Mukti — an organic skincare brand utilizing the healing magic of the Australian native bush!
This post comes from Natalie Shukur.
When we discovered Mukti Organics skincare on a recent trip to Australia, we got hooked on its multi-tasking Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen, which acts as a primer, moisturizer, light foundation, and UV shield (because the Aussies know how to do SPF like no one else) all in one. What’s particularly special about this certified organic line is its use of bioactive native extracts from indigenous Australian flora, fruits and fauna that make its products incredibly potent and nourishing. We caught up with the indie brand’s eponymous founder, Mukti (Sanskrit for freedom), whose love and fascination with plants, botany and nature was passed down by her great grandfather who owned an apothecary in Sweden, to talk about the healing power of ingredients plucked from the Australian bush.
How did you first discover Australian native plant extracts?
A couple of years ago, I decided to reformulate my products to include native Australian extracts. I had done quite a lot of research on their bioactivity as far as the vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that they contained. Instead of being just another certified organic brand, I wanted to formulate products with highly potent plant-based cosmeceuticals — biologically active ingredients (that are usually synthetic pharmaceuticals) to enhance and improve the appearance of the skin and complexion at a deeper, cellular level.
What makes these extracts particularly potent in terms of skincare?
Australian native plants have evolved to withstand the harsh conditions and climate and contain an efficient and effective internal ecosystem that protects them from the oxidative stress caused by sun-induced free radicals. What this means for the skin is that, when applied topically, the same properties are transferred. They offer sun protection, aid in skin lightening, possess anti-inflammatory properties, are exceptionally hydrating, and offer superior skin conditioning to name but a few of their attributes.
What are some of your favorite Australian plants to work with?
We use more than 27 native extracts in synergistic blends that are formulated to address a particular skin type or condition. These include: aniseed myrtle extract, blue cypress seed oil, Davidson plum extract, desert lime extract, Kakadu plum extract, mango seed oil, native lime caviar extract, quandong extract, snowflower extract and wild desert orange.
Some of the more popular extracts include:
Kakadu plum – Terminalia ferdinandiana
Found in almost all our formulations, it is one of the most studied superfood actives due to its rich and bioavailable vitamin C content. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and free radical scavenger that protects the skin from harm and promotes collagen and elastin.
Davidson plum – Davidsonia Pruriens
Contains the flavonoid anthocyanin, which provides a huge dose of antioxidants, is a very strong anti-inflammatory, improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promotes skin elasticity through enhanced collagen and elastin production. Davidson plum contains phenolic acids, which have an antioxidant effect stronger than vitamin E. It’s also an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent and behaves like an AHA. Davidson plum’s flavone glycosides are strong antioxidants that stabilize and intensify the antioxidant activity of vitamin C. It also strengthens capillaries and reduces dark circles and puffiness under the eyes.
Mountain Pepper Leaf – Tasmania Lanceolata
When we incorporate mountain pepper leaf, we use the leaves rather than the berries for their extremely potent antioxidant content. Mountain pepper leaf has been scientifically proven to strengthen capillaries and reduce free radical damage, which protects the skin from ageing. It’s also super anti-inflammatory.
What is the history of these ingredients?
All the extracts that we include have been used in Aboriginal traditional medicine for centuries. Many plants were used for their antibacterial and anti-microbial benefits, and other aromatic fruits were used for their flavorings when cooking in ground ovens. Mountain pepper berries were used as a colonial pepper substitute. More recently, bush foods have been popularized as condiments and flavorings.
With so may products claiming to be “natural” or “organic” these days, how do we recognize the good stuff?
Something that really sets Mukti Organics apart is the viable quantity of ingredients we add to our bottles and jars, which are certified organic by the Organic Food chain and protected by violet glass packaging. We don’t skimp on the good stuff. A lot of skincare companies highlight their use of the latest “it” igredients on their packaging, but look closer and you’ll see they’re only used in tiny quantities, and the bottle is often filled with mostly water. To tell the difference between mere label claims and a cosmetic formulation in sufficient quantities to benefit skin, check where the ingredient appears on the label. The further down the list, the lower the percentage. The majority of the active ingredients should appear around the midpoint, as opposed to the end of the list.
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