Meet hardworking beauty entrepreneur Charlize Famuyiwa-Kennedy, who is the founder of Kiyomila Cosmetics; the botanical skincare and wellness brand which specialises in healthy, vegan products catering for individuals experiencing eczema, acne and hyperpigmentation. 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 skin care 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 which I then had to stop. During my teenage years, I also suffered with 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 whilst I was in university who 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 favourite skincare company announced they were going to 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 and 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 wanted when she grows up. Kiyomila Cosmetics is a brand that caters to all skin types; however, the focus is for dry skin conditions and acne as those are issues that many people struggle and are struggling 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 to many other brands as I am able to 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 am able to not only direct them to the product for them from my brand, but I 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 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 am always able to 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 which gives me time to work on the business then too. My husband is also an immense help with shipping packages.
Tell us a little bit about the products and do you have a favourite?
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 are receiving the ultimate hydration. A 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 moisturising 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 due to the number of oils the product isn’t crumbly, and an emulsifier has been added such as emulsifying wax. My favourite product is the Whipped Shea Butter as it melts right in and feels amazing on the skin, leaves my skin moisturised 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 as it has a lovely scent, contains all natural ingredients, and helps with not only eczema but other dry skin conditions such as psoriasis; many of my customers have dry skin conditions which has prompted them to favour 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 into making my own skincare that I realised how many harmful ingredients were going into products which are unnecessary as 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 skin care regimen?
My tips for healthy, clear skin are: 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! For my own personal routine, I use a face mask and face scrub twice a week. Every day and night I cleanse my face, follow up with a toner, face oil or serum, moisturiser, 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 in turn made it worse. I would always wear makeup to cover up my acne or scars which then created 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 skin care journey for others who are experiencing the same thing who can also empower you.
Lastly where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, I see Kiyomila Cosmetics becoming a worldwide name. 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/
Written by: Lawrencia Nelson