I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
I'm always happy to shine a light on beauty companies that try to make the world a better place, so I was delighted to receive two luxurious new hand and body products from Kahina Giving Beauty. The brand was founded with the goal of helping preserve the culture and sustainability of traditionally prepared organic argan oil.
In my typically decently moisturized hands was placed a sizeable bottle of the Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Body Serum and Fez Hand and Body Balm.
The Fez line is named after Morocco's richly cultured inland city of the same name. The city borders the Atlas Mountains, which are full of argan tree forests. The preservation of these forests helps keep Morocco from becoming part of the Sahara Desert, a growing climate change problem in North Africa.
Like many socially responsible companies using argan oil these days, Kahina Giving Beauty partners directly with a collective of Berber women to buy into their small scale production.
I cannot express how luscious and intensely sensual this stuff smells. Inspired by Moroccan cooking spices, the scent is a combination of rose, neroli, bergamot, pink grapefruit, ylang ylang, geranium, lemon myrtle, sandalwood, clove, cumin, patchouli, vetiver, and rosemary. Quite the mouthful, eh?
The concoction is far from subtle: florals fade into the foreground while powerful spice offers a head-spinning trip to an arid, ancient place. Patchouli and sandalwood come through in the best way--not overpowering and just earthy enough to be not quite for everyone. The heavy-handed incense effect evokes a spiritual vibe; I would describe it as "church-y."
The Body Serum
The Fez Body Serum formula contains nourishing argan oil (at the very top of the ingredient list), as well as watermelon seed oil (crazy-high in deeply moisturizing linoleic acid), olive oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil, which ups the content of squalene and lauric acid to help the ingredients further penetrate the skin. I applied it solo after a shower and another time on top of my usual lotion to double-moisturize. Both times I was left feeling seriously soft.
The Hand And Body Balm
For super dry parts, like elbows, the Fez Hand and Body Balm carries the additional power of beeswax and shea butter. A combination of the unique Fez fragrance blend accompanies mango butter and carrot seed oil, both packed with terpenes, phenols, and carotenes to boost skin health. The texture of the balm is thick but spreadable; it actually makes a lovely pre-deodorant moisturizer. I also slathered it on my hands, knees, elbows, and toes.
Kahina Giving Beauty may not be super affordable, but their products are made with the utmost care and consideration. This was my first time trying a luxury body product, and I was quite blown away. The scent is ripped straight from my travel bucket list and the formula is full of some of the most nourishing products on the planet.
While the 6.7 ounce body serum checks in at $82 (a LOT of money for body oil, I understand), you are getting a larger proportion of higher quality argan oil than you would with similar products on the market. Pure argan oil runs about $7 to $9 an ounce. Other luxury ingredients, high end packaging, and fair trade price structures further stack costs.
Just the act of using argan oil as a body moisturizer is a luxury, as most will use its precious and vitamin-packed goodness in tiny amounts for facial skin. If you have the dough, this is well worth its price.
Photos by Darnell Scott