Since childhood Kassandra Lefakinis was fascinated by essential oils both for their therapeutic and mood-enhancing properties, however, everything she came across on the market seemed “toxic and synthetic”. Even organic cosmetics didn’t have the right combination of a silky texture, dreamy aroma and visible benefits. So she did what anyone with brains, an entrepreneurial spirit, knowledge, and an innovative outlook would do – she created her own line of luxury face oils, products that are standing out in the beauty market.
Partnering with her husband Achilles to envision and create the Opuntia brand, the pair are already enjoying great success with a large fan-base in Europe and America, with most of their clientele consistently coming back for more. “When I realised that organic botanical oils replenish the skin like nothing else I thought to make luxurious blends with natural aromas. There was no market for elegant organic skincare. I was sitting on a secluded Mykonian beach with my now husband and partner Achilles. I babbled the idea aloud and he just loved it. He pushed me to see it through and offered so much value and passion to my endeavour,” Lefakinis says.
Since her early years, she has loved natural fragrances and essential oils and was even known as “the nose” in childhood for her keen sense of smell. “For me, these oils are as much about beauty as they are about aromatherapy (our motto is ‘face oils that transform your skin and mood’). Both Achilles and I spent time uncovering traditional and ancient uses of herbs and plants and their therapeutic uses. So much was learned throughout the process and also so much was instinctual,” she says.
Named from Opuntia Ficus Indica, the Latin name for prickly pear seed oil, which the brand uses as its starbase oil in the luxury face products; prickly pear is known for its high levels of antioxidants and powerful anti-ageing effects. They combine this with a rich combination of natural ingredients sourced mainly from around the Mediterranean and Asia. “After much comparison and trials with the ingredients, we now source the finest ones to use in our blends. We aim to unite elements from nature that might not be expected to mingle and are not commonly used in other products on the market; that way we are offering a more dynamic and surprising aromatic journey with all its unique benefits,” explains Lefakinis, who became a mother less than a year ago and is dynamically juggling her role as a parent with the Opuntia products and a luxury yacht chartering company.
Currently, Opuntia sells two unique products, the Revival Day and Night face oils which are sold individually and in a set. They have also been preparing a whole new line comprised of five products that will be launched in the near future: a rose water toning mist, body oil, and lip balms. With discerning and eclectic female clients aged anywhere between 25-70 years, the brand also sells in trendy boutiques, hotels, and yachts. “We have had excellent feedback with over 80% of clients returning! They generally want good skin and to fall in love with our product,” says Lefakinis, whose overall outlook on self-care and beauty has always veered towards the holistic and honoured self-awareness and attaining balance.
I ask her for advice to our readers, based on her years of research and exploration with into holistic and natural beauty: “Be aware of when you need to recenter yourself, and don’t be afraid of adopting new lifestyle habits in order to achieve that. Our oils help one reset their mind to attain more balance and also offer a very easy, noncomplicated way to upkeep an element of self-care daily.”