Aside from the concept of elevating the Berber women at the heart of our line, Giving Beauty also reflects another idea – the power of beauty rituals to heal, connect and to build self-esteem. In Morocco, the public hammam is a place in which bonding between mothers and daughters, sisters, and friends, occurs. One sister can be seen brushing another’s hair, a mother bathes her daughter, two friends scrub each others backs. These are intimate expressions of caring that are encouraged within the confines of the hammam. Closer to home, consider the experience of getting a facial or massage: the generosity in the act of performing a treatment. The best practitioners give their energy and focus to create a sanctuary that allows another to feel safe and special in their most vulnerable moments, in their skin.
We can also create these experiences by giving ourselves permission to take time to nurture ourselves, to treat our senses, to believe “we are worth it”. What a simple gift that is! In Morocco, this isn’t considered a luxury or indulgence, but a necessity.
Photos by Antillia Dufourmantelle
The concept of Giving Beauty, a cornerstone of the Kahina brand, begins by providing economic opportunity for the Berber women who do the labor intensive work of extracting the oils at the heart of our line. I’ve just returned from another 2-week trip, visiting Marrakech, Taroudant, and several remote villages of the Anti Atlas Mountains where I obtain the argan and prickly pear seed oils for our products. On my trip, which happened to coincide precisely with the nine-year anniversary of my first trip to Morocco and the conception of Kahina, I had a chance to witness how the work of harvesting and cracking the nuts for these oils and the fair trade initiatives put in place to further enhance the women’s quality of life have had a positive impact.
For the first time in this tiny village of 100 women, to which the men visit only one month out of the year when they take time away from their work in the cities, the homes now have electricity and running water. The women are able to purchase food that they can’t grow themselves and wool for their weaving, which is in itself another source of economic opportunity. The primary school is freshly painted and now has separate bathrooms for the girls and boys. The success of my supplier (in some measure due to Kahina) means that opportunity is spreading to surrounding villages as well and plans are underway to bring electricity and running water to an additional 200 homes.
Beyond paying a fair wage and supporting these initiatives, Kahina also donates an additional 1% of our revenue to programs that contribute to the Berber women of Morocco and their families, including Education for All and the High Atlas Foundation.
While on the calendar we still have almost two more week of summer, the past two weeks officially marked “back to school” and the end of summer for my family and me. This is always a sad time for me, as I tearfully send my older children off to college and watch as my seventh grader develops his increasing independence from me. This year was no different, but I recognize that its an indulgence to be sad over a child’s parting for school when even the most basic education is not afforded to many children, especially girls, around the world.
“Right now, more than 62 million girls worldwide are not in school,” Michelle Obama declared after a recent trip to Liberia and Morocco to initiate “Let Girls Learn” when delivering a speech on the crisis of girls education.
“Sometimes the issue is resources: their families simply can’t afford the school fees; or the nearest school is hours away; or the school nearby doesn’t have adequate bathroom facilities for girls, so they’re forced to stay home during their menstrual cycles, and they wind up falling behind and dropping out.
But often the root of the problem is really about attitudes and beliefs: families and communities simply don’t think girls are worthy of an education, and they choose to marry them off as teenagers instead, often forcing them to start having children when they’re basically still children themselves.”
In her speech The First Lady detailed the program’s plans to support the Moroccan government to establish dormitories for girls so that the girls from the countryside may go to school. This is an important initiative, but as she states in her speech, “governments alone cannot solve this problem.”
That is why Kahina Giving Beauty proudly supports Education For All Morocco, a Non Government Organization which addresses the problem by building and running free and safe boarding homes for girls so they can continue their education beyond the age of 12. Education for All was founded in 2009 with a single boarding home. The program now boasts five boarding homes, housing approximately 250 girls. Now, 18 girls from the program are attending University, the first girls in their villages to do so. We have been supporters of the organization since its early days, sponsoring ten girls and helping to keep the houses running.
“EFA’s solution is to bring the girls to the schools, an approach which is beginning to change the lives of Berber girls in a way that could transform the region’s future. Their boarding houses, which are run solely by Berber women, provide accommodation, healthy food, support with homework and extra French and English lessons. On average, the pass rate for all academic years is 97%.” — The Guardian, June 2016
The following is excerpted from Michelle’s speech:
I had the privilege of meeting Ralphina and Rihab earlier this week when I traveled to Liberia and Morocco to highlight our global girls’ education crisis — the fact that right now, more than 62 million girls worldwide are not in school. This is such a heartbreaking loss, because these girls are so bright and so hungry to learn — and like Ralphina and Rihab, they have such big dreams for themselves. These girls are no less smart or deserving of an education than my own daughters — or any of our sons and daughters. The only thing that separates them from our children is geography and luck.
