We speak with the hardworking beauty entrepreneur Charlize Famuyiwa-Kennedy, the founder of Kiyomila Cosmetics, the botanical skincare and wellness brand specializing in healthy, vegan products catered for individuals experiencing eczema, acne and hyperpigmentation. The founder Charlize started the brand last year and wanted to create a skincare range that will maintain the skin’s natural skin tone and reinforce the element of wellness. Passionate about skincare, she decided to turn the business idea into reality, and the rest is history!
What inspired you to start a skincare brand?
I was inspired to start a skincare brand as I have always struggled with skin problems ever since I was a child. It started with eczema on my eyes and scalp due to dairy products that I had to stop. During my teenage years, I also suffered from really bad hyperpigmentation, particularly under my eyes which people would regularly comment on. I also struggled with acne on my face and back. I then found a skincare company while I was in university that recommended a routine for me, and it worked for my acne; however, my eczema was still a problem. I had used various creams, which were only working temporarily, my eczema would keep coming back. Once my favorite skincare company announced they would be closing, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands, so I began playing around with the Shea Butter my mum had given me from Ghana. That is where my interest in skincare formulation began.
Tell us more about Kiyomila Cosmetics?
Kiyomila Cosmetics is a natural, vegan and cruelty-free brand that aims to provide results with minimal ingredients. Named after my daughter, I wanted something she could continue if she wished to when she grows up. Kiyomila Cosmetics is a brand that caters to all skin types; however, the focus is on dry skin conditions and acne as those are issues that many people struggle with. I want people to feel the same relief I did when I finally found products that worked for me after many years of trial and error!
What distinguishes your brand from other skincare brands currently on the market?
Kiyomila Cosmetics is different from many other brands as I can understand and relate to many of my customers. I have had messages from people who have mentioned skin concerns that I have suffered with, so I cannot only direct them to the product for them from my brand but also provide information on other steps they can take to reduce their symptoms. At Kiyomila Cosmetics, customer satisfaction is at the forefront, and I believe that it is the most crucial factor when having a business.
As you are a mother, how do you balance motherhood and business? Balancing motherhood and the business is a challenge; however, Mothers are superheroes! I work around my daughter’s schedule to ensure that I can always spend time with her. When she has a nap or goes to sleep, I stay up to pack orders, restock items, make products, edit the website, or make content for social media. On weekends, I am lucky enough to have my mother take her every other week, giving me time to work on the business. My husband is also an immense help with shipping packages.
Tell us a little bit about the products, and do you have a favorite? At Kiyomila Cosmetics, we currently sell body butters, body glaze and body scrubs. Our body butters are made with luxury butters, including Shea Butter and Mango Butter, to ensure you receive the ultimate hydration. Body butter is similar to lotion; however, it is thicker and hydrates the skin for longer. Our body glaze is a body oil made from moisturizing oils, and it pairs very well with our body butters. Our emulsified body scrubs are made with a combination of oils to remove dead skin and unclog pores to reveal soft and smooth skin. The difference between an emulsified body scrub and a normal body scrub is that the product isn’t crumbly due to the number of oils, and an emulsifier has been added, such as emulsifying wax. My favorite product is the Whipped Shea Butter, as it melts right in and feels amazing on the skin, leaves my skin moisturized and smelling good all day and keeps my eczema at bay.
What is your best seller, and why?
My best seller is the Whipped Shea Butter. It has a lovely scent, contains all-natural ingredients, and helps with eczema and other dry skin conditions such as psoriasis; many of my customers have dry skin conditions, which has prompted them to favor the Shea Butter.
What do you think about the rise of clean beauty? I am very excited about the rise of clean beauty as more people are becoming aware of what is going into products! It wasn’t until I took an interest in making my own skincare that I realized how many harmful ingredients were going into products that were unnecessary. We have proven that you can still achieve results with natural and minimal ingredients.
What are your tips for healthy, flawless skin, and share your skincare regimen?
My tips for healthy, clear skin are to drink plenty of water! Everyone says this, but it really is key. I always notice the difference in my skin the day after an outing where I’ve binged on fizzy drinks or juice. Trying to be as stress-free as possible is also a factor for good skin. Exercise is also very important for healthy and clear skin and washing your face twice a day as it helps to remove impurities, deep cleans your pores, and especially if you wear makeup, wipes alone won’t remove all the residue and last but not least have a good skincare routine, even if you have clear skin! I use a face mask and face scrub twice a week for my own personal routine. Every day and night, I cleanse my face, follow up with a toner, face oil or serum, moisturizer, eye cream and sunscreen, during the day only (don’t forget your sunscreen, it’s not only for hot weather!)
What advice would you give to young girls that do not feel comfortable in their own skin?
My advice for young girls not confident in their skin is to engage in self-care. You are as beautiful as you feel. When you feel your best, you look your best! Try to avoid negative thoughts about yourself. I used to always think negatively about my skin, which made it worse. I would always wear makeup to cover up my acne or scars, creating more acne and more scars. Embrace your skin as you’re not alone. Confidence is beautiful. People will always have something negative to say to others but don’t engage in those conversations or with those people. You can build up your confidence by having your hair or nails done, finding a hobby that you enjoy, making videos of your skincare journey for others who are experiencing the same thing who can also empower you.
Lastly, where do you see your brand in the next five years?
I see Kiyomila Cosmetics becoming a worldwide name in the next five years. I see us as one of the most known U.K.-based skincare brands. When people ask for skincare recommendations, I would see Kiyomila cosmetics popping up multiple times. In 5 years, Kiyomila cosmetics would have helped thousands and thousands of people transform their skin and hair. We would have expanded to not only skincare but also hair care. I would have hired a whole team and warehouse due to the increase in our customer base.
You can find the brand here: https://kiyomilacosmetics.com/