By Connie Leinbach
Necessity is the mother of invention, and Katy Mitchell has found success with a product she created especially for herself.
Her “Skinvy” line of skin-care products helped her so much with her skin problems that she felt compelled to share them.
“My skin was terrible,” she said. “And it didn’t matter what I used. Anything that was supposed to treat oily-combination skin just made it worse.”
Mitchell, who owns the Magic Bean Coffee Bazaar on School Road, spent thousands of dollars on both cheap and fancy stuff and French and Korean products.
“And just nothing worked,” she said about issues of oily skin, large pores, blemishes and uneven skin tone.
“When you’re in your 20s you just want to be beautiful and you don’t get a lot of time to really just be beautiful,” she said. “When you’re constantly struggling, it’s a pain.”
So, in 2019 she decided to take the esthetics class in the Workforce Development Program at Lenoir Community College to learn more about skin care to figure out how to help herself and maybe other people.
But what she learned shocked her: The process was to push chemical peels and drying agents, then moisturizers.
“The professionals are creating the skin issues their customers were coming to them to solve,” she said.
She decided this was not what she wanted and began her own research on homeopathic substances and what they actually do to the skin.
Feeling like a mad chemist, for over two years she did a lot of experimentation and found ingredients that acted perfectly together.
“Pomegranate seed oil is one of the most miraculous things I’ve ever found,” she said.
This oil help cells retain nutrients, she said.
“It basically creates a little capsulized cushion so your body can actually take in stuff that normally would just kind of stay on top of the skin or get washed away,” she said.
This and red raspberry seed oil are the main ingredients in her Fountain serum, she said. Both oils repel carcinogens and contain natural SPF to protect skin from sun damage.
Fountain also has pure vitamin A, an anti-aging retinol that when used topically helps stimulate collagen production and reduce wrinkles.
“Hence, the fountain of youth!” she said.
Fountain was the first product she made for herself – to minimize pores and fight bacterial infections.
“I’ve had amazing feedback – not just my own skin,” she said.
Maybe that’s why the tag line for her products is “Hello, Gorgeous!”
Margo Babb, who lives in Greenville and Ocracoke, testifies to the products. She had a skin graft on her nose and began using Mitchell’s face mask and Fountain.
“It smoothed (the graft) out,” Babb said in an interview. “When I look in the mirror, I can’t notice it.”
Some sun-damaged spots on her legs have faded after application of Fountain.
For a face cleanser, Mitchell recommends Milk Street Soap, another company that began on Ocracoke out of necessity.
Formed by Kim Meacham, who a few years ago moved her successful company to Kitty Hawk area, Meacham decided to develop her own soap to help her children with their skin issues. Meacham’s soap products can be found in shops all over the island.
Another island manufacturer, Kate McNally, sells her Live Oak Tea & Botanicals, which address inside-the-body issues, out of her space in the Ocracoke Wellness Collection in the pool house of the Castle B&B.
“Skinvy,” a play on “skin envy,” is the name of Mitchell’s product line and is the name of her after-shower body oil.
None of her products have the mysterious chemicals of unknown pronunciation that one sees on the labels of commercial lotions.
Mitchell also offers “Selkie,” a Dead Sea salt body scrub, good for eczema-type skin problems. “Vivarium” is a green tea face mask for rosacea and any kind of blemishes or redness.
“Quench Me” is a hydrating face spray, and “Shoo Fly” is a natural mosquito repellent.
Because of the cost of the ingredients, Mitchell makes them in small batches in her mother’s art studio, Kitty Mitchell Studio, across from Community Square, where she also sells the products.
Because the products lack chemical preservatives, after opening, each product must be refrigerated after one month and then kept no longer than three months.
Mitchell’s website is http://www.skinvybeauty.com.