Introducing Okana: The Natural Beauty Brand Not Like the Others
Long gone are the days where the mindful beauty shopper’s options were far and few between. We now live in a world where it’s more common to see the words “natural”, “pure” or “botanical” stamped across packaging, than not. But, what do these words really mean?
You only have to walk down the supermarket aisle to realise there’s been a huge shift towards ‘green’ beauty – it’s now a billion dollar industry. While it’s great to have more choice, as the offering continues to expand, so too does the complexity and ambiguity around labels. It can be difficult to discern what you think you’re buying from what you are actually getting.
Let us preface this by saying: we are big fans of natural skincare. But, we’re also fans of facts — and when it comes to some of the beauty claims brands are making some are alarmingly inaccurate.
What you think ‘natural’ means
Like us, you probably expect natural products to be free from harmful chemicals or synthetics including petrochemicals, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde and mineral oil. Natural beauty to most means products that have been manufactured using only ingredients that come from the earth. Here at beautyheaven we also believe to be considered “natural,” the formula must contain at least 70 percent naturally derived ingredients.
What is actually means
Natural and organic make for some pretty alluring labels and it turns out they’re completely unregulated in New Zealand. Our beauty market is essentially ‘self-regulated’, which means there’s no enforceable definition of the words so brands can print them on products even if they are bursting with synthetic ingredients – a practice referred to as “greenwashing”.
So, how can I tell the real deal from a fraud?
The devil is in the detail when it comes to assessing whether a product is natural. Ingredients are always listed in the fine print from highest to lowest percentage. Just as you would read the nutritional label on food, approach buying beauty products the same and always read the ingredients list. A general rule of thumb for quickly decrypting is, if there is a bunch of lab born ingredients at the beginning and the only identifiable materials are buried at the bottom, it’s unlikely to be natural. However this isn’t always 100 percent reliable as sometimes the scientific name for a natural ingredient can look scary when it actually isn’t.
Other signs to watch out for:
- Don’t be fooled by deceptive illustrations like trees or flowers
- Beware of buzzwords like nature-inspired and pure
- Many brands try to infer they are natural by stating what they are ‘free’ of e.g. “no parabens”
Meet the brand that’s legitimately natural
Did you know it apparently only takes 26 seconds for the products applied topically to our skin to absorb into our bloodstream? Skin is the largest organ in our bodies and it’s porous, so whatever you put on it absorbs into your bloodstream and inevitably your organs. So it begs the question, if you can’t eat it, should you really be applying it to your skin? Vibs Amin, founder of Okana Skincare, asked the same question.
Following life-long skin issues further exacerbated by pregnancy, Vibs scouted beauty aisles for an answer. After trialling a host of products, she couldn’t find anything that worked or seemed “healthy” and totally free from unpronounceable chemicals. So out of options and desperate for a solution, she took matters into her own hands, literally. Made entirely from scratch in her kitchen, Okana Skincare was born – and the results were immediate.
So good you can eat it
The Okana premise is simple: The less you put in the more you get out. Okana believes in simplifying your daily skincare ritual with just nourishing, toxic-free essentials.
The range uses only the highest quality concentrations of fresh fruit and vegetable-based ingredients. Most importantly, there are no ingredients in the formulas that don’t need to be there like fragrances or fillers. Featuring as little as four simple ingredients, all products are safe, effective and sustainable.
Our hero picks from the range
Mango + apricot cleanser, $19.99
Enriched with fresh apricot, macadamia, palm oil-free rapeseed oil and mango butter, this cleanser is ultra-rich and hydrating. Beauty ed tip: most people don’t leave their cleanser on long enough – simply applying it then washing it straight off. When the formula is brimming with skin-loving nutrients, like the Mango + apricot cleanser, we recommend leaving it on for a minute before rinsing (we like to say the alphabet in our heads).
Vegetable garden day moisturiser, $22.99
Fresh apricot, macadamia oil, active carrot and tomato juices make this a ‘go-to’ daily cream if you’re vying for a smooth and hydrated complexion. It’s non-greasy and fast-absorbing formula also makes it the perfect moisturiser for the warmer months. Suitable for all skin types and especially beneficial for normal, dry or mature skin.
Berry blend night moisturiser, $22.99
And no, it’s not berry-scented, berry coloured or berry flavoured: It’s actually berries. Featuring nutrient-rich berry juice with macadamia and apricot kernel oil make this an intensely hydrating night moisturiser.
Don’t forget: The key to shopping natural
Going back to what we said earlier; the industry is alarmingly unregulated so it’s important to do your research into products. Look for brands, like Okana, who are 100% transparent about what their products contain and passionate about healthy, safe and toxin-free skincare.
Shop the full range now at okana.co.nz
What product from Okana would you most like to try?