over face, apply only in areas meant to be highlighted
Difficulty level: easy

What you’ll need:
Loose powder highlighter (we’re using Alima Pure in Lumina)
Kahina Lip & Face Balm
Any medium-size, dense brush
Sample jar (optional)

How it’s done:
Remove a small amount of Lip & Face Balm (using a clean utensil like a spatula) and place it either in a sample jar (great so you can store extras) or the back of your hand. Lift a small to medium (depending on how much of your face you’ll be covering) amount of loose luminizing powder into jar or onto back of hand, to the side of the Lip & Face Balm. Using a clean brush, work the two into each other, being careful not to put too much powder into the mix. The consistency should be like a smooth, thick cream. You may need to gently press your brush into it to release powder clumps and work into a paste. Once you have the desired consistency and pigmentation, apply onto desired areas like top of nose, above lips, above cheekbones, and in the corner of eyes. If you used a sample jar to do the mixing, just put the top on and store for use next time, being sure to use a clean brush every time.

Luminizer Balm Swatch

Luminizer Powder Swatch

Hello Spring!

Spring Skincare Tips by Kahina Giving Beauty

Slowly but surely, it’s starting to feel more spring-like in New York City. Before you know it, we’ll be donning trench coats in place of parkas (soon! so soon! almost?!) and toting umbrellas as April showers fall. Just as we update our wardrobes, we should update our wellness regimen. Here are 11 tips for adapting your beauty routine to warmer temperatures and more hours of sunshine:

1. Lighten up! You may find that your skin needs less – fewer products and lighter ones. Dry indoor heat and cold winter winds are no longer sapping moisture from your skin, so it’s perfectly OK to pare down your routine. This may mean swapping in Argan Oil for Serum, or not putting an extra layer of Argan Oil under your Facial Lotion. Try a lighter regimen for a few days and see how your skin responds.

2. Brightening Serum is a wonderful product to add to your regimen as the days get longer and there is more sun exposure. Brightening Serum is not just a hyper-pigmentation solution; it also acts as a protective serum to prevent environmental damage in the first place, with best results if used daily. It’s lightweight texture means that on warmer days, you might not need another moisturizer. You’ll be happy come September when those pesky brown marks fail to show.

3. Get a haircut to re-shape, thin layers (if necessary), chop off split ends, and even take a few inches off for a new, breezier look. Do a scalp treatment (apple cider vinegar is wonderful for removing buildup, whereas argan oil can be massaged in and rinsed to a treat dry, itchy scalp) and a hair mask (avocado and argan oil is a favorite here at Kahina HQ) to increase shine and health.

4. More complex than a hydrosol, less astringent than a traditional toner, Kahina Toning Mist is the ultimate weightless hydrator that can be used throughout the day and over makeup. It helps balance skin during the season change and is so refreshing on those warmer spring days.

5. Spring inaugurates sandal season. Consider a pedicure to slough off dead skin cells and give a pop of color to your toes. To keep soles soft, use Kahina FEZ Hand & Body Balm nightly on feet.

6. Exfoliation is a key step especially during seasonal transition. Kahina Antioxidant Mask is a non-drying clay mask that purifies while gently exfoliating away dull surface cells. Prefer a face scrub instead of a mask? Combine Kahina Facial Cleanser with a pinch of finely ground oatmeal and another pinch of either cornmeal (dry skin), baking soda (oily skin), or sugar (normal skin). Apply gently in circular motions and rinse off.

7. As always, it’s a wonderful time to eat seasonally. More and more colorful fruits and vegetables will be appearing at the farmer’s market. Consider them beauty foods and get plenty of servings in salads, smoothies, and snacks. Our Pinterest board has plenty of ideas for you.

8. Spring getaways lead to summer vacations, so it’s always a good idea to have your skincare basics at hand. Kahina Travel Basics comes with 1 fl. oz. sizes of Facial Cleanser, Argan Oil, and Facial Lotion for an easy, on-the-go routine for all skin types that you can tailor to your needs.

9. Do some spring cleaning in your beauty cabinet and toss items that have expired, recycling them if possible. If you find that you no longer use a product but it’s still good, offer it to a friend, relative, or co-worker. Don’t share items like eyeliner or lipstick, but things like body lotion, fragrance and hair products are perfect for swaps or giveaways. Often you can re-purpose beauty products by thinking of alternative uses – say, an oil blend you’re not wild about for your face may be a wonderful cuticle treatment or body moisturizer, or a shampoo you don’t like could be used to clean makeup brushes.

10. Don’t forget sun protection. You may want to ramp up the SPF as you spend more time outside in the warmer weather. Be sure to use enough product, reapply every few hours, and use SPF on all exposed skin, including neck, chest, hands, arms, legs, and feet. Alternatively, find a place in the shade or wear a scarf or hat to cover up from the sun’s rays. Keep in mind that 10-15 minutes of exposure without SPF should do the trick for a healthy dose of vitamin D. Antioxidants are our preferred method for repairing (and preventing) UV damage that can lead to signs of aging. Sun-worshippers take note: applying Kahina Argan Oil before sun and Kahina Serum and/or Kahina Night Cream after will make sure skin stays supple, moisturized, and protected.

11. Stay the course with eye products. Spring and summer is not the time to skimp on eye-specific treatments. Wear sunglasses whenever you are out in the sun and continue with Kahina Eye Serum, Eye Cream or both.

