Kokum Butter – My New Favorite Skin Loving Ingredient & DIY Face Balm

Kokum butter is something I have not heard of until recently. Now that I have, I will never be without it! This amazing butter leaves your skin with a matte finish all while nourishing and hydrating your skin. This beautiful butter restores elasticity, softens fine lines and does not clog your pores. It is not typically used alone due to the fact that it is a chalky texture by itself, unless you are using refined kokum butter, then it has a different texture. I never recommend using refined ingredients because of the loss of nutrients to the ingredients. When ingredients are bleached, extracted chemically or with heat they lose a lot of the good stuff in them. With chemical extraction there is no guarantee that the ingredient is chemical free and high heat destroys a lot of the ingredients nutrients. Therefore it is always good to make sure your ingredients are cold pressed and unrefined, why do you need them to be bleached anyways?

So with this amazing ingredient and it’s high stearic acid content, it is a great replacement for palm based ingredients. Palm oil isn’t bad, but there is a lot wrong with the palm harvesting industry and destroying the environment. I decided to use in a few of my skin care products and absolutely love it!!

Here is a simple recipe for you to try:

DIY Kokum Butter Balm

  • 1/4 cup kokum butter
  • 1/4 cup plant oils (I used a blend of jojoba, hemp & sunflower seed oil)
  • 2-3 drops essential oil (optional – I use Young Living)
  • 3 drops vitamin E

Heat up kokum butter in a double boiler on medium just until melted. Remove from heat and add plant oil blend, essential oils and vitamin E. Pour into a clean disinfected jar and put in the refrigerator to cool. Keep away from light, use and enjoy within 6 months. Can be used on face and body, make sure you are not sensitive to any essential oils before using them on your skin or face. 

Please let me know how you use it! I love hearing innovative ways to use beautiful plant ingredients that benefit us. 

Cheers & Love,

Sara Kaitlyn

What is my ‘Why’?

What drives me? What inspires me? What keeps me motivated? I recently did an Instagram post on my ‘Why?’. I am now writing a blog post to elaborate on this topic.

Disclaimer. This is my story, I do not have hatred towards my daughters father, we have a civil and working co-parenting relationship. What I have gone through and share is in no way an attempt to bash the other party.

From 2012 until the spring of 2017 I was in a relationship that was not healthy. I was not happy, looking back I realized I was depressed, we did not make good teammates or partners, I was not respected and I was being held back from being my true self. I was with someone that was an addict. Anyone that knows someone who has addiction problems can probably relate. I realized I was walking on eggshells, and I never knew which personality would walk through the door on any given day with him. To say the least, I was miserable.

In 2016 we had a beautiful, spirited daughter. Her father slept through most of it on the hospital couch with a fast food drink cup full of beer. Before she turned one, we went on a cruise that ultimately ended up me watching our daughter the majority of the time by myself while he enjoyed himself. I felt like the nanny. These were pivotal moments, along with a long list of little moments, that made me take a look at myself in the mirror and ask myself if I would want my daughter in this relationship that I was in. The answer was ‘Hell no’.

She was the reason I left, even though I had wanted out long before that. She was the reason that I listened to my desire to be myself, to be happy, to do what I want in life, to follow my dreams, to be in a healthy realationship, to set healthy boundaries and to love myself. No one was going to do all of that for me, and no one was going to show my daughter how to do all of that like I could.

She is my ‘why’ and reason that I made major life changes that are leading to a much more fulfilling and happy life. She is the reason I started my business Zoja Beauty, to combine my love of cosmetics with skincare and clean ingredients. This, in addition to the fact that I could never imagine allowing my daughter to wear makeup some day if she wants that is full of chemicals.

It is not all sunshine and butterflies though. I am not going to pretend that making major life changes is a walk in the park. There is a lot to deal with emotionally, there are people that might wonder what you are doing, and there are times you might feel like a complete failure. I have had to do a lot of internal work that I continue to work at daily.

