Customer Feature: Brandy Olivares
Exactly one year ago today, Brandy was diagnosed with breast cancer. I met Brandy - first a client, now a friend - as she began embarking on her journey. At the time, I didn't know the details of her experience, but she shared them recently with me. I found her story compelling and heart-wrenching yet so familiar because this could be any one of us. I am humbled that she is allowing me to share her story today.
When I started treating clients and creating products many years ago, I did not set out to create a "green" or "clean" skincare line. I didn't know about any "naughty" or "bad" lists of ingredients, because I've always used what I know - natural ingredients that come right from our precious earth.
Years later, green and clean beauty has come to the forefront as consumers, like us, search for effective, yet SAFE ingredients.
Brandy's story humbles me to no end. I am privileged, honored and positively blessed to have grown up immersed in a culture that values local, natural and beautiful ingredients. Using them is second nature to me. In fact, I say Honua is green by nature, not be design.
Please read on to be a witness to Brandy's powerful testimony. She is an inspiration to all of us as we make choices in our daily lives about what to use for our children and on our bodies and skin.
Mahalo Brandy, for sharing your story with such eloquence and ferocity. You are a fierce inspiration to us all.
On October 24, 2019 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 37. I detected it one night after coming home from work by doing a self exam. My right side of my breast just felt off comparing it to the left side, which made me do a self check. I remember getting out of the shower and sitting on my bed, and a voice spoke to me so clearly telling me to touch the right side and when I did I felt a lump about the size of a pea. I ran to my mom and daughter and asked them to touch it to see if they felt it. I made an appointment to get it checked out and had a mammogram/ultrasound and biopsy the same day. I underwent 2 lumpectomies and still had cancer in me, which made me make the decision to get a bilateral mastectomy done. After the bilateral mastectomy was done, I still had pre cancer in me behind the right nipple which I also had removed.
When you hear the word cancer your life somehow goes on pause and the fear of the unknown overcomes you. I started reading more about breast cancer and tried to educate myself more. I started to get paranoid on foods that I was eating too much of or not enough. The products I used as my skin care or makeup. I would stay up all night researching cancer friendly products everyday. There were so many choices and so many brands to choose from. Then I wanted to narrow my search down to “Hawaiian skin care.” During the pandemic I wanted to purchase products where I could give back and support people of the same nationality as myself. I then came across Honua Skincare and I read about the story behind the products and also the founder Kapua.
Her vision behind her brand and the natural resources she uses in her products really wowed me. I went into a deep depression when I found out I had cancer. My anxiety level was so intense that my face was breaking out so bad. I couldn’t control it. I looked at the other products I was using in the past and noticed the ingredients were really harmful.
What I learned is that when you are in your 20’s or 30’s we're not thinking about cancer or reading labels on packaging, we just trust products based on who’s behind it and the reviews. We tend to get sold on the hype of the “name” or celebrities notarizing and advertising the products. What I will say is this, ever since I purchased all of the products from Honua Skincare, my acne has gone away and my blemishes are diminished.
I also tried the products on my mom and daughter and we all agree that the feeling we get after using the product is like going to a high end spa. My face feels so clean and refreshed and has an amazing glow.
I needed to share my personal experience with the products and let all women know that it is so important to be mindful of what you use on a daily basis. Health is wealth and it is so important that the one body God gave us, we really take the time to watch and study products we use on our skin.
Thank you Kapua for developing a skin care line that is all natural and healthy and cancer friendly. This is the only skin care line that is allowed to touch my face now and as long as I live.
Aloha I’m Brandy’s mom at the time of my daughter facing the unknown I was devastated as a Mom your first thing is getting upset at God to why is this happening to my daughter it should be me. I cried day and night not letting her see I became a weak mother cause there was nothing I can do . So I prayed and had to let go and let God. We have all stressed out to where our face had broken out. I used to work for Dermatology and would ask what would be safe for my daughter to use I was given so much samples that neither would work. With her doing so much research of cancer friendly skin care and food . We were so blessed to have found you. My daughter is still going through her cancer but with your skin care products she is the most stronger beautiful woman that I gave birth to . Mahalo so much you are truly a blessing.