Settling in Australia after fleeing war-torn Bosnia, Lejla Cas eventually embarked on a career in the skincare industry in 2000. Not long after, she was introduced to the healing benefits of Reiki and began dreaming of creating a company based on energy work. In 2007, Cas came to the U.S. on a work visa. Working for leading international cosmetic brands, she traveled the country and found herself feeling constantly stressed, much like the clients she was seeing. Believing beautiful skin starts from within, she was inspired to use her energy work not just on herself but others as well. It led her to her calling, the creation of luxury face masks incorporating nurturing ingredients and the healing power of gemstones and minerals. In 2012, Cas and her husband founded Knesko, a blending of their last names, representing unity and creativity. Today, Knesko masks can be found in a host of five-star spas, exclusive resorts, and luxury boutiques. Here, Cas shares how masking, meditating, and delving deep into energy work helps her look and feel better.
What does wellness mean to you?
To me, wellness is all about creating healthy habits daily so that you are happier and healthier. Tackling daily tasks with a big smile and radical acceptance always helps when it comes to overcoming stress and anxiety. We are always busy and on the go, therefore, being kind to yourself and doing the best you can on a daily basis to take care of yourself is a must. I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to do so much. Taking a step back and focusing on what you can get to in that moment is so important versus trying to do it all at once. I say do at least one nice thing for yourself each day so that you can show up as the best version of yourself to all who depend on you.
What are your favorite things to do to maintain your personal wellbeing?
I love to eat clean and exercise. Walks in nature really help me feel grounded. I love to meditate and spa at home with my Knesko masks. I do it on the go, and/or at least once a week, I set a nice ritual space for myself (a bath is my fave or while making breakfast for my kids). I am a positive person and feel that sending love to others always helps me feel the best on the inside and keeps me in optimal health.
Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?
I’ve been really enjoying bike riding. I have a Peloton bike and enjoy jumping on a ride whenever I want and feeling like I am a part of a community without needing to leave my home. It’s a productive way to work out, as I can get back to work rather quickly and don’t lose time in transit. I balance that with other exercises like yoga and stretching.
What is your favorite healthy food, and do you have a favorite way of preparing it?
I love chia-seed puddings with strawberries, blueberries, and bananas.
What is your favorite healthy beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and do you have any insider tips for preparing it?
I love kale smoothies with protein powder, banana, collagen, flax, and chia seeds. I try to have one at least once a day. It’s simple, and it doesn’t take too long to make. I also enjoy celery juice freshly squeezed once a day.
What is your greatest wellness achievement?
I decided to quit drinking alcohol 10 years ago. It changed my life for the better and improved my health so much. I think more and more people are turning to this lifestyle for the better. It’s exciting times.
What is the best piece of wellness advice you have ever received and from whom?
Prioritize mental health and take responsibility for your own healing. I feel that often it’s such an overlooked topic but being able to look your discomfort in the eyes and work through it really helps when it comes to living a life well-lived. I am all about shedding the layers and looking deep. I love that entire process. I got this advice from a dear mentor and Reiki master who initiated me into Reiki energy healing, and I was not afraid to look within and do it daily.
What do you think is the most exciting wellness innovation you have recently discovered?
Investing in spiritual self-care. Even though this has been a core of the Knesko Skin brand philosophy since the company was founded in 2012, I think it’s nice to see the industry moving in this direction and normalizing spirituality no matter what your beliefs are. Chakra balancing, energy healing, and taking care of your soul has become appealing to many, especially young people. At Knesko, we encourage everyone to look within. Our collections are infused with Reiki energy and healing gemstones and minerals that help balance chakras while clinically backed for optimal performance. Helping to create beautiful healthy habits and weekly rituals, we are a lifestyle brand that is there to remind our clients to slow down.
What do you think is the most overused word or words in wellness?
Biohacking. It’s a very vague word that can mean many different things.
Do you have a secret health or wellness tip you would like to share?
Get at least seven hours of sleep a night, and each evening do a gratitude list from that day. It really shapes how you see your life and how you respond to people, places, and things. Also, accept the things in your life that you cannot change, and try to not live in the past. Gratitude can shift your whole life.
What is your favorite place for a healthy vacation or escape?
I love going to Maui or Palm Springs for a quick getaway. But if I have more time, I always go back to Perth in Western Australia, where I grew up and continue to call my second home. It has the most beautiful beaches, parks, and scenery.
Is there a particular wellness company or brand that truly impresses you with their efforts and why?
I love Terra and Co. It’s owned by my best friend, Amra Hajdarevic, who is a mompreneur, girl boss, and my soul sister. I am currently using the brand’s Gentle Green Oil Pulling + Hydroxyapatite, which is great for dental health.
What is your favorite self-care routine?
My favorite self-care routine is doing my weekly bath ritual where I use my favorite crystals, apply Knesko Collagen Face Neck and Décolleté Mask Treatment, and put on my favorite meditation music. I call it Mask, Mantra, and Meditation Ritual, something I try to educate my clients to do, as well.
What is your go-to for de-stressing?
Energy healing. I love to do Reiki on myself. I get a massage every two weeks and find it very restorative. I also really believe in fresh air and going for a walk when things get too stressful. Watching a funny movie can also do the trick. Sometimes doing nothing can be a restorative experience, especially when your mental switch is always on. I don’t feel bad about indulging in Netflix from time to time. I love a good movie.
What aspect of your wellbeing do you struggle with the most, or would most like to improve?
I would love to cook more and incorporate more superfoods into my diet. Being self-employed and the mother of two young girls, I am always wanting to do better and find it difficult to find the time to explore new meals and learn new recipes. This is a focus for me for the next decade of my life. I really want to learn to cook more.
What wellness-related books or authors do you recommend, and why?
I often listen to audiobooks and some of my favorites are 101 Ways to Change Your Life and The Secrets of the Power of Intention by Dr Wayne W. Dyer, Super Attractor: Methods for Manifesting a Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams by Gabrielle Bernstein, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, and Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness by Vex King.
How do you celebrate small victories?
Whether personal or professional, I tend to always celebrate with my husband, kids, and a close group of friends by going out to dinner and indulging in a delicious meal. I love trying new foods and exploring different restaurants. I also often celebrate by simply affirming my gratitude and going within. These small victories can be so personal that it’s less about how I celebrate on the outside and more about how they make me feel on the inside, and that’s enough for me.
What brings you joy?
Honestly, these days simple things in life bring me joy, including quality family time, quality friendships, and relationships that give deep meaning to my life. Being able to be in the present moment with my loved ones, for me, is the most important thing and something I never want to lose sight of. I also love to travel and see new places, and as I get older, one of my goals will be to visit as many beautiful countries as I can and expose my girls to this gorgeous world we live in.