For me, working towards a goal is one of the best things to help with change. It was starting my own business that has kept me moving forward and finding my direction. Starting on your own is hard though, I never knew how much work went into just about everything. I didn’t know going through four website designs would take so much time, I didn’t know trying five different label companies would be so expensive. I wasn’t aware that exhaustion as I try to squeeze in work between my daughter going to bed and me finally sleeping was a normal feeling as I push to work at any free moment I have. So it helps to have a roadmap and an advocate reminding that, yes you can do it.

So along my journey I found a wonderful opportunity with an influencer Ashley Diana. She is amazing. She is a woman that is full of positivity. She is a mentor and guide for anyone trying to start their own business or figure out how to make income from their blog and lifestyle. Her program has been amazing! It is an influencer program that will get you started, showing you the way on starting your business and has an amazing Facebook group to join that connects you to so many others. If you haven’t already, check it out here!

I say all this because this is my story on where I came from. Feeling like I had lost myself and was on someone else’s journey. Feeling like I was too scared to make life changes, and being in a relationship that did not help me to grow and follow my dreams. I hope that anyone that feels anything like that can realize that it is possible to make changes, it is possible to move on and find happiness.

Figure out what motivates you. Find your ‘why’, and create a dream to work towards. I love the feeling of working towards my end goal, it is an amazing energy boost. There will be days that you may question it, but ultimately you have to keep your eye on the target. You have to keep asking yourself if what you are doing right now is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

Cheers and love,

Sara Kaitlyn

 

My Essential Oil Of The Week – Wrinkle Fighter, Pain Reducer

Have you ever heard of how beneficial CBD oil is? I guess firstly, have you heard of CBD oil? Well if you have and you know how beneficial it is for your body and skin, let me introduce you to BCP.

Beta-CaryoPhyllene is a compound in the essential oil Copaiba, at about 50-60% concentration. It interacts directly with your CB2 receptors, unlike CBD oil which reacts indirectly with them.

We all have CB1 and CB2 receptors in our body which are canniboid receptors in your body, the CB1 receptors are what THC reacts with in your body to get that ‘high’ feeling. CBD and BCP interacts with your CB2 receptors that are located mainly in the immune system but also in other tissues and helps with inflammation and pain.

Copaiba oil is a strong antioxidant derived from the resin of the copaiba tree. It supports your immune system, it helps with digestion, respiratory function and neurological function. It is much less expensive than CBD oil and at a much higher concentration naturally, about 50-60%, where as CBD oil typically has a concentration of 5-30%.

Now on to copaiba oil for your skin! This is one of my favorite parts about this amazing oil. Copaiba oil when taken internally and externally promotes clear skin and reduces wrinkles.

I have been taking copaiba oil, two drops, three times a day, and have seen and felt the difference. My joint pain is reduced, it gets rid of my headaches, and my skin seems to have a glow. My next step is to mix it with my facial lotion and try it topically.

Have you ever tried copaiba oil? Let me know!

xo Sara Kaitlyn

 

 

Why Young Living?

I am late to talk about this but I am so excited to share that I joined an amazing team with Young Living! For those of you that do not know what Young Living is, click here. So far, I love it. Not just the essential oils, but every product I have tried. I was very hesitant to try it, it seemed like a lot of money and then I had to place an order every month and that seemed like a lot too. Well, I now am excited every month for my order, and looking forward to spending the money on it.

There were many reasons for me joining Young Living, first of all, I am a health nut. I have always believed that health, inner beauty, outer beauty, intestinal wellness, mental health, taking care of yourself, etc., are all intertwined. I work with older people at my day job and you certainly notice which ones have cared for themselves and which ones haven’t.

So on my health and wellness journey, I have tried essential oils, and not been impressed. I must stress this, I never have thought much of essential oils. The ones I have gotten from the health food store have seem harsh, ineffective and not always pleasant smelling. The only way I can describe the essential oils from Young Living is that all of them have a very clean smell them, nothing funky going on. The best part though? Is that they are miracle oils. Yes, little bottles of miracles. Somewhat pricey miracles? Well after they perform miracles for you, they become worth it.

