The visionary behind Zhi Bath & Body, Kim Cross, is reshaping skincare through self-care artistry. Former hairstylist turned skin advocate, her battle with post-military psoriasis ignited a mission for sensitive skin solutions. With eight years of relentless research, Kim crafted holistic formulations free from industry toxins. Zhi’s skincare isn’t just products—it’s an empathy-fueled philosophy. Goat milk, shea, mango, and cocoa butter blend into a symphony that cleanses and nourishes.
Kim’s dedication stems from personal empathy and quality commitment. Zhi empowers individuals to embrace toxin-free regimens tailored to their sensitivities. Transformational stories from patrons affirm Zhi’s impact. Kim Cross embodies visionary compassion, shaping skincare and self-care, one soul at a time.
Christina: What is your SwagHer? What makes Kim, Kim?
Kim: I think, for the most part, I am who I am because I’m too stubborn to quit when I believe in something. I LOVE thinking out of the box and bringing folks along with me for the ride, and I’m comfortable now with sharing me and my passion for helping others with their skin issues. I had to become “ok” with my skin being “not ok”. Embracing such helped me work hard to show folks that I don’t just make a product for sensitive skin…I live in the skin that the product is for!
Before, I was 200% behind the scenes – helping people but staying out of the spotlight, still grappling with my own insecurities. I got sucked into the rabbit hole of thinking I had to be all put together and say just the right things to be accepted and taken seriously. That is until I learned and became ok with not being for everyone and ok with giving people “me”- the me that loves to laugh, almost never wears makeup, hates to comb my hair, is forever in my glasses, but has also spent half my life in the service of making others look, feel, and smell beautiful. Once I embraced that Kim, it was over! I am quirky, love things that most don’t, and try to find the good in all situations while I teach others that it’s ok to do the same. Teaching people that the journey to loving self can be as simple as washing your face.
Christina: Why did you choose to pursue skincare? What is the story behind Zhi Bath & Body?
Kim: My path in life had me destined for skincare, I swear it did. I primarily pursued skin care because I needed products for myself and I could not find them. Since I was seven, I have known hair care is my gift. That may be strange, but it’s very true. My love of hair set the foundation for me to have knowledge and experience with formulas and products–what they should and shouldn’t do. Because I began battling the challenges of psoriasis after serving in the military, I found myself sidelined from my hairstyling career due to sensitized and irritated skin. This pivotal moment ignited the spark that led to the creation of Zhi Bath & Body. I was disappointed but very determined to find a solution and stay in the industry. Several years of trial and error, one disaster after the next…Zhi became the business I didn’t dream of having, but I was led to pursue. I’m in my 18th year and continue pursuing excellence in goat milk skincare and spreading the word to others that they don’t have to suffer. Skin disease is real; it’s irritating and emotionally draining, but there are products out there to soothe and make you feel beautiful. I found it for me, so now I share it with others.
Christina: How do you practice self-care?
Kim: I love, love, love to color! Adult coloring books are my thing! However, as my business has grown and I’m pivoting to teaching and private label services, I’ve had to find new ways to take time for myself because going into my closet with my pens and books for hours isn’t going to help fill orders and create new formulas.
I had to find ways to care for myself that didn’t take time and a lot of money. That’s how self-care through skincare began. I noticed how my goat milk lotion made me just want to keep smelling my hands and how soothing the aroma was. I was literally able to zone out to zone back in. With that newfound focus on aroma, I applied it to all my skincare. Taking a shower was amazing, applying body oil was amazing, and even my hair mask was an amazing experience because I took the time to enjoy the aroma, not just “Oh, that smells good. Let’s move on.” It became a whole thing, so now I practice self-care daily through my skincare routine by focusing on and enjoying the feeling of my products on my skin and the aroma. Outside of that, eating Moose Tracks ice cream is a form of self-care all its own.
Christina: What are some of your favorite Zhi Bath and Body products?
Kim: Oh my! My favorites? All of them! And that is all the way the truth. Even though I now formulate for needs other than my own, Zhi was birthed for me and my skin. I get roasted often for always plugging my own product…it’s fun because I really do, and I will continue to because I don’t use products other than my own.
So I’ll answer this way…the items that go with me everywhere I go without fail are Irresistible Pussé Intimate Foam, Goat Milk Lotion, Butter Magic Foot Balm, Whiff Body Spray, and Mochaccino Lip Balm. I love all my products because I can get clean, smell amazing, and feel beautiful without irritation. However, my “always with me” products are wonderful AND multipurpose. 1.) The foam can be used all over. 2.) The lotion can be used as a hair moisturizer. 3.) The foot balm can be used on knees and elbows. 4) Whiff doubles as perfume or body spray. 5) My lip balm handles ashy hands and ashy lips.
The ability to have a product that is useful for more than one thing is golden, and I enjoy being able to create products that do that.
Christina: Complete this sentence. Skincare is…
Kim: … self-care. So many people don’t understand that the skin is our largest organ. Taking care of that organ is critical, and I love how Renee Rouleau said it…she nailed it! “Be good to your skin. You’ll wear it every day for the rest of your life.” Our skincare routines are such that with all the other toxins we ingest and inhale, we cannot afford to absorb them also.
Also, mind your stress levels and what you eat and drink. Whatever is consumed, held on to, or goes into your body will show through on your skin. So, taking the time to decompress, being mindful of what you eat/drink, and not letting things settle in your heart and spirit are the self-care your skin needs to stay healthy, youthful, and strong. That, in turn, makes you feel good and feel beautiful. Who isn’t more mentally and emotionally sound when they are clean, smell amazing, and look like a million bucks!?
Self-care through your skincare routine is a simple, easy start.
Christina: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Kim: I’d like everyone to know it is vital to read the labels on the products you use on your skin every day. Don’t wait until an issue starts; once your skin is sensitized to an ingredient, there’s no turning back. Some of us are born with skin issues; most of us have a choice. Read Those Labels! Switching to a natural skincare brand may seem hard to do because of cost or access, but the price you pay years or decades later is much more expensive.
I am also beginning a new wellness workshop that teaches self-care through skincare and gives women a few hours to themselves that they don’t/won’t normally take. Be on the lookout for details! The first one is October 27th, and I’m stoked to take it on the road to other cities in 2024. We, as women, must stop preaching to the choir and do better by ourselves so we can truly love others. This workshop will do just that. Be sure to catch Kim In A Minute on my YouTube Channel for fun doses of skincare and self-care tips and techniques in one minute or less (but sometimes more). 😀
Connect with Kim below:
InnerZhi SMS Self Care Squad:
Read some of Kim’s writings.