Founder of KHUS+KHUS, Kristi Blustein, isn’t your average herbalist. As an Ayurvedic Specialist and Educator, her formulas are backed by extensive research and experience, and are designed for healing and creating balance within the body through her thoughtful and intentionally designed products. With a sleek and modern aesthetic and stunning miron violet glass packaging, you can easily create a luxurious ritual with these skin treasures. Kristi has expertly created powerful botanical treatments that will soothe not only your skin, but can also improve the state of your mind and health as well.
Her products have been carefully crafted to address total skin health, as Kristi believes that our skin is a reflection of what is happening internally. The KHUS+KHUS brand promises their products to be 99% organic, wild crafted and non-GMO while also being centered upon the practice of self-care and healthful living.
We had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Kristi, and are so excited to share with you her incredible knowledge and a glimpse of what goes into developing her unique and modern herbal infusions. Please read on for our complete interview as well as an exclusive reader discount code below.
The Greenly Guide: For our readers who are perhaps new to organic skincare and holistic health, can you begin by briefly explaining your background in Ayurvedic medicine, what exactly that means and how you apply those practices in your skincare?
Kristi: I have certifications in Ayurvedic Medicine and Ayurvedic Health and Education from the California College of Ayurveda, with intensives in Ayurvedic Herbal preparation, as well as Aromatherapy and Western Herbalism. What this means as it pertains to formula design is that I have extensive training (1800+ hours) in classical formula design for healing and creating balance in the body. When I formulate a product, I’m looking for various botanical constituents to assist the body and mind in creating energetic healing, working through internal and external healing components. It’s a multi-faceted design because as an Ayurvedic practitioner, I look at skin health as a physical manifestation – a reflection of what is happening internally as well as the state of the mind. All of our body and face treatments are designed to calm the nervous system as well as promote skin health through the bloodstream via the olfactory system.
Essential oils, or pharmaceutical grade plant medicine, have an energetic component that is intrinsically understood not only by formula and product developers, but also through consistent use. It can’t be denied that these essential oils are incredibly helpful in assisting us in the development of true health and vitality. Of course, there are also lifestyle choices that have to be cultivated that certainly contribute to the state of our health. Plants open us to a new way of living that is supportive of this process. They work in ways that we may not necessarily understand right away, but in time through use, the information is mentally digested and is developed through our consciousness.
The Greenly Guide: I always think it is interesting to hear the story behind the name of a brand – can you share the meaning and any significance behind the name KHUS+KHUS and how you settled on this for your brand?
Kristi: It’s a play on the vetiver plant also known by its Indian name ruh khus or khus oil. Known as the Oil of Tranquility, the chemical composition is very complex. It’s described by well-known herbalists as connecting earth’s energies – offering a source of vital energy and regeneration, supporting those who have lost touch with the earth and their roots. The name came to me in meditation; in my perspective, all real truth comes through meditation and when that happens, it’s best just to roll with it. The word “modern” is a reflection of myself; I’m not your typical woodsy herbalist. I was born in Miami, and I’ve been into modern design and aesthetic most of my adult life. I do live in the mountains of Colorado now, but I still have an edge and like my urban flair. I think the products represent my style, and people who know me personally can attest to this. The addition of “herbal fusion” is thanks to my training. I bring to the line a combination of what I’ve learned about plants through various teachers and various trainings in Ayurvedic herbalism, Western Herbalism, Vedic Science and Aromatherapy.
The Greenly Guide: As a formulator, what does the process look like for you when you are developing a product? From the beginning stages where it is just an idea to the very end, what goes on behind the scenes of your creations?
Kristi: In the beginning, when I first came up with the concept to do the line, I spent two years researching. I’m a perfectionist by nature (and by astrological sign as well (Virgo)), so there’s always a lot of research that goes into anything I do. I generally start with a concept for a product; for example, with our new body serum WORSHIP, I wanted to move into more exotic aromas, and I wanted to educate consumers about the use of aromas throughout history – aromas that humanity has used for enhancement of consciousness, meditation, energy clearing and prayer. After this extensive research, I will then choose a chief botanical. From here, I will research potential supporting plants; these will have constituents that enhance the action on the body and mind by increasing the desired components of the chief botanical. I will source the best oils I can get my hands on.
I have several requirements before I purchase, the most important being cultivation practices; I only deal with reputable distillers. If possible, I like to get Eco-certified ingredients. Then of course, there’s the aroma; I think people will begin to recognize the brand for the very distinct and complex aromas we offer. I like to think I have a very pronounced sense of smell, and I very much enjoy a pleasant aroma, although when dealing with botanicals sometimes an aroma may be more medicinal in nature. It may take time to get adjusted to a particular aroma, but the medicinal benefits are certainly worth it. It is a craft so the creation process is ongoing and it is only through the experience of working with the ingredients that you get the formula just right. Aroma plays a large role in this, as well as following proper protocols for the use of essential oils, especially when they are applied to the skin. There is a proper dilution of these incredibly powerful concentrated materials. There is also a creative and intuitive process that happens when you work with plants that can’t be denied.
The Greenly Guide: Do you have a favorite ingredient that you have worked with? Can you share some of the benefits of this ingredient and why you choose to include it in your products?
