Hana Lima Hawaiian Soaps Are a Breath of Fresh Hawaiian Air

Published in: Skin Care

hana lima hawaiian soap

Aloha, young lady. πŸ™‚ You know that last-minute scramble for snacks and nicknacks to bring home at the end of a trip? Well, that describes my day. Since I fly back to the Bay tomorrow, I wanted to tour the 290+ shops and take in the sights at Ala Moana Center, Hawaii’s biggest mall (also the largest open-air shopping center in the U.S.).


If there’s a mall in heaven, I hope it’s like Ala Moana. Red ginger, dwarf palms and bright orchids line the multi-story promenades, which host everything from high-end boutiques like Miu Miu, Chanel and Dior to mainstream shops like The Gap and, here, Hilo Hattie, where you can load up on macadamia nuts, kona coffee and, if you get lucky, that hot surfer dude working behind the register (my friend Cindy ALWAYS asks me to bring one home for her).

What do you think about these Hana Lima Hawaiian Soaps? I spotted them at Hilo Hattie today.

Hana lima, or “Hawaiian made,” is a small line of handmade, cold process vegetable soaps made by a family from Kona on the Big Island.

Soaps manufactured using the cold process last a really long time. In a nutshell, the process involves combining lye (sodium hydroxide), water and fatty acids (which can be made from almost any oil, like olive, coconut, etc.) in a chemical reaction called “saponification.” During saponification the oils and lye become soap; the process usually takes between four weeks and six weeks to complete.

I would have overlooked these, lost amidst the cacophony of tropical tchotchkes in the store, if not for the vintage Hawaiian print packaging. The soaps looked like somebody went wild cutting up a collection of hyper-color aloha shirts!

The 3.5-oz bars are wrapped in bright tropical-print fabrics (they’re actually made of real cloth!) with cute illustrations of plumeria, tuberose and Hawaiian red ginger flowers.

hana lima soaps on a shelf

And, man! These sure smell great. Even the guy behind the register noticed when he picked one up to scan it. They smell utterly authentic to me, unlike most tropical soaps, and they should, if you think about it, based on their ingredients (you can see them in the pic below).

They come in 12 different scents, each inspired by Hawaiian fruits, flowers and food like Coconut, Gardenia, Ginger & Lemongrass, Kona Coffee, Lavender, Maile Vine, Mango Starfruit, Orchid, Pikake, Plumeria, Sandalwood and White Ginger.


The list of ingredients is short and sweet, with no funky preservatives, petroleum products or alcohols. Hawaii Lima starts each soap with a base of coconut, olive and palm oils, to which they add macadamia nut and kukui nut oils and tropical fragrances.

If you suffer from dry skin, you might really like how packed these are with glycerin. The soaps are also safe for use on the face and body.

If you’re looking to bring a little Hawaii to your home, the Hana Lima online store sells them for $5.25 each, with $5 shipping to U.S. addresses (also available for shipping internationally).

To top everything off, they’re Edward Cullen AND chicken approved, ha!


Me and my homeboy, E.C.

chicken on top of a car at the windward mall
Chickens kickin’ it at the mall…

PRICE: $5.25-6.99
AVAILABILITY: At Hilo Hattie stores and alohasoap.com

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 37 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Paris B says:

    These soaps look so fun! I’m like you – always rushing around at the last minute buying stuff mostly for the “just in case” gifts πŸ™‚ Sounds like you had a great holiday.
    Paris B recently posted … Photo and Quick Thoughts- Smashbox Eye Wish Eye Palette for Christmas 2010

    • Karen says:

      Hi Paris B,

      I still have a bunch of stuff to buy tomorrow before our plane takes off, ahhh! I’m not ready to go back to the real world, sigh…

      Anywho, are you a soap person? I just started getting back into it after being a devoted body wash person for years.

      • Paris B says:

        I’m a bath and body person LOL So soaps and body washes all get the thumbs up! I do prefer body washes still. Its just easier to use and don’t get all icky like soaps do when they start to melt. Have a safe trip back Karen!
        Paris B recently posted … Save and Splurge- The Anti-Frizz Hair Care Edition

        • Karen says:

          I know what you mean. I hate it when soaps get all gross and film-y, blech! I’m usually too lazy to clean out the soap dish, but I’ll do it if the soap smells really yummy and leaves my skin feeling soft.

          Do you guys get Laura Mercier? Her bath and body products are pricey, but they’re really luxurious!

  2. vonnie says:

    chicken approved! i’m sold now! lol, that place sounds totally awesome, sooooo jealous! what a heavenly location.
    vonnie recently posted … Chocolate Kiss Makeup Look and MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation Review

  3. Vanessa says:

    The soaps are so cute!

    You do the brooding face much better than Edward lol. The chickens are my fave tho! Are they everywhere?
    Vanessa recently posted … Coffee Inspired Eyes

  4. Christina says:

    CHICKENS AT THE MALL!! Thank you for totally making my day

  5. Sam says:

    These are adorable, and sound awesome! I’m kinda devoted to this soap I use that has sunscreen in it (weird, I know… but buying it supports cancer research!), but I might get one of these to act as my “travel” soap.
    Also, I want a chicken car ornament (even though I don’t drive). Just sayin’.

