One reason I don't publish as often as I'd like is because I take a lot of time in 1) testing the products 2) typing.. English isn't my first language, so I tend to re-write, re-read, check and all that jazz my texts many, many times before I'm satisfied. One of my biggest fears is that I'm rambling too much. I don't mind reading chatty posts myself, but I dislike it when there isn't a clear point. So I warn you this review might have some rambling ahead, as I've felt quite torn while testing the Petal. It has so much good in it, but are the results too lukewarm to justify the hefty price tag? Let's see.
I've been intrigued by Mahalo since last Winter: its luxurious Hawaiian botanicals, hand-crafted products, beautiful promotional pictures with exotic plants and bamboo (outer) packaging. With my background in arts and graphic design, I'm not afraid to admit I'm not only drawn to high-performance skincare ingredients, but also aesthetically pleasing packaging and promotional images. And Mahalo seems to have nailed both.
The Petal Basics
The Petal is a mask purposed to "plump and glow" by hydrating and lightly exfoliating the skin with all natural and mostly organic ingredients. The mask costs $95/95€ comes in a generous 100ml/3.4 fl.oz sized jar - at least compared to the usual 50ml/1.7 fl.oz I've mostly accustomed to. The outer packaging is bamboo and the product itself is packed in a glass jar. Mahalo is Hawaiian for thanks, gratitude and respect. The brand is founded by Maryna and from what I've observed she seems to have true, honest love and passion for creating high-performance, luxurious self-care ritual products. All Mahalo products are hand-crafted in Kaua'i, Hawaii.
Choosing this mask (for my skin)
Lately I've been more and more drawn to all or mostly natural skincare, not because I think all chemicals are bad or should be avoided, but the inner hippie in me gets lots of pleasure when using "green" beauty products. This might be a subject for another post, but in a nutshell I find the eco/green beauty labels easier to understand and getting value for my money. My skin type is on the dry side, although I've managed to balance it quite well with my recent routine. Still, I'm always looking for hydration/moisture boosting products. I also used to be somewhat acne-prone and believe in regular exfoliation to keep my complexion fresh and any occasional blackheads at bay. The Petal comes in a big jar, has both skincare benefits and last but not least - the mask is pink. Yes please.
raw honey blend* [mel (Hawaiian honey), leptospermum scoparium mel 15+ (manuka honey)], rosa damascena (rose) hydrosol*, argentum metallicum (silver) hydrosol, sodium hyaluronate, camellia japonica (thea seed) oil*, amazonian white clay and rose clay, leuconostoc ferment filtrate & lactobacillus ferment, salix alba (willow) extract*, sclerotium gum, rosa damascena (rose) flowers*, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flowers*, calendula officinalis (calendula) petals*, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) oil*, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot fcf) oil*, rosa damascena (rose) oil*, hibiscus sabdariffa (hibiscus) flowers*, beta vulgaris (beet root) extract*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) oil*, theobroma cacao (cocao) absolute^, artemisia pallens (davana) oil, vanilla planifolia (vanilla) absolute^, curcuma longa (turmeric) supercritical extract*, lithospermum erythrochizon (gromwell) supercritical extract, potassium sorbate, rosa centifolia (rose de mai) extract*, jasminum grandiflorum (jasmine) extract*, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C ester), rosmarinus officials (rosemary antioxidant) extract*
*organic + local and/or wild harvested (when available)
^raw ingredient obtained in certified organic form, but non-organic because of the absolute solvent extradition process
The bulk of the Petal is not water or similar filler ingredient, but organic Hawaiian and manuka honey. Honey is an amazing and multi-purpose ingredient ingredient in skincare: it's packed full of antioxidants, enzymes, moisturises and is naturally antibacterial, which makes honey an excellent for treatment and prevention of acne. For those who don't know: manuka honey is actually graded according to its antibacterial potency and for its therapeutic effects you should go 15+ (which is Petal's). I'm a firm believer in the health benefits of honey and manuka Honey and manuka were what drew me to purchase this in the first place.
The Petal is also high in sodium hyaluronate aka hyaluronic acid, which is famous for holding 1000 times its weight in water. Sodium hyaluronate is a low molecular form that penetrates deep into the skin for lasting hydration. Other moisturising ingredients for example are camellia oil (aka tsubaki flower oil), which is highly emollient and rich in oleic acid, Omega 3, 6, and 9 as well vitamins A, B, D and E .
The mask has also purifying properties: white and rose (pink) clay, which are mild clays suitable for people with sensitive skin. They help stimulate circulation while gently cleansing and exfoliating without aggressively drawing oil from the skin. Willow extract is another natural beta-hydroxy exfoliant (aka "nature's salicylic acid) to gently clean the pores from the inside from build-up oil, dirt, pollutants, toxins etc.
The rest of the ingredients are mostly florals and floral oils, such as bergamot and rose oil. There are also plant extracts, turmeric and little bit of Vitamin C ester.
I take ~1/2 tea spoonful of the Petal out of the jar with a clean spoon and spread a medium-thin layer on my face. The sensory pleasure of applying the mask and enjoying the scent is very lovely. The mask dries down a bit, but stays slightly tacky on the skin. I find this nice as I don't need to fear anything drooping nor getting uncomfortably tight on my face (like some clay masks do). I rinse the mask off after ~30 minutes over the sink without little to no mess.
Although the Petal is supposed to be hydrating, I don't find it nearly as plumping as I hoped. After rinsing it my cheeks and chin have felt fairly normal, but my forehead is still a bit dry. Feeling tight after using (an expensive) hydrating mask doesn't quite meet my expectations. Overall my skin has looked and felt nice, even and clear after masking, which could be thanks to the gentle exfoliation. It doesn't get rid of any textural issues or pimples, after several regular uses I didn't notice improvement. I never experienced any flushing caused by boosted circulation, as mentioned on the website. As much as I like having the mask on my face, the differences before-after are mild.
I enjoy this mask as it's a sensorial pleasure to use, but the results have been so-so. As I love Mahalo's cleansing and Indigo beauty balms, I had really high expectations for the Petal, but this quite didn't meet them. I do believe in the benefit of the ingredients, which makes me to use up the mask, but I doubt I will be repurchasing it. This is mainly due to my masking philosophy: I need to see results. More about my tips and thoughts on masking you can read in this post.
What I've read and chatted about the Petal at my local green cosmetics store, the tips to use this mask have been "when you don't know what your skin needs" aka. the Petal is all-rounder mask. Little bit of exfoliation, little bit of hydration. My personal skin issues are on the milder side (tightness and small spots) and I do find it sometimes difficult to tell subtle differences, but I feel this mask didn't meet its potential and is not worth the high price tag. I honestly wanted to recommend the Petal, but in the end I cannot. It's likely this mask just didn't work with my skin, so I do advice getting a sample and testing it yourself. Purchasing without testing is not worth it.
Have you tried Mahalo? Would you splurge on this mask?
Update on 21th of February 2018
To be honest, I've changed my mind about this mask. After meeting Maryna of Mahalo, she asked my expectations about the Petal and I said moisturizing - she immediately corrected me how the Petal is more of a hydrating mask, balancing and anti-inflammatory. I decided to give it another go, use it consistently every time I felt like masking, even if I wasn't sure if I was bumpy, dry or both. It felt okay, but little by little I noticed how my skin was less bumpy or dry after every use. My skin simply responded by looking good. Very good! I noticed how I started craving this mask and the gentle but beautiful effect it had on my skin.
Now I'm almost out of my jar and you know what?This dislike turned out to be love after all. I'm going to buy a new one.