By using family as inspiration, Lisa Cain of KIN Organics makes a line of handmade natural skincare to meet the personal care needs of customers and their kin. Lisa’s organics were developed for babies, mamas, and adults, each with specifically selected Certified Organic ingredients to nourish and protect.
We connected with Lisa to find out her top 3 ingredients that can help our skin, tips for summer skincare, what ingredients shouldn’t be in our skincare and why she wanted to start KIN Organics.
WEHL: Tell us a little about yourself and why you became interested in natural wellness.
LC: I’m a Certified Aromatherapist, Esthetician and Reflexologist and I used to own a small spa that I ran out of my home, offering holistic facials and body treatments. I understood the ingredients in most conventional skincare products were not the healthiest which were not in line with my treatments. I wanted to offer my clients these holistic treatments using natural botanicals that I blended myself instead of the typical products one could buy in stores. My clients would always tell me about the beautiful results they noticed after coming in for treatments and my daughters even made the switch from their harsh conventional facial acne treatments to my gentle synthetic-free approach.
When I realized their success with it, I decided I would share this with others, and so my Facial Skincare collection was launched. A few years later my daughter became pregnant with my first grandchild at which point I created the Baby and Mama Collections to further promote natural wellness starting with our most precious commodity…baby and mama!
WEHL: What’s your personal philosophy on wellness?
LC: My personal philosophy on wellness is to find joy in every aspect of life. To do so, I feel you need a healthy mind and spirit, which in turn will create a healthy physical body. Rest, exercise, sleep, nutrition, self-care and doing things that are fun and make you happy! Achieving that overall balance in your life and keeping everything in moderation equals to wellness. A lifestyle of joy creates a positive attitude toward self, others and community.
WEHL: Why did you want to start KIN Organics?
LC: My ultimate goal in starting KIN was to inspire other families to make healthy and conscious choices about everything in their lives, from food to cleaning products to skincare. I want to help others learn to be aware of the effects these choices have on themselves and the environment.
I like to offer up tidbits of information that I have learned so that others adopt a lifestyle aimed at protecting and preserving our planet. If I can inspire others to support farmers, artisans, and other sustainable and ethical companies, and contribute to help to make it the norm for our foods, health and beauty products, cleaning supplies, and so on, to be organic, GMO, and pesticide-free, I feel that would be hugely impactful to our planet. And hopefully, that, in turn, would reflect prices that everyone can afford so that healthy options are accessible to all.
With my three daughters being a part of my business, I hope to have them continue on to instill these values in their own families and create a generation that demands healthier options in every aspect of life.
WEHL: We like how you say “the earth provides all the ingredients we need to keep our skin healthy and clean”. Can you help us learn a little about 3 of your favourite natural ingredients that you use in your products?
LC: The first would be Organic Beeswax from Alberta, which I use in all our balms. The main thing about beeswax is how it acts as a nutritive barrier on the skin, keeping the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and creates a nice hydrating and protective layer that softens without suffocating the skin.
Another favourite is Organic Jojoba, which is a liquid wax derived from the beans of the desert jojoba shrub found in South Africa and Israel. I actually use it in all of our products because it has the closest cellular composition to our own skin cells, so it absorbs very easily without leaving that greasy feeling on your skin. It’s packed full of antioxidants, nutrients, and Vitamin E, with a high essential fatty acid content, so it’s great as an emollient and moisturizer. Also, the combination of anti-inflammatory and healing properties with its hydration and regeneration power makes Jojoba especially useful for treating things like eczema and psoriasis. It has cleansing properties too—I actually like to use straight Jojoba oil as my natural make-up remover.
Last but certainly not least (actually, my absolute favourite), is Organic Rose. Rose flowers and Rose Otto essential oil come from Bulgaria and is found in all of our Facial Skincare products and a couple of our Baby products. Amazing for acne, dry, mature, or sensitive skin, eczema, rashes, you name it. It’s on the pricier side of things though, due to a pretty labour-intensive production process (the flowers are handpicked at dawn, when they are the most fragrant, then undergo steam distillation—a few drops of pure oil require around 200 blooms!), but I truly think it’s worth every penny. It cleanses, tones, softens, hydrates, purifies, balances, calms, soothes, reduces redness, and increases radiance. Not to mention it’s anti-nearly-everything—antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, even anti-aging. If you truly want the best type of skincare, go for products containing Rose or anything from the Rose (Rosaceae) family.
WEHL: Now that it’s summer, do you have any tips or ingredients that we should look for in our summer skincare?
