Meet the Maker: Katharine L'Heureux of Kahina Giving Beauty

Kahina Giving Beauty

Many of you are already clued into the amazing skin benefits of Argan oil, but did you know that not all Argan oil is created equal? Next Tuesday from 6-8pm, brand founder Katharine L’Heureux of Kahina Giving Beauty is joining us at our Beacon Hill shop to share her inspiring founder story and talk about what makes Kahina’s Argan oil different. Check out our interview with her below and be sure to stop by next week to meet Katherine and dig into her amazing products. 

What inspired you to start a clean skincare brand?

I had been searching for effective organic skincare to use myself when I first traveled to Morocco on vacation in 2007. When I was introduced to argan oil at an apothecary in Marakkech on that trip, I realized I had discovered the single ingredient I had been searching for – sustainable, multi-purpose and effective at balancing my combination skin. After sharing the oil with friends back at home, I discovered that I wasn’t the only one wanting simple organic skincare that works. At that time, argan oil was barely known in North America. Before taking the leap to start a skincare line I made it my mission to learn everything I could about argan oil and Moroccan beauty rituals by making frequent trips to Morocco and getting to know the Berber women who do the work of extracting the oil. While traveling extensively in the South of Morocco and visiting many cooperatives that produce oil by hand using traditional techniques, I developed a deep appreciation for rural Morocco and its people, particularly the Berber women. It was then I decided to create the full Kahina line of natural, effective and ethically sourced skincare that honors and gives back to these women.

Argan oil is the “hero ingredient” of the Kahina line. Tell us about why Kahina’s argan oil is different from all other argan oils?

With twice the amount of tocopherols (Vitamin E) as in olive oil, and high concentrations of Omega fatty acids, argan oil moisturizes, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, restores elasticity and calms inflammation. It also contains plant sterols that have been shown to actually treat acne. And, because the oil isn’t greasy, it works well for all skin types and effectively treats a multitude of concerns. But all argan oils are not created equally. Region, harvesting and production practices, and the quality of the nuts all play a role. I carefully source Kahina’s argan oil to ensure the highest quality oil through careful monitoring of the harvest, raw material selection and quality control, and extraction techniques, as well as the fair and proper treatment of the women who extract the oil at the heart of the line. You can tell by the way Kahina’s argan oil has a slight nutty, pleasant scent and is easily absorbed that the oil has not been deodorized or mixed with other oils, common practice among large suppliers.

What is your can’t-live-without product within your line?

It is so hard to choose one, as they are meant to be used together for the best results. Each product assists the next in achieving optimal, glowing, healthy skin. I do have a soft spot for the eye serum, though. It has resolved issues of under-eye puffiness after long-haul flights and many a morning when I didn’t look as bright and awake as I would wish.

What is your personal daily beauty routine?

I created the Kahina line for myself and my own skincare needs so I use every single product. For the cold New York winter coming up, I will especially need to layer on the products. My daily facial routine at the moment is as follows morning and evening:

1. Cleanse with Kahina Facial Cleanser
2. Spray a few pumps of Toning Mist
3. Apply a couple pumps of the Brightening Serum
4. Massage oil into skin – Argan Oil in the morning and Serum at night
5. Follow with an emulsion – Facial Lotion in the morning and Night Cream at night
6. For my eyes, I’ve been using the Eye Cream lately since my skin is drier with the change in seasons. If I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll layer it over the Eye Serum, which is my morning go-to product, especially for when I wake up with puffiness and dark circles.

What is the most important thing someone can do to take the best care of their skin?

I would say that making the switch to a clean skincare regimen and eating foods rich in essential fatty acids are the two most beneficial things you can do for your skin. Toxins found in many traditional skincare products can actually create toxicity in our system, which leads to inflammation in cells and shows up as sensitivity, unbalanced skin or rosacea. In order to stabilize and strengthen skin functions we need to ensure that we are getting essential nutrients, such as fatty acids found naturally in oils, both topically and internally. Omega fatty acids are essential for cell growth, repair, and inhibiting inflammation. By using oils, we are rebuilding and supporting our skin’s barrier layer, while providing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties naturally.

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