hawaii

SUSTAINABILITY

REFOREST HAWAIʻI

“Ola ka ʻĀina, ola ke Kānaka.”

When the land lives,
the people live.

REFOREST HAWAI’I

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I have a deep love and respect for rainforests - they provide the world with life, and hold a type of magic. The choice to integrate Ny’Ala products with these incredible reforestation projects came from the realization that everything is connected. There is a lot of value in creative solutions to global issues - we all need to be somewhat involved in protecting our earth and each other.

 

In 2018 - by purchasing Ny’Ala products, you planted 5 Koa trees! THANK YOU!

Below I put a map with the actual Koa trees that were planted by Reforest Hawai’i, on Big Island.

WHY HAWAI’I ?

Hawai’i, like Madagascar, is both rich in endemic species and severely deforested. As ReForest Hawai’i explains:

“90% of Hawai`i’s endemic forests have been lost in the last 100 years to ranching, farming, development, erosion, and feral or wild animals.  It is our chance to make an impact in our environment and be a role model for others around the world.  Koa is a nitrogen fixing species which means that it provides nutrients for all the plants around and underneath it.  Koa is a keystone species that creates habitat for all types of plant, insect, and bird species.“

“The Koa or Iliahi (sandalwood) tree was planted during the rainy season which typically begins in April and goes through August. We have been seeing the rainy season begin later over the last few years.  In the Kealakelua area above Kona it is common for the uhiwai (heavy fog/mist) to visit the forest with a blessing pass through. The visit of uhiwai is extremely important for the Keiki Koa (seedling) survival. A Koa tree is designed to capture water with its sickel-shaped leaves (phyllodes) capturing the mist and slowly watering its understory. It provides the perfect amount of water and protection for itself and its neighboring plants. “

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If you would like to donate or sponsor a tree directly or donate towards supplies (which would be kick ass of you!), click the buttons below.

 

A LIVE MAP OF OUR 2018-2019 KOA TREES!

 

+ MORE

Fashion Gabbs x Ny'Ala

I have to give a huge thanks for the complete badass Gabby (www.fashiongabbs.com) and Landen from @GenkiPhotos for featuring my products and my studio! 

Read the article below - or in it's full glory at Fashion Gabbs (click to be directed!)

 

" Last week on 'Design Spotlight', I gabbed about a woman who turns recycled fabrics into decorative plant vessels. Continuing the theme of being environmentally conscientious, I've had the pleasure of befriending another beautiful soul who is all about rain forest conservation through the art of herbal body care.

This gorgeous babe above is Dana Cutolo and she is a master of alchemy - literally! She graduated from the Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Medicine in NYC with a passion for medicinal herbs and a knack for applying the properties into skin care and beauty treatments. Her interest in ethnobotany flourished during her study abroad through a different college she attended, Stony Brook University. She was sent to Madagascar and stayed at the research and conservation center, Centre ValBio.

Dana's knowledge on medical plants expanded after graduating from Arbor Vitae when she returned to Kianjavato, Madagascar to take on a reforesting project, working with the local Ombiasa. Among the tribe is a Malagasay shaman (natural doctor) who Dana worked closely with in documenting the medical plants while further understanding the importance of rain forest conservation and it’s root causes, especially in impoverished regions.

A year after she left Kianjavato Dana went to a town called Ranomafana and a couple of her friends and community members were inspired to resurrect their family business of making essential oils. With a business concept like this, one can employ many community members and make a sizeable impact on rain forest protection! Along with her professor, they came up with the funds for an essential oil machine and that's when Dana whipped up her first set of body care products, using original essential oils from the region; Geranium, Calendula Body Oil, Ravintsara, and Lemon Body Oil.

Since then for almost two years, Dana has built her brand Ny’Ala from trying out recipes, developing her labels and website, branding and getting out into the community; all the while supporting the local farmers/developers in Ranomafana.