LC: One of the most important things during summer time (well, year-round really, but especially in the summer) is to make sure you always wear sunscreen. For a natural and healthier approach, look for a mineral sunscreen or sunblock that contains zinc oxide instead of harmful ingredients such as oxybenzone found in chemical sunscreens. There are some wonderful natural brands using zinc oxide available out there. And some great Canadian brands if you want to support local business.
WEHL: In addition to good skin care, what are other things we can do to help reduce skin conditions (e.g. eczema, acne) and keep our skin glowing?
LC: One of the best ways to achieve glowing skin is to exfoliate regularly (2-3 times per week). By sloughing off the dead skin cells, your moisturizer or serum will go on much more smoothly. Also, dead skin cell accumulation actually forms a layer on your skin and clogs up your pores, while fresh skin cells will allow your moisturizer or serum to penetrate more effectively and do its job better.
On top of that, a holistic approach to skincare is really the best way to go about it. This means treating the body as a whole and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in all aspects—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Skin issues show up as a by-product of what’s going on inside not just your body but also your mind. Drink water, get good sleep, exercise regularly, keep a healthy gut through proper nutrition, and practice some form of self-care daily. Stress is especially notorious for causing skin flare-ups so try to achieve a positive attitude in both mind and spirit and you will positively glow, inside and out.
WEHL: What are some of the chemicals that shouldn’t be in our baby care products?
LC: All of them. You really don’t need to buy baby products that have any chemicals in them—there are enough natural ingredients from the earth to create beautiful and effective products for delicate baby skin. The main ones to look out for though are sulfates, parabens, fragrances, colours or anything else synthetic. If you aren’t sure, research the ingredient list. The Environmental Working Group is a great place to understand the ingredient lists.
WEHL: What is your best-selling baby product and why do you think it sells so well?
LC: Our best-seller is our Healing Balm, which I made specifically for baby eczema because of so many requests from moms who were desperate to reduce the use of steroid creams on their little ones. Eczema is a tricky thing and there is no cure for it but there are ways to help reduce the nasty symptoms, which is what I kept in mind while creating Healing Balm. I chose the ingredients specifically to help with inflammation, dryness, and itchiness because if you can calm the skin and keep it from breaking, you can reduce the risk of bacteria and infection worsening the condition.
We’ve had a LOT of success with it but of course, I always make sure to discuss potential gut issues with concerned parents and have them seek professional medical advice on the topic. Still, our Healing Balm really has helped many people reduce the discomfort, as well as the need for steroid creams.
WEHL: Do you source any Canadian ingredients for your products?
LC: Yes, our Certified Organic Oats are sourced right here in Ontario, Certified Organic Beeswax comes from Alberta, and our Certified Organic Black Spruce essential oil is also from Canada.
WEHL: You use reusable containers for your products; why did you choose to do that?
LC: We chose glass for as many products as we could because they’re 100% and infinitely recyclable without loss in quality or purity. Although they are heavier to ship, the impact on the environment is way less than with plastic. Our Healing Balm comes in an aluminum tin, which is also infinitely recyclable. Mother Earth is our friend and we want to take care of her as best we can!
WEHL: Do you have any advice for someone who’s looking to start a socially and environmentally conscious company?
LC: Research your market, be transparent, and don’t skimp on ingredients or packaging for the sake of being more cost-effective. As people come to understand why ethically sourced and environmentally conscious costs a little more, they are starting to appreciate high quality ingredients and packaging as a way of getting the very best, not just for ourselves or our families, but also for our planet. It’s a win-win for everyone and the more we can continue to educate, the better for us all.
WEHL: Do you have a DIY skincare recipe you could share?
LC: I love to exfoliate with things from my kitchen cupboard. Brown sugar, coffee grinds, tea grinds, or even ground oatmeal combined with a carrier oil (olive, avocado, sunflower, or grapeseed work great) makes for a quick and easy scrub.
Another good one, especially for summer, is a fresh strawberry face mask that is especially useful for acne-prone skin. Grab 5 ripe strawberries (no stems or leaves), a tablespoon of honey, and the juice from a quarter of a lemon. Mash or puree the strawberries and add the honey and lemon to create a smooth paste. Apply to clean skin for about 20 minutes, wash off with warm water, and follow with a serum or moisturizer.
For an anti-aging version, mash up a few strawberries (no stems or leaves), and combine with 2 teaspoons of yogurt and a teaspoon of honey. Apply to your face and neck, wait 20 minutes, rinse, moisturize, and enjoy brighter and tighter skin.
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