Hibiscus, noni, turmeric, astaxanthin, Kona coffee cherries, and other wild and organic plants grown in Hawai’i form the foundation of an exciting brand of environmentally conscious skin care products made only on Maui. They are mixed with filtered rainwater captured along the north slopes of Haleakala, one of the world’s wettest spots.
But at ‘Alohi Maui, the concept of sustainability extends beyond the ingredients of the hydrating lotions and protective oils. Even the packaging is pono. The refillable bottles come in reusable textile pouches – cotton aloha prints from local company Trendtex and sewn on Oahu. Refills come not in plastic containers but glass bottles with a metal cap and paper labels; they can be reused or recycled.
Some of their amazing skin care products include things like their Rainwater Essence that will hydrate and balance your skin, Golden Oil that will nourish and protect your skin as well as deodorant, refills and full sets that make a perfect gift for someone special.
“After years of trying hundreds of luxury cosmetics and noticing little change in my skin, I started to look closely and came to realize that most ingredients were used to create a certain appearance or consistency and a long shelf life – not to improve skin,” recalls founder Joelle Lambiotte du Lac. Still worse, the companies promoted complex and costly skin-care regimens in a “vicious cycle” of new skin problems that the next product was supposed to fix, she says.
“I no longer wanted to support this mad consumerism.”
Traditional cosmetic companies also typically use both oil and water-based ingredients in the same formulation. Since they don’t mix, to keep the compound intact, wax and emulsifiers are added, which do nothing for the skin. Most common products are also full of preservatives and artificial scents and colors, which also do not contribute healthy skin and can even be detrimental.
After graduating from high school on Oahu and settling in Europe, including the skin-damaging Swiss Alps, Auntie Joelle returned to Maui four years ago and launched her own line of rejuvenating products, notably Hydrating Rainwater Essence and what she calls Golden Oil. They use extracts that the self-described “alchemist” concocts in her own workshop.
“Beyond producing a world-class cosmetic, I wanted every aspect of production to be sustainable and ‘pono’ to support my island home,” she says. “I also wanted to reduce the carbon footprint of ‘Alohi products. Rather than buy ingredients and materials from the mainland or abroad and assemble them in Maui, I searched for local ingredients and packaging solutions. I was determined not to import anything that I could not find locally. I was also determined to reduce the use of plastic.”
Even her wryly named Pau Hauna (No Stink) deodorant is free of animal products, toxins, and petrochemicals.
Starting in October, the company will be joining the One Percent for the Planet environmental movement and will contribute to Maui charities and ocean plastic cleanup drives.