JUST WHAT NATURE ORDERED
Holly Harding's O‘o Hawaii skincare line fuses the power of crystals with all-natural ingredients.
Hear the word “organic” being uttered, and visions of farmfresh eggs and re-usable bags filled with local veggies may come to mind.
Although now, the buzzword is moving well beyond the confines of dairy and produce sections at your favorite grocer and instead making a stout appearance on cosmetic counters on a global scale. It's official—the latest consumer of organic goods is our skin. But the world of organic skin care can be a bit tricky to navigate.
Does going organic really make a big difference? The benefits of eating food that hasn't been genetically modified or injected with hormones can be also be likened to skincare since the skin has the ability to absorb more than half of what you put on its surface. So if that moisturizer you've been slathering on contains a bunch of synthetic ingredients, you may be “eating” a certain amount of unwanted chemicals via your skin as well. In contrast, by choosing something that's free of any sort of chemicals or artificial elements, the skin won't have a chance to take in any harmful byproducts that synthetics are notorious for having. One beauty line in particular uses organic ingredients for both its topical skin care goods as well as its nutritional supplements.
Hawai‘i resident Holly Harding is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (INHC) and member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). In recent years, Harding has turned her attention toward skincare with the creation of O‘o Hawaii—an integrative luxury skincare line that features a range of crystal-infused, sustainably sourced organic products. “We use super food level ingredients grown in Hawai‘i that have cellular structures compatible to those found in the skin,” shares Harding.
Named after the Hawai‘i ‘o‘o bird (Moho Nobilis), the now-extinct honeyeater was known for its bright yellow feathers, which were used to create capes and feathered staffs adorned by the ali‘i (Hawaiian nobility). The eventually overhunted rare bird lead to the species' destruction, providing a key lesson that O‘o Hawaii takes to heart. In fact, for every online sale, O‘o Hawaii donates $1 to the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest program.
Created to work at a clinical level, the line O‘o Hawaii products are highly potent sans fillers or non-active ingredients. For instance, the Birds + Roses Rose Quartz Hydrating + Firming Mask contains essential oils containing more than 600 roses per jar.
Another product that has garnered a cult following is O‘o Hawaii's Birdseed Detoxifying Face Scrub featuring volcanic rock (this is actually not from Hawai‘i for cultural reasons), red alaea clay, activated charcoal, sustainably harvested pearl powder and sapphire.
Additionally, the infusion of rose quartz and sapphire crystals help increase circulation to help skin heal faster. Combined with the use of the gua sha beauty tool during application, healthy skin gets another dose of healing by increasing blood flow to the facial area.
Harding has also formulated a nutritional supplement called Hawaii Superfood Beauty Boost. Meant to be taken orally, each capsule contains a concentrated amount of antioxidants, nutrient-rich Hawaiian super foods like Hawaiian red algae and noni fruit extract, pineapple enzymes and to help the brighten skin, promote collagen production, tone down inflammation, fight free radicals and even aid in digestion. The result? The appearance of radiant skin that glows from within.
This inside/out approach to skincare is one of the factors that make O‘o Hawaii unique. “I created O‘o Hawaii as a way to bridge the internal/ external gap in skincare. After selling my previous company Bubble Shack Hawaii after 10 years (a bath and body company), I went back to nutrition school and studied over 100 dietary theories through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I became passionate not only about health but also how the food we eat effects our skin,” Harding says. “I created O‘o Hawaii with dietary supplement that addresses the three internal areas within the body that effect skin the most: digestion, the liver and hormones. In addition, I loaded our supplement full of skin loving antioxidants that help to produce collagen, brighten the skin and eyes and provide sun protection from an internal approach. There's even an immunity booster from acerola cherry and the increased energy that comes along with it is a side benefit.”
While you're in town, experience the benefits of O‘o Hawaii firsthand—The Kahala Spa offers a one-of-kind facial treatment utilizing O‘o Hawaii's skincare line, which comes complete with facial steam and extraction in addition to a soothing upper body and scalp massage. Contact the concierge for an appointment.
Left: Hawaiian kukui nut oil is an essential O‘o ingredient. Right: Strawberry guava is one of the four Hawaiian super food ingredients used in O‘o Brilliant Feather beauty balm. The other three are Coffeeberry extract, red algae and noni.