Who is My Skin’s Friend (and Why Should You Care?)
What do you do when you can’t find a chemical-free, fragrance-free lotion or shampoo? You start your own company making them of course. At least that’s what one Tennessee man did.
“I got so frustrated with picking up a bottle of lotion showing an avocado or almond on the front label only to find the ingredient list filled with alcohols, acids, perfumes with just residue of the items pictured on the front,” said Mike Smiley of Franklin, Tennessee, founder of My Skin’s Friend.
After thinking to himself that somebody should start a company offering honest, clean organic products, a little voice said ‘why not you’? “I had zero experience in the skin care business,” confessed Smiley. “But I instinctively knew that smearing chemicals all over the body’s largest organ made no sense at all. Our mantra is ‘whatever goes onto your skin can wind up inside your body’ so we make sure it’s chemical-free.”
Six months later he partnered with an equally passionate formulator of chemical-free organics in Nashville and the two of them embarked on a mission to fill what they call the “label credibility gap.”
“When it was discovered that oat bran had certain health benefits, companies suddenly were adding that to their label. When low fat was fashionable, companies jumped on that. It’s the same with gluten-free, fat-free, non-GMO, vegan, etc. Everyone wants to leverage the latest health trend into sales. That’s fine as long as they’re not trying to dupe the public by implying one thing while delivering something else. That drives me crazy!”
Every batch of My Skin’s Friend products starts out as fresh, whole, organic fruits and vegetables. “We shop a local organic produce market every week and hand select items for our products. At our facility we clean, cut and extract the nutrients from these raw foods into a rich broth using our proprietary enzyme bio-extraction process. From there we blend it with other organic ingredients to produce clean, fresh ‘skin food’ that nourishes the cells. The products are literally works of art.”
The company’s first product was sweet potato lotion. The sweet potato is a nutrient- rich vegetable packed with nutrients including vitamin A and it’s analogues. “Everybody knows how good vitamin A is for the skin so it just seemed logical to start there. It’s still one of our most popular products.”
The product line has grown from that single product to over 24 including organic peels, skin-tightening formulas, pore cleaners, R-E-A-L Vitamin C Serum, hair regrowth products and lotions.
“One of our least expensive foundational products is our Mineral Facial Cleanser. It deep cleans without harming the skin’s natural bacteria barrier,” said Smiley. That barrier helps keep unfriendly microorganisms out of the pores. Soaps and cleansers with alcohols and other harsh chemicals can strip this barrier off and leave the skin vulnerable. It’s the first step in My Skin’s Friend’s recommended regimen. Nature has provided what our bodies need. It doesn’t need acids, alcohols and polysorbates. It needs food. Skin food.”
Smiley said that although their process is time, labor and raw resources intensive, they knew there was a segment of the population that was as fanatical as they were about not wanting to smear chemicals all over their bodies. So far, the market has confirmed their belief. My Skin’s Friend has customers throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. “It’s a labor of love for us. We know customers are putting their trust in us to keep it clean and real. We consider that a covenant between us and our customers and we will never violate that trust.”
Smiley said My Skin’s Friend customers tend to be very educated on natural health and understand the relationship between what they apply externally and their internal state of health. He said the customer is the final decision maker as to whether or not the product they purchased gave them the result they expected.
“Skin takes time to heal or repair so we urge our first time customers to use the whole bottle or jar and then decide for themselves if it produced the results they were expecting. If they aren’t convinced that their skin and hair looks and feels better than ever, all they have to do is send back the empty bottle for a refund.“
The company has several other products in the development stages including an effective acne product that follows the company’s chemical-free pledge. “There are a slew of acne products on the market but as usual, they use some pretty scary drugs and chemicals to help clear up skin. We’re working on an acne treatment product that will do that using only organic components.
Anybody can make skin products from vegetables and fruits but it takes a keen sense and knowledge of biology to make chemical-free products that actually work. We’ve cracked the code and as far as we know, we’re the only brand in the world turning whole foods into skin and hair care products.