A few months ago I discovered the skincare love of my life, Juara. Based on ancient Indonesian healing formulas, native botanicals, and herbs, (Jamu, for those in the know;) it was love at first scent. The relationship has gotten progressively serious. In fact, I recently participated in the romantic relationship equivalent of asking for my love's hand in marriage. During my recent trip to New York I sat down with Metta Murdaya, founder and president of Juara, to get insight on her ingenious formulas. Juara's Rice Facial Wash, Sweet Tea and Rice Facial Moisturizer, and Candlenut Hand and Body Balm are all recreating my expectations of skincare. The latter however is the one saving my life tonight.
The candlenut is native to Indonesia and takes its name from its original function as a light source. Saturated with oil, burning just one can provide over fifteen minutes of flame. In fact the fruit takes its name from the common practice of tying a series of candlenuts on a long string and igniting each one as it's neighbor is extinguished. Practical, renewable energy with a magical tropical ambiance - oh so Indonesian. Phenomenally candlenut is also one of the tastiest and most common ingredients in local dishes and a wunderkind of natural healing. Used to treat headaches, fevers, constipation, and swollen joints candlenut oil is rich and unmistakably fragrant. Its sweet earthy scent instantly evokes every far off dream you may have of the spice islands. My most luxurious treat in this a month of constant travels is slathering my entire body in the rich healing cream and breathing.