Kiss My Face came to life in the early 80's as the first all natural, organic facial care company. Tell us a little bit about what it was like in the early years.
The biggest challenge in the beginning was that people didn’t always believe that natural products would be as effective as synthetic ingredients. The plus side was that there was a great proliferation of smaller retailers at that point, who were willing to take risks on new products. Now, you have a Whole Foods that controls maybe a third of the products in the natural products industry, while they probably had one or two stores when we started.
The greatest key to our success was that everybody came back to the products. That great big, ugly green bar soap lasts forever. People thought, “Not only does it make my skin feel great, it’s a great value.” Soap is, in a way, the ultimate green beauty product, because it uses itself up. When you’re done, all you’re left with is a recyclable wrapper. People always loved our name, and they still do. People loved the fragrances, because they were different from others on the market. Our olive bar soap is still the number one soap in the natural body products arena.
Your focus has always been to create fantastic skin care products, while being earth conscience. What companies did you looked to as a peer in values while you were building your business?
When we started out, there really weren’t any skincare companies doing what we wanted to do. We looked up to other natural products manufacturers that were more outside the skin care arena. Celestial Seasonings teas were picking their own ingredients and growing them in Colorado. Kashi cereals, the founders, Phil and Gayle, are great friends and great inspirations. We would always get together and schmooze at trade shows. They were creating healthy breakfast options that actually tasted good. Also Leo and Vlad from Nature’s Gate were collecting rainwater in a barrel and making shampoo!
As you well know, the terms, green, natural and organic are now common phrases in the beauty industry, but the beauty industry is deceptive. What do we need to know when it comes to shopping for eco-friendly skin care lines.
One of the big things is to know about the company, and what’s behind the company. If it’s a company that’s making all kinds of junk and they have one line that has a few natural ingredients in it, then you have to ask yourself, “What’s behind the whole company? Is it as authentic as it was when it first started out? Is it a big company that started a small green division that they’re putting all their marketing dollars into?” If the customer buys those products, they’re essentially supporting a chemical company. Of course, we encourage bigger companies to take responsibility and “go green”, but it is important consumers still keep an eye on them to make sure they are serious through and through.Don’t respond to bumper sticker labels; do a little research online. There’s a lot of misleading terminology being thrown around. If you don’t understand something, ask the company. Usually, if you’re a company that is authentically doing the right thing, you should have the resources online and via phone to answer questions.
What natural ingredients does Kiss My Face use to combat the signs of aging, and what makes these ingredients so special?
A few of the ingredients that we utilize for anti-aging and their benefits are:
- Organic aloe vera: soothing and healing.
- Olive oil: used for centuries to moisturize and nourish the skin. Olive Oil is a powerful antioxidant, rich in Vitamin E and Beta Carotene, renowned for its extraordinary moisturizing properties.
- Grape seed oil: moisturizing and regenerative.
- Vitamin Ester C: helps fight free radicals, heals and rebuilds damaged skin by stimulating collagen production.
- Organic jojoba oil: great skin moisturizer that closely resembles the skin's own oil.
- Rosehips: an anti-oxidant that has regenerative qualities, good for mature skin.
- Meadowfoam oil: easily absorbed, anti aging properties.
- Natural fruit acids: help exfoliate dead cells for a more youthful look.
- Organic green tea: an anti oxidant that helps repair damaged skin.
- Gotu Cola: an herb that brightens and tones the skin.
- Lemongrass: helps repair damaged skin and protects against free radicals.
Do you think natural ingredients can be just as effective as those created by science?
Yes. We absolutely think that natural products can work as well or better than synthetic ones. The molecular structure of essential oils and herbal extracts is very close to that of the fluids and oils of our skin, accounting for our skin's natural affinity to them. They are readily absorbed and penetrate to the deepest skin layers. Regular use of essential oils and botanicals in skin care has been proven effective in helping correct problems such as wrinkles, excessive oiliness, dryness, blemishes, and skin tone. Essential oils, natural botanicals and herbal and fruit extracts have the capacity to promote the elimination of dead cells, regenerate new ones and to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Many synthetic skin care ingredients were developed to mimic natural ingredients at a lower cost. We strive to use the best ingredients that Mother Nature has to offer.
What has it been like being partners for so many years? You guys have been partners longer than many marriages!
<Laughs> For the most part it’s pretty harmonious because you learn to pick your battles. If one of us is more passionate about a subject than the other, that one takes the lead on that particular project. The division of roles sort of evolves. It’s kind of an ebb and flow.
What do you both have in your shower?
We have a big shower just FILLED with products. Our shower is like a test lab. People bring us things all the time from around the world for us to test out. We feel it’s important to keep trying other products, and know what’s out there. I really like our Active Athletic shower gel, so I always have that. Right now, my shower’s full of our kids stuff that just launched. I tend to shower, shave and wash my hair with the same products. I guess that’s why guys aren’t such great consumers!
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