The girls I met in Morocco and Liberia want to be doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, engineers. One of them wants to run for office so she can fight for women’s rights and combat climate change. Another hopes to open her own auto shop to teach women about cars so they can be more independent.
But we know that when we give these girls the chance to learn, they will seize it. They’ll walk for miles each day to school. They’ll study for hours every night by candlelight, determined to learn as much as they possibly can.
We also know that educating girls doesn’t just transform their life prospects — it transforms the prospects of their families, communities, and nations as well. Studies show that girls who are educated earn higher salaries — 10 to 20 percent more for each additional year of secondary school — and sending more girls to school and into the workforce can boost an entire country’s GDP. Educated girls also marry later, have lower rates of infant and maternal mortality, and are more likely to immunize their children and less likely to contract malaria and HIV.
In Morocco we’ll be working closely with the Moroccan government to help transform high schools across the country, and we’ll be supporting new school dormitories to allow girls from rural areas to attend school far from home.
Large scale efforts like these are critically important, and will affect the lives of countless girls, but they’re simply not enough. Governments alone cannot solve this problem — not when we’re talking about a number like 62 million.
While I will always be sad to see my children leave, I am so thankful for the opportunities afforded them by living in the society we do – and I think about the mothers in Morocco who are sending their young girls away from home to go on and live a life they could only dream of.
Now, everyone’s favorite Moroccan hammam treatment comes scented with Moroccan Rose essential oil for a superluxe, skin calming take on the original. InStyle Calls it “the most luxurious soap on the planet” turning “perfunctory bathing into a gorgeous routine” and The New York Times includes it in its story on cleansers that “very seriously detox, scrub and lather.” Kahina Moroccan Rose Beldi Soap can be used on body and face to calm, soften and cleanse skin. Read about the famed damascena rose and the Rose Festival in Morocco and click here to shop.
Kahina’s Moroccan Beldi Soap rapidly rose to cult status after launching earlier this year. The skin softening olive oil soap with its unusual soft gel consistency attracted attention from Town & Country and The Wall Street Journal. Well + Good said “This purifying black soap is incredibly loyal to the one used in a traditional hammam experience, where you’re lathered endlessly with a mitt and olive oil soap and doused with pans of water. Kahina’s has only two all-natural ingredients: traditional eucalyptus leaf oil and saponified olive oil, and it comes with a seriously exfoliating kessa (mit) for an all over skin-smoothing detox scrub. Grab one, fill your shower with steam, and you’ll be stepping into a beauty ritual that’s centuries old.”
Who doesn’t love raspberries and cream? This summertime favorite now comes together in our newly reformulated Facial Lotion, upgraded with the addition of Raspberry Seed Extract. In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin A and antioxidants, raspberries have been shown to help protect the skin against the sun’s rays.
A 2000 study found that raspberry seed oil provides a UVB protection of 28-50, and an SPF protection factor against UVA rays of around 8. We recommend you use our Facial Lotion to enhance your existing sun protection.
As always, Kahina Facial Lotion features our highest quality argan oil, shea butter and sodium hyaluronate to protect and nourish skin in a lightweight formulation that is easily absorbed by the skin. Tip: some of our favorite makeup artists swear by it as a natural primer for the skin to smooth skin in preparation for makeup application.
We’ve also eliminated Japanese Honeysuckle extract in our preservative system.
A note on Japanese Honeysuckle Extract:
Japanese Honeysuckle (lonicera japonica) is a natural ingredient with a similar molecular structure to parabens. At Kahina Giving Beauty we strive to formulate our products to the highest standard. While giving first priority to product performance and the health and safety of our customers, preservative systems in the product are weighed heavily in our formulation decisions. We have never felt that there have been any health and safety issues with the previous formulation containing Japanese Honeysuckle. However, after hearing some customer concerns, we decided to reformulate so that consumers wishing to avoid parabens of any kind may use our Facial Lotion without concern.
Ingredients: water/aqua/eau, Argania spinosa (argan) oil, glycerin, Butyrospermum parkii (shea) nut butter, maltooligosyl glucoside/hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, behenyl alcohol, glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl undecylenate, betaine, cetearyl alcohol, Acacia senegal gum, xanthan gum, Apis mellifera (beeswax) wax, sodium hyaluronate, Argania spinosa (arganyl) leaf extract, maltodextrin, Rubus idaeus (raspberry) seed extract, phospholipids, glycolipids, Glycine soja (soybean) bean oil, Glycine soja (soybean) bean sterols, hydrogenated lecithin, PCA, arginine, levulinic acid, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate
Ingredients in bold are Certified Organic
17.75% Organic and 100% Natural
Click here to shop!
