Honoring everything that is light and love, the founder of beauty brand O’O Hawaii shares with us some of her backyard magic…
I’ve found in life that, sometimes, a thing that eludes you is often well worth the wait.
So it was with my long-awaited phone call with Holly Harding, founder of O’O Hawaii.
I’d have to refer back to my calendar to confirm, but I believe there were about 6 or 7 phone calls between us, usually ending in the form of an apologetic and very pleasant voicemail.
When we finally connected, the vivacity that I associate with Hawaii — thought I’ve never been — came through in her voice almost louder than bombs.
It was 7am her time, and her spirit intimated that she’d already been up for hours, imparting love and light on all those (humans and animals alike) who crossed her path.
Holly told me that just yesterday, she had visited a neighboring community where she rescued 3 dogs in need of fostering, and was going back today to get at least one more. It became immediately apparent that she is driven by a calling greater than her own, in everything she does. Even the name of her beauty brand, O’O Hawaii, was chosen to honor a native bird — the Hawaiʻi ʻōʻō bird — which fell extinct years ago but whose song deserves a place in our memory. And for every one of their online sales, O’o Hawaii donates $1.00 to the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest program.
It should probably come as no surprise that O’O’s line is cruelty-free, crafted from natural non-GMO sources and, when available, ingredients grown organically in Hawaii. I asked Holly which of those repairing-and-replenshing ingredients were her favorite. Though tough to whittle down, her list of superfoods reads: Noni, Coffeeberry, Kukui Nut, and Red Algae.
Noni fruit extract is rich in nutritionally important fatty acids that help keep skin healthy by promoting the efficient functioning of cell membranes. Healthy cell membranes more readily absorb the nutrients they need while also flushing out toxins that interfere with optimal cell function. Noni can be described as antibacterial, antimicrobial, immune-stimulating, antioxidant, antihypertensive, anti-arthritic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. The high content of proxeronine is believed to promote production of xeronine, a compound that not only keeps cells healthy but also helps steer abnormal cells back to normalcy.
Pro Tip: If you are experiencing a dull complexion and really need to brighten things up with hopes of permanent repair, the O’o products that include noni can really help achieve your desired result!
Although many other fruits contain antioxidants, the Hawaiian Coffeeberry surpasses other sources with more than three times the level of antioxidant concentration than found in green tea and blueberries. The polyphenols found in the Hawaiian Coffeeberry neutralize free radicals in and on the skin before they can affix to skin cells and destroy membranes. These polyphenol antioxidants are believed to prevent cellular damage in skin. Hawaiian Coffeeberry is considered safe for sensitive skin types due to its natural properties.
Aids: Damaged, dull skin in need of repair
Pro Tip: If you suddenly noticing signs of aging, coffeeberry can be a quick way to repair damaged cells and help reduce fine lines.
Used for hundreds of years by Hawaiians to moisturize and protect the skin as well as heal minor skin irritations, wounds and burns, Kukui Nut Oil penetrates the skin, leaving it silky and smooth. This oil contains vitamins A, C, and E, which are antioxidants known to protect the skin and prevent free radical damage to skin cells. Kukui Nut Oil can leave even the driest, dullest, aging skin looking healthy and radiant. Kukui Nut Oil also works well as an undereye treatment for the prevention and softening of crow’s feet.
Found In: Birdbath, Brilliant Feather
Aids: Dehydrated, dull and prematurely aged skin
Pro Tip: If winter skin is getting you down, start with O’o Hawaii’s ultra hydrating Birdbath as your first step and use Brilliant Feather day and night to totally repair dry, dull skin.
Astaxanthin has been shown in clinical studies to increase skin moisture, moisture retention, elasticity, as well as promote skin smoothness, and decrease fine lines and wrinkles. An incredible UV-blocker, it protects against sun damage and dark spots. One of the most powerful antioxidants, Astaxanthin can neutralize multiple free radicals at once, protecting your skin and body from oxidation, damage, and inflammation. Astaxanthin has been proven to increase blood flow, meaning that it will help your skin to have better circulation. Increased circulation has various benefits, including increased cell turnover, amplified elasticity, and increased water retention.
Aids: Dry, aged and sun damaged skin including sun spots
Pro Tip: If you’re a beach babe or snow bunny, red algae can help repair the effect of the sun and wind by lightening sun spots, creating cell turnover and increasing circulation to help brighten and rejuvenate your complexion.