Kristi: Well, I don’t work with any ingredients I don’t like so it’s hard to pick a favorite. I do love New Caledonia Sandalwood and Australian Sandalwood (we don’t use Indian because it’s endangered). I use them in SURYA, LUNA, KAMA and in WORSHIP, which comes out in March. I use sandalwood because it not only is so pleasing to the senses and has been around for over 4000 years, but also because it truly is a magical ingredient for spiritual development and emotional healing. It also has incredible skin enhancement qualities like cooling inflammation, which is the precursor to premature aging, and offers a moisturizing effect on the skin. Sandalwood really embodies the objective of KHUS+KHUS which is skin health and enhancement as well as assisting in energetic balance and healing.
The Greenly Guide: If you could describe your brand in 5 words, what would they be?
Kristi: Integrity + Vitality + Botanical + Clean + Holistic
The Greenly Guide: Can you share what has brought you the most joy in your journey to creating KHUS+KHUS?
Kristi: When you create something to relieve ailment and it works, it’s so gratifying. I’ve had patients who have been in constant pain, and I can’t imagine what they must feel. I’ve had some yoga injuries over the years, but nothing that compares to persistent pain. When people tell me that their pain has been relieved from COPIOUS, I feel such a sense of gratitude to be able to actually help someone, to provide some relief for them. When you get into the study and science of Yoga and Ayurveda, of which I have been a practitioner for many years, your objectives in life change. You are always working in a place of service. I believe the Dharma in life is to serve and to do this without expectation, but it’s always rewarding to feel some acknowledgment that what I’m doing might help someone feel better. I also feel like I’m an agent for the plants I use; they want to work for you in your life, and I’m just a facilitator of that process. So working with plants – actually, working for them – is really rewarding in general. I mean I get to work in space that smells like patchouli, roses, and sandalwood. How many more blessings can a person have in life?
The Greenly Guide: How do you promote the idea of self-care within your line? Why is this important and how do you yourself practice self-care?
Kristi: Self-care begins with awareness of choice. You start to become more conscious about everything you are doing that is impacting your health and make adjustments accordingly. When you become aware that the chemicals you are using on your body are harmful to yourself and to other life forms such as animals and plant life, as well as have negative impacts on the environment, you’ll be motivated to make changes. This stage is where KHUS+KHUS comes in to support your wellness journey. We are providing high-quality botanical oils that you may not necessarily be able to purchase individually. We formulate for healing and assist in facilitating the immune system information of the plant into your body systemically. This is how we maintain and build ojas (immunity); by doing so, we are able to manage stress reactions, relieving ourselves from inflammatory responses in the body. By applying serums to the body via the practice of abhyanga (self-massage) and inhaling the aroma of the plants, you are literally building a force field of protection from external sources, which can be in the form of free radical damage and oxidative stress, or mental emotional reactions that erode our sense of equanimity.
It’s important because it sends a message that you are demonstrating self-love. From here, many things can happen, primarily an unfoldment of consciousness, compassion for yourself and others, peace, balance, and health. We may become more open and receptive and less judgmental. Being in a place of constant judgment causes a great deal of stress; these two things are interrelated, and a judgmental mindset inhibits our ability to find peace. Facilitating this process starts by taking steps every day to improve our sense of wellness. It may not seem like you’re doing much when purchasing a certain product, but if you look at your refrigerator and your bathroom cabinet, it will give you a deeper understanding of where you are at on your journey to wellness.
I practice self-care in many ways – plant-based organic diet, meditation, herbal medicine, yoga, asana and pranayama, as well as never putting anything on my body that is toxic. I use my entire line as well as various additional plants throughout my daily life, both internally and externally. I recommend taking turmeric and reishi mushrooms every day – and don’t forget the importance of water.
The Greenly Guide: For someone new to your line, can you highlight two of your products and explain what makes them special?
Kristi: One of our newest additions to the line is SEN face serum and hydrolat which are fabulous. Eco-certified CBD extract is the star ingredient, with over 400 compounds. The serum itself has over 800 compounds, which function as healing agents inhibiting the formation of free radicals and oxidative stress. We also have WORSHIP body serum launching March 1. This product features an infusion of exotic oils used throughout history for supporting energetic healing. Champa is the main botanical; in perfume, champa is held in high esteem, but it also has excellent therapeutic uses. The chemical composition of champa is extremely complex, containing 240 constituents. The exotic sensual aroma enhances self-esteem and confidence. It cools and moisturizes the skin, relieves anger and is well-known to have grounding effects on the mind and body.
The Greenly Guide: Can you share with us what new and exciting things we can expect from KHUS+KHUS in 2017?
Kristi: We are currently working on bringing KHUS+KHUS into stores so you will be able to pick up our products at your local green beauty store and spa. We are also moving into some exotic aromas, incorporating oils you don’t often see in body serums. These oils are usually found in fine perfumery, and I want to expose people to the finest and unique aromas moving forward, while expanding my depth as a formulator.
An exclusive discount for The Greenly Guide readers!
We are so thrilled to offer you an amazing discount code to be used on the KHUS+KHUS website. For a very generous 25% off your purchase, please use the code TheGreenlyGuide25%
Thank you so much to Kristi for taking the time to share with us! Have you tried any KHUS+KHUS products? Let us know your favorites in the comments below!