Alexa Rager, founder of Cocokitty Beauty, is an on-the-go millennial spearheading the present-day natural revolution of beauty products in Philadelphia. Her blend of all-natural ingredients in her multi-purpose coconut oil line covers a wide range of health and beauty solutions. “The uses are endless!” says Rager.
Cocokitty Beauty offers handmade skincare and edible oils, that are cruelty-free and made with 100% real, organic and vegan ingredients. The line is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetics, artificial fragrances and dyes. Ingredients are chosen based off the most appealing scents, delicious flavors and valuable health and skin nourishment.
Glowing skin was the driving force behind the brand
While living in California, Rager grew accustomed to the holistic wellness culture of the West Coast and began to explore a more health-conscious lifestyle. She found herself researching ingredients and educating herself on what she was eating and putting on her skin. To her surprise, she discovered that harmful ingredients and toxic chemicals were hidden in her reputable skin products and lotions. This prompted her to make her own at-home products and experiment with infusing coconut oils.
The oil blends played a huge role in clearing up Rager’s cystic acne and still help her maintain smooth, flawless skin. “A few years ago, I was on a personal journey to solve skin issues that I’d been struggling with for years. I experimented and created skin purrfect face oils in a last ditch effort to find a solution to my long time (and embarrassing) struggle with adult cystic acne, and I finally said goodbye to monthly steroid shots and antibiotics.”
When she returned to Philadelphia, she began sharing with friends and family sample products to use. Wanting to create skin care for everyone, she experimented with infusing all-natural blends that combined non-comedogenic oils to make sure that her products were pure and preventative. The options were a success and people began asking to make purchases. At that time, Rager’s family business was closing and she would soon find herself in need of work. As a result, she decided to venture into entrepreneurship and created Cocokitty Beauty. What started as a personal hobby was now a blossoming craze among the Philadelphia community.
Why coconut oil?
Coconut oil can be used to improve oral hygiene, skin care, and is a go-to for beauty solutions, flavor enhancing food and drink, and even for physical intimacy. For beauty purposes, the oils can be used as makeup remover, hair smoother, or lip and skin moisturizer. In the kitchen, they can be used to enhance the taste of smoothies, coffee, teas or drizzled as a food topping over oatmeal or ice cream. In the bedroom, they are great as a massage oil and the tasty, edible ingredients heighten the intimate experience.
Oil pulling, a holistic dental hygiene alternative
Coconut oil continues to gain popularity for its health-boosting qualities and uses, especially with oil pulling. Oil pulling is a holistic remedy used to promote balance in the body and rid it of harmful bacteria. “Even though oil pulling is becoming more common, it’s still relatively unheard of,” says Rager. “Oil pulling practices have actually existed for a very long time.” This healing ritual stems from the Ayurvedic practices and philosophies originating thousands of years ago in Indian culture.
When transitioning to all-natural alternatives, switching out your chemically-based mouthwash for detoxifying oil is an easy replacement. Traditionally, you start by using a teaspoon to a tablespoon of oil and swish it around in your mouth constantly for up to 20 minutes, but no longer as this will reverse the benefits and bacteria or toxins may reabsorb back to the body. The swishing act is said to remove, or “pull,” unwanted particles from the mouth, eliminating bad bacteria without killing good bacteria needed to fight infections within the mouth. The coconut oil also has properties that whiten teeth, removing stains without damaging enamel, and reduces inflammation in the gums.
Rager explained, “The gist of it is, your mouth is a petri dish of bacteria. You can keep it under control with everyday routines such as brushing, flossing and tongue scraping, but harmful bacteria can sometimes grow out of control and enter your bloodstream through your teeth and their roots.” She recommends using Meowmint, which is her peppermint-infused coconut oil, or Cinnameow, her cinnamon-infused coconut oil, for oil pulling. These blends are the most refreshing and give a cooling, tingling sensation. For a mild taste, Meowilla is her vanilla-infused blend that can be calming to the body. However, all of the flavors help make the 20 minute process more enjoyable and, for Rager, have helped her to develop this powerful health habit.
While there may be some skepticism regarding coconut oil’s overall impact on the body, long-term, structured practice has been seen in some cases to reduce internally-based illnesses, like chronic infection or disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and sinus infections.
Holistic practitioners, like Danielle White, owner of HAVEN Wellness Center, looks to Cocokitty and oil pulling as a solution to protecting her body against autoimmune disease. “I have been oil pulling for about 8 years every morning. Mainly, it is great for maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, and I have excellent dental health because of this. I have an autoimmune disease and am very into preventative medicine. I started oil pulling as a preventative measure to keep my immune system strong and to not engage flare ups. My mother has eradicated her sinus infections by oil pulling because the antimicrobial, antibacterial properties of the oil aid in keeping her sinuses clear and uninfected,” says Danielle, who uses Cocokitty as her go-to brand. “I love the Cocokitty products for oil pulling as they add a little kick to the oil pulling experience. I love the cinnamon product and its warming and circulating properties!”
Part of Rager’s mission with Cocokitty Beauty is to inform the wellness community about the benefits of using organic products and the versatility of coconut oils and oil blends. She has spent years building her expertise to perfect the most effective product combinations. In order to spread the word, Rager collaborates with other health and wellness brands and businesses and appears at conferences in Philadelphia and New York promoting more organic, holistic and homeopathic practices. “I love being able to educate people on something that they genuinely have an interest in learning and can have such a powerful impact on their their health and wellness. Even as simple as them finding new all-natural products to switch to replace the conventional and outdated products causing many of our health issues today!”
In one year of operations, Cocokitty Beauty is progressing to the next level of production with new product collections featuring the original infused coconut oils, edible lotions, all-natural bronzers, face masks and illuminating oils and intense moisturizing balms. In addition, Cocokitty reaches another milestone as they enter year two by offering wholesale ordering, which is now available through their e-commerce shop at indigofair.com
The beauty line is also popping up in local retail shops around Philadelphia, like Downerss Boutique and HAVEN Wellness Center, and Rager hopes to collaborate with more boutiques and wellness companies around the area to offer products and educational workshops. She shows her support by making donations to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and hopes to create a fundraising product collection to give back to more charities.