Beauty

Two Minutes with Keston Mujis | Grown Alchemist

By Pip Jarvis - 17 Apr 2014


Wth headquarters in Melbourne, Grown Alchemist is a results-driven skincare brand that harnesses powerful anti-ageing botanical extracts in organic formulations. Free from chemicals and animal testing, even the apothecary-style packaging (which looks super schmick in any bathroom) is carefully considered, using recyclable glass and premium PET plastic. Everything about Grown Alchemist's branding indicates a scientific approach to natural and effective beauty.

We took two with Grown's co-founder, Keston Mujis, to discuss the benefits of non-toxic skincare, and running the Grown Alchemist empire alongside his brother and co-founder, Jeremy.

TUL: So, how did Grown Alchemist come to be? When did you launch in Australia?
We launched into Australian department stores six years ago and before then, apart from the RND work on the Grown Alchemist products, we were developing products for other companies. During that time we were awakened to the harm of traditional skincare formulations when a close friend of ours developed adverse reactions to almost every cosmetic during her battle with cancer. Looking back, I guess this was our epiphany in terms of developing our healthy approach to skincare formulation.

TUL: What's the Grown Alchemist ethos, in a nutshell?
We focus on formulating skincare with natural ingredients because our bodies naturally fight anything they regard as foreign or toxic, this reaction creates free radicals which we know greatly contribute to the ageing process. Essentially, because these natural ingredients like Neuro-Peptides, Tetra-Peptides, and advanced hydrating actives are compatible with human biology, they have the ability to regenerate beauty with superior results.
 
TUL: Where is Grown Alchemist stocked?
Our products are sold in David Jones and Myer department stores and at selected spas, beauty salons and pharmacies, as well as via www.grownalchemist.com.

TUL: How many products are there in the Grown Alchemist range?
We have a total of 26 products and most of our products come in various sizes.

TUL: Are the products made locally? Are all ingredients grown locally?
All our products are manufactured in Australia and we always try and source ingredients locally whenever possible.

TUL: How difficult was it to get organic certification?
It is quite a process; there were a number of initial audits and various systems to put in place before we were officially registered.

TUL: Why was being organic so important to you?
Clinical research has compared the antioxidant and nutritional benefits of organic ingredients with non-organic ingredients. The results show organic ingredients are richer in essential nutrients than conventional ingredients. These nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, mineral salts, essential fatty and amino acids, are critical for skin-cell function and repair, optimising the beauty result. Because of the restrictions placed on how organic ingredients are grown, they are also free from harmful and potentially carcinogenic chemicals. Grown Alchemist products use organic ingredients certified by the internationally recognised organic certification body, ACO [Australian Certified Organic].

TUL: What's the most exciting new ingredient you are working with?
Definitely a natural Peptide – these ingredients are incredibly capable of transforming skin texture.

TUL: What's your best seller?
It's fairly consistently our Hydra Repair Day Cream, followed by our Gentle Gel Cleanser.

TUL: The three skincare essentials every woman should have are…?
A gentle facial cleanser, a targeted hydrating cream and a gentle facial polisher/exfoliator.

TUL: They say never to work with family… How is working with your brother?
It works very well, most likely because we try not to treat each other like brothers! wink

TUL: What's your favourite Grown Alchemist product?
Personally my favorite product is the Age-Repair Facial Moisturiser because of its ability to transform the skin's texture.

TUL: Best place for a fella to pamper himself in Melbourne?
A massage and treatment at Aurora Spa Retreat in St Kilda.

TUL: Favourite place(s) for a spot of retail therapy in Melbourne?
I love shopping in the city!

TUL: Best spot in Melbourne for a fancy meal?
Eating alfresco Italian at Baby restaurant.

TUL: Best way to spend $50 in Melbourne?
Taking someone to a movie at Moonlight Cinema in the gardens.

TUL: And $500?
Doing the above with more friends and French Champagne!

TUL: Best place to be at one with nature in Melbourne?
In the city area, nothing beats a picnic in the botanical gardens.

TUL: What's next for Grown Alchemist?
Launching new products and partnering with established Australian fashion designer, Dion Lee, as part of New York Fashion Week!

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