Taking care of yourself is critical in these crazy times. Of course, when we need it most, it is often the first thing that falls off our plate. So how do we make time for our selves? Perhaps it’s by infusing an attitude of self-care into the things we need to do everyday, like washing our faces.

You may not know this, but I am a big skin care junkie. I love learning more about the science of skin care, perhaps because it mirrors my love of health and human nutrition. However, so much in the skin care and beauty world unfortunately mirrors our big, hyper-processed food world. Too many icky ingredients…and too much marketing and misinformation.

Which is why Kuyne Complexion Co is such a cool find. Its founder, Melissa Nkomo, has a refreshing, positive approach that I have been fan girl-ing over on Instagram for a while now. I am thrilled to share this week’s interview with you so you can meet this kick ass entrepreneur for yourself.

Let’s start off with the biggie, shall we? As a skin care junkie myself, I am always after the holy grail of natural + effective. What inspired you to create Kunye?

I worked in the beauty industry as an artist and trainer for a long time and skin has always been my thing. At one point in time, there was nothing more satisfying to me than being able to make a blemish disappear beneath a veil of makeup as if by magic. In university, my perspective on health changed. I started to eat more whole and plant-based foods over processed, made exercise a priority, and turned my skincare rituals into me-time rather than a chore. The deeper I dove into my exploration of wellness, the more I started to make the connection between how I felt on the inside – in my mind and my body – and how my skin looked on the outside.

Beauty became less about vanity and concealing my so-called ‘flaws’ with quick-fixes, and instead about getting to the root-cause of the issues rather than just the symptoms on the surface. Some of my skin ailments were reversed or prevented by using the right products with the right ingredients (which I always had trouble finding) and some of which required a deeper level of attention that conventional beauty tries to convince us we can do without. I started Kunye with the idea that skincare should be an extension of our healthy daily practices. I really do believe that we can all have better skin, by taking better care of our bodies inside and out. I wanted to create a line that represents health-positive beauty and takes an integrative approach to healthy skin.

You say that healthy skin reflects a healthy body. Other than topical care, how do you recommend people achieve skin wellness?

Nutrition and exercise. Studies show that exercise is the only true anti-ager. It physically changes the tissue to make it firmer and more lifted. And the impact that balanced nutrition and adequate hydration can have on the complexion can be seen within a matter of weeks. Radiance, texture, skin tone and hydration can all be boosted by eating the right foods and drinking enough water (2 L a day!)

Are there any ‘beauty foods’ you swear by?

Healthy fats, dark leafy greens, plant based protein, and anti-inflammatory foods. I always shy away from listing a specific food in particular because what works for some might not work for others. Coconut oil is an excellent example of that! No matter what your current skin condition or type, everyone can benefit from a healthy dose of these kinds of foods on a daily basis. I swear by my daily green juice or smoothie. It’s an efficient way of getting all of the above into one serving.

Are there any common mistakes you see in people making in their skin regimes?

Often, it’s just a matter of doing too much. Over cleansing, over exfoliating, even over moisturizing can give us the opposite results we are trying to achieve. We’re all short on time (and sometimes energy) so try taking a less is more approach. Pair down your routine to a few essential products you use daily and maybe a few more you use weekly or bi-weekly.

Since you and I have both been talking #selflove this month, what are your favourite ways to show your self a bit of love?

I think self-care is the ultimate form of self-love, so I try to make it a daily practice through so many areas of my life. Lately, I’ve been trying to relish in my rituals. It can be anything from chopping up veg for my smoothies, my post workout skincare routine or my weekly clay and honey mask. Using that time to connect with myself and universal energy is key.