"As a brand, we distinguish ourselves from other brands in the market through one key focus: restoring skin function."
When we launched the bare sea we knew a carefully curated selection of their favourite skincare products could not be missing. Having incorporated the products of Australian skincare brand Grown Alchemist into our daily routines since years, we are so excited to not only stock our favourites on the bare sea but also got the chance to talk to Jeremy and Keston Muijs, the founders of Grown Alchemist.
Let’s start by your history: For two men (in your case brothers) it seems very unusual to be interested in beauty & skincare and to even found a beauty company! What made you create the Grown Alchemist?
After working for many years as consultants in product and brand development, Keston and I decided to move towards the natural side of the skincare market. We began testing the performance of natural ingredients in our clinical trials and realized there was a dramatic improvement in the cellular function of skin as a result. This realization sparked the start of Grown Alchemist and continues to inspire us today.
Who had the idea for the company name and why?
We named the company Grown Alchemist because we believe it best encapsulates the two principles behind our brand message best.
- We fundamentally believe that natural ingredients work better with the body, in fact, research shows that natural ingredients are far better accepted and utilized by the body than the natural ‘equivalents’.
- The way we use these naturally occurring ingredients unveiling their full potential through our understanding of the biology and delivery systems. This is modern alchemy, the ability to combine these ingredients together in a profound, meaningful way to create a complex formula with amazing outcomes for skin health.
Working together with family can be both: Challenging and a blessing. Who is responsible for what, and how do you proceed if you disagree?
The perks of working with my brother is that we are both very different and together we understand how to play to each other’s strengths, we have respect for what the other brings to the table. Additionally, the trust between us is a major benefit to us both. Being family we have that trust inherently and it’s one of the things I value most about our working relationship. This familiarity can be challenging in a workplace as times, sometimes we both approach conversations a little more unguarded and blunter than if we were just business partners. Which is okay from time to time but can wear thin after a while which is why we often have to remind ourselves at in work hours we are colleagues first and family second. It helps us better prioritising what we need to do for the business.
I read in an article about you once, that “At Grown Alchemist we don’t manufacture ingredients. We grow them!” How and where? Do I have to imagine myself hundreds of growing tents?
Our Grown Alchemist skincare products are proudly Australian made. To achieve the best results for our natural formulations we source ingredients locally and from around the globe to create clean, complex formulations with amazing outcomes for skin health. We have a team of cosmetic chemists and research laboratories based in London, Paris, Switzerland, Spain and Australia - and they are all relentless in the pursuit of perfect formulas capable of transforming the skin from both the outside in.
Nowadays new beauty brands pop up like mushrooms: How is your brand different to your competitors? And what makes your products so special compared to other similar products?
As a brand, we distinguish ourselves from other brands in the market through one key focus: restoring skin function. The skincare industry has conditioned consumers into thinking that the answer to amazing skin is all about a magical ingredient. Naturally, as a beauty brand we do believe in the power of science and active ingredients to visibly transform skin. But without a healthy, capable skin cell nothing really happens. It’s just a waste of powerful ingredients. So unlike other brands, natural or otherwise we spend the majority of our time and energy enhancing the capability of the skin through detoxification; a function-restoring process that is as much about what we add back to the skin as what toxic ingredients we leave out. Once we restore skin function, we then focus on activating it, enhancing with amazing ingredients with the power to visibly transform. No other brand focuses on cellular function in this way and it’s a point of difference that guarantees real results for our consumers.
Amongst all your products, what are your favourite ones and why?
We have so many essential products to experience and enjoy in our range but it’s only natural to have a favourite. When it comes to skincare, detoxification is a crucial process. Our Detox Serum Antioxidant +3 protects the skin from the complete force of not only oxygen – generated free radicals; but also, those created carbons and nitrogen. In only two weeks of twice daily usage, the skin is deeply detoxified, glowing and hydrated.
Due to the corona pandemic washing, cleaning and disinfecting your hands got so much more attention and important. Do you see that reflecting within your orders? And was this the reason you included a hand sanitiser into your product range?
