With her organic, wild crafted skincare line, KHUS + KHUS, Kristi Blustein hopes to do more than just make our complexions glow. An yogi, herbalist, and Ayruvedic specialist Kristi is also focused on the use of skincare products in self-care rituals that calm the body and mind. As a result, KHUS + KHUS is comprised of body serums, polishes, hydrolats, and solid waxes that lend themselves to massage, slow cleansing, and other healing, meditative rituals. Kristi packs the formulas with botanical ingredients and essential oils that invigorate the senses without relying on artificial fragrance so you can feel good reveling in the scents.
Not only are KHUS + KHUS’s products beautiful to behold, safe to use, and incredibly nourishing, I love the self-care mission that is woven into the fabric of the brand. Beauty products that help us heal, relax, and recharge are so important for the modern, busy woman! Learn a bit more about Kristi’s story and vision for this line through our Q&A, below. XXJKE
Rip & Tan: What inspired you to launch KHUS+KHUS? What was your path in getting there?
Kristi Blustein: I was practicing real estate when my spiritual journey began. I spent time at the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas in 2008, where I started the practice of yoga. I had such a profound experience there that I knew what I had been searching for was going to come through the science and discipline of yoga. After my time at the Sivananda Ashram, I began an intense daily practice of asana, meditation, reading Vedic books on self-realization and pranayama, and adopted an organic plant-based diet.
The idea for KHUS+KHUS came to me in my Ayurvedic practice, through the process of meditation, and the daily self-care practice of Abhyanga (self-massage with oils). Abhyanga is done with the highest quality oils and has tremendous benefits. I wanted to bring the practice to the mainstream.
Rip & Tan: What was your mission or vision for the brand? What parameters did you want to stick to with the products?
KB: My mission for the brand has always been to educate and heal. Plants support us in calming the mind and body, which helps us to process feelings and emotions, so they are the focus. The formulas are simple, clean, organic, sustainably wild-harvested in good-sized quantities so that people feel comfortable using them generously!
Rip & Tan: Where are you based and where are the products made? From what regions do you source ingredients?
KB: I am constantly on the hunt for the highest quality ingredients from around the world. This includes organic, wild harvested, sustainable, and eco-certified whenever possible. We use French violet and wild French lavender, Moroccan and Bulgarian rose, German chamomile, Caledonian sandalwood, Indian champa, and Nepalese rhododendron, among other ingredients. That said, we source most of our ingredients from France. France has a long history with essential oils and is known for its exceptional practices for oil distilling and high standards for ethical growing and harvesting. France also offers the coveted European eco-certification, which we are always on the lookout for. The products are made on my property in Nederland, Colorado just outside of Boulder. It’s a beautiful place and all of the products are handcrafted in a workshop there. I have the beginnings of my own medicinal garden as well.
Rip & Tan: What skincare and wellness training do you have and how do those learnings influence KHUS+KHUS?
KB: I have a formal education in Ayurveda from the California College of Ayurveda. I also received training to be a Pancha Karma Specialist at CCA and have studied Vedic science, aromatherapy, and Western herbalism. I had my own donation-based Ayurvedic practice for three years, teaching Ayurveda to budding yoga teachers.
Through my Western herbalism studies, I have taken several anatomy and biology classes, which I feel gives me particular insight into overall skin health. This is ultimately what we are trying to achieve with KHUS + KHUS. We want to help create healthy, balanced skin and that happens internally through the bloodstream.
Rip & Tan: How are your body serums different from a typical body lotion? How are they meant to be used?
KB: To be honest, I haven’t used a body lotion in several years, so this is difficult for me to answer! I prefer serums because they are literally feeding the skin with nutrients. Natural plant based oils applied to the skin enhance our immunity by translating their immune system information to us. They actively support the health and vitality of our skin through fatty acids.
Rip & Tan: What are the benefits of hydrolats?
KB: There are several healing components to hydrolats. They share an almost identical chemical compound to essential oils. They are made from the same plant material and are milder so they can generally be tolerated by just about anyone. Truthfully, they have tremendous healing power. Hydrolats are a water, and water is medicine. These are healing waters containing concentrations of plant compounds. They are very effective for calming the mind, balancing the skin, and curing ailments. They are also wonderful for prepping the skin to receive the benefits of a serum.
Rip &Tan: Why are serums an important part of our skincare routines? Any tips on storing, applying, or layering your formulas?
KB: Face serums, if formulated correctly, offer a great deal of treatment in one bottle. Each ingredient offers a vast array of constituents and these compounds enter our bloodstream and start to communicate systemically within the body. They work to calm our nervous system down. This is why it’s very important to know what you are putting on your skin. All of our products can be used interchangeably and the line was built to be a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing medicine cabinet with a plethora of potential healing. Once you are in tune with your own healing intelligence certain plants may call to you intuitively. You have the potential to recognize what your body needs. That might be that today it’s jasmine, tomorrow neroli, and next week, helichrysum. I can say this, you will see improvements if you allow the plants to do the work they do. In terms of application and storing, I always add about a quarter of a dropper full to the top of my hand, spray 3-4 times with a hydrolat and blend, giving a nice massage to the face, hitting some marma points (ayurvedic energy points) along the way. We use miron glass bottles, which do a great job of protecting the materials. But, as these are natural botanical ingredients, you want to keep them out of direct sunlight or heat.
Rip & Tan: What wellness or beauty rituals does KHUS+KHUS encourage as a brand? What are some practices you hope all of your customers partake in?
KB: We want our customers to think about what they are using on their bodies and skin and to realize that these things are going into our bloodstreams. We want them to be using safe, non-toxic ingredients, and even more, products that offer true healing inside and out with herbalism. Making better choices in this area helps translate to creating healthier routines and practices for our bodies and minds in general. We highly value the practice of daily self-care, and in particular Abhyanga. We recommend waking up a bit earlier for Abhyanga as it not only helps translate herbal information into our bloodstream, we are also sending signals to the mind and body of self-love and compassion. Self-care simply requires that we make time for ourselves to better our overall wellbeing. Balance and health starts when we make ourselves a priority.
Rip & Tan: How do you hope to grow KHUS+KHUS in the future? What is your wish for the brand?
KB: I hope that the future for all green beauty shifts to the understanding that plant medicine can come in many forms and is incredibly healing. I hope that skincare starts to be seen as herbalism in a bottle. It’s a mistake to market herbal products in such a finite way as just skincare, so I plan to push the message of herbal products as offering us so much more in terms of wellness. I hope that interest in self-care practices to continue to grow and I would like KHUS+KHUS to help lead the conversation.
Photo: Nicki Sebastian
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