The Essence of Idan Oil
What it means
Idan is the Yoruba word for magic, and that’s exactly how LIHA Beauty sees this hero product. Founders Abi and Liha loved the idea of creating a do-it-all product utilising coconut oil and its versatile properties. For former athlete Abi, it was about creating a product she could use head-to-toe post-workout; something luxe, yet subtle.
As a beauty writer, I’ve been a fan of the brand for years, and the fragrances it uses across the range, are a major part of that. On a recent (well, pre-Covid) trip to California, I remember walking through the suburbs of Los Angeles and musing over the various fragrances that would waft up from the flowerbeds of the beautifully-kept gardens. Amongst all the jasmine and eucalyptus, one scent stood out against the rest; the Tuberose. Originally native to Mexico, the Tuberose can be found anywhere that boasts a warm climate, and is noted for its tubular-shaped white petals.
Tuberose is the ultimate ‘grown-woman’ scent. It has a rich, kaleidoscopic tone to it, and for some, it can be quite intense. However, when it’s used in Idan Oil, it turns into this stunning, warm and earthy floral scent that melts into the skin and lingers for hours. Sultry and seductive, it stimulates the senses and relaxes your mind.
For Abi and Liha, creating Idan Oil was also about taking the opportunity to showcase a flower rich in history, as well as fragrance. Tuberose has traditionally been used in many legendary perfumes, including the iconic Chanel No.5, and they wanted to embrace that luxury.
To retain this beautiful fragrance they use a traditional African process of enfleurage, an extraction method where natural cold-pressed coconut oil is used to ‘capture’ the fragrant flower oil.
What’s so good about oils?
Now, more than ever before, men and women the world over are reaching for oils as part of their everyday skincare. In a world where actives are applied in multiple layers, only for the ‘skincare enthusiast’ having to wind it down due to irritation and over-stimulation, oils can help to soothe and improve skin.
Even if you’re a lover of BHAs and AHAs, oils can still prove to be a handy addition to your routine. For those looking to see improvement in skin texture and appearance by incorporating actives into their routine, oils can be a great way to soothe skin in between ‘active’ days. Also, oils are brilliant for applying last, to ‘seal’ in the previous products, ensuring that your skin gains their full benefits.
More recently, with so much talk of ‘damaged skin barriers’, oils have become a godsend for any self-inflicted issues, and are finally being acknowledged as a valid treatment for oily, spot-prone skin.
For so long many of us have considered the thought of applying oil to our already oily skin as sheer madness, but in fact, based on the premise of like attracting like, oil is a brilliant cleanser, and it’s the reason double cleansing has become so popular. Ask anyone remotely interested in keeping their skin clean, especially during those lockdown days, and many will tell you how much the double cleanse has become essential to their daily routine.
Double cleansing means using two different cleansers, usually one that’s oil-based, followed by a gel/water-based or foaming cleanser. The first cleanse is about taking the day off. If you’ve worn makeup, or just moisturiser and SPF, you need something that will break those compounds down. Plus, if you’ve left the house, your skin has no doubt gained a layer of dirt from the pollution that comes from living in the city. Apply a few drops of oil to your hands and massage into your face. Gently rub all over the skin, paying particular attention to oilier zones like the forehead and around the nose, but also to the lashes and brows where makeup can collect. Once you’ve covered all the face, including around your hair line, it’s time to remove the oil. Start the process with cotton pads, a flannel or muslin cloth and gently remove the oil. You’ll soon see the amount of makeup and dirt and wonder why you haven’t oil cleansed before!
Next, it’s time to finally wash your face. Using your favourite cleanser, massage it into the skin for sixty seconds. Yes, it can seem like a long time but your skin will thank you for it. Then simply wash away your second cleanse and check out how soft your skin feels.
As well as finally being respected in the skincare world, makeup artists are also utilising oils more than ever. Applied correctly, and sparingly, oils can be used as makeup primers and are of course, nature’s own highlighter, so there’s never been a better time to play.
How to use it
Hair, body, face and nails – use your Idan Oil everywhere and feel free to mix it into your favourite hair conditioners or body lotions.
If you really want to enjoy your Idan Oil post-bath or shower, bring it into the water with you and watch it slowly melt. By the time you step out, the oil will be liquid and warm, ready for massaging into your damp skin, anywhere you like.
By Charisse Kenion