Long before 'organic' was a mainstream beauty buzzword, Mukti's love of beauty, botany and clean living was being synthesised into her eponymous line of certified organic, eco-luxe skincare. Here, she shares her grounding daily rituals (starting at 4am!), her tips for juggling business and motherhood, and her not-to-be-missed beauty biohacks.
Many consider you a game-changer in the Australian beauty industry, pioneering a shift back to nature and organics. What are you most proud of today?
I am extremely happy to have published my first book Truth in Beauty, it was a major accomplishment and a project that I had a strong desire to complete for some time. I am also proud of our formulations, which keep evolving to meet consumer demands and with the evolution of green chemistry, and our groundbreaking ingredients and delivery systems. I am proud of all my formulations and their efficaciousness, especially the Age Defiance Collection and the soon-to-be-released Vitamin Booster Collection, consisting of vitamin A, B and C elixirs that work on a cellular level to deliver optimal results.
How did your journey with natural beauty begin, and what do you love most about what you do?
I have always had a fascination with plants and plant medicine. I believe it really makes sense to return to our roots, literally! When I studied natural therapies, I was particularly interested in herbal medicine and aromatherapy so it was a natural evolution. My husband and I owned a couple of hairdressing salons so I studied beauty therapy to offer extended treatments to clients. At the time, there really weren’t that many natural, organic products available, so I set about creating my own range to use on my clients.
My favourite aspects are the development of new formulations and bringing them into fruition (sometimes it takes years) as well as writing and researching.
This year you released your first book Truth in Beauty, an informative practical guide to safer, natural beauty. What was the inspiration behind creating Truth in Beauty?
It started as an A-Z blacklist of ingredients that have been red flagged as having health implications and have been banned in some countries. The book then morphed into a 300-page coffee table book. I put myself in the shoes of a consumer setting about on a journey of navigating beauty products and what to look for and avoid. I wanted it to be a useful resource where all the information could be found in one place from what to look for to what to avoid plus how the skin works and other beauty biohacks. It covers just about every aspect of beauty and is a culmination of over three years of work. I also wanted to avoid making nebulous claims and for it to be thoroughly researched, so all the information is from independent peer-reviewed research. As it is a sometimes contentious subject matter, the idea of a coffee table book presented with beautiful imagery makes it more of a journey, as opposed to a heavy must-do manual. You can pick it up and devour it in bite-sized chunks. It’s about empowerment and transparency as opposed to being fear based or feeling wrong.
You’re a mumma to two daughters, what has motherhood meant to you?
I have two girls, a teenager and a 23-year-old as well! My girls mean the world to me. I have been a working mother and built the business whilst juggling raising them, mostly solo. Motherhood has been a wonderful journey of patience and understanding. It is an amazing experience that I am most grateful for. It has certainly developed me as a person. They are now my friends as well as my daughters and I am so proud of the young women they have become.
Kiyana, my eldest, works in the business on the social media and creative side. She has implemented most of the creative side of the brand. It is important to keep on top of the visual aspect of the business to keep ahead of the pack and to come up with new and innovative ideas and products. We are about to relaunch in November with a whole refreshed look. She is living in Canada right now but we talk most mornings and work well together. She is quite bossy and tells me what to do! Haha.
Aysha is in her final years of high school and will most likely work in the business as well. She is very scientific in her approach to life so will likely end up in product development and formulating. She has wanted to extract the essence of wattle from plants for as long as I can remember. She always brings a sprig home from her walks and says, “Mum you must find out how to encapsulate this fragrance.” They are both creative and very loving.
Mutki with Julia Ashwood of @thevista & Laura Gallagher
What’s your approach to beauty with your own daughters, and what beauty message would you give to our younger generation of girls?
Self-esteem is such a major issue, especially in this visual economy. The 'willful disfigurement' trend has me perplexed and saddened, and seeing young women so totally obsessed with perfectionism. I think it is most important to bring it back to a focus on self and self-love. Without that, there is no depth and substance. Fortunately, my daughters are level headed and do not get too caught up in that, although I think every teenage girl has her journey with self-esteem. Loving yourself is a daily commitment to being kind to yourself and doing small things that are self-loving. Drinking enough water, exercising, eating cleanly, checking in with your internal dialogue and being mindful. All those simple steps help the thought process and how you feel about yourself. Digital detoxing is also important and not comparing ourselves to others and a staged photograph.
Mukti with Kate Kendall of @activeyogi
Tell us, any advice on juggling creating a business and motherhood?
Motherhood disappears so quickly, so make the most of every one-on-one moment with your child. Put your phone down and be PRESENT with your children. Honestly, before you know it they are teenagers. Lead by example. Cultivate kindness and compassion – compassion is so vitally important right now. Having a healthy balance is necessary with work and home life. Human relationships are more important than work so create a work regime where you get to spend quality time with your family every day. Get up earlier, meditate, stay grounded and enjoy your children as much as you can. All they want and need is your love and approval so, please, if you have decided to be a parent, give it to them.
What’s your source of daily motivation?
Trying to be a more compassionate human being – it starts with gratitude.
What is your approach to living your best life and to self-care?
I am very careful these days with looking after myself from the moment I awake until I go to bed. I begin my day at 4am with meditation and I am in bed and usually asleep by 8pm. Some of my friends used to call me a nana but I prefer this lifestyle and being in touch with the circadian rhythm of nature. My body has adapted to this time clock now. I rarely drink alcohol, I only eat biodynamic and certified organic produce. I make sure I have a nature connection and exercise daily. I dry brush, oil pull and generally follow all the beauty biohacks outlined in my book. For me, it’s about doing my best to live a healthy life and harm minimisation, which means taking those steps every day.
A note to your younger self?
Be kind to yourself. Always trust your intuition and your inner light – it will always guide you.
If something doesn’t feel right, it’s for a reason. Tune into that sense and move away from danger if it’s a person or a situation. Trust that first instinct, it’s usually right.
What does 2019 hold for Mukti Organics, and Mukti the woman?
Expansion into training and education, overseas markets and a few innovative and niche products.
For our own curiosity, and as an on-going source of inspiration, we always like to find out as much as we can about our featured guests, can you humour us with the first thing that comes to mind for each the below?
Currently, I am...
Drinking: 'Dirty' water – filtered water with a pinch of Himalayan salt and a squeeze of lemon
Eating: Fresh spring salads
Planning: Trips – working holidays and a January holiday
Listening to: Podcasts – Oprah’s Masterclass Series
Dreaming of: Tropical beaches and sunshine
Watching: Killing Eve
Reading: Ted Talks Chris Andersen
To hear: The ocean every day or the sounds of nature
To see: My eldest daughter
To hold: My girls
To visit: Italy