With more consumers embracing organic, clean beauty products, the cofounders of Rahua by Amazon Beauty Inc. want them to take the next step.
Fabian Lliguin, who founded Rahua with Anna Ayers, calls the luxury rainforest-grown line Symbiotic, a new ingredient standard he feels transcends organic. Symbiotic means the ingredients are grown in the wild, virgin forest, processed through ancestral knowledge, and ingredients are purchased directly and paid above fair trade to build and strengthen the indigenous economies.
With Rahua, he hopes to attract consumers who want organic hair and body products but have been disappointed with the efficacy of other options. In particular, he cited a new Rahua product called Legendary Amazon Oil. It fuses the latest technology with rainforest-grown oils and plant-derived nutrients. “We’ve been selling natural products for 10 years and for some people they expect more from the performance. This product now exceeds expectations, providing better results with every use and brings in those who haven’t been into natural,” Lliguin said.
Rahua, Morete and Sacha Inchi oils harvested in the Amazon are used in the Legendary Amazon Oil which Lliguin said penetrates hair to heal and strengthen. The formula is organic, vegan and gluten-free and retails for $42.
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On the heels of the rollout of the Legendary Amazon Oil, Rahua will add the Smoothing Hair Balm, a purse-size entry with multiple benefits including thermal protection, frizz reduction, enhanced hair color vibrancy and tamed flyaways ($28). Both items add to the existing 25 hair-care, treatment, styling and body-care items that have grown from an elixir launched a decade ago.
The new items will add to the company sales that are growing at least 50 percent per year. Rahua is sold nationally in Barneys New York, Sephora.com, Space NK, Dermstore, The Detox Market, Follain, Butterfly Studio, and globally including Holt Renfrew, Harrods, Le Bon Marché, Cult Beauty, and its own web site, rahua.com.
The concept dates back to an environmental mission Ayers and Lliguin were on where they were introduced to Amazon women. Lliguin, a New Yorker of Quechua-Inca descent, was impressed by their extraordinary long, strong, healthy hair. The women shared their use of a natural oil, called Rahua, derived from the ungurahua nut. The rare oil is made through a highly sustainable and regenerative process using ancient wisdom and ceremonial practices. A hairdresser by trade, Lliguin brought the Rahua oil back to his New York salon. Clients wanted more after they noticed it replenished and restored their tresses. With an investment of about $100,000, Rahua was born. At first, he was told 100 percent natural formulas were not possible because of shelf life. He solved that issue using natural Palo Santo to achieve a preservation system.
In addition to delivering organic, plant-based and clean beauty products, Rahua helps Amazon inhabitants create a healthy, self-sustained economy — a tenet of the company since it was founded. By producing ingredients through revived traditional methods, the tribal communities have established economies and take great pride in their culture and land, according to Rahua’s founders. The couple’s philanthropic approach is to empower the indigenous people to create and sustain an economy based on preserving their traditions — in doing this, simultaneously they remain strong as the forest’s guardians and protectors living in balance and nurturing its abundance for generations. “I want every shower to have a Rahua product — that way we can save the rainforest,” Lliguin concluded.