We spoke to Jeremy Muijs, the founder and CEO of Grown Alchemist, on why the brand has resonated very well with Asians and the importance of organic skincare.
FEMALE: Welcome to Kuala Lumpur! What does it mean for the brand to be in Malaysia?
Jeremy Muijs: “It’s amazing! Our products are primarily created for the Asian market, and being from Australia, we feel like we live in Asia, so it feels great to be launching products that we consider are perfect for this market. In Australia, we see an uptake of interest in herbalism, Chinese medicine and homoeopathy: Disciplines that actually talk about wellness, not sickness. And as a brand, our beliefs are about restoring wellness. When we talk to an Asian audience, we find that they’re immediately more on our page because they get our ideas. We’ve waited patiently until the right time to launch our brand and now we feel we’ve got the perfect range of products.”
F: The brand centres around organic, botanical ingredients; why do you feel organic beauty is so important?
JM: “It’s about receptivity. Natural, organic and wild-harvested ingredients have a molecular structure that the body can recognise and therefore utilise them. When the ingredients are artificial, the body isn’t familiar with them, so the utilisation goes down and the rejection goes up. In skincare, rejections are obviously very bad, causing inflammation and ageing. At Grown Alchemist, what we’re trying to do is to decrease rejection and deliver high-nutrient contents for the skin.”
F: What do you decide on before developing a new product?
JM: “The first thing we do is think of the very purpose of the product – what do we want the product to achieve? For instance, if the need is hydration and age repair, then we look at what ingredients are needed to put into this product to trigger that positive response; whether they will work symbiotically to deliver a definite outcome for that skincare problem.”
F: How do we detox our skin?
JM: “Detox happens over time. The first thing you can do is to immediately stop using products with synthetic ingredients. Then also has to be a change in your lifestyle. Try sleeping more, altering your emotional state to a positive one or changing what you eat. Learn to meditate; it’s been said that one hour’s worth of meditation is equal to three hours of sleep! In terms of topical detox, you can try our detox serum, a specific product that targets three toxins – carbon, nitrogen and oxygen – the three types of toxins that we metabolise regularly in our skin.”
F: How would you define a good cleansing routine?
JM: “I’d be looking at how you’re cleansing. After you’ve finished cleansing, take a fresh cotton pad and swipe it across your face. If you’re not getting any dirt on it, it means you’re clean. If you are getting something, you need to go back and cleanse. Keep doing that until you’re confident that there’s actually no more makeup, dirt or anything left. The key is to not use an aggressive cleanser that strips your skin off your natural oils. That’s where natural products are good.”
From the print edition. Text by Sarah Hani Jamil. Photography by Grown Alchemist.