ZenJen in Peru ~ January -> February 2020


Ever since I was very young, I have been interested in Spanish speaking people and their countries.  I think I got this love from my Dad.  He often visited South America and Spain so much we all took a Spanish class together.  I am still learning Spanish and the best way is to learn is go where they speak Spanish.

This year, I traveled to Peru.  My intention was for adventure, learn more about the people, their language and country and of course their native plants.

If you have been following me in on my Facebook page JenZen in Peru, you know I had many adventures including hiking, waterfalls, mountains, Peruvian festivals, food, fawn, flora and art. 

Plants of Peru

I connected with several plants that I want to share with you.  Their unique properties benefitting the skin is the reason I am adding them to my formulas. These plants are Prickly Pear Cactus, Camu Camu fruit, Aqueje fruit, Cacao, and Sacha Inchi Oil.  I am excited to share with you all of these amazing plants, but for now I am just going to focus on a few:  Aqueje (Buriti) and Sancha Inchi oil.

Agueje (Buriti) Oil-Natures Natural Retinol

I was delighted to find this fruit.  The The Aqueje tree grows widely in the lowlands of the southern Amazon, and is known by the locals as the “Tree of Life.”  Although it does not have a wonderful taste, The Peruvians recognize its nutritional abundance and add it to drinks and make an oil from the fruit.

The Aqueje Fruit is saturated with Vitamin A, even more than carrots or spinach. It also has a fair amount of Vitamin C and E.   Its’ superpower is to add nutrition, hydrate and replace old cells with new healthy skin cells.  In addition, it protects against sun damage as in is a natural sun filter.

Agueje fruit has the highest amount of beta carotene (vitamin A) which converts to the active form of retinol.  Retinol is a well-known and preferred ingredient for brightening the skin and reducing hyperpigmentation. But unlike the retinol, this plant based form of retinol will not irritate your skin.

Sacha Inchi Oil-highest Omega-3-Peruvian Miracle Oil

Sacha Inchi is a shrub that grows in the Peruvian Amazon region and the nut has been used by native Peruvian women as a miracle oil for its anti-aging benefits.

I got to experience this nut first-hand when traveling in Peru.  A kind lady next to me was munching on them and offered me one.  Why not, I popped one in my mouth and spent the next 30 minutes trying to dissolve it.  Although It was really hard for me, She had no problem though. I suspect she had years of experience and probably aware of its amazing nutrition so it was worth the trouble. Not for me, I prefer it pre-chewed in the form of an oil.

The nut contains high levels of Vitamin A, E and the highest source of plant based Omega 3’s.  it is a perfect cosmetic application restoring the lipid layer that is often lost in ageing skin-one of the prime reasons your skin has wrinkles.

It reduces damage from sun exposure, increases suppleness, soothes and regulates oil production. This oil is known to even out skin tone and doesn’t clog your pores.  I plan to add this oil to my formulas for healthier firmer skin.

Cacoa-Food of the Gods

Cacoa is rightly called the “food of the Gods” because of its numerous nutritional benefits and it is the very best tasting food, right! I became familiar with Cacoa when visiting Ecuador on a farm where they made chocolate from the bean. I watched them collect the large pod, extract the beans encased in white creamy and sweet substance. It is common to suck the creamy liquid off for a special treat. Then the beans are dried, roasted, cracked and ground down to what is called Cacoa-the base for any chocolate treat.

Cacoa is not just wonderful to eat but is also used in skincare. They are packed with anti-oxidants, and flavonoids and are specially noted to increase the elasticity of the skin, revive dull skin, protect from the sun and moisturize dry skin.

Amazonian oils and powders used in ZenJenSkin product line

These amazing ingredients will be in several of my products, but for now- I reformulated Hello Sunshine, Sun Lotion and created two new products called Tinted Sun Stick and Cacao Brightening Mask. All of these ingredients are natural sun filters and have several skin loving benefits. My new product, Tinted Sun Stick has a 30+ SPF using plant based natural sun filters. I hope you will enjoy my new formulas and products and be looking for several more to come!