3 Local Skin Care Experts Dish on Everyday Essentials That They Stand Behind
When COVID-19 hit, the wellness industry boomed. People were in search of products that boosted their immunity, health and glow.
Oshan Essentials is not new to the glamour game; local models, makeup artists and shop owners have boasted about the brand since it unmasked its skin care products in 2017. Last year, when the drop in tourism brought its resort orders to a sudden halt, the Maui-based beauty company started offering one of its professional lines to locals. “Our facial ritual sets were only used at hotel spas. It was intended to give visitors a unique, luxurious experience with skin care formulas that include local ingredients,” says owner Shelley Lee. “It’s a little pricey, so we didn’t know how well it would sell.”
Not surprisingly, the sets became top sellers. Oshan’s reputation for nutrient-packed products composed of natural organic blends (including sea salt from Moloka‘i, Big Island macadamia nut oil, and produce found on Lee’s 100% carbon-neutral farm), along with its eco-friendly practices—the brand uses glass bottles and recyclable shipping supplies—have intensified people’s interest (and love) for Oshan.
The seven-step Full Facial Ritual, which “is basically a fresh salad for your face,” jokes Lee, includes your pick of a gelée, mist and mask along with an exfoliant, serum and cleanser to hydrate, smooth and brighten skin. The $350 set is good for as many as 15 treatments; for first-timers a mini set is available for $75. Every Oshan product is tested by licensed estheticians and tried out by people of various ages and backgrounds. “We’re happy that people can now enjoy a blissful spa experience at home,” says Lee, “especially during this time. It’s a win-win.” And a skin-win.
ROCK AND ROLL
Last year, beauty buffs made a to-do about face rollers. The “it” tool aims to help relieve facial stress and puffiness while stimulating blood flow. And for Paige Yang, a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, Punahou alum and founder of Yang Face, her line of rose-quartz face rollers is personal. “My maternal grandmother practiced traditional medicine; she was an inspiration for me. Growing up in Hawai‘i, I developed a strong sense of belonging and responsibility of taking care of each other and our ‘aina. When I created Yang Face I paid great attention to purpose, sourcing and manufacturing,” says Yang, who splits her time between here and San Francisco.
Instead of acquiring quartz from a larger company, Yang found a small family-run business in South Africa that upholds ethical practices. She’s also fl uent in Mandarin, which helped her find a manufacturer in China that provides fair wages, healthy working conditions and is run by women. After all, who knows what women want better?
With that said, the rollers are a thing of beauty. Their soft blush hue, sleek design and exquisite fl oral resin handles catch the eye, but “learning how to use the tools from a trained [traditional Chinese medicine practitioner] ensures maximum health benefi ts,” says Yang, who teaches customers how to use the tool properly, one-on-one or through how-to’s on her social media channels.
‘Awa + ‘Olena
‘Awa + ‘Olena is like a candy shop for wellness products. Fruity smells waft through the sunlit space from a healthy selection of (mostly local) beauty finds boasting delicious ingredients: honey, coconut, lime and vanilla. Owner Amanda Watkins, the Willy Wonka of the Kaimuki store, knows every product on her shelves like the back of her well-moisturized hand—here are a few of her favorites.
1152 Koko Head Ave. #202, (808) 260-1166, awaandolena.com
Kapa Nui nail polish | Waimea, Hawai‘i
“This polish is amazing! It’s local and nontoxic, and it lasts up to two weeks. It’s also safe for kids and expectant mothers.”
Pohala Fern Oil | Kula, Maui
“This fern oil has been our bestseller from day one. Each bottle contains the essence of 50 different endemic and indigenous ferns from Hawai‘i, with kukui nut oil as a base. The scent is reminiscent of a fl ourishing forest and is deeply calming.”
Living Libations Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever | Canada
“I love a multitasker and this oil doesn’t disappoint. It can be used as a cleanser, moisturizer and serum. It’s packed with vitamin C and smells divine.”