Kuura Essentials; aromatherapy and essential oils
Kuura Essentials; aromatherapy and essential oils
Photo: Sari Ayre
Many people are interested in essential oils. I have written an entire article about essential oils here on my blog. My opinion on essential oils has been quite cautious and I myself use them very rarely in my own products. The safe use of essential oils has its own challenges. I try to support people to learn how to use essential oils safely and in moderation.
For this article, I interviewed Maija Vastamäki about the use of essential oils. Maija Vastamäki has founded the Kuura Essentials cosmetics brand based on essential oils. In Kuura Essentials products, the use of essential oils has been taken to a whole new, innovative level. Maija Vastamäki is a person who knows a lot about essential oils. He has chosen perhaps the most challenging of the genres of cosmetics. Essential oils have a huge variety of properties and possibilities, no matter what. It came as a surprise to me how elaborate cosmetics can be made from essential oils. That’s why it was so interesting to talk with Maija. In this article, you will get a real dose of information about essential oils and the wonderful products of Kuura Essentials.
Maija Vastamäki has a long experience in the world of cosmetics
Maija Vastamäki has studied as a Cidesco cosmetologist at the Finnish School of Cosmetology. Cidesco cosmetologist is a prestigious international cosmetology degree that can only be completed at selected educational institutions. After graduation, Maija worked for many years at the top of Finnish cosmetics, for example taking care of resale and participating in fairs and other events.
Maija Vastamäki says that she was already interested in cosmetics as a child, and specifically in the caring side of it. He dreamed of having his own cosmetics store, where he could sell skin care and gentle products to her customers. Entrepreneurship was already in Maija’s mind as a child.
When exhausted in a busy and demanding working life, Maija started to think more deeply about the purpose of everything: “I started thinking about how nature works. Why are so many chemicals foreign to nature used in cosmetics that might be harmful to humans”, says Maija. All chemicals used in cosmetics enter the body and potentially may cause problems there. Cosmetics containing a lot of chemicals, foreign to nature, no longer corresponded to Maija’s values.
Kuura’s first product was a tick repellent
Maija started to seriously think about own company of her own. Her family has yachting as a hobby and they sped a lot of time in the archipelago of Baltic Sea. The tick problem is significantly worse in the archipelago than on the mainland. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find a single safe tick removal product in the stores. Maija decided to make one by herself. This is how the first product of Kuura Essentials was born, (Outdoor No1.) Nowadays called a Ground Level.
(Outdoor No1) Ground Level is intended for tick removal. Maija first developed the product only for her own family and close friends. The product turned out to be quite effective. Maija’s friends encouraged her to start making an effective and safe tick repellent for sale, available to everyone. This is how Kuura Essentials began. Maija Vastamäki started the business and designing the products in 2017. The company was officially founded in January 2019 and the first products went on sale in June 2019.
Essential oils are much more than just fragrances
We talked with Maija about the most important raw material of Kuura’s products, i.e., essential oils.
Essential oils are generally associated only as cosmetic fragrances. In reality, essential oils are very versatile cosmetic ingredients, says Maija. Not all aspects of essential oils are widely known.
Essential oils as fragrance
The most familiar use for essential oils is as fragrances in cosmetics. There is currently only one product in the Kuura Essentials product range that has been developed specifically as a fragrance. The summer perfume Joy is a natural fragrance made from essential oils and carrier oil. Joy is an intoxicatingly floral scent and reminds me of warm summer days. Joy smells good for a couple of hours, after which it can be added a little bit more to the skin. For me, who is not used to fragrances, Joy is a treasure because the usual perfumes are too strong for me.
The aromatherapeutic effect of essential oils
the aromatherapeutic effect is a very important property of essential oils. Essential oils reach the brain with the help of breathing and act there in many positive ways. The selection of essential oils includes products that soothe and relax. Good examples of these are, for example, petitgrain and ylang ylang.
There are also mood-boosting and refreshing essential oils. These include, for example, peppermint and citrus scents. By skilfully combining different oils, the desired therapeutic effect can be added to the products. Aromatherapy is a very effective form of treatment that requires a professional to work properly.
Kuura Essentials Rise & Shine and Just Chillin’ represent aromatherapeutic products. These products are developed to calm the mind or lift the mood. Rise & Shine and Chillin’ are pre-mixed, aromatherapeutic preparations. You can safely use them directly on the skin because they are diluted in jojoba oil.
