5 Questions with Samantha Addonizio from Know Your Ingredients (+ a Giveaway!)

Know Your Ingredients - KYI for short - is a wonderful skincare line offering minimally processed and whole food skincare made from nutrient-rich ingredients like argan oil and shea butter.  I was first introduced to the line in 2013 (see my reviews here and here) and it's a brand that continues to impress me.  KYI's founder, Samantha Addonizio, is passionate about creating simple skincare that really works -- something that truly comes through in each of the company's three multi-functional products.  

I asked Sam to answer a few questions and give us a peek behind the brand today.  Plus, make sure you stay tuned till the end and enter our giveaway for a chance to try KYI for yourself!
1) Can you tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to create Know Your Ingredients?
 I'm a working mom with two active, sports loving boys.  I take good care of myself and my family.  I go out of my way to make sure we eat healthy, whole food but delicious meals.  I make sure we all regularly get outdoors to enjoy nature, fresh air and exercise together.  In all aspects of our life, I make sure we make thoughtful decisions and informed choices.  As a woman who loves skin products, one day my husband asked, “Do you even know what’s in that stuff you slather on your skin all the time?”  I stopped in my tracks because it never occurred to me before to look!  And when I read the ingredient label I was surprised to find that I did not even know what more than half of the ingredients were.  I started to do research (the Environmental Working Group’s database is a great place to start).

I learned that many products labeled “natural” had emulsifiers to combine water-soluble ingredients with oil-soluble ingredients and also added a preservative to prevent bacteria growth.  And, I learned that all oil-soluble products do not need emulsifiers and preservatives.  So I developed my products from natural oils and butters.  I discovered along the way that my skin reacted much better to the oils and butters: it started looking and feeling healthier, softer and more elastic….old scars started to fade.  I shared my products with family and friends who experienced the same results. I wanted to share my revelation with others: that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it.  That is why I founded KYI.  
2) What sets KYI apart from other natural brands?
 Simplicity. Take a look at the ingredients on other products called “natural” and then look at KYI’s ingredient labels.  KYI’s ingredients are just oils and butters with or without added essential oils for their luscious scents!  We also happen to be vegan!
3) What has been the most challenging thing since starting KYI?  And the most rewarding?
 The most challenging thing has been getting KYI’s message out.  Even though it’s IN the name!  People do not seem to pay attention to the ingredients in the products that they use on their skin.  The most rewarding aspect is getting feedback from customers once they have used our products for a few months.  It is gratifying to have people agree that their skin has never looked or felt healthier!
4) Do you have any tips or tricks to offer someone just starting to transition to natural products?
 Yes, always test out a new product on a tiny patch of skin.  Even natural products can cause allergies.   KYI”s products are nut oils and butters and while emollient, nutritious and protective on the skin, they would not be for anyone with a tree nut allergy.  Also, sometimes certain essential oils can cause sensitivity in certain people.  ALWAYS test patch new products.
5) Outside KYI, do you have any favorite natural/nontoxic skincare or beauty essentials?
I only use KYI’s products for skin care.  I do wear mineral makeup and favor make-up companies that have the same philosophy as KYI, such as Au Natural Cosmetics.

Thanks Sam for taking the time to answer my questions!  

We've also teamed up to give three readers a chance to try KYI.  Each winner will win a KYI product in their choice of scent!  Open to US and Canada.  To enter, just leave a comment with the KYI product you'd most like to try + fill in the Rafflecopter widget (below) to record your entry.  As always, you can snag extra entries for following me or KYI on social media.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
All photos courtesy of KYI


  1. I would love to try the serum. It seems like a great company and I can't wait to find out about other products they have to offer. I am always looking for great clean skincare products.

  2. The argan oil serum scented would be lovely!

  3. I really want to try the KYI Argan Oil Serum with Vitamin C.

  4. The serum sounds lovely! I'd also like to try the mask :)

  5. The Softening Oil! I am so intrigued!

  6. The Softening Oil! I am so intrigued!

  7. I have to say, the Whipped Shea Butter Mask in unscented (because my skin is uber sensitive) would totally be my choice. I have absolutely no facial masks right now and the last one I tried made my face beet red *eep*. <3 While I love scents, the skin on my face truly hates me. *sad*

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