Meet the Maker: Marion O'Leary of Mokosh

Marion O'Leary is the clever formulator behind Mokosh, an ethical and environmentally-aware, "water-free" skin care range. (+ CHANCE TO WIN!) MOKOSH products are proudly palm-oil free, fair trade and certified organic. But, this isn't the end of their ethical and eco benefits...they are also super concentrated so they require less packaging and energy to get to your bathroom cabinet. Plus, there's one more special secret to do with water that you'll learn below. We're big Mokosh converts at Biome and we'd love you to know more about the person behind this Australian company. We asked Marion 5 questions. 1. What led you to create Mokosh? Mokosh started when I decided to move away from my previous incarnation as a veterinary scientist and indulge my passion for fair trade and certified organic products. Creating skin care filled both these needs. I was able to source Fair Trade ingredients for the products and could still be part scientist – mixing potions whilst wearing a white coat can do that to you! My background in science gave me the confidence to look at how skin care products are put together then to start again and do it completely differently, drawing on Ayurveda and other eastern traditions for inspiration. It feels like we've come a long way since I started in 2006 - the range is free of palm oil, as well as preservatives and other synthetic ingredients, and is fully certified organic with NASAA (all products contain 95-100% certified organic ingredients). We're now also accredited with Choose Cruelty Free, which with my veterinary background is important to me. 2. What is some of your favourite feedback about your products? I love it when someone tries one of our creams for the first time. I have to catch them first and say: ‘Only use a little bit – our creams are very concentrated!' They dutifully take a tiny dab and massage it over their hand and their face lights up. ‘That's amazing! It goes a long way doesn't it?' Pause while they massage it in... ‘And it feels amazing!' Then they smell it and say: ‘Divine!' 3. What is your most frequently asked question? "Why are your creams so concentrated?" and "Why do you need to use so little compared to a standard cream?" It is because we formulate our moisturisers differently – without water. Standard creams may contain up to 85% water, while ours contain none, making them up to five times the concentration of a standard cream. We don't add water because water allows the growth of bacteria and fungi, and therefore requires the addition of a preservative, something we did not want to include in our products. Because our creams don't contain water, they should be used differently, especially when applied to the face. Take approximately one fifth the amount of cream you would normally use, and apply while the skin is wet, for example after cleansing. The water on the skin takes the place of the water that would normally be in the cream and allows the cream to spread more easily over the skin. Water is included in standard creams simply to dilute the oil, so that you can get a thin spread of oil on the skin. The water later evaporates – it doesn't penetrate the skin at all and thus serves no moisturising function. 4. What are your recommendations for dry winter skin? In winter, the cooler temperature often means an overall reduction in air humidity, which is more drying to the skin. In addition, the skin often requires more protection from the elements. Our two face creams: Mokosh light face cream and Mokosh rich face cream are perfect for this time of year – they are both rich in shea butter, which has protective and healing properties, and contain a range of anti-oxidant-rich oils to counteract the degenerative effects of free radicals. 5. What is your favourite local nature spot in winter? Because I live in Fremantle, Western Australia, I am pretty spoiled for choice. We are only a few minutes from both the river and the beach, and we have two beautiful parks a few hundred metres from our door. If I had to choose a favourite it would be South Beach – in winter we get a mixture of gentle, gloriously sunny days and wild, stormy ones. When I'm feeling brave I love venturing out there on stormy days – the smell of the sea, the wind and the moody colours – a great way to reconnect. Save
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