MEET OUR MAKERS | MUKTI ORGANICS
This week we welcome the effervescent Mukti of Mukti Organics to our journal. As a pioneer of the clean beauty movement, with almost two decades in the industry, Mukti herself is a veritable wealth of knowledge and experience. She knows skincare inside out but isn’t afraid to evolve and innovate either; just this year Mukti Organics rebranded and reformulated, transitioning effortlessly from boho chic to eco-luxe skincare. In the same year they took out the award for Australian Certified Organic Influencer Brand for 2019 and released their natural beauty compendium, Truth In Beauty; the ultimate guide to clean and natural skincare. With a core mission to reconnect people back to nature, COSMOS Certified Organic Mukti Organics pride themselves on hand selecting the most potent natural ingredients, harnessing the power of native Australian extracts in every product. We'll let Mukti tell you the rest!
How did the Mukti Organics story begin?
The eponymous brand was officially established and launched in 2000. Prior to that my background was in remedial and natural therapies and beauty therapy. The story is clichéd now days as the market is saturated with startups (sorry if I sound cynical). I was giving a client a facial she asked me what products I was using and would recommend. I recognised a white space and saw an opportunity to develop a product that would complement the facial and provide me with leverage - a product as well as a service. Little did I know how much work would be involved. Green chemistry wasn’t even heard of, let alone in its infancy, so I was navigating unknown territory. I didn’t realise I was pioneering what has now become a movement.
You've recently rebranded and reformulated; what was the brand when it started and what is it now?
Green chemistry has evolved and come a long way in the past 20 years since inception. It is a lot easier to formulate efficacious products. You should continue to evolve and listen to your customer and what their needs and wants are. The brand felt pigeon holed before the latest iteration. It had a bit if a Boho hippy vibe and the mandalas dated very quickly. I wanted the brand to be taken seriously in a more eco-luxe category that matched the formulations. The formulations are high end and costly to make plus they deliver results. If they don’t work, then you may as well make your own products with ingredients from your kitchen pantry.
The brand has evolved to certified organic status made with the finest plant based ingredients sourced from around the globe. Most of our ingredients are certified organic with some products attaining 100% organic status with COSMOS Australian certified organic.
With the rise of clean beauty, what sets Mukti Organics apart from its competitors?
Differentiation becomes more difficult; as soon as you do something unique someone copies it these days. What is original is your own story and how you tell that authentically. I do my best to just focus on my own journey and not get too caught up in what other brands are doing. We still very much hand make our products with minimal equipment and machinery. From a processing perspective, we consider the energy and life force of the raw materials. A product that has been mass produced for example may have had very little human contact. It has been processed by mechanization and high shearing that can impact the constituents of a raw material. We use super-critical CO2 extraction of all our Omega 3, 6, 9 oils and bioactive cellular extraction with our native extracts. Sourcing raw materials that are up to par is a full-time job that is more than skin deep.
Ingredient selection is not based on efficaciousness alone. There are so many variables to consider. The species, the growing conditions, climate and geographical location for example. As well as the processing methodology, shelf life and storage of the raw materials. All these factors impact scent, colour, texture, feel and overall quality of the end-product. They make an enormous difference in the healing ability of the raw material of the plant. This process of evaluation is something that we have implemented for every ingredient and this falls in line with our organic certification. We keep records of everything that comes in and out of the factory down to the last drop for 3rd party auditing.
How do you go about researching ingredients...is it you, textbooks and pipettes in your kitchen?
I am constantly researching. I have long standing relationships with suppliers so I generally get to hear about new products and developments prior to them being launched in Australia. I have a small R&D team and we all have a background or understanding of cosmetic chemistry/food technology. After 20 years of formulating, I have a good grasp on what will work. If you compare it to being a chef it’s kind of the same. Certain flavours and spices go together and work harmoniously and synergistically. Technology always interests me and I am currently fascinated by plant stem cell research.
Mukti Organics harnesses the power of Australian botanicals; what makes our local flora so potent?
We were again, one of the first brands to really consider implementing native Australian extracts into all our ranges. Each product has its own unique synergy that addresses a skin type or concern. Our point of difference is that we use actives at the percentage they have been tested at or slightly above to achieve optimal results. We have an abundance of native flora in Australia with amazing antioxidants vitamins and phytonutrients that have learnt to withstand very harsh climatic conditions. Our unique cellular extraction method, that works on the principle of biomimicry, allows for us to disperse these precious extracts into our formulas in their pristine state so that they remain bioactive. We have incorporated these unique synergies into each product as it relates to a skin type or concern maximising results and efficaciousness.
What, in your opinion, is the most under-rated natural active ingredient?
Sea Buckthorn berries, would have to be one of my all-time favourites, although you’ll see it appearing more and more in the natural skincare category. It has a unique profile and constituents. It is also steeped in folklore and is shrouded in history and legend. The Latin definition literally means ‘shiny horse'. In ancient Mongolia, the primitive tribes set their horses free after being injured in battle. Weeks later, the same brumbies returned in prime condition. It was discovered that from grazing on the leaves and fruits of these native highland shrubs, the horses were returned to their former glory and healed of all ailments.
Sea buckthorn is one of the most potent antioxidant and bioactive skin foods available. It contains approximately 108 age-reversal actives, including abundant levels of vitamin C, A, B1, B2, E, K and P, as well as essential fatty acids 3, 6 and 7, carotenoids, avonoids, lycopenes, phytosterols and minerals. With its ability to assist with free radical scavenging and tissue regenerating properties, it combats wrinkles and soothes dry, irritated skin. Research has demonstrated that it can improve skin metabolism and retard skin maturation. Due to its extremely high nutrient content, it can also contribute to reducing the damaging effects of sun damage. It’s useful in treating a variety of skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
When not running the business, how do you self-nourish?
I adhere to a daily routine with non-negotiables.
I get up early (4am) most days.
I meditate for a minimum of 30 minutes to calm and centre my mind and set the intentions for the day. This will also include writing in a gratitude journal that I keep by my bed.
Then the dog (hassles me) and I get up. She has breakfast and I make a bulletproof coffee which she also has a taste of (she loves it and barks if I don’t give her some so it must be good ☺).
I do a couple of hours work before business starts while there are no distractions and then we go for a walk.
I will do some form of exercise everyday be it yoga, mobility or training with my partner who is in a health and wellness practitioner.
I only eat organic/biodynamic high vibe food.
I get nature connections wherever and whenever I can.
I have learnt to delegate. I don’t do the jobs I don’t like or that I am not as great at.
For example, I am not a fan of spreadsheets. I can do them but I don’t like them they don’t put a zing in my thing so these days, I’ll get someone else to deal with that.
I have eliminated a lot of stresses from my life including (toxic) people with different values that are no longer are a match. This freed up a lot of wasted time and energy.
I have pretty much given up alcohol so that tends to limit social engagements.
I believe in absolute transparency and that you must walk your talk.
What does conscious beauty mean to you?
It incorporates all aspects not just external. There seems to be a lot of unconscious beauty that is portrayed as consensual disfigurement underpinned by low self-esteem and fed by social media and comparison. It’s very damaging to the soul and is the opposite of beauty. It’s extremely sad. Beauty after all does come from within, the rest is transient and fades. Conscious beauty is taking into consideration the environment and incorporating sustainable practices in everything you do. Motivating forces for me are - what sort of legacy will you leave behind and if you died today would you be happy with what you have achieved and how you treated people?