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A Moment with Mia Höytö

Katja Kokko | 12.5.2015

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In collaboration with Biodelly.fi

Most of my Finnish readers are probably familiar with the certified natural cosmetics line Mia Höytö. Mia’s products are made in Helsinki and they are based on powerful Scandinavian ingredients. The products are known for their lovely names: there’s a cleansing gel called Kaunis (“Beautiful”), a serum called Lumous (“Enchantment”) and a facial cream called Unelma (“Dream”).

Behind the lovely, potent products is a lady who’s passionate about organic food and natural ingredients. She’d been planning her own cosmetics line years before any of the products existed. Mia Höytö’s product development process is extremely careful and precise; first she will consider each ingredient and its desired effect, then make a product sample. After this each sample is reworked carefully before the final product is put into production.

In this two part collaboration series with Biodelly, we will take a closer look into the world of Mia Höytö Cosmetics, first by interviewing this inspiring woman and later on taking a look at my personal favorites from the line.

DSC_0006 Tell us a little bit about your background. What did you do before launching your own cosmetics line? Why did you decide to launch your own line?

I’m a big animal lover, which is why I stopped eating meat over 15 years ago. Even in my childhood home, we invested in organic produce and my mother used to eat raw food when I was a kid. I remember thinking it was weird. Because of my diet, I got interested in organic produce. Our skin is our biggest organ, which is why it’s very important to choose organic products for our skincare.

I’ve always been interested in beauty. My background in the beauty industry is in hair – I studied to become a hairdresser in the early noughts. After that I studied social sciences in university and had my Master’s thesis almost done, but in the end the world of beauty was a bigger draw. Later I studied facial treatments in an English cosmetology school. For years I looked for a suitable skincare line and since I couldn’t find one, I decided to come up with my own. This has taken years of work before any of the products saw the light of day.

Tell us about the skincare philosophy of Mia Höytö Cosmetics.

Efficient, certified organic beautycare, where Scandinavian ingredients work wonders on the skin. By combining nature’s treasures, we get especially nurturing skincare, which gives real results. We don’t compromise the efficiency or the consistency of the products just because they’re organic – everything is developed to serve the needs of even the most demanding customer. Natural skincare is both luxurious and efficient, and it’s allowed to look that way! The range changes based on the needs of the user and all the products can be mixed, so you will always have a product suitable for your personal needs.

What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty is of course important! That’s why I wanted my line to look beautiful – beautycare should be beautiful. I want to cherish and create beauty around me, for example by having beautiful flowers and thoughtfully chosen things in my home. Beauty creates harmony and brings joy to every day.

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Where do you find inspiration for your products?

The idea for a new product always starts with a need. What kind of product do I need that I can’t already find on the market? I love ingredients, so when a new product pops into my mind I immediately start to think about which ingredients would get me the desired result. Of course I listen to my partners and the members of my team as well. My friends are great, too – they always tell me what they would like.

Tell us a little bit about your product development process. Do you suggest ingredients to the chemist? Where do you get your inspiration and your knowledge for choosing the ingredients?

I always choose the ingredients in the beginning of the development process. That’s where everything starts. The chemists, as top professionals, will tell me their opinions, but they’re mostly about the quantities of the ingredients in order to get the desired consistency.

Currently I’m working on a new product that the chemists haven’t seen yet. I’ve been pondering on this INCI for months and I think I’ll have to let it go soon, to have it reviewed. I always consider the content of the product to the last detail, and after that I’ll talk with the chemists. During product development I consider what each ingredient adds to the mix and what are the desired effects of the finished product. After that we start making the samples manually – the end result is reached by creating sample after sample. Product development takes time, so you should be very patient with it.

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What’s it like to work with your own cosmetics line? What is your typical day like?

There’s no typical day. Currently I’m in France, meeting Ecocert for my annual audit. Yesterday I worked on the labels for a new product and before that I was at a fair in Stockholm. My workdays are very different – there’s no two alike in this job. It’s always different depending on what project I’m currently working on.

What has been the biggest challenge for your line? Do you have a mentor?

There’s always challenges. I can’t name one above another, but the latest was to find packaging with a pump seal suitable for organic skincare. Packaging and the fatigue of a new mother is not a great combination. Once when I was very tired, I ordered thousands of the wrong packaging. That was very upsetting. There’s no mentoring available for this profession, so we have to take care of everything on our own. The work teaches me something new almost every day. We just have to take on the challenges and believe we will get through them one way or another.

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What has been the best moment with your line so far?

When someone comes to tell me they use the products and like them very much. It makes me feel incredibly good! It’s lovely to get good feedback and hear how a product has helped with someone’s skin troubles.

What are your plans for the future? Are you planning on expanding your range?

The product range will be expanded this fall, and we will be putting out new products later on as well. Product development is a slow process that I don’t want to hurry. I’m very excited about the new products, as well as the ones currently in development. I just want to shout out about all the wonderful, groundbreaking things about to come – but you’ll hear more in the fall!

What is your biggest dream when it comes to your skincare line?

To build a beautiful line from which customers can choose beautiful and efficient products to pamper themselves. In the future I would like to have my own boutiques and a spa. Currently the organic facials made with the products are wonderful and the results are amazing! I keep thinking about creating efficient anti-age treatments naturally. I want to expand my skincare line thoughtfully and create an efficient and pampering range of products. I’m very happy that a luxury hotel in Marbella has just started skin repairing after sun treatments with our products!

What makes you happy?

Family, friends and work. I’m so happy I get to have such a rewarding and interesting job. To balance work, family, friends and animals make me happy. I have a daughter, Ines, a husband and two dogs. I love to spend time with my family. My daughter went horseback riding for the first time last week, so perhaps we’ll have a common hobby once she gets a little older. Nights together with friends make me very happy. Time for myself is also very important. I love horseback riding, jogging, diving and morning coffee by myself.

Have you tried Mia Höytö products? Which ones are your favorites?

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Photos of Mia: Mia Höytö Cosmetics

Product photos: Katja Kokko

Translation: Eeva Kolu

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