How Nyakio Grieco Built a Beauty Empire Out of Your Morning Coffee

In this series, Top 11, influential people with share 11 ways they take care of themselves including beauty, skincare, and aesthetics. Knowledge is power!

Coffee plays a huge part in many women’s daily routines (some would dare say that they couldn’t get through a morning without it!), but its role is a little different in the life of Nyakio Grieco. The 45-year-old entrepreneur has had a relationship with coffee since she was a young girl — and inspired not only her love of beauty, but her career. 

“My namesake paternal grandmother was a coffee farmer,” she tells Spotlyte. Grieco spent her summers as a child visiting her in Kenya, where her grandmother taught her to crush coffee beans and rub them into her complexion using a piece of sugarcane to remove dry skin. Her maternal grandfather was a medicine man who extracted oils from natural resources to help treat skin.

“I not only learned at an early age to care for my skin and about the importance and efficacy of natural ingredients, but these trips to Kenya also jump-started my interest in beauty and ultimately led me down the path to entrepreneurship,” she explains. Those powerful memories inspired her to curate those familial beauty secrets and traditions into a full skincare line, Nyakio. (And yes, much of the line features coffee.)

Though she has always been diligent in caring for her skin, she only recently started incorporating regular treatments into her routine. “I get facials every four to six weeks to recharge my skin,” she explains. “The magic hands of Los Angeles facialist Shani Darden keep it glowing.” Grieco has noticed that getting consistent facials helps her maintain younger-looking skin. When she has time, she enjoys Crystal Crown Chakra Goddess treatments from LA-based acupuncturist Chandra Scofield, as well as the Buff and Brown Sugar Polish Hydrating Body Treatment at Wi Spa® in LA’s Koreatown for head-to-toe radiance.

Gorgeous skin also comes from treating your body with care, and Grieco clearly knows that. She tries her best to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night and takes natural supplements daily that help to “balance my hormones, provide the vitamins I need, and give me the energy I need to live a very busy life.” She stays active physically and mentally with LEKfitSM (a dance-inspired fitness method) and meditation.

Grieco hasn’t tried cosmetic injectables, but says “never say never.” She adds, “At this point in my skincare journey, I’ve been able to keep my skin healthy by using cold-pressed oils and natural, clean and green ingredients.” In fact, she credits her healthy-looking complexion to moisturizing religiously. The entrepreneur won’t leave the house without slathering on a nourishing, cold-pressed oil.

Oil is just one of Grieco’s many beauty secrets. Because we selfishly wanted to recreate her routine for ourselves, we asked her to share the top 11 products in her regimen.

Nyakio® Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil ($42): “This oil is lightweight and my skin just drinks it up. Marula is known as ‘Africa’s miracle oil for anti-aging,’ and neroli helps to brighten the skin. I love using this first thing to revitalize my skin and give it that glow that takes me through the day.”By Rosie Jane® Leila Lou Perfume Oil ($40): “This essential fragrance oil truly makes me happy. It reminds me of spring time, my favorite time of the year. It’s a fresh and clean fragrance that is truly addictive.”Nyakio® Kenyan Coffee Lip Polish ($24): “I am obsessed with lip products! Our lips are the thinnest skin on our face, so we need to remove that dull, dry skin so that all our lip products work better. It’s important to keep lips primed for best application of lip color, especially matte colors.”Smith & Cult® Lip Gloss in The Queen is Dead ($22): “The Smith & Cult glosses are so hydrating, so your lips never feel dry. Although this lacquer is a gloss, the pigment is excellent so you can maintain great color without drying out your lips.”Coola® Suncare SPF 30 Unscented Moisturizer ($32): “I love this sunscreen because it’s an organic suncare product, but also because, having darker skin, SPFs tend to go purple or gray on my face. This one actually goes on clear and is easily absorbed, with and without makeup.”Nyakio® Tamanu Firming Face Balm ($45): “Tamanu oil has anti-inflammatory benefits and is loaded with antioxidants; it’s the foundation of my Tamanu Firming Face Balm, which can be used all over the face and décolleté, as well as other areas that need anti-aging care, such as the hands, cuticles, elbows, back of the arms, knees, thighs, and feet.”SheaMoisture® 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: ($11) “I use this product for hydration from head-to-toe!”Shani Darden Skin Care Texture ReformTM Gentle Resurfacing Serum ($95): “For those that that might be sensitive to retinol like myself, I use this ‘gentle sister to retinol’ on my neck and décolletage every night to prevent fine lines and wrinkles because I am a side sleeper.”Ouai® Wave Spray ($26): “I love this product because it gives you that gorgeous beachy summer look all year long.”DryBar Detox® Dry Conditioner ($23): “This dry conditioner is great for your ends between washes.”Cover FX® Anti-Aging Primer ($38): “This vegan primer helps hydrate and smooth my skin and helps blur the appearance of fine lines.”

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