Lauren Taylor, mum to Seren, 3, and Lois, 2, founded Kokoso in 2014 after discovering how amazing raw virgin coconut oil was on her newborn daughter's skin. She now stocks Kokoso in Boots, online at Kokoso.co.uk and is all set to distribute across Europe.
Tell us about Kokoso
Kokoso Baby is the premium organic coconut oil sourced specifically for baby skincare.
Ultra lightweight so all of its skin-loving nutrients absorb beautifully into delicate skin, our coconut oil is the highest quality all-natural baby balm with no added nasties. As well as providing natural moisturisation, it’s great for protecting your little one’s skin from germs and gently soothing away soreness or irritation.
In our family we use it as an all-over body butter, bottom balm and baby massage oil. It can also help to improve cradle cap, baby acne, dry skin and we’ve had plenty of feedback about it helping with baby eczema too – although there are no guarantees with this. Mamas, you’ll love its multipurpose moisturisng powers too!
How, why and when did you start your business?
I launched Kokoso in June 2014. I’d had the idea to source a coconut oil specifically for baby skincare after discovering how amazing raw virgin coconut oil was on my daughter’s skin when she was a few months old. I just thought all parents should be using this multipurpose wonder oil to care for their baby’s skin.
But I’d bought a few different brands and found that some were greasier than others, while some I could barely stand the smell of on my baby’s skin – they were so strong! So I set about searching for a coconut oil that I felt was the best for babies, not cooking – a premium grade raw virgin organic oil that was lightweight in texture with a subtle fragrance that wouldn’t overpower the natural smell of my little girl’s skin.
When I found our supplier in Thailand, all of these boxes were ticked. I’m also proud to say that Kokoso Baby is both fresh and cold-pressed and produced using a cutting-edge process, in small batches on an ethical, family-run, certified-organic farm.
What tips would you give to women who want to make the most of maternity leave?
I think it depends on your circumstances. My girls are 20 months apart and my two maternity leaves were very different – but I made the most of both of them! With my first, I took a year off and enjoyed every moment. We lived in a wonder-filled bubble together, getting to know each other, taking photos of every little experience, meeting up with friends in the morning, snoozing on the sofa together in the afternoon… Although I may be looking back through rose tinted glasses!
Second time round I was only receiving statutory maternity pay, as I’d been made redundant from my job as a copywriter by then. So out of necessity I started picking up bits of freelance work quite early on, with the baby sitting in the bouncer by my feet and my eldest at the childminder.
I also launched Kokoso when my second daughter was six months old! I used my redundancy package to source the best coconut oil I could find and cover the initial setup costs. So it really was all go the second time. My first daughter inspired the business and my second daughter lived and breathed it from the word go!
What's your top skincare tip?
Don’t bath your baby for too long and make sure the water isn’t too hot, as this can dry out the skin. Apply Kokoso straight after the bath to lock in moisture.
Where do you shop and what other beauty brands do you love?
I’ve been a Liz Earle fan for a while and I’ve also recently fallen in love with Skin & Tonic’s natural skincare range. As with my children, I’ve become more aware of the nasties in my own toiletries. I’ve switched to a deodorant made by The Natural Deodorant Company, and I only ever use Kokoso as a body moisturiser. I also take my makeup off with it and my hair is treated to a weekly overnight Kokoso hair mask. It works wonders!
Where do you like to hang out in London?
I lived in south London for 10 years – Clapham, Balham, Tooting, Colliers Wood, Cheam and Coulsdon – before relocating back to Warwickshire in 2014 to be near family. I couldn’t run the business without the help of grandparents! But when I was in London I loved to hang out in the amazing parks and green spaces. I worked near Lincoln’s Inn Fields where I’d go and sit at lunchtime away from the hustle and bustle of Holborn. I do miss London life but get to visit quite often through work. And we’re very lucky to be able to bring up our children in the countryside.
What’s next for Kokoso?
We’re working on developing the range – look out for a gorgeous natural and organic head-to-toe baby wash coming soon!