One of the leading ideas of Kuura Essentials is to bring aromatherapy within the reach of every person. You don’t need to get yourself many different essential oils and try different blends. In the products of Rise & Shine and Just Chillin’, different essential oils are ready to use, pre-mixed.
Cosmetic effect of essential oils
Essential oils contain a lot of different nourishing plant chemicals. These plant chemicals can effectively affect the condition of the skin. This skin conditioning effect of essential oils was new to me. For example, turmeric essential oil affects collagen production. The suitable combination of lemon and eucalyptus helps the active substances to be absorbed deeper into the skin.
Maija talks about a synergistic mix. When carefully selected essential oils are combined, new and more intense results are achieved. This is exactly how the luxurious Skin Warrior facial oil from Kuura Essentials is made. Skin Warrior face oil is perhaps the best face oil on the market. It is a very high-quality product, where the essential oils have been selected synergistically for the cosmetic effect.
The production of Skin Warrior facial oil required a very high level of professionalism. All the ingredients of the product are carefully considered. The essential oils and plant extracts of Skin Warrior face oil work seamlessly together. There is nothing unnecessary in the product such as emulsifiers or preservatives. Skin Warrior facial oil works really well on the skin. It does not leave a greasy feeling on the skin because the ingredients of the product have been selected so that they are absorbed into the skin particularly well. The skin feels very silky, soft and smooth after Skin Warrior.
Functional effect of essential oils
The functional effect of essential oils is easy to recognize in the first products of Kuura Essentials, (Outdoor No1) Ground Level and (Outdoor No2) Air Born. The starting point in the development of outdoor products has been essential oils and their ingredients that affect the sense of smell of ticks and mosquitoes.
Certain essential oils repel ticks and mosquitoes. Scents are important to most insects. Mosquitoes and ticks navigate to their target based on scents. Essential oils contain natural fragrance components that repel insects. Mosquitoes and ticks avoid certain smells. Both insect species have their own repulsive scents, so the same product does not repel both insects.
The healing effect of essential oils
Many essential oils contain ingredients that may help treat skin conditions. Acne and psoriasis, for example, benefit from certain essential oils. Many essential oils are also antimicrobial. They can be used to help with various skin infections.
Kura Essentials invests in quality
We talked a lot with Maija Vastamäki about the quality of the products. The issue of quality is obviously very important to Kuura Essentials. The products are 100% natural. They do not contain additional chemicals such as preservatives or emulsifiers. The absence of preservatives is an important thing in itself. The products are water-free, so they don’t really need preservatives. To prevent the oxidation of the oils, the products have used as many natural substances as possible, such as vitamin E and rosemary extract.
Quality of raw materials
Maija Vastamäki and I share the same values when it comes to raw materials. We both love organic, fresh, unrefined and as natural ingredients as possible. Maija Vastamäki makes each of her products with great love and ambition. The uncompromising quality of raw materials is clearly visible in all Kuura Essentials products. You won’t find similar quality in the expensive products of big cosmetic houses.
Kuura Essentials invests in organic raw materials, if possible. Organic quality is usually always more expensive than conventionally produced. Organic products contain less harmful plant protection substances. Since essential oils are powerful concentrates, possible environmental toxins are also concentrated in essential oils. Therefore, especially for essential oils, the organic quality cultivated without plant protection agents is very important.
Organic raw materials also have more active ingredients than conventionally produced ones. Organically grown plants receive nutrients in the right proportion and grow more restrained. In this way, the number of active substances in the plant increases.
Small wholesale packages ensure the freshness of the raw materials
The Kura Essentials stock does not display large wholesale packages. In large wholesale packages, the raw materials do not stay fresh in the same way a than in small 30 millilitre glass bottles, says Maija. When you open the wholesale package, the product starts to spoil immediately. A small package can be used all at once and nothing is left to spoil. By using small, glass wholesale bottles, each product batch is of top quality and you always get a first-class product.
There is another problem with large wholesale packages. Wholesale essential oil packaging is often made of aluminium, which is not the best possible packaging material for essential oils. For that reason alone, Kuura Essentials obtains the essential oils used in its products in small, 30 millilitre glass bottles.
I asked Maija how an ordinary consumer can be sure of the quality of essential oils. The question is quite difficult. Only experience teaches you to notice deviations in quality. It takes a long time to gain enough experience. Buy the same essential oil from several different manufacturers and compare the oils, advises Maija. Maija also advises getting to know the seller of essential oils better and the company’s values. If the company does not provide the customer with sufficient information about its products, it is worth changing the supplier.
