Women We’re Watching: Kim Walls of BEB Organic
The clean beauty movement has sparked quite the buzz over the past few years, and skincare pioneer Kim Walls is disrupting the industry further with her line of luxury products—for babies. Inspired by the power of touch therapy while working with a preemie baby, she launched her company BEB Organic, specializing in preemie-safe skincare, from nourishing oil to healing gel.
Kim’s passion for strengthening human connection, endless green beauty innovations and lifelong goal to create a more peaceful world make her a woman we’re watching.
Skincare innovation isn’t new to you. Where did you originally get the inspiration to launch BEB Organic, and how does this stand out from some of the other brands you’ve founded?
Skincare has been part of my life since my earliest memories because my father founded a skincare company called Epicuren not long after I was born.
The core of BEB Organic has been with me since I was 19 when I started working with a preemie baby named Jared. He was autistic and his parents believed in touch therapy as a pathway for breaking through to him. Jared’s parents encouraged me to help them with touch through a volunteer program at UCSB. We made meaningful progress. That experience stayed with me.
The creation of BEB Organic was a natural outcome of the convergence of my skills and passion. I’ve always been focused on natural skincare and clean beauty, and how much opportunity there is to enhance health through our skincare practices, including mindful touch. As a brand, BEB Organic gives me an opportunity to have a large scale conversation about how important touch is to improve the feeling and experience of vitality in our lives.
The BEB skincare line is preemie and pregnancy safe, activating the body’s own healing process. How does this work, and why was this target market important for you to reach?
Our environment is a constant insult to the skin. The skin helps us manage all varieties of light rays (from blue to UV), chlorinated water, air pollution, microbiome changes and an onslaught of threats to the immune system. It is the largest organ of the body, and one that, when not fully functional, opens the door to disease, discomfort and even death. Just like our heart or lungs, the skin has work to do.
When we give it the proper nutrition, hydration and barrier protection, the skin is given the opportunity to do its best work and protect us, supporting the natural wisdom of the body. The BEB Organic formulas have a very specific ratio of nutrients that are intended to enhance skin performance, giving it the optimal balance of natural essential proteins, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals to activate the functions of innate healing.
Can you share more about your findings on the power of touch when working with preemies, and how that inspired your brand?
As a skincare professional, touch is integral to everything we do. Touch and skincare are inseparable concepts. When you work in a touch-centric world, as I do, it becomes impossible not to notice the intangible benefits that come with the territory.
In my case, observation led to digging into the science. There’s a world of research supporting the vast benefits of mindful touch. There seems to be literally no group of people in the world who benefit more from mindful touch than preemie babies and their parents. Preemies need touch to thrive. Touch can prevent lifelong debilitation and can even mean the difference between life and death. It helps:
- lower heart rate
- lower blood pressure
- lower cortisol (stress hormone) level
- raise the level of our feel-good hormone (oxytocin)
- increase weight gain (meaning preemies get out of the NICU faster)
- increase motor skills
- babies move more easily between
- different “states”—quiet sleep, active sleep, drowsy, quiet alert, active alert, crying
- babies “orient” – turn toward a stimulus like touch or sound
- babies be more awake and active
- babies deal better with the pain of needles and procedures in NICU
- babies deal with normal activities without becoming stressed (habituation)
- babies learn about their bodies and where they are in space
Tell us about your new book coming out, Mindful Touch. What can parents expect from the book?
Mindful Touch shares practical tips and actionable advice about how to get involved and empowered as a parent through the act of touch—increasing a baby’s opportunity to thrive and the mental strength of parents and caretakers. Mindful touch is a small step in a direction I’m incredibly passionate about. I hope it can be shared with families who will benefit from it—families that have a baby who just couldn’t wait to get into this world, even if it was a little early.
We have some tough times ahead of us in so many ways. My hope is to bring a little light, joy and extra vitality into the world… one day, one touch, and one book at a time.
Your father is the founder of natural skincare co. Epicuren. How has he inspired you through your career?
I watched my father go through a lot of ups and downs. Some of his decisions were better than others, but he always came from the heart. I learned to love challenges as much as successes from my father. I learned to read into the future. Literally.
One of my favorite memories of him is the stacks of paper in his bathroom. He spent a lot of time in the bathroom because it was overflowing with his journals, magazines and sources of original and cutting edge skincare research. He came out of the bathroom countless times with some grand idea that would then become a product. I got to see the genesis of invention in him. He would have an idea and then make it happen—an idea that would go from a neural, synoptic explosion of undefinable genius to a tangible something that could make people feel and look better. He made magic happen… and he made magic feel achievable.
What’s the number one misconception you wish parents knew when it comes to skincare for their babies?
I’m frustrated by the general expectation that baby skincare products should cost less than those for adults. Why would a beautiful, lovely, nutrient filled, potently active skincare product cost less for a baby than for an adult? It doesn’t cost less to make. We get what we pay for.
What changes do you hope to see in the green beautymmovement over the next few years?
The future of green beauty lies in packaging changes. The industry has finally gotten on board with the need for clean ingredients, thanks to pressure from the consumer market. It has taken 20+ years, but at least a more general awareness is finally here. I think the next big change will come in packaging.
What are three wellness tools/products you can’t live without?
- Fresh water (not from plastic bottles)
- Organic food
- Daily hugs from my family
What goals do you have for yourself—personally or with BEB Organic—in the next three to five years?
I want to participate in creating peace in the world. This is a life goal. Everything I do from right now through the next three or 300 years is, in one way or another, connected to the ideal of building strong communities where people strive to do-no-harm and they respect and elevate each other for who and what they are.
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