Harnessing the potency of Hawaii's rich, tropical landscape - from raw honey to precious, mineral-rich clays and potent plant extracts - {Leahlani Skincare} whisks you from your bathroom to a balmy, island idyll. Like bottled holidays, we chatted to the inspirational brand founder - Leah Klasovsky - who talked us through the her magical, Aloha-infused potions.

{Cult Beauty} Hi Leah! Could you begin with a little bit of the brand back-story? How {Leahlani} came to be, and what differentiates it?

{Leah Klavosky} I was 25, living on Oahu with my boyfriend (now husband) when my health took a horrible turn and I was 'prescribed' total bedrest. Around the same time, my skin broke out in full blown cystic acne and, having never struggled with my skin before, I knew that my whole being was completely out of sync. So, I registered for a place at a local Holistic Esthetician school, packed all our belongings and moved from Oahu to Maui to embark on this new journey. 

I know now that this was a school unlike any others, it was deeply rooted in healing and developing a true understanding of the connection between mind, body, soul, and skin. We dove deep into natural ingredients, eastern and western skin care philosophy, aromatherapy, Hawaiian healing modalities, and formulation. I loved being an esthetician - it felt like my calling - and it was while practicing that I began creating my own products in a bid to heal and clarify my own complexion. Each facial I gave was bespoke, I would custom blend products specifically for each client’s skin and noticed that there was a common thread - it seemed that everyone was searching for a way to learn to love and care for their skin. Inspired, inspirited and intent; I set off to create a line of skin care that would transform a 'routine' into a 'ritual'.

{Leahlani Skincare} is a small business with a lot of heart. I am blessed to have an amazing team beside me who pour so much love into every task they do. We blend, bottle and ship every product that we make at our private studio on the lush and tropical North Shore of Kauai. I invite you to experience a unique way to care for your skin, using products that combine some of the most opulent and luxurious ingredients, that ensure every step of their use is a celebration for the senses. Each time you open your jar, I hope you can escape into moments of pure serenity and sensory bliss. From the pure tropical fragrances, soft colours from mother nature’s palette, silken textures and effervescent bubbles of botanical magic - from my loving hands to yours.

{CB} There's increasing concern about the impact of our (ever more) toxic environment - which negatively impacts on health and is shown to accelerate the skin-ageing process. What are your 'top tips' for urbanites who want to protect their complexions from pollutants?

{LK} Our skin is our largest organ, and there are so many factors that go into having a healthy complexion. Some of it is genetics and some of it is environmental and lifestyle. I always tell my clients to start internally - make sure you are drinking plenty of water, eating a balanced diet getting plenty of exercise. These factors are key elements in helping to keep your skin clear and healthy. Also, stay out of the sun if you can - and if you are in the sun, be sure to use proper protection. And, of course, skin care! Make sure you are cleansing and exfoliating your skin regularly and protecting it with the appropriate serums and elixirs from AM-PM. I am also a huge fan of masking while soaking in hot baths followed by cold showers to boost circulation!

{CB} This worry about exposure to toxins has sparked renewed interest in 'clean' cosmetics. Your range boasts organic botanicals, natural clays and ‘Hawaiian nectars’ (these sounds heavenly!) - can you explain a little more about your stance on ‘natural’ and how you source/identify the best ingredients?

{LK} To be completely honest, I started making products to help heal my skin because all the products I was using were not working. Or if they seemed to be helping, the side effects presented another problem entirely. You won’t find me putting down non-natural ingredients that companies choose to use, or calling out ‘dirty’ ingredients - that is simply not my style. Instead, I celebrate the ingredients I love - fresh, creamy raw honey from Hawaii (made from the most gorgeous tropical nectars), cold-pressed and organic oils and botanicals that vary from batch to batch based on the changes in the seasons, mineral rich clays from all around the world, vibrant salts from the Hawaiian islands and heavenly-scented essential oils.

{CB} You describe your products as being ‘Aloha-infused’. Can you demystify this wizardry for us?

