This Hawaiian moisturizing balm brightens dry skin

Makeup isn’t big in Hawaii, as many women—the wahine—spend their free time riding the waves, exploring the ocean, or enjoying the great outdoors, but skin care is important. Daily exposure to abundant sunshine and windy winds means skin needs to be protected and hydrated to stay healthy and youthful, and nightly repair is essential. Oahu-born esthetician Kapua Browning, founder of Honua, knows this all too well and her Māhealani Glow Balm does the trick.


The moniker for this rich nighttime moisturizer is Moonlit Glow Balm because “Māhealani” takes its inspiration from the full moon, specifically the third night of our full moon. “Among the ancient Hawaiians, this special night was devoted to sacred rituals,” says Browning. “Our ancestors used the Māhealani moonlight to cultivate to ensure a bountiful harvest and provide for their families. We created Māhealani to nourish your skin and bring out your natural glow.”

Some balms are greasy and make my skin break out, but not this one: It’s the perfect addition to your winter skincare routine because you apply it before bed and it transforms your skin while you sleep, working its hydrating and brightening magic so you can wake up to the most beautiful glow. One of the key components is Hawaiian botanical liliko’i, or passion fruit, which contains vitamin A and more than 70 percent omega fatty acids (it’s also high in lycopene, which is super soothing—you can even use this balm to heal burns). Other star actives include brightening licorice root and hydrating kukui nut butter, plus St. John’s wort and vetiver essential oils, which also contribute to a lovely soothing scent (think ocean and citrus notes).

The sustainable packaging is also an advantage: The formula is housed in a 100% recyclable glass container and the outer carton is made of recyclable kraft paper.

Key Ingredients:

Hawaiian Liliko’i (passion), licorice root, jojoba oil, squalane, Hawaiian kukui nut butter, blue tansy and vetiver

How to use it:

“Like beautiful moonlight, a little goes a long way,” says Browning. I like to use it at night as my last bed mask when I warm up about half a pea-sized amount on my fingers and then massage it into my skin. (You can also transfer it to your neck and décolletage.) If you’re cycling, Browning says you can use it to lie down between retinol nights or wear it during the day, but it leaves your skin looking pretty dewy. so keep that in mind. It’s also effective as a spot treatment for dry patches if for some reason you don’t want to use it all over your face overnight. Note: Like most face balms, the product may feel hard and grainy at first, but once you warm it in your fingers, it will be smooth and soft. That’s why the warm-up step is so important.

Price/where to buy:

$82, (You can actually try this for yourself if you’re one of the lucky ones who snagged this week’s free BeautyPass Friday gift. Click here to sign up for BeautyPass if you haven’t already.)