Dana started Ny'Ala with one main goal; to continue utilizing sustainable locally made ingredients for effective skin + beauty treatments, while promoting sustainability. Even her glass bottles are reusable as you can easily remove the sticker once you've finished the product.

“Ny’Ala means “from the rainforest” in Malagasy (language of Madagascar) and for me it embodies the mission – to bring more awareness and understanding of plants power and importance, every ingredient utilizes a plants magic and also donates to helping reforestation projects. To me, Ny’Ala means respecting mother nature, using her power in a sustainable matter and giving back when you take – it means balance. The beauty and wellness industry is consumed with unsustainable ingredients that have a bigger impact than we realize, so being aware of that and just making a better choice, or thinking holistically about your products makes a big difference. ”

— DANA CUTOLO

 

Prior to her studies at Arbor Vitae, Dana's initial interested in medicinal herbs sprouted in high school while working at a local health food store – seeing at all the tinctures, essences, herbs and plant remedies piqued her creativity. At that time, Dana was dealing with personal cosmetic and product allergies and figured that she might as well take products from the shop she worked at to create her own remedies.

Being a wiz with medicinal herbs, Dana understands the properties of different substances and can therefore apply them to address different skin treatments:

- Cannabis Serum to moisturize, cleanse and heal the inflammation of sensitive skin caused by crazy dry flakey breakouts of dermatitis. This was perfect for when my nose dried out from a terrible sinus infection; the eucalyptus she added in helped relieve the pressure in my sinuses.

-Coconut Face Mask for moisturizing and exfoliating mask in the summer. All you need is a bit of water to create e thickness t your liking, and then apply with a make up brush!

-Turmeric Balm was created for stubborn swollen pimples and painful wrists; the yellow from the turmeric is stunningly vibrant.

-Shimmering Bronzer Oil as an alternative to other tanning oils that would end up making skin feel greasy or break out! I wore this during a photoshoot at the Laylow Waikiki, which is perfect as I haven't tanned in a while. Even my booty was nice and bronzy!

There are always benefits from using high quality natural ingredient based products, therefore anyone and everyone can use Ny'Ala! Dana is a true believer in that everyone should understand the connection between the products and plants we use, and our environment.

“Ny’Ala is for everyone, especially those who value companies with a mission – so if you want to make great choice for your body and environment Ny’Ala is a great company to choose!”

— DANA CUTOLO

If you're ever interested in learning more about the uses of medicinal plants and how they're beneficial, check out Dana on Instagram as she posts updates for when she does her monthly workshops at Down to Earth. Sometimes you can find her at pop up events like Art + Flea, which she will be attending this August. I actually met Dana at local vendor event in Waikiki and was instantly drawn to her bottles (you know, just me being all about aesthetics). And when I quickly learned her mission and products, I was stoked to write about Dana and spread the word!

If you ever want a treatment like the Cannabis Serum or the Coconut Face Mask, you can shop Ny'Ala at:

- Down to Earth on S. King
-  Mori in South Shore Market
-  Waiahole Nursery and Garden Center
- Global Village Kailua

Thank you so much Dana for having us at your beautiful workshop and sharing your amazing story! You can follow her on Instagram at @nyalaskincare and shop online at www.ny-ala.com/

Also thank you to Landen for accompanying me to this meeting. He was actually getting over a bad cold and felt relief after taking a whiff of one of the Ny'Ala products! Check him out on Instagram as @genkiphotos for awesome portraits and his other creative content.

I hope that with this story it'll help spread positive influence to viewers to think more about the products we use today from drug stores and high end brands. I've certainly strayed away from using a lot of well-known brand items, being suspicious about their practices especially. Seeing Dana in her workshop studio sets my mind at ease knowing that she creates her products by hand in an controlled environment.

Dana is actually in the works of earning her Esthetician License - so looking forward, you can expect her to include holistic herbal services like facials, lashes and more!