During these times, it is now more important than ever to pay attention to hand washing and sanitising. Last year we added two Hand Sanitisers to our Hand Care range, our spray Hydra-Hand Sanitiser and our gel Hydra-Gel Hand Sanitiser. These products are formulated with 70% Ethyl Alcohol extracted from Cane Sugars, Hyaluronan and Antioxidants to instantly sanitise while also hydrating and protecting the hands from being stripped of moisture, safeguarding against premature ageing. We have also now launched our Anti-Bacterial Hand Cream, formulated with anti-bacterial and soothing ingredients for a non-greasy, hydrating hand cream that provides astringent anti-bacterial benefits.
Do you have a washing ritual? Both Hands and Face?
For our face washing ritual, we have created a customized three-phase skincare protocol of ‘Cleanse. Detox. Activate’ to ensure that our skin's biological repair and protection process are supported and amplified for radiant, real results.
We begin with ‘Cleanse’, an obvious yet often overlooked element of any daily skincare regime. Properly removing make-up, impurities and surface debris will result in improved skin function and in turn, improved results which is why this first phase is so crucial. Despite at advice to the contrary, we recommend cleansing your skin in the morning and double cleansing in the evening. At night when the skin is regenerating, it releases its waste and toxins which then accumulate on your face, often leaving behind an oily residue. A single cleanse upon waking, will leave skin refreshed and ready to treat with your daily skincare system. In the evening we recommend double-cleansing to allow the proper penetration of actives in your nightly skincare regime.
Following cleansing, it is critical to nurture the process of dermal detoxification. The ‘Detox’ phase fights the release of damaging free radicals, in turn improving the oxidative state of the skin, restoring cellular function and health resulting in a complexion primped for active topicals.
Finally, we are left with the final phase of our protocol, ‘Activate’. The method of activating is much more than basic hydration. It is a process of layering serums and moisturizers to address a myriad of skin concerns with ingredients that are biologically recognized and therefore are able to be fully utilized by the skin for superior results.
For our hand washing ritual, we start with one of our gentle gel hand washes leaving the skin cleansed and soothed, followed by Hand Sanitiser to instantly sanitise and hydrate the hands. To keep hands and cuticles naturally soft and moisturized, we then recommend completing the ritual with your preferred Grown Alchemist hand cream.
Skincare for Men: What products do you use?
There are so many products to experience and enjoy in our range but it’s only natural to have a few favourites. As part of my daily product prescription, I know it’s important to ensure that I adhere to my three-phase approach of Cleanse, Detox and Activate.
I start my day by cleansing my skin using our Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser, which is a gentle formulation enhanced with Olive Leaf and Plantago Extract to cleanse and condition skin, without any irritation. I can’t stress enough how important it is to cleanse after sleep. At night when the skin is regenerating, it releases it waste and toxins. These toxins accumulate on your face and can feel quite oily in the morning. So contrary to popular belief, this should be an essential step in every skincare routine.
When it comes to detoxification, it’s a process we take very seriously. Our Detox Serum Antioxidant +3 protects the skin from the complete force of not only oxygen – generated free radicals; but also, those created carbons and nitrogen. Basically, think of this as a facial in a bottle.
It’s one product I always recommend for those looking for rapid results. In only two weeks of twice daily usage, the skin is deeply detoxified, glowing and hydrated.
On the Activation front I look to our Brightening Serum with Phyto-Complex, Rumex Leaf Extract for a potent product to target hyperpigmentation, age spots and uneven skin tone, a concern that is commonly vocalised in Australia due to our extreme exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
Skincare for Women: We know cleansing and hydration are crucial. Which products would you recommend on a daily use and in what order would you recommend using it?
We have so many essential products to experience and enjoy in our range. Our skin needs a host of essential peptides, vitamins, and antioxidants to maintain optimal health, however, if I was looking for a 'must-have' selection of products, I would suggest products that align to our three-phase skin prescription of ‘Cleanse. Detox. Activate.’, as a safeguard for protection and repair processes. In particular, some of our bestsellers - our Gentle Gel Cleanser, Detox Serum Antioxidant 3+, and our Hydra-Repair Day Cream.