Our bestselling Prickly Pear Seed Oil, featured in Allure, the Zoe Report, and Town & Country Magazines, is now available in a 5ml bottle with a stainless steel roller ball applicator. This new format makes this vitamin K and E studded product perfect for targeted application on the eye area to help reduce under eye dark circles, moisturize and fight free radical damage. The stainless steel roller ball works to cool and soothe the eye area to reduce puffiness.
To use: Roll under eye area as needed after cleansing. For daytime and nighttime use.
Prickly Pear Seed Oil is extremely rich in amino acids, Vitamin K, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, and has been shown to:
• Moisturize and soften skin
• Restore elasticity
• Neutralize free radicals that cause signs of aging
• Brighten under eye circles and minimize spider veins
Made in Morocco
5 ml/.15 fl. oz. $40 Shop here.
We are thrilled to be among Spirituality and Health Magazines Beauty 100, its annual comprehensive list of the best in clean beauty in partnership with Insider’s Guide to Spas. Our Facial Cleanser is among the top ten Cleansers in the ever-expanding world of green skincare products.
To celebrate, we’re offering a free 30 ml Facial Cleanser with purchases of $50 or more. No code necessary. While supplies last, the option of “add to cart” will pop up when you’ve reached the $50 mark. Shop our full selection of effective green skin and body care here.
Click here to peruse the full Beauty 100 which includes top ten products in the categories of Bath Soaks and Soaps, Face Oils and Serums, Face Washes, Body Scrubs, Body Potions, Sun Care Products, Mists to Spritz, Hands and Feet, Eyes and Lips, and Natural Haircare.
I’ve just returned from Madrid where I had the extreme honor to be presented with the IE Award for Sustainability in the Premium and Luxury Sectors by Enrique Valera, General Director of Abadia Retuerta, one of the largest sustainable wineries in Spain. Kahina won in the Wellbeing, Beauty and Health category. The award, jointly organized by Fundación de Estudios e Investigaciones Superiores (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and IE Business School (Madrid, Spain), recognizes sustainability in privately owned luxury brands with attention given to best business practices, strategies, and innovations.
I was humbled to be among this group of change makers in the fields of hospitality, fashion and jewelry. Other award winners and honorees include Looptworks, Campi Ya Kanzi, Gudren and Gudren, Petit H, Ethical Fashion Initiative, and Meche Correa. The takeaway from IE Premium and Prestige Observatory Executive Director Marie Eugenia Giron is this: for luxury brands to speak to millennials, they must be authentic, provide value and experience. Kahina scores points on all three!
A true highlight was getting to spend time with the lovely Pascale Mussard, a sixth generation member of the Hermes family and founder of the brand’s sustainable offshoot Petit H. As she so eloquently stated, “I was given roots that go deep and wings to fly”.
To celebrate the longest day of the year (and my 25th wedding anniversary), we are offering customers 20% off all Kahina products on our website through June 20 with code SUMMERSOLSTICE20. Its a great time to stock up on your skin and body care essentials for the season! Shop now and make sure to sign up for our email newsletter to receive information on all promotions and sales.
Memorial Day has always been the unofficial start of summer for me, as the thermometer in New York these past two weeks would corroborate. The season’s hotter temperatures create the need for lightweight moisture, and pore-clogging sunscreen and sweat make cleansing and exfoliating a must. Here is our recommendation for an ideal program to keep skin healthy all summer long.
1. To keep pores open and skin cleansed, apply our Antioxidant Mask twice weekly.
2. Cleanse night and day with our Facial Cleanser, infused with skin calming Blue Tansy and Neroli.
3. Gently hydrate and tone with our Toning Mist. Aloe Vera-based, it works to protect and heal skin from sun damage, before and after sun exposure.
4. Kahina Brightening Serum works to prevent dark spots from occurring due to sun exposure, while correcting existing damage.
5. Our Face Serum contains naturally occurring SPF from Carrot Seed Oil. Sea Buckthorn Oil, Pomegranate, and Argan Oil provide powerful antioxidant protection against harmful UVA rays.
6. Our Argan Oil is the perfect summer product, easily absorbed and full of vitamin E to repair sun damaged skin. The ideal multi-tasking oil, it is perfect for summer travel to use post sun on face and body, apply to hair before swimming to protect from salt and chlorine, and afterwards to condition.
7. Finish with our Lip & Face Balm applied to rough patches on face and to chapped lips – or use as a replacement for lipstick and to add a healthy sun-kissed glow to cheek and brow bones.
Free shipping in the US with orders over $75.