"I am so excited to be able to work directly with people on their skin and beauty routines – that’s truly where my happy place is!"

Keep up the hustle Dana - you're doing amazing! "

 

 

WELLNESS

Importance of Body Serums

Our skin is our largest organ, and it requires maintenance to perform well. We want clear + supple skin void of wrinkles and signs of aging.

Since I was a younger my mother stressed the importance of moisturizing, and although adding another step to your routine can sounds daunting - it works wonderrrrrssss to moisturize your body daily!

We need to treat the skin on your body as you do your face. While our body doesn't tend to have many hormone reactive areas, we still need to moisturize, especially in age-prone areas such as the chest, knees and neck!

Why Serums? They're light, full of active ingredients like botanicals - and are super concentrated!

 

Lotions + Creams  vs.  Serums + Oils -

Lotions contain over 90% water - while water is so good for our skin, and we must stay hydrated -  it doesn’t have to be used to cut our products. This means that active ingredients, or the ingredients that really help your skin are only present in small amounts of 1-5%.

A serum + concentrated oil are the direct active ingredients. Our Tropical Body Serum contains Kukui Nut, Tamanu, Coconut + Grapeseed - the best 

Lighter gel-like moisturizers are great for truly oily skin, on your face - but our body requires a little more - body serums + concentrated oils keep your skin moisturized and prevent dullness, fine lines, dry alligator-like spots and even prevent deep scars by promoting collagen production.   

 

Low-Maintenance routine:

After showering, lightly pat yourself dry, spray our Tropical Healing Serum on your body while you’re a bit damp - then rub in and voila! 

Using this serum (or any concentrated oil based product) while you're still wet creates and emulsion between the water = oil and allows your body to fully absorb the healthy oils! Similar to that we wish lotion was doing (but it isn't).

 

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WELLNESS

My Morning Skin Routine for February

What a month it has been!!! I had my baby brother visit me in Hawai'i, and a LOT of work - so needless to say my skin reacted to stress and overall exhaustion.

When I get a small breakout, I usually go for a gentle toner, like Heritage Store's Rose Spray and a gentle clay cleanser like the Magic Clay Cleanser or Detox Charcoal Cleanser and cleansing dry oil like the Cannabis Serum - which has immense anti-inflammatory powers!

In the beginning of the month I got a massive pimple directly in the middle of my face and it swelled up after I slept directly on it.... which, is a solid reminder to just stick to your skin care routine morning and night - and do not sleep in makeup (even if youre collapsing from exhaustion and fully believe the ocean removed everything from your face). I mean, LOOK AT THAT THING! It resolved in three days - my emergency protocol:

  • Turmeric Balm - put a little bit directly onto the pimple (I'll blog a recipe for this, and it will be live on the site tomorrow afternoon to buy!)

  • Clay - bentonite, french green, earths fuller or rhassoul - use as a spot treatment and layer onto the turmeric balm.

  • ....... leave it on 15 minutes, wash off with a charcoal cleanser and spray on a toner.

  • Then use a eucalyptus based dry oil, or our Cannabis Serum to follow up.

Crisis semi-averted. I go for menthol based essential oils in a roller bottle as a spot treatment on the go, if it's realllllly bad.

So - this incident led to me strictly following a cleansing - but gentle - routine for the rest of the month. I have some pretty terrible skin allergies to fragrance oils and harsh herbal blends, so the soap-less cleansers work for me. I'll add in a soap based cleanser every once in a while if I've used a lot of makeup a couple days in a row.

Here's a quick video of my normal morning skin care routine. (don't mind the red/pink light, i use it in the morning instead of a bright white/blue light). 

For my face: Dextox Charcoal Cleanser + Cannabis Serum + Coffee Under Eye Serum (for puffy bags that the pink light is hiding)

For my teeth: Flouride Free Dr. Bronners Toothpaste + Activated Charcoal (2-3z per week) and Oregano Oil Rinse (2x per week).