Review: Mahalo Rare Indigo Beauty Balm

Ah, Rare Indigo Beauty Balm, you lovely thing, you.  Where do I begin?  Very well, I’ll just come out and admit it.  I was not remotely in the market for a face balm (though who am I kidding? I’m always in the market…) but I was pretty much forced to buy this by the one-two punch of Mahalo (an special brand I was very curious about) and some of my favorite Green Beauty Bloggers (The Green Product Junkie, Plein Vanity, and The Hermes Hippie) joining forces to offer for a limited time, a full-sized, unreleased face mask, free with the purchase of the newly released Rare Indigo Beauty Balm.  It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.  And I’m so glad I didn’t.

While there’s nothing wrong with products that get the job done, there is something so much more special about products that impart a sense of ritual and experience in addition to the benefits for the skin.  Rare Indigo is one of the special ones.  The experience begins with the unusual and tactile bamboo packaging, featuring an etched image of the Hawaiian Islands.  Oooh, it whispers, what’s inside?  

And then the smell.  How do I describe the smell?  Floral, for sure, a lush tropical floral with warm vanilla.  But there are camphorous notes that mix the whole thing up, and make it one of the most singular and complicated scents I’ve encountered in a face product. I find myself opening the jar during the day just for a sniff!  

Hand in hand with the smell is the color. A slightly transparent, light indigo.  It’s impossible not to smile at the playfulness of this color.  Belying that playfulness is the serious ingredient list.  The blue is derived mainly from the indigo, a wonderful healing herb, often used in treatment of psoriasis and eczema.  It also contains a potent mix of calming agents (rose, chamomile) healing agents (yarrow, helichrysum, lavender) in a bed of exotic, hydrating carrier oils (hemp, murmuru, babassu, marula, grape seed, and tsubaki tea seed) several of which are brand new to me.  They combine to create a (once again) highly unique texture.  It is solid in the jar, then melts with the warmth of your fingertips.  It is not at all greasy, however, the way you might have experienced with other emollient balms. The best word I can come up with is plush.  Pillowy.  A tiny pea-sized amount is applied to wet skin in a pressing action, allowing the balm to fully integrate with your skin.  Sing a verse of your favorite song, recite your favorite mantra while you give your skin some love! 

A ritual is wonderful, but only if you also get results.  What’s impressed me most is how long it keeps my skin feeling moisturized.  Between whipping cold winds, and dry heating systems, Northeastern winters are experts at stealing every drop of moisture from my skin. I tend toward dry anyway, and often feel parched by mid-day in the winter months.  But with Rare Indigo my skin feels soft and plump all day.  It’s 7pm as I write this, and I’m only just now beginning to notice signs of dryness. I’m also noticing it to be a good base for makeup.  Some balms have makeup falling off my skin almost immediately, but Rare Indigo has a slight stickiness to it, keeping makeup on and on and on.

And of course, it gives you what everyone is looking for: GLOW!  Real, serious glow. With school in session, I have to be out of the house, with a four year old fully dressed, lunch packed, teeth brushed, etc by 7:30, and the are many, many mornings when spending time to put on makeup is completely out of the question.  But Rare Indigo makes my skin look so fresh and awake that I have no problem heading out completely bare-faced.  

Are you in the market for a balm?  Does this sound enticing?  What about you readers who don’t have to deal with winters?  Have you tried Rare Indigo in warm weather?  How do you like it?  Presumably it’s pretty great, since it was created in Hawaii!  Let me know!  

Rare Indigo retails for $110 from Mahalo. A full list of ingredients:

cannabis sativa (hemp)*, astrocaryum murumuru*, orbignya oleifera (babassu)*, sclerocarya birrea (marula), vitis vinifera (grape seed)*, camellia japonica (tsubaki tea seed)*, aleurites moloccans (kukui)*, euterpe oleracea (acai)*, proprietary infusion of organic herbs*, polygonum tinctorium (indigo), rosa damascena (rose otto)*, matricaria chamomilla*, achillea millefolium (yarrow)*, helichrysum italicum*, citrus aurantium var. bergamia (bergamot fcf)*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender)*, boswellia carteri (frankincense)*, abelmoschus moschatus (ambrette hibiscus), cananga odorata (ylang ylang)* ,ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10), daucus carota (carrot seed)*, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C ester), non-gmo mixed tocopherols, vanilla planifolia, iris pallida

*Clean ingredients: organic + local and/or wild harvested (when available)

**Bergamot fcf* is free from bergapten – it has no photosensitizing effects