Coconut oil. One of the most versatile natural ingredients you can find. You can use it for cooking, cleaning, brushing your teeth, revitalizing your hair, removing your makeup, and maybe most importantly, moisturizing your skin. Kaya Essentials uses organic coconut oil sourced from fair trade farms for their wonderful lip and body balms. Learn more about this outstanding skincare brand in our interview with founder Sara Beatriz Meredith!
1. What inspired you to create the brand?
I’ve always used coconut oil as my go to ingredient for health, skin & hair. I’m from the Philippines and my Mom and I would make it from scratch there. During my internship for a non-profit, I discovered the Philippines has remained one of the world’s largest provider of coconut oil, yet 60% of coconut farmers live below the poverty line. I also started to pay more attention to how coconut oil was produced, and realized not all coconut oils are equal. I wanted to create an organic skincare line with the best coconut oil, worthy of putting straight onto our hair and skin. Kaya Essentials was born out of my kitchen, with simple formulas because I believe that is the best way to be in control of our skincare.
2. Can you tell us about the featured ingredients and the brand mission?
Our handmade skincare is powered by coconut oil from the Philippines! We source from a fair trade farm in the Philippines to support coconut farmers, we believe fair trade alleviates the disparity between farmers and brands. After trying out all types of coconut oil, even though at first they all seem very similar, when mixed into our balm formula, it was very clear which was superior. Our coconut oil is cold-centrifuged, going beyond cold pressed methods, no heat is ever used in the extraction process and it also goes from tree to oil in 48 hours, giving you the freshest coconut oil with the most nutrient value.
We are very passionate and intentional with our give back, which is why our power ingredient is sourced from a fair trade farm. We also have a one for one with school meals in the Philippines, so when we self-care we are caring for others as well.
3. What is your favorite Kaya Essentials product and why?
I honestly use all of our products but have favorites for different times of the day. I love our lavender lip and body balm in the evening, especially after a bath. I love to use our lemongrass or grapefruit blend in the morning, a little citrus brightens up my mood for sure! Our tea tree balm is my go-to for my eczema and any other skin irritations that I occasionally get from hiking/being out in the sun for a little too long. A very special one is our calamansi lip + body balm, as it doesn’t exist as an essential oil here in the US. Calamansi is a Filipino lime and we source this from a family business in the Philippines. This was the first aroma I used in my balm formula and shared with friends and family.
4. What beauty essentials do you carry with you on a daily basis?
LIP BALM! I was that girl that bought lip balm if I was out and didn’t have it in my purse. I also use our lip balm mixed with a lip liner, as liquid lipstick doesn’t feel very comfortable for me.
5. What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me is a celebration of every woman, each in our unique way with many overlapping sisterhoods of expressing beauty whether in our makeup, fashion and our cultural identities.
6. What is your morning and evening beauty routine?
In the morning I wash my face with a cleanser, remove any extra makeup if I had a heavy eyeliner or eye shadow the night before. I use our body balm to moisturize my face, usually lemongrass or grapefruit. If I’m not working out that day, then I’ll usually do foundation, blush, bronzer and a combo of eyeliner, a light eye shadow and mascara. I’ll always do my lips last! In the evening, I use our coconut oil with a cotton pad to remove my makeup. I wash my face and use a light toner (with no alcohol), and will use a little more body balm as my skin soaks it all in while I sleep.
7. What’s your best beauty tip?
Remove your make up with coconut oil! It’s non-invasive, hydrates your skin at the same time and helps with getting rid of those dark circles.
8. What’s next for Kaya Essentials?
We’re working on some face balms that are travel friendly while catering to different specific skin types!