It’s only natural that Ao Organics Hawaii debuted in 2017 with its line of reef-safe sunscreens. Founder Chelsa Davis, who is based in Honoka‘a on Hawai‘i Island, frequents the beach with her family so sunscreen has always been a household staple. However, after becoming pregnant with her third child in 2016, she delved deeper into the ingredients listed on the labels of store-bought sunscreens–oxybenzone being one–and quickly learned how toxic they are.
At the time, Chelsa found it challenging to find a brand that she trusted was 100%-organic and safe for the whole family. So shortly after, she retreated to her home kitchen and experimented with formulating her own reef-safe sunscreens to create a cleaner product especially for her children.
Today, she has expanded to include a line of skincare products including the popular ‘Ōlena + Honey Foaming Cleanser, which treats acne and boosts skin complexion. All of the brand’s formulas use ingredients that are all organic and locally sourced, when possible, and are packaged in eco-friendly vessels.
Ao Organics Hawai‘i formulates its products with ethically sourced ingredients that will treat women’s skin issues and won’t break the bank on their journey to achieve healthy, glowing skin–a.k.a. the #AOGlow. The local brand does just this, all while preserving ourao (earth) with clean and sustainable products. In addition to offering high-quality skincare and sun care products, she believes that it is herkuleana (responsibility) as a Native Hawaiian woman to protect ourwai(ocean) and‘āina(land), all while educating others.
How they give back:
Ao Organics Hawai‘i sources its ingredients from local farmers and utilizes sustainable packaging materials including reusable glass vessels–they will refill your items with product if you mail in your empty bottles!
The eco-conscious brand offers its variety of reef-safe sunscreen to protect our coral reefs and oceans, which have been susceptible to coral bleaching due to harmful chemicals–oxybenzone and octinoxate in particular–found in most store-bought sunscreens. It recently launched its “Trade, Don’t Trash” program to encourage Hawai‘i residents to trade in their chemical-based sunscreens before the ban goes into effect in 2021. When you send in your toxic sunscreens, Chelsa will bring them to the Kohala Center where they safely dispose of them in an environmentally friendly manner, and in return, you will receive 50% off any of her reef-safe sunscreen products!
The company also donates to local foundations such as Ho’ōla Nā Pua, a nonprofit committed to the prevention of sex trafficking and providing care for children who have been exploited.