My biggest testament so far with Young Living is lavender. I have always read about how amazing lavender is, how beneficial it is and so on. Well the lavender I always got seemed to have a sweaty smell to it. It never worked on my skin and seemed harsh. So naturally when I opened my first box from Young Living, I had to go straight to the lavender, I needed proof that this was going to be better than what I had. It totally was. So not only did it smell 100% better, it healed my boyfriends spider bite right up, it reduced my daughters swelling from mosquito bites and helps with the itch. To top it all, no irritation.

There is so much that I love besides the lavender. I love their protein shakes, they taste like cake batter to me. I love the Thieves hard candy, it helps me when I feel like I have seasonal allergies coming on. I love their essential oil blends that help with upset stomachs and stress. The list is endless.

So you may wonder why I joined Young Living instead of doTerra. Well, I think they are both great companies. Some people think that one is better than the other, or get hung up on the fact there was a dispute between the two. Well, in my eyes, they are both good, competition is good for consumers and at the end of the day if you prefer one over the other then that is great. My reason for joining Young Living was the team I was offered to join. I have read that your success in network marketing has a lot to do with your team leaders. As soon as I read that I knew I wanted to join Ashley and Alex’s team. They are amazing! They provide training, resources for training on your own and are always available to help with questions or guidance. To have a group that has the organization, video training, and community they have created is amazing and helpful.

So now that I am just diving into the world of essential oils, stay tuned for the many ways to utilize them in your health and beauty routines.

If you are ever interested in learning more, feel free to contact me here!

xo Sara Kaitlyn

 

This Beauty Ingredient Isn’t Just For Your Necklace

Pearls are beautiful, fascinating gifts from nature. We string them on necklaces and wear them in our ears. These glistening gems of the sea are not just a fashion statement. Did you that they are excellent for your skin?

The benefits of pearls are many, they contain over 30 trace minerals, amino acids and conchiolin, which is a protein that hydrates and plumps the skin.

You can take pearl powder internally or apply it externally. It has been used for hundreds of years in China for skincare and medicine and also in Ayurvedic medicine. In ancient Egypt Cleopatra used it in her beauty regimen. So as you can see, it has been around for awhile.

I am about to try it internally, I am trying this one that I have heard good things about! I have incorporated pearl powder into my makeup line which you can find here :).

Let me know if you have tried pearl powder, or if there are any products you love that have it!

xo Sara Kaitlyn

This Method Of Washing Your Face Works

Have you heard of washing your face twice at night?  When I did, I didn’t believe it would be that drastically different.  Well, I was wrong.  I found out that doing a double face wash at night is very effective.  I actually do not wash my face in the morning, and still don’t.  I splash my face with cool water, give it some moisture if I need it, and then put on my sunscreen balm, then makeup and go!

I found that my skin looked better, my pores look smaller and it seems to get all the makeup off.  I will not go back to washing my face just once at night!  I do not wash my face in the morning still because I do not want to strip my skin of it’s natural oils, I do that at night and find my face gets oilier if I wash it in the morning and then put my moisturizer and makeup on.

My favorite face wash that is all natural and gentle on the skin right now is here.

Let me know what you think!

Xo Sara Kaitlyn

Zoja Beauty

Makeup has been one of my many passions since middle school. I didn’t have a mother that wore makeup, but for some reason I was drawn to it. I have always been artistic and was fascinated with the art of changing one’s appearance. Fast forward to the age of Instagram and makeup influencers and tutorials. It’s a fun time in the makeup industry and also a great time to learn an art on your own easily.

I personally love makeup, in case you didn’t pick up on that, but have not always been thrilled with the selection in the less toxic makeup brands. I have some makeup favorites that I just couldn’t find good replacements for that were not full of nasty chemicals. So I started a journey to make them myself.