The ethics of essential oils is a big issue
Essential oils are big business in the world. The international trade of essential oils is therefore often quite ruthless. The rules of ethics are often forgotten, especially by large international operators. For example, rosewood essential oil is very popular in the perfume industry. Unfortunately, the real rosewood has almost disappeared from the Brazilian rainforests, and growing rosewood is difficult. That’s why rosewood is often smuggled and sold on the black market. Another endangered tree is the Indian wild sandalwood. Sandalwood is cultivated in Australia, which is ethical.
Kuura Essentials is particularly careful about the ethics of the raw materials it uses: Maija Vastamäki says that she only gets all essential oils from companies that are transparent and openly disclose the origin of the oils. She wants to know as precisely as possible the facts related to the production and origin of the raw materials she uses.
Treat essential oils with respect
Essential oils should be treated with respect. They are powerful concentrates, for the production of which huge amounts of valuable plant raw material have been used. Wasteful use of essential oils or careless storage are unethical practices. Kuura carefully stores its own essential oils in a cool place, always protected from light and air. In this way, precious raw materials are not wasted.
If you want to store essential oils for a really long time, store them in the fridge, advises Maija. When stored in the refrigerator, essential oils can last for up to 10 years.
Kuura Essentials packs its products in special glass
The glass packaging of the Kuura Essentials products is very interesting. Kura Essentials’ newest products, Skin Warrior facial oil and the fragrance Joy, are packaged in special Miron Violet glass bottles. All other products were also changed to Mironi’s high-quality glass bottles at the end of summer 2022.
Miron Violet glass is a real miracle. It improves the shelf life of products by four times compared to ordinary glass or plastic. Miron Violet glass contains special minerals that increase the shelf life of plant-based products and keep the product’s potency unchanged. This is based on the fact that the Miron Violet glass prevents the product’s biophotons from disappearing. Biophotons are light particles generated by living cells. Biophotons are normally lost from products very easily during storage, i.e., the product ages and deteriorates. Miron Violet glass is able to protect the product so that the activity of the product’s biophotons remains good for a long time. Kuura Essentials’ Miron Violet glass packaging thus also acts as a product preservative.
Safety of essential oils
We also discussed a few words about the safety of essential oils.
Maija does not recommend essential oils at all for children under 3 years old. Therefore, you must always know how to use essential oils in moderation and correctly. No essential oils should ever be used undiluted directly on the skin. Some essential oils can be really dangerous to your health in large doses. Other essential oils can cause unwanted effects when misused.
Always accurately measure the essential oil you use in the cosmetic products you make and strictly follow the limit values. Do not use essential oils internally, never swallow them.
If you use essential oils when making cosmetics, I want to remind you about the limit values
- The product to be left on the face must not contain more than 1% essential oils
- The product intended for the lips must not contain more than 0.5% essential oils
- In eye area products, essential oils are not recommended at all, use hydrolats.
- The product to be left on the body must not contain more than 5% essential oils, however try to stay below 3% even in body products
- In products that can be rinsed off, I personally would not use essential oils at all. Why add precious essential oils if the product is meant to be rinsed off. Use hydrolats or hydrosols in rinse-off products.
Kuura Essentials is growing little by little
The sales of Kuura Essentials have been growing all the time but the growth has been under control all the time. The founder of Kuura Essentials, Maija Vastamäki, is a mother of small children and wants to fully invest in children and family life. She wants to proceed in an orderly manner and develop her company in harmony keeping her family as number one. In the future, when the situation allows, Maija’s intention is to grow the company more.
Kuura Essentials products are of high quality and also unique. There would already be demand abroad as well. However, Maija does not yet want to take a big step to become an international brand. Currently, Kuura Essentials products can be purchased from their own online store and from several well-known retailers, both online and in selected stores. Kuura Essentials’ retail network is commendably comprehensive.
Check out Kuura’s Essentials blog
There is a very informative blog in Kuura Essentials website. If you ever want to know anything about essential oils, visit the Kuura Essentials blog pages. Kuura’s blog is a reliable place to update your own knowledge about essential oils. On the websites of the sellers of essential oils, the properties of essential oils are often told in a very commercial way. The information shared on the Kuura Essentials blog is based on Maija’s long training and versatile knowledge of the field. The information on the Kuura Essentials blog is therefore unbiased.