Honua Skincare Models Blue Beauty

Honua Skincare, founded by Kapua Browning, a licensed esthetician, and Hawaiian Traditional Medicine practitioner, began crafting customized oils and tinctures for clients using native Hawaiian botanicals. In 2016, she and her husband birthed a brand with only one given name: Honua, meaning ‘mother earth’. With a family lineage known for protecting the land, water, and farmlands of Hawaii, Kapua was raised on the traditions of the local farmers and keeps the environment at the forefront of her company. Kapua doesn’t see humans as separate from the earth; she is intentionally connected to nature, the planet and homeland of Hawaii in every interaction. She is passionate about protecting and restoring the beauty, and bounty, of Hawaii. Honua Skincare was built on high standards for every aspect of the business—ingredient quality, packaging, efficacy, and sustainability; Honua skincare models Blue Beauty. With Project Blue Beauty at the forefront, I asked Kapua to share more about the values that informed the vision of Honua Skincare.

The very existence of brands like Honua contributes to a bluer planet. Each product is crafted with a focus on being light on the planet. Was that always your intention from the beginning?

Yes and no, depending on whether you are asking if it was my intention from the inception of Honua, or from early in my life. I was born into the Hawaiian culture and understood at a young age the importance of the value; Mālama ‘Āina, or caring for the land as a lifetime responsibility. I don’t take this responsibility lightly, and whether it’s for my business or personal life, my intention is to not only tread lightly on the planet, but to give back more than we take. So that is a value that was designed into my vision for Honua—to give back to the earth more than we take.

In what ways does the Honua customer contribute to the planet that they might not even know about?

From the ingredient sourcing and product creation to packaging, Honua uses very little fossil fuels. Our farmers grow and harvest sustainably with little to no carbon footprint. Our production is highly reliant on solar (infusions) and packing wind energy. Our packaging is also compostable allowing you to give it back to mother earth when you are done with it. Aside from supporting a company that encourages clean energy and sustainability, as a Honua customer you are putting money in the hands of Hawaiian farmers, educators, and clean ocean and land advocates.

Are there any innovations and developments by way of ingredients or packaging that are encouraging to you because it’s lighter on the earth, or even gives back in a new way?

These are the things I geek out on… I am constantly researching greener packaging as one of my frustrations is pumps and spritzers. Although we use glass bottles and compostable boxes, I have yet to find eco-friendly pump tops or misters to fit our glass bottles. If you find one let me know, I’m on the hunt!

Is there a process you go through when contemplating a new product development that evaluates its sustainability and lifecycle? Can you share that process?

Oh yes, especially when it comes to ingredients that I want to feature in the product. For example, ‘Iliahi or Hawaiian Sandalwood is a highly coveted Hawaiian ingredient. It is so beautiful, effective and special; I dream about formulating a product that has the intoxicating sandalwood scent. I have been wanting to create a night balm of ‘Iliahi and Hawaiian Vanilla bean, but because Hawaiian Sandalwood has been on our scarcity list, I held back. Instead, I spent over a year researching, donating and working with Sandalwood farms to reforest rather than purchase this ingredient. I will not launch a new product with an ingredient that I don’t feel is being well supported or reforested yet.

If there was one Honua product that you would want the whole world to try and fall in love with, what would it be and why?

Oh why??? This is the hardest question. Ok, if I had to pick…‘Olena Oil. It is simple, beautiful, traditional Hawaiian medicine and it works. Six ingredients that pack a punch: ‘Olena, Noni, Cacao infused in Kukui, Kamani, and Chia seed oils. The sun infusion process also adds to its magnificence.

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