  6. gio says:

    I’m not a soap person but these look pretty and sound wonderful!

    Love the chickens at the mall lol.
    gio recently posted … Product Review- Layla Ceramic Effect from n21 to n25

    • Karen says:

      Hi, gio. πŸ™‚ The chickens mustn’t realize the irony (and danger!) of hanging out by the barbecue place at a food court, LOL!

      As for the soaps, they smell amazing, and the fabric packaging is such a nice touch. I wish there was a scratch-n-sniff plugin for WordPress so you could smell them right now.

  7. Jen says:

    That chicken was at Ala Moana? I’ve never seen one, and I work there! There’s also an IHOP? I’m so confused. πŸ˜›

    • Karen says:

      Ha! Jen, that particular chicken was at the Windward Mall in Kaneohe. Ala Moana was actually the only mall here at which I did NOT see a chicken, but I bet there was at least one of them somewhere there, skulking in the planters and waiting for the right moment to attack…

      • Aileen says:

        Love that you used the word “skulking”!

      • Jen says:

        Ah okay, that makes sense now. I can totally see a chicken hanging out at Windward, seems like their neighborhood… πŸ˜› I think Ala Moana has more of those big doves that lurk around waiting to steal whatever food falls on the floor…

  8. Kim says:

    Those soaps are super cute! I love the prints and the fact that they’re actually cloth. Awesome.

    I can see that EC has put in a long day looking for souvenirs, too. He looks… tortured. hee hee!

    And OMG on the chicken on the roof! I have yet to visit Hawaii, but really want to. I think I’ll be seriously freaked out by the free range jungle chickens, though! πŸ™‚

  9. Felicia says:

    The soaps looks really cute! πŸ™‚

    And you look gorgeous in the pic!

  10. Nina says:

    a chicken!!! and edward!!! thats an awesome, awesome mall!

    have a safe trip back, karen! πŸ™‚

  11. Amber says:

    I found Ala Moana Center a little overwhelming, but the view from the top level was neat!

    Have a safe trip!
    Amber recently posted … Seasonal vertigo

  12. Ruchita says:

    These look great! I love anything with a tropical smell. I remember in Hawaii there being an ABC Store on practically every corner. Hope you have a safe trip back!

  13. Appu says:

    Chickens at the mall lol!!! Looks like you had a fab holiday, Karen πŸ™‚
    Appu recently posted … Peace on Earth!

  14. Lisa S. says:

    I just registered for the news letter at alohasoap.com. I’m planning on getting some of the White ginger soap and maybe the pikake, and maybe some of the plumeria and a couple of bars of the Maile Vine……. Oh, I am in so much trouble, WHY did you tell us about this! ;0)
    Lisa S. recently posted … Life gets in your eyyyyyes! sung to the tune Smoke gets in your eyes

  15. JJ says:

    These look great! I’d love getting one as a stocking stuffer πŸ™‚

  16. Katie says:

    That picture of you next to Edward made me laugh so hard, I like you mocking his puckered out lip face he always does!
    Katie recently posted … November Favorites

  17. Tori says:

    I might just have to buy some next week.

    I go to ala moana cuz it has the closest lush πŸ˜€

  18. Amanda says:

    You didn’t go to the craft fair at the blaisdell center this past weekend? The makers of hana lima soap were there selling soaps, awesome jewelry and even their paintings! I met them in person and picked up a gorgeous pearl and coral necklace. It was expensive but soooooo well worth it! I’ve never tried their soaps but they smelled amazing while I was there chatting over pearls and jewelry!

    I hope you had an awesome trip here. Where did you get the shirt you have on in the Edward pic outside of sam goody @ ala moana? I heart that mall. πŸ™‚

  19. Kaprice says:

    Those soaps smell awesome! Every time i go into Hilo Hattie is smell them all!

  20. kellie wilson says:

    Those are so pretty! Wish I could find thoes around here!

  21. HanaBerlin says:

    I love it, it has my name right on it!

  22. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

    Oh, the Ala Moana mall. I wish I could afford to shop at Miu Miu! Sadly, I wouldn’t even have a chance anyway, because I am far, far away, and probably won’t return to Hawaii for quite some time. πŸ™

    THE CHICKENS. I can’t believe they were just hanging out on top of cars by the mall, lmao. That’s kind of amazing. I went to Hawaii with my family last year (my mother had a work trip out there and invited me to go along with her and my father), and we decided that on our last day out there, we’d drive around the entirety of Oahu. We drove on roads along the coast and made it almost all the way back to Honolulu when we realized it was nearing our flight time so we cut in to the airport, lol. The drive was utterly gorgeous and really interesting, but oh man, I have never seen that many chickens before. They were just hanging out right by the beach playing some bird version of tag with this little white bird. Oh, and the hotel we stayed at (which was lovely, but very family-oriented, and thus there were shrieking children everywhere) had puffins and flamingos! So cute.

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