It looks like a science experiment and lab class ready to get going. For Mother’s Day, many women and mother-daughter duos show up, nearing twenty participants in total. Natural light shines into the space that will be used for learning about and creating Miiko Skincare, the Non-Toxic, Edible Skincare Line. This 2.5 hour workshop just one of many in the ongoing series by Seeds of Change by Miiko hosted by founder Kimiko Foster, other monthly workshops cover creating your own non-toxic detergents, deodorant, and more!
Based on her research at UVic regarding the toxic ingredients many of us unknowingly ingest through our food, cosmetics, and household cleaners local Kimiko Foster founded a natural skincare product line. Miiko Skin Co was launched this past November with a focus on using local artisan ingredients, such as oil from Olive the Senses, and apple cider vinegar from Merridale Ciderworks, to encapsulate the idea that our skin is a digestive organ that should be treated with premium food-grade ingredients.
During her degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology Kimiko saw a real need for non-toxic awareness and education in the community. “When I found out my apple a day carried 40+ pesticide residues linked to cancer and endocrine disruption, I felt violated to my very core (no pun intended),” explains Kimiko. “I also knew that environmental issues were mental baggage for the general public, and a topic like toxins was over-whelming to say the least. I felt that it was my responsibility to educate the public on the toxins in our everyday lives in the gentlest and most approachable way possible so to negate any kind of fight or flight response.”
Through her own experiences of eliminating toxins through do-it-yourself cleaners, homemade products, and 50-60% local organic food, Kimiko felt excited and empowered to share her new feelings and understanding of health with anyone who was interested. With this approach, she first started “Seeds of Change” workshops, a business focused on teaching interested individuals how to make their own products through experiential learning. Since the launch Kimiko has held over 16 workshops in the community with attendance of 12-35 people in each. The most common denominator during the beginning of these workshops, she explains, was a request for a product line. “I realized that not everyone had the time or interest in making their own products but that wasn’t to say they didn’t desire the simplicity and safety of homemade non-toxic products. I chose skincare because I wanted to connect with as many people as possible as many times as possible in a day. It is the organ we interact with the most after our digestive system.”
Having her own troubles with skin issues from the age of 8-14 she only started to find some relief when she changed her diet and skincare approach. “I had terrible acne,” Kimiko compassionately shares. “I saw doctors and dermatologists only to see some relief in my early 20s through a significant change in diet. Still I suffered from acne and breakouts until 2 years ago when I learned about the acid mantle (the acidic mucosal membrane that is created by our skin glands with a PH of 4.5-5.5). When I started approaching my skincare for maximized health of the acid mantle everything changed.”
With a philosophy that education is her product, and the products are her service, the “Seeds of Change” workshops continue to be the driving force behind the company. Kimiko wants to continue to grow this community by holding Miiko Connect Events this year. These events are meant to be an easier mode to sharing the education she developed from the workshops. They are more affordable ($15 suggested donation) and there is no DIY component. You simply attend a Miiko Connect Event and learn about the products, try the products, and eat and drink the product ingredients. There is still a shared experience but the messy parts of DIY have been removed.
“I have never felt as confident and beautiful in my own skin since using these products. If I can share this feeling with as many people as possible I will feel excited.” ~Kimiko Foster
To register for a Miiko Connect Event or Purchase Product, go to miikoskinco.com.