Presented in partnership with Haoma
I never understood the point of a night cream. My skincare life story is one of moisture deprivation and hesitant restraint, fueled by a lack of beauty education that bordered on that of a cis white male. I only just realised that I needed to wear sunscreen every day and that face oil wouldn’t necessarily make my skin oilier. You get the idea.
But then I had a holy revelation. I discovered a company that’s different in every way. But it wasn’t the product I found first, it was the brand. If you’re also a sucker for elevated, thoughtful brands, prepare to be smitten with Haoma.
As with their cannabis flower brand, Old Pal, the founders of Haoma have created an aesthetic so strong, it transports you. My first brush with the clean skincare saviors came in the form of an A3 zine, printed on creamy paper and filled with esoteric phrases like “Transcendent care for the divine self,” and their pithy mission statement “An exaltation of humans and earth,” printed in bursts of folkloric font in between modern typeface. As a fan of anything mystic and holistic, I was sucked straight into the inclusive, unisex, poetic pages.
Having read up on their ever-evolving list of verboten ingredients—no SLS/SLES, no parabens, no phthalates, no petroleum, no GMOs, toxins, contaminants, silicones, or artificial anything—I felt my usual new-product nerves dissipate a little.
See, as someone who has stupid seborrheic dermatitis, I’m always worried new ingredients will start a red revolution on my face that quickly escalates into an itchy reign of terror. But gandering over Haoma’s recyclable, chic as hell packaging (soft matte black jars with golden font) and its super-natural ingredient list, I was feeling confident.
I chose to try their CBD-rich Recovery Night Cream for a few reasons. It includes skullcap, lavender, and chamomile—all known in the natural therapy world as master healers. Haoma’s website told me the product helped “soothe and calm” skin, which I need all the help I can get with (see my previous stupid dermatitis diagnosis). As a cannabidiol connoisseur, I also knew it was likely that the compound would help alleviate my inflammation, so that was promising. It also promised to even skin tone and deeply moisturize, and its tagline described the experience I was looking for: “Awake reborn.” I was sold.
The first thing you notice about the Recovery Night Cream is that it looks and smells about as clean and as natural as you can get. That’s not a drag either; I’m freshy 34 years old and I’m so done with putting crap on my face that isn’t as close to the earth as humanly possible. The comforting lack of colour in the cream, the super relaxing smell—thank you, linalool you gorgeous terpene, you—it all felt so ritualistic. So simple but so special. Aesop is the only brand that’s ever come close to giving me this purity of feeling—and organic they ain’t.
I closed my eyes, imagined myself making this product (which retails for the aspirational price of $110) part of my nighttime routine, if not a daily part. I could easily imagine it. The cream itself was surprisingly lightweight and almost fluffy. And it didn’t give me that “I’ve made a huge mistake” feeling some harsh products give the moment they hit your skin. Le sigh!
Since it was so light, I let myself lather on a little more than usual. I let time slow down and let myself relax into the ritual. And behold: It wasn’t greasy. Just deeply moisturizing. “I feel hydrated already,” I thought, fancying myself a fraction more earthy. Maybe I really am the kind of all-organic woman who wears white linen and grows my hair to my hips and only gets more beautiful with age?
I shrugged and went to bed. It turns out, the cream’s effects are best felt eight hours later. At first I felt that the sense of cool, calmness emanating from skin was all in my head. It genuinely felt rejuvenated, but who was to say that feeling was anything more than psychosomatic?
“You look beautiful,” my partner sleepily mumbled after rolling over and kissing me good morning. “Your skin’s all…glowy.”
For that reaction? I would pay a lot more.