The Interview: Natasha Clancy, Founder of Kichi
Natasha Clancy is a former model turned celebrity facialist and beauty entrepreneur, having provided treatments for celebrities including Sienna Miller, Iris Law, Poppy Delevingne and Sadie Frost.
Her business, Kichi, is a Japanese-inspired skincare brand offering clinically effective, non-surgical facials and products including a Forever Oil and Kichi Stone Gua Sha.
In this interview with TheIndustry.beauty, Natasha speaks about Kichi, the Japanese inspiration behind the brand and the importance of different ingredients to target specific skin concerns.
What were you doing before you launched Kichi?
I have been immersed in the beauty industry since the age of 15, when I shot my first TV commercial for Rimmel London. From the age of 17, I went on to model for Select for 15 years, doing campaigns for brands like Max Factor and becoming the worldwide face of Olay for five years.
When I turned 32 I took some time away from modelling and trained as a prosthetics make-up artist for film, and founded one of the first cold pressed juice companies in the UK called ‘Raw to Door’.
I later worked as a consultant for wellbeing and beauty brands, which is when I discovered medical aesthetics whilst working with a members spa. They used micro-needling and this was my first experience of a non-invasive, natural treatment to help one stay young. I was around 40 at the time and had just signed to another modelling agency, so the desire to remain young was burning and I immediately fell in love with this 'medical sorcery'.
Why did you originally decide to leave the world of modelling for beauty?
I quit modelling in my early 30’s to start my first business, which taught me a great deal and I’ve certainly learned from the mistakes I made. I certainly feel that with all my years modelling, I was always going to come back and be involved in beauty in some way.
You're trained in cosmetology and medical aesthetics. Can you tell me more about this?
Once I’d discovered the magic of natural aesthetics, in particular collagen induction in laser, micro-needling and energy-based treatments, I qualified in Anatomy and Physiology, Cosmetology and then Micro Needling, Radiofrequency, HIFU and Lasers.
My training and qualifications are with registered medical companies and I’m a Level 5 Practitioner in VTC and CPD. I trained through Lutronic, whom I am a brand ambassador for - their advanced training is one-to-one and very intense, which I feel is extremely important.
Kichi is inspired by Japanese beauty, why is this?
Well, the brand name derives from the Japanese goddess of beauty, Kichijoten. I have been obsessed with Japanese minimalist beauty routines, which is essentially our brand ethos. We want to offer stripped down and clinically proven products, with a less is more approach.
I lived and modelled in Japan and Hong Kong during the late 90’s and discovered Japanese Tsubaki oil. The make-up artists were using it and it’s been a Japanese beauty secret since the 1500’s. There are 100’s of clinical data trials that back up the effects on the skin, stimulating elastin and collagen, which are the building blocks for achieving and maintaining tight and youthful skin. Tsubaki oil has one of the highest ratios of antioxidants in any seed oil, which has become a foundation and key ingredient in the Kichi formulations.
My machines are also from Lutronic in Korea, who are the leading and fastest growing aesthetic company in the world.
Can you tell me more about your products?
Our ethos is simple - nature meets science. We specialise in simple, potent, effective and clinically proven formulations through our products that work harmoniously together. I focus on Japanese and Korean ingredients, with Tsubaki oil as the hero of our formulations.
What other ingredients do you use? How did you decide upon them?
I use natural cold pressed seed oils, high in antioxidants, ceramides and vitamins, paired with mineral powders such as vitamin c. Kichi products naturally stimulate elastin, collagen and strengthen the skins barrier, while protecting from free radicals. These are all key factors in choosing ingredients that maintain youthful and healthy glowing skin.
Are Kichi products sustainable in any way?
We strive to be as conscious as possible, you can’t not be in today’s world. We use glass bottles, veg dye and eco packaging. We are looking to add eco refill pouches in the coming months. We have some exciting ‘water-less’ products on their way and I think all brands should be eco conscious and sustainable as a given, without it being a key point for marketing.
Alongside your products, you also offer laser and medical facials. Can you tell me more about this?
I specialise in the Baby Face Laser Facial using the LASEMD device from Lutronic. I can completely transform a clients skin, successfully treating acne, pigmentation, melasma, fine lines and wrinkles. I can also deliver an epic glow for red carpet events, such as my recent work for clients attending the BAFTA's, Oscars and Met Gala.
The Thulium Laser is non ablative, with no downtime and can either be a gentle, mild resurfacing treatment or stronger for older clients and scaring. The laser vaporises water molecules under the skin, which creates microchannels while leaving the top layer (epidermis) in-tact. The microchannels act as tunnels into the dermis, which we then feed with a targeted serum. The skin absorbs 90 % of the cosmeceutical serum, as oppose to topical skincare where you only absorb 5-15 %.
My other medical facial combines Radiofrequency, Micro-needling, LED and Hydra for skin tightening, contorting and a mega collagen induction. I have pioneered combining the multiple technologies into one treatment, whereas most other clinics will offer each, but as a single treatment. It’s a bespoke treatment for every client, factoring in their needs and desired results, combing the different treatments to achieve maximum effectivity.
How did you get the brand ‘out there’ when you first launched?
I started the Kichi Instagram and have grown quickly through referrals, IT girls, models and actresses that all seem to love what I’m doing and post on Instagram, simply because they see the results. Thankfully, I haven’t yet needed to advertise.
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What is your customer response like to your products and treatments?
I have an excellent return rate and this is why I’ve been able to grow so quickly since I launched Kichi, just over a year ago. I have had such good press for the Forever Oil and in its first two months it’s been featured in Vogue, Grazia and Refinery 29.
Do you have any ambitions for the brand going forward?
Global domination for the product line! I would also love a few chic clinic spaces in London, New York, Paris and Los Angeles.