I first came across the Australian brand, Grown Alchemist, thanks to my friend, Tine, who gifted me a hand cream, many years ago. I liked the aesthetics, because it had that whole tin tube with vintage style writing on it. Smelled good and felt good too. But you know what? I thought it only sold body products. That’s first impressions for you! It wasn’t very popular then, and distribution was fairly limited to Australia at the time.
When I found out that the good folks at Ken’s Apothecary were bringing in the brand (FINALLY!), I got a little excited. I still thought it was a bath and body brand though (and I love nice smelling bath and body products!) … until I came upon their counter in the store and went “Grown Alchemist has skincare too?!”
That upped my interest tenfold LOL! 😀 I was privileged to be at the recent press launch introducing Grown Alchemist, in the presence of its founders, Jeremy and Keston Muijs, so not only got a little insight into the brand, but got to play with some of the products, and speak to Jeremy one-on-one to gain some insight into the brand, and I thought I’d share the info with you 🙂
Grown Alchemist: Natural and Active skincare
Grown Alchemist is a botanical based brand that emphasises the use of natural ingredients and uses powerful antioxidants to protect skin from external aggressions and free radicals, as well as collagen, peptides and hyaluronic acid, all stuff that are good for your skin and especially for those who want something “anti-aging”. What they are not formulated with, are commonly identified harmful chemicals like gylcols, petrochemicals, silicones, parabens, synthetics, fragrance and animal derivatives.
That said, I had been coming across many disgruntled rumblings online in the past year or so, that a brand that prides itself on the purity of its ingredients doesn’t list their product’s ingredient list on their own website. I’d also noticed however, that there are some other natural based brands that don’t either. I personally prefer it when brands do – it makes it easier for everyone, especially now that people are getting more savvy when it comes to ingredient lists. However, as I’m not personally pro or anti certain ingredients used in skincare, I don’t particularly feel strongly either way. What I will note however, is that like with everything, even natural or botanical skincare can be irritating if you have very sensitive skin so don’t be too hasty either way.
However, I had a little chat with Jeremy Muijs, where I raised this subject with him and told him in not so many words, that for a brand so proud of its ingredients, it should be on the website! I was gratified when he gave a rueful grin and said that they were aware of the complaints and it’s all in the works. They are in the midst of revamping the website and ingredient lists will be added online soon, because yes, they ARE proud of their products!
The Grown Alchemist products are all made in Australia, and they are certified by the Australian Certified Organic body (ACO), and their products and ingredients are not tested on animals.
Grown Alchemist Antioxidant Facial Oil
Grown Alchemist : Packaging aesthetics and design
The other thing Grown Alchemist has going for them is aesthetics. I love the glass packaging of their skincare because I’m partial to glass packaging of any kind. Not only is it sleek, it’s also pleasing to the eye and adds a luxurious heft. If you have a swanky bathroom, it looks amazing in your bathroom too. I don’t, and my skincare is usually crowded and hidden away, not on display LOL But it pleases me to hold it and pick it up.
But more than aesthetics, glass is inert (which Jeremy was pleased that I recognised – yay me! All the years of interest in skincare did not go to waste LOL!) and therefore doesn’t mess with the chemistry of the product held within. Tubes are lined aluminium to ensure ingredients are not contaminated by air, sunlight or chemicals. Plastic bottles are a premium hard PET material that does not leech into the contents, something Jeremy was quite passionate about to explain to me.
Thought goes into the design of their packaging as well, with their pumps designed with a 1 way valve, to prevent moisture from entering the bottles. Jeremy asked if I’d noticed how bottles of shower gel or shampoo tend to get more liquid and watery towards the end. I said I did, but I thought it was water getting into the bottle. Well, apparently, that’s part of the reason, but also that moisture in the air of your shower seeps in. Their bottles with pumps are designed to avoid this, thereby also avoiding contamination. It helps that the minimalist packaging is aesthetically pleasing.
It’s changed a lot now from what I used to have. It used to have a very whimsical style of font in varying sizes on my hand cream tube, and a brown craft cardboard box. I liked it, and that rather vintage sign-board type. But I can’t deny that the new minimalist font and sleek white or black boxes appeals more to the psyche and, in some ways, helps you take them a little more seriously 😛
Grown Alchemist Hand Cream Vanilla & Orange Peel and Intensive Body Cream Rosa Damascena, Acai & Pomegranate
Grown Alchemist: Cleanse, Detox, Activate
Cleanse, Detox and Activate are the 3 basic tenets of the skincare brand. As Jeremy said in his presentation “If you can restore health to skin cells, you can restore its function” for the basic principle is that skin cells need to be healthy, in order to function properly. Same with your bodies.
So the products cater to this. Cleanse, with one of the top selling Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser (RM160 | AU$44.95), and then detox with a serum that contains antioxidants (some of their serums are contained within facial oils, which had me incredibly excited – I love facial oils!) before activating skin health by using one of their products that focus on specific skin concerns, and contains different active ingredients.
The bestselling product I’m told, is the Hydrating Day Cream (AU$69.95) so naturally, I’ve put that on my radar. The other things I’m very keen to have a go at are their Antioxidant Facial Oils (RM220 | AU$59.95) and their Age Repair Serums (AU$94.95). You know me, I’m all about anti-aging 😀
I messed about a bit during the press launch, testing some of the products on the table, and the first thing I would notice is the sensorial experience. The products do smell lovely, in a natural, non-artificially fragranced way, so that was lovely. I do feel that some smelled quite strongly, like the hand cream but scent is always a personal thing. I loved the texture of the serums and the facial oils, so I’m definitely going to have a go some day (when I’ve made a bit of a dent in my skincare cabinet 😛 ). The aesthetics, the brand philosophy, all bring to mind another popular Australian brand – Aesop, doesn’t it? 😀
Grown Alchemist in Malaysia
With Jeremy and Keston Muijs, founders of Grown Alchemist
So that was just a little brief overview of the brand and what I gleaned from speaking to and listening to one of its founders. I love meeting brand owners and founders. Their passion really shines through when they talk about their babies, and it’s so infectious! 🙂 So, thank you Jeremy for taking time to answer some of my probing questions, and for not getting pissed off when I challenged him on what was lacking on his website (including the font – I told him it was too small 😛 )
In Malaysia, you will be able to get Grown Alchemist at Ken’s Apothecary stores, and some products are also available at Ken’s online, for those who have no access to a Ken’s store. You can also get their products from their website, and in selected stores and websites around the world.
Who’s excited that Grown Alchemist is here? Do you have a favourite product that I should try?
They have been around a while in Australia and the US and UK, but in a rather low-key fashion. However, I’m told that they’re now growing rather rapidly, and starting to get noticed, so it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. I’m keeping an eye on the Antioxidant Serums and Facial Oils so if you’ve tried them, let me know what you think! Or what else I should try 🙂