Zaaina Skin Care: Beauty from Nature

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I can remember the days of curling up in my bed, flipping through teen magazines and reading the latest DIY beauty tips. It always fascinated me to discover new and unusual remedies -- everything from avocado and mayonnaise as hair conditioners, to homemade toners and face masks made from citrus and pantry items. While they were always fun to experiment with at home, I can’t say I that I really understood the benefits of using natural ingredients until I became a mom.

In the last few years I’ve put closer eyes on each product we bring into our home, wondering about the safety of ingredients I might be exposing my daughter to. That thought process has slowly infiltrated my own beauty shopping habits, causing me to look at the “why” behind products I purchase, and researching the benefits and origins of the ingredients. If you’re anything like me, though, it’s really hard to buckle down and pay a pretty penny for self-care items. I love the idea of natural products and creating a healthy regiment, but it often comes at a high cost. My solution? Buy products, where I can, that serve my whole family’s needs. Rather than buying a lot of individual products for myself, Phil or Elleanor, I research natural products that will benefit all of us – saving money and ensuring it’s something safe for us as a family unit.

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This is why we really loved partnering with Zaaina, a business founded on the desire to create the most natural and nurturing beauty care products. Owner and creator Purvi Desai, left her career in finance and pursued a dream in 2010 that was instilled in her as a little girl. Watching her own grandparents and mother’s beauty and self-care disciplines, as well as their desire to create natural, homemade remedies, gave her a foundation to start her own self-care line through Zaaina. Their namesake, which literally means beauty, is dedicated to the idea that self-care should be natural, restorative, and use only the highest quality ingredients that are already at our fingertips – spices, herbs, oils and more.

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Purvi graciously gave us four of her most popular products to try at home, and we loved how they naturally fit into our routine and daily self-care needs. This month, we’ve been using her Activated Charcoal Soap as a daily face and body wash. It’s an item that Phil and I keep in our bathroom and both use as part of our morning routine. In fact, Phil uses it as his shave soap, which can be a tricky product for guys. This is by far the best soap he's used for shaving, as it holds a strong lather and allows a close shave. This mutli-purpose bar is also a great quick rinse in Ellie’s baths before bedtime. One of the benefits we enjoy through using activated charcoal, is its ability to cleanse and pull impurities and toxins from our skin. This bar also has 5 different essential oils, so it smells amazing. Plus, for a guy, it doesn’t get any more manly than black soap – so that’s a win for Phil, lol!

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Serums and face oils have also been an item that I’ve enjoyed in my routine previously, but cost sometimes keeps me from purchasing them. The Zaaina Organic Extra Glow Face Serum is not only affordable, it also has several uses in our household. It’s a great post-face-wash hydrator for my skin, as well as a great aftershave oil for Phil! I can use it on dry spots that Ellie gets on her skin in the winter, and I even mix a few drops in my foundation during the colder months of the year. It's packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which are great for my acne-prone skin. It’s truly a workhorse in our day-to-day routine.

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As part of the transition to winter weather, I feel like the one area that gets all three of us in our household is dry/cracked feet -- not really an appetizing topic to chat about, but it probably affects most of us during these chilly months! It’s inevitable for us when we go from 90-degree weather to suddenly 35 degree temperatures (Thanks, South Carolina!). The Heel Balm by Zaaina is the first heel balm I’ve ever used, and I didn’t know what I’d been missing. Before bed on really cold nights or when we have to run the heat in the house, I can rub the balm on our heels (even Ellie’s) and slip socks on immediately after. The result? Really smooth hydrated feet the next morning! The Shea butter and mix of coconut and olive oil really hydrate, while the tea tree and peppermint oils help cool and heal the skin. 

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The last product we were able to try out was the Leather & Cedarwood soy candle! Purvi has created so many beautiful and natural scents that you’ll love perusing on her site! This particular candle was perfect for us, as Phil and I both gravitate to more savory/warm flavors to burn in the home. My favorite use of the candle so far is having it burn in the bathroom as I draw a warm bath for Ellie (or myself!). It’s also a great winter scent – it’s the perfect cozy smell to burn while you’re snuggled up on the couch with a book and some tea. The candle is made of 100% soy and therapeutic grade essential oils -- a win in my book!

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We were so impressed with the research, aesthetic and passion Purvi has for her business, that we did a quick Q & A with her so you’d get to know even more about the other products she has to offer. One area you’ll especially love, is her heart for easy but effective DIYs you can try in your own home! Her Instagram @zaainiskincare is packed full of easy recipes for you to try with ingredients you likely have around your home already!

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Here’s our chat with Purvi:

I love how your inspiration and knowledge of natural skincare started with simply watching your mother and grandmother make their own treatments at home. How has their own example of natural living from your childhood influenced you positively today?

