Beauty / Beauty Feature

How Costa Brazil became the cult beauty brand everyone is using

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When former creative director of Calvin Klein Collection's womenswear, Francisco Costa, left his day job and went back to his Brazilian roots, coming up with one of the most chic and effective beauty brands in the world was not exactly what we expected. But for Costa, it was a timely evolution - something he had been planning all along, and so, Costa Brazil was born.

It started with two oils, one for the body, one for the face. Featuring a blend of ingredients coined the Jungle Complex, each oil is made up of Kaya, a super essential fatty acid; Cacay, a natural retinol; and Breu Branco, a resin native to the Amazon rainforest which is said to balance the sixth chakra and reduce stress. The hero -  the Breu - is the secret, intoxicatingly fragrant ingredient, and the resin of the Almacega tree, which is an antioxidant that can be used for all kinds of things like repelling mosquitoes to healing cuts. During his hiatus, Costa took six months to plot his next move, alongside a trip to the deep Amazon for the first time in his life. After taking a six-hour-long canoe ride away from civilization, Costa spent 10 days in the Acre region with the Indigenous Yaminawá tribe, where Costa Brazil was conceived.

While the story of Costa's conception seems rather mystical, the products do enough heavy lifting to affirm it. I have been trialing the two core/cult products, the Kaya Jungle Firming Oil and the Kaya Anti-Aging Face Oil for some weeks now. The details, below.

 

Óleo Para Corpo Kaya Jungle Firming Body Oil

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What it is

The cult-status Kaya Jungle Firming Oil is a blend of cold-pressed active ingredients native to the Amazon rainforest. As skin-softening as it is intoxicating, the Kaya Jungle Firming Oil is laden with antioxidants and nourishing vitamins for the skin. The famed Jungle Complex is a patented formula that includes mineral-rich kaya, antioxidant-packed cacay and fragrant Breu Branco resin for the skin. Alongside this, tucuma, buriti, Brazil nut, patauá and pecqui seed oils provide the skin with hydration, comfort, and a significant glow.

What the ingredients do

While the above sounds luxurious, it can be easy to get caught up in the marketing of it all. for clarity, Kaya oil is a powerful antioxidant-rich in selenium, vitamin E, magnesium, and essential fatty acids that work together to improve texture and tone, while nourishing skin. Cacay oil is rich in vitamins A and E, omega 3, 6, and 9, and works to smooth skin. The aforementioned Breu Branco is an aromatic natural resin with a purported calming effect on the body and mind and features antimicrobial and skin-soothing benefits.

Brazil nut oil is a highly nutrient-rich oil with omegas 3, 9, and natural forms of vitamins A and E; Murumuru butter deeply hydrates skin and features vitamins A and C; Tucuma seed oil features natural forms of vitamin A and omegas 3, 6, 9; and Buriti oil is also rich in vitamins A and E.

All Costa Brazil's ingredients are certified USDA organic ingredients.

What it feels like

Luxurious. At face value, like someone as creative and considered as Francisco Costa is embracing you. In reality, silky and rich. Best applied still damp out of the shower, the oil absorbs like a dream and smells like one, too. At first, it's a very nice body oil. After time, it's a very nice body oil that keeps your skin in excellent condition, providing hydration and elasticity where most needed.

Óleo Para a Face Kaya Anti Aging Face Oil

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What it is

An easily absorbed, lightweight face oil that is rich in nourishing lipids, essential fatty acids, omegas, and vitamins. Powerful antioxidants are said to boost radiance, firmness, and hydration.

What the ingredients do

The Kaya Anti Aging Face Oil is packed with the same Jungle Complex of Kaya, Cacay, and Breu Branco oils, alongside Murumuru Butter, Brazil nut oil, Baobab seed oil, a vitamin-rich antioxidant that helps to firm and soothe skin, and
Babassu seed oil, which contains vitamin E, phytosterols, and essential fatty acids to moisturize the skin.

What it feels like

Similar to the body oil (surprise, surprise), the Kaya Anti Aging Face Oil is equally as luxurious. A decidedly lighter formula for the face, it feels healing, soothing and nourishing, and hasn't lead to any breakouts thus far. A friend recently described that after using it for some time, he now has "the glow people want but for real." which basically sums it up.

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