{LK} Demystify the wizardy, oh how I love that! In Hawaii, Aloha is so much more than a word or greeting, it is a way of being. Aloha is an exchange of energy, love, compassion, and respect that 'infuses' everything you do and touches everyone you meet. And honestly, Aloha is by far one of the most important and powerful ingredients I can share with anyone. 

{CB} What would you say is the 'hero product'? The one that's guaranteed to kick-start a {Leahlani} addiction?

{LK} Oh, do I have to just pick one? I would have to say any of our facial masks. They are so gorgeously vibrant and nourishing, full of my absolute favourite skin care ingredients, and they are guaranteed to give your complexion that signature ‘aloha glow’ that {Leahlani} is known for.

{CB} Clogged pores and congestion are another all-too-common complaint amongst those exposed to stress and toxins. Which steps - skin care or otherwise - would you recommend to keep skin clear, calm and blemish-free?

{LK} Cardio, drinking lots of water and a thorough skin care ritual can transform your complexion. I try to get a good 45 minutes of heart-pumping cardio exercise 4-5x a week. Increasing blood flow helps to flush cellular debris from the system, and helps to reduce stress, which can be a huge factor when it comes to skin health. The more I exercise, the more water I tend to drink too - which helps to keep me from becoming dehydrated.

I always recommend making sure that you cleanse your skin twice each night, the first cleanse will remove make up and impurities, and the second cleanse will do the deep cleaning. I also must exfoliate my skin 2-3x a week. Learning how often your skin needs to be exfoliated is key to unveiling a healthy and vibrant complexion. The {Honey Love 3-in-1} is my holy grail - she is such a beautiful product, with the perfect balance of exfoliating particles, anti-inflammatory botanicals and raw honey to fight bacteria and moisturise the skin. 

And I urge each and every one of you to be mindful about how you speak to your reflection in the mirror. Be gentle with yourself - in both touch and language. Instead of rushing, take care of yourself, slow down and carve out the time to truly learn what your skin needs to be at its best. Each time you touch your precious face, do so with tenderness and love!

{CB} There's a lot of confusion surrounding face oils - with many espousing (and others revoking) their usage. Many people are still phobic about using facial oils - what do you say to those who're dubious (or scared) of integrating oils into their skin care ritual?

{LK} I completely understand, but I am here to tell you - don’t be afraid. Before becoming an esthetician, I avoided putting oils on my skin like the plague however, when I eventually learned the error of my ways, I noticed that my skin changed almost overnight! The texture, the colour, and the glow - it was amazing, and it only got better as time went on. The key is making sure you are using high-quality oils on your skin, knowing which oils to use for your individual skin type and making sure to apply them to damp skin for best absorption.

Our {Aloha Ambrosia AM Elixir} has a base of olive squalane and antioxidant rich tropical oils, with a lightweight texture that absorbs beautifully into the skin - perfect for daytime use. Just make sure to shake your bottle well and apply one full pump to your palm. Emulsify, and gently massage into damp skin - spend a good minute massaging into your complexion until you feel your skin soak in every drop. Next, scoop a tiny amount of {Bless Beauty Balm} into your fingertips and gently ‘pat’ into the skin, making sure to dab around your eye and lip area.

{CB} And finally, what's next for {Leahlani}. Do you have any exciting new products in development?

Where to even begin? We are in the process of moving our facility into a much bigger space, surrounded by fruit trees and mermaid pools - and we will be getting our very own beehives (I am SO excited about this!). I have been working on a few new products to add to the line for a very long time now - and I also plan on sharing a lot more on a personal level as well. I am slowly easing my way out of my comfort zone (I am a total introvert by nature) and I am so eager to share. 

We also plan on doing some traveling to meet our retail partners and customers - I cannot wait to one day visit you all in the UK! I have so much family over there and it has been over 30 years since I have had a visit. Stay tuned!

{CB} Thanks so much Leah! We can't wait to have you! Abundant Aloha!

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