Growing up I always noticed how my grandparents had a very strict lifestyle regimen, like waking up early, doing morning yoga, and healthy eating habits; enjoying small things in life, socializing more and living in the present. There was a time, I used to think of that lifestyle as not so fun, but now I understand the value of it. Following many of those lifestyles has helped me focus more on what I want to achieve, feel content in what I have and overall the mindset I have which I am passing on to my two young daughters. 

Can you tell us a little bit about Zaaina and what inspired you to start this business?

I was always very fascinated with making my own beauty products using simple ingredients. Learning about different cultures and their own skincare regimen was and still is my favorite topic. I was a strong believer of natural living and skincare/beauty care is a major part of our lifestyle, so I wanted to focus on creating natural products which are made with simple but very effective ingredients. When I got laid off from my well-paying job and was unable to find the same pay scale, I decided to do something which really makes me happy. After going through multiple options for two months, I decided to pursue Zaaina. 

For someone just transitioning to natural skincare, what would be a few products to start with that might be easy to integrate into their beauty routine?

Our natural soap bars are the best products to start off with for those who are transitioning to natural skincare. Our soaps are completely safe to use on the face so I encourage our customers to start with soap. We wash our face daily (some of us wash twice a day), by using our soap as face wash, customers can see the difference within no time. Our lip balms are another great product to integrate into a beauty routine. Many of our other products are very simple to use. I feel a beauty routine should be part of our daily lifestyle. Brushing our teeth as soon as we wake up, eating breakfast for a good start and many other daily routines have set in our system. A healthy beauty regimen should be one of those too. We have to invest into our skincare at very early age in order to age gracefully. 

You have taken so many beautiful spices and herbs to create the most unique natural scents for your products – everything from Cinnamon Clove to Rosemary Tea Tree Eucalyptus! What are some of your favorite scents you’ve created for your customers?

Our Lavender Lemongrass Soap, Extra Glow Face Mask, Skin Clarifying Face Toner and Tomato Soaps are one of the best products we have created. Our line started with three products which I created for myself before starting Zaaina. They were simple products which did wonders on my oily/acne prone skin. When we started receiving feedback from our customers on how products were working on them too, we started taking customer suggestions on what products they wanted us to create -- 90% of our products are the result of what our customers were looking for and we created for them. 

Since spices and herbs are stars in your products, can you tell us some of the best herbs and plants that make for good skincare? 

Aloe Vera Plant, Turmeric, Bentonite Clay and Tea Tree Oil are some of the best ingredients for oily/acne prone skin. Shea Butter, Rose Water, Lavender Oil, are amazing for dry skin, and

Calendula, Chamomile and Honey are best for sensitive skin. We do very intensive research on each ingredient and then use the best possible combination to create a product which our customers are looking for. 

You really make self-care easily accessible and approachable for your customers. You’ve laid out your website in a way that helps others identify the products that best help their specific skin challenges. Have many of your creations been based on customers’ needs or requests, and if so, why was it important to offer a variety of natural care options?

I always try to put myself in customers’ shoes. I feel, we all want to look our best and are willing to pay money for the right product which can actually work. When I was suffering from acne, I tried so many products and nothing gave me the result I was looking for. I would have never imagined contacting big companies to create something special for me, neither did I have anywhere to go with that request. When my natural skincare approach really worked, I felt I should offer more options and listen to my customers. When I get a special request from a customer explaining their skin conditions and how nothing is working, they asked if we could create something for them. It reminds me of my old days and I feel it's my responsibility to help them. For all those requests, I have spent hours researching to come up with the best formula and then creating a product just for that one client. At the end that's the best way I can give back since my customers are willing to spend their hard-earned money on a product and a company they never heard of. 

You have so much knowledge in the field of natural beauty and skincare – what’s your favorite natural beauty tip that you can share with our readers?

Invest in yourself. Healthy eating habits, meditation/exercise, enough rest and try to find what truly makes you happy. When you are content in your own skin, you start feeling beautiful inside and that shows outside. And of course, always use natural products. There are so many DIY skincare recipes you can try to fix those small skin issues. We share so many simple DIY recipes on our Instagram account (@zaainaskincare)

Finally, can you give us a peak into what your daily skincare regiment looks like and your favorite products to use?

My family always makes fun of me as they feel I never look normal since I always have some kind of face pack or hair pack on everyday :-) I wash my face twice a day with our Turmeric Oatmeal Honey Soap and followed by Skin Clarifying Toner since I do have an acne prone skin. I use our Extra Glow Face Mask 2-3 times a week, but my daily face pack is made with three simple ingredients - Plain Greek Yogurt, Honey and Turmeric. I Mix 1/8 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp honey & 1 tbs plain Greek yogurt and apply that face pack on a clean face. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash it off. This mask is the best mask for hydration, lightening any scars and preventing new acne. I also use our Hair and Scalp Serum 2-3 times a week. If I come across new DIY skincare/bath care recipe I always like to try that as well!

Want to learn more about Zaaina? Follow along at the below links! We can't thank Purvi enough for the opportunity to try her products and learn more about her beautiful business!                        

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