I have had a fun journey, researching, researching, researching, creating, experimenting, crafting, and using my knowledge of color to start my own makeup line. You can check it out here. I have many products to launch still so be patient. Single mom life seems to like to keep me busy. I would love for you to join me on my journey, you can follow me here on my blog, or my Instagram, @sarakaitlyn and for product updates, @shopzojabeauty. I am in the process of getting my setup for vlogs and showing my products, along with many other tips, DIY’s and reviews.

Thanks beauties!

 

Natural Skincare Product Finds

I love finding new beauty products that work, and since I am on a mission to detox my skincare and makeup routine, it is great when I can replace a product I used to love with something that’s good for me.  I picked up a few of products the other day and these are the ones I love.

  1. Love By Herban Cowboy Lotion

This lotion has a wonderful scent, not too strong for me, and reminds me of a Victoria Secret lotion I used to like. It is vegan and has extracts of shiitake, licorice, chamomile, cucumber, carrot, seaweed and pea, along with olive oil, avocado oil and sunflower oil.  It is very light and absorbs quickly into the skin.  I generally like thicker lotions, but for a light lotion that adds a wonderful scent, this great.

  1. Alaffia Facial Cleanser Purifying Coconut

Extremely gentle cleanser, yet effective, I was looking for something to replace my Cerave cleanser and this is great.  It does not dry out the skin and has coffee berry extract, coconut oil, shea butter and reishi mushroom extract.  Bonus is that company pays fair wages, uses sustainable ingredients and funds empowerment projects in Africa such as reforestation and maternal care.

  1. Alaffia Day Cream Nourishing Coconut

This light day cream is not greasy or oily yet really moisturizes. The first three ingredients are kola extract, turmeric extract and coconut oil.  Will be a great summer moisturizer for me since it is so light.  So far, this company has yet to let me down.

  1. Aura Cacia Nourishing Cocoa Butter

I had no idea how hard cocoa butter was at room temperature.  I had to scrape the top to get some into my hand and soften it.  Once it was softened and, on my face,, it was worth it.  My skin felt silky and there was no oily residue.  Apply this after your moisturizer for the most benefit.

Let me know your favorite natural products!

3 Natural Easy Hacks For Beautiful Skin

Here are some simple and natural beauty hacks for when you are in a pinch or just would like to try something new. I love finding ways to use things that I already have or are easy to find and are handy multitaskers. Hope you enjoy

  1. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is not only good for you and your skin when you take it internally and have it for breakfast or a tasty treat, but the skin of the fruit can be used to clean your own skin. If you have ever heard of foods being alkaline or acidic, you might know that ideally the body should be in balance around 7.35 to 7.40. With modern diets generally being more acidic, it is good to eat foods that are alkalizing.  Excess acidity in the body creates inflammation, puffiness, and contraction of the tissues.  Luckily, grapefruit is an alkaline fruit, so eat up!  Also, take the skin of the grapefruit and use the inside of the skin to exfoliate and cleanse your own skin.  Simply rub it on your skin to receive a cooling and refreshing cleanse.

  1. Avocados

Avocados are great for the skin internally as well as externally.  They contain omega-6, which author David Wolfe writes about as being beneficial for those with dry skin.  My further research showed that there is a big debate on omega-6 being bad for you.  The thing is, I found it depends on your source of omega-6 (fried and battered fish are not healthy source of omega-6, go figure) and also if you are getting some omega-3 while eating food with omega-6.  Luckily, avocados have both! Use avocados in this simple mask, one pureed avocado, one tsp fresh squeezed orange juice and one tablespoon hemp oil mixed together and left on the desired part of the skin for 20-30 mins.

  1. Raw Honey

Make sure you use raw honey since the beneficial properties of honey are destroyed when heated.  Raw honey is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and is great for acne prone skin.  Apply honey to freshly cleansed and/or exfoliated skin and leave on for 10 minutes.  Exfoliating helps to clear dead skin off for honey and other products to work more effectively.

Let me know your thoughts, hope you enjoyed!