Once upon a time, I spent six months living on the beautiful island of Oahu. My backyard was a bird sanctuary and I was only a 20-minute walk away from President Obama’s favorite beach. I spent days jumping aquamarine waves, eating kale amongst wild chickens, and watching meteor showers on private beaches. The lifestyle looked good on me—my complexion was brighter than a glow worm, my hair thick, full, and lush, and my skin soft, toned, and tan.
Credit rainbow magic or Aloha spirit, but there’s definitely beauty wisdom to be gleaned from paradise. Here are four Hawaiian beauty tips that are sure to turn your beauty game upside-down (in a good way)!
Nikki Hartley, Kailua resident and creator of Mind Body Mana, swears by an old remedy from her aunt who lived on the island in the 1970s. “My aunt and her friends would put raw pineapple on their face and let it sit for a bit,” Hartley explains. “She said it helped brighten their complexion and toned the skin. I looked up what would cause that and it seems pineapple really is high in vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acid. Who knew?” It is worth mentioning that pineapple is acidic, so those with sensitive skin should be cautious. It might be safer to try a professional skincare product that has pineapple in its ingredients, like Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub ($28).
Kukui nut oil
“I also use Kukui nut oil to moisturize my legs after shaving,” says Hartley. “To me, it seems to have a longer-lasting moisturizing effect than regular lotion. It also seems to really help calm a mild sunburn if I’ve been out at the beach all day. The oil has apparently been used for centuries by the Hawaiians. The nut was actually used to make the leis for the Ali’i and they used the oil to light lanterns, and protect the skin of the babies.” Kukui nut oil, which you can pick up at Target for $19, might just be on its way to becoming the next coconut oil—drugstore hair care brands OGX and Alba Botanica both have products dedicated to Kukui oil while Lupita Nyong’o uses it in her skincare routine.
We’ve all heard the benefits of coconut oil before, and for good reason—so many people swear by it. My Sunday Secret founder and Maui native Ohia MacDougall epitomizes what it means to be a modern day mermaid. Her top secret? You guessed it. “I can’t get enough coconut oil! It’s a natural SPF, hydrator, hair mask, face mask, body oil…. I could go on and on! And Maui Babe is one of my most favorite products ever.”
The most important advice…
And the best beauty secret of all-time? Be happy and appreciate the simple things in life. “Every day I go to the beach to see the sunrise or watch the sunset,” says MacDougall. “I can’t help but feel so lucky and grateful. I believe this does show on the outside, too. Smile!” Sounds like a tip we can all get behind.