KAI: THE SCENT OF TROPICS

Have you recently come back from a holiday in the tropics, soaking up the sun on a white sand beach? No me neither. My toddler-free sister has. As much as I would love to go off grid for a week in a place that involves lounging under a parasol, this isn’t compatible with an overactive child who throws tomato on walls and runs around pointing and screaming ‘daaaaaaaa!’ every time he sees a bus. Although there would be no buses on the beach… Anyway if you’re looking for the tropics to come to you, I can’t offer white sand but kai can sort out the exotic scent. Founder Gaye Straza was inspired by her holidays in the tropics to develop kai’s unique white flower scent which runs through the entire range of fragrance, body and home care products. The first time she wore it she was stopped in the street by a beauty editor asking where she could buy the fragrance. Nowadays kai can be found in spas and exclusive boutiques as well as beauty destinations such as Liberty and Cultbeauty. The natural Californian brand is relevant now more than ever, with the full range being paraben, sulfate, phthalate, phosphate, microbead, gluten and cruelty free. Oh and it’s vegan.

Kai the scent of tropics groupshot FreshBeautyFix

Perfume Oil

A spray on format is most popular for fragrances, however if you’d prefer not to be enveloped in a cloud of scent, the perfume oil provides a good alternative. This is applied with a roller ball to pulse points (wrists), behind ears and on the back of your neck. The oil rich in natural essences remains closer to your skin so it’s a more – ahem – intimate choice, you’re not sharing your fragrance with the whole open plan office. Not that you wouldn’t want to with kai’s delicious gardenia and white exotics scent. The roll-on vial contains 1/8 fl. oz. which equates to 3.7ml. That doesn’t sound like much but you don’t need to apply much to get a cocooning feeling, and it’s the perfect travel-size (I do like my travel sizes).

 

Body Wash

Since working in product development I’m more aware of ingredient lists and this one makes for an intriguing read. The body wash contains extracts of cucumber, lemon peel, elder flower and ivy. The cucumber, lemon peel and elderflower I get, these sound like perfect ingredients for a fresh, invigorating shower gel – or for a summer cocktail. But I don’t think I’ve ever come across ivy in a beauty product before. What it is supposed to do? Apparently the plant is known to reduce inflammation, increase oxygenation to the body and heal the skin (organicfacts). I’m not sure how much effect a wash-off product can have on healing skin, but it can’t hurt. As with all kai products it smells beautiful and adds another layer of fragrance for a longer lasting scent trail, but at £30.00 this is probably one to keep for pamper sessions. Or you could opt for a travel set with a little bit of everything for £39.00.

Kai full range of products

Deodorant

I’ve previously highlighted this lovely deodorant as a great natural option and would say it’s one of the best scents I’ve come across when it comes to deodorants. Fresh, light, and floral, it contains vitamin E and chamomile for a nourishing application that keeps you feeling dry throughout the day. I wouldn’t go as far as comparing its efficacy to that of a high performance sports one, but as an everyday option it works. The majority of kai products carry the same scent which allows you to layer to your heart’s content, from the body wash and body lotion to the perfume and this deodorant. As you’d expect from kai it is free from aluminium, a compound which has been associated with health issues including breast cancer. It retails at £20.00, not cheap but sticks do last longer than sprays and the natural composition drives the price up.

 

Linen wash

There aren’t many beauty brands who branch out into cleaning products but once I’d had a think about it, it made complete sense for your clothes and linen to carry the same scent as your skincare. A great way to add an extra layer of your signature perfume. As a lifestyle brand the kai range includes a candle and diffuser, so the linen wash can be part of the home fragrance category. The scent lends itself particularly well to linen wash, it’s biodegradable and suitable for delicate washes (I’ve used it on my cashmere sweater).

Kai may be a niche lifestyle brand for now, but it has the right ingredients to appeal to the increasing number of consumers searching for a natural beauty offering. Have you already tried a kai product? You’d be in good company with the  likes of Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron and Reese Witherspoon named as kai fans. Leave a comment below to let me know.

 

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