At Kahina, we always say to do what feels best for you and don’t be afraid of a little trial and error. If you’d like a more detailed skincare regimen tailored to your particular needs (& seasonal changes!) please email us at info@givingbeauty.com and we’d be happy to recommend an updated Kahina routine. Happy Spring!

Kind Eye’s Interview with Katharine

Kahina Giving Beauty on Kind Eye

A Kind Brand: Meet Kahina Giving Beauty
by Rachel Murray, founder of Kind Eye

You hear about finding beneficial ingredients from the rainforest, or the ocean but what about the desert? Kahina Giving Beauty prides themselves on offering a truly effective line of skin care, with organic argan oil from Morocco at its core. All products are certified by ECOCERT, which provides a rigorous process for ensuring sustainable agricultural practices. Founder and CEO Katharine L’Heureux graciously shared information about her company, their processes and more. Kahina Giving Beauty’s eye serum is part of our Spring Skin Discovery Kit Giveaway, open until March 8!

What is your company’s philosophy?
At Kahina, we believe: The best skincare ingredients are found in nature. Luxurious and effective skincare can go hand in hand with care for the environment. Companies can do well while doing good.

Is there anything your customers may not know about your company that you want to share?
In addition to providing economic activity for the Berber women who do the work of extracting our oil by purchasing Fair Trade Argan Oil, we donate additional funds to programs that help the women and their families.

What charities do you support (if any)?
As part of our initiative to help these women, Kahina supports Education For All, Morocco, providing free room and board so that girls can continue their education past elementary school.

The High Atlas Foundation, run by former Peace Corps volunteers, funds a number of programs in remote villages, including providing clean drinking water, and planting community run nurseries.

We also provide direct monetary assistance to the Berber women. Most recently, we provided clothing for victims of this winter’s flooding in the Anti-Atlas Mountains.

How do you decide what products to create?
I created Kahina for myself, out of my own desire for a simple line of truly effective natural skincare. I still strive to keep the line simple, and work to create products that I feel a personal need for, and with aesthetics that are pleasing to me. I often am inspired by ideas from our customers who can be very creative in coming up with new uses for argan oil.

What’s the number one misconception that people you meet have about ‘natural’ products and how do you answer it?
The number one misconception about natural products is that they aren’t as effective as traditional skincare. I argue that they are more effective as they don’t use unnecessary fillers and harmful ingredients. Plants have amazing defenses against all kinds of environmental stressors and contain the nutrients and fatty acids that our skin needs to be healthy and glowing. With advanced extraction technologies, we are able to tap into these extraordinary powers and use them in creating products that are safe and that really work.

What’s your top tip for health and well-being?
I believe in finding balance. We need to exercise, eat right (whatever that means for you), and get plenty of sleep, but we also need to make time for reflection, creativity, and for finding things that bring us joy. Finally, we need to be grateful for the ability to do all those things and forgive ourselves if we’re not always perfect at them.

How do you like to start your morning?
During the week, my alarm goes off at 7 and I’ll lie in bed and meditate for a few minutes to set positive intentions for the day. The first thing I do after brushing my teeth is perform my Kahina skincare ritual: Cleanse and Tone, then massage Brightening Serum, Oil, and then Lotion into my face. The scents make me happy, and the facial massage stimulates circulation while smoothing away any creases left from my pillow.

Then I spend some time with my husband and 10 year old son while he eats breakfast. I’ll have hot water with lemon, my multivitamin and probiotics, maybe I’ll fry an egg. Then I’ll spend a few minutes at my computer and throw a load of laundry in the machine before we’re out the door to get to school on time.

Thanks for the interview opportunity! Find the original post here.

About Kind Eye: Kind Eye is an informational website, aimed to help consumers make easy and conscious shopping choices about personal care products without running all over town or the internet.

The Power of an Image

girls with photo

In this age of the ever-present selfie, it is hard to imagine a world where many people have never even seen a photograph of themselves. This is often the case in the remote villages of rural Morocco. Sharing my photos with the women and children on my visits has been a great source of entertainment for all of us, especially seeing the young girls and boys striking poses and racing back to me to look immediately in the view finder, then demanding more while jockeying for a prominent position in the group photo. Seeing the young women carefully analyze their photos is fascinating to me. I can’t imagine being so unfamiliar with my own image, but with mirrors and glass windows a rarity, these girls rarely even see a reflective surface. Far from disliking their photos because of an unflattering angle, as we are so ready to do, these girls typically respond with peals of laughter.

I recently had the honor of an introduction to Heather Binns, a talented photographer volunteering for an organization called Prints for Prints. Prints for Prints reminds me of the value of the family photograph. From the Prints for Prints website:

A family photograph is a precious thing to many of us, and especially to people who live in rural areas and often do not have a record of their children or elders. Prints for Prints creates makeshift studios in rural villages, working with local student photographers when possible, for the purpose of donating prints to those who do not have photographs of their loved ones.

Heather will be traveling to Morocco in February. It gives me great pleasure to sponsor her work with Kahina’s charitable partners, the High Atlas Foundation and Education for All, Morocco, where she will document their work and donate prints to families and the girls in the boarding home to send home to their loved ones. I hope you will join us in following Heather on her journey via instragram @heathre. We look forward to sharing some of her photos here.

women with photos

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