When I found Mahina Skincare on Instagram, I had to know more about this California-based company using Hawaiian ingredients. Then Brenna, the company's founder, was sweet enough to send me some goodies to try for myself and I knew I had to share.
Brenna started Mahina Skincare (named after her daughter) as a way of staying connected to the island she so very much loves and misses. Brenna's husband was raised on Kauai and together they lived all over the Garden Isle, including Anahola, Hanapepe, Lihue, Puhi and Wailua. After 8 years on island, they ultimately decided to move back to Marin County, California to start a family. Around the time her first daughter was born in 2010, Brenna was sick of using overpriced chemical-laden products so she started making her own. She wanted to support the small and sustainable Hawaii-based brands she grew to love, so she reached out to local businesses such as McPhee's Bees—which uses sustainable, gentle beekeeping methods and keeps the hives virus free—to use as Mahina Skincare's main ingredients. Other brands used in Mahina products include Kauai Herbals and Hawaiian Clay.
"Often times people start companies as passion projects, but they may not be the financially stable hobbies that most entrepreneurs dream of. I want to bring attention to these small business owners in hopes that they will eventually be able to quit their 'day jobs,'" says Brenna.
Mahina Skincare not only benefits your skin and supports local businesses, it's also easy on the environment and on your wallet. "My goal was to create a skincare line that was affordable, but uses high-quality ingredients that are responsibly sourced," says Brenna, who received her esthetician's license in Kapaa and is now certified in Hawaii and California.
Mahina Skincare products are truly "a vacation in a bottle," as the labels state, and the range of oils, mists, serums and scrubs make it easy for on- and off-island customers to reap the benefits of Hawaii's bounty. The Breakfast Scrub is my go-to scrub as of late. Made of finely ground organic coffee, oats and organic brown sugar, this scrub exfoliates, moisturizes and smells like a weekend morning (trust me, you'll know what I mean when you try it). Raw Kauai honey nourishes and heals, while organic cold-pressed macadamia, olive, sesame and grapeseed oils moisturize without clogging your pores. The coffee scrub is great to use on your face and body pre or post beach, to help improve circulation, temporarily reduce cellulite and smooth skin.
After a good scrubbing, I've been using Mahina's Day Serum, which has a fresh fragrance of Hawaiian pikake and is light enough to wear under your regular SPF. The serum includes a Kauai coffee cinnamon hydrosol to stimulate blood flow to the surface of the skin, and organic aloe and organic cold-pressed oils (kukui, fractionated coconut and evening primrose) to heal and nourish sun-exposed skin.
Though Mahina products do not use any preservatives, they should still last for about six months (and with regular use you should be ready for a new one anyway). Ingredients like the raw honey—found in the Breakfast Scrub—are natural preservatives, and propolis (a compound created by bees) is in all other products for its anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Since what we put on our body is as important as what we put in our body, I'm sold on Mahina Skincare. You can get your hands on Mahina Skincare at Wings Hawaii in Paia, or shop the full range of products here.