5 minutes with Karen Murrell

What was the inspiration for starting your own certified organic skincare and natural make-up range?

Color, life and personality.  I wanted to create a range that inspired beauty.  Not a traditional natural beauty product.  Having an international organic certification and being able to stand proudly and equally on the international market was a personal driving force.  Being the first New Zealand beauty house to be awarded this honor was a magnificent start!

What is the philosophy behind the Karen Murrell range?

A cosmetic and makeup range that combines aesthetic appeal and outstanding quality with a conscience.

How long has the range been in the making?

18 months and I have loved every minute!

Were there any major obstacles you had to overcome?

Yes, many! Packaging was our major obstacle for this project. Although there have been a considerable number of ecological triumphs in plastics and packaging of late finding a factory that is able to use these applications and new technology is another story.  Finding an Ecocert approved site added even more stress into our mix.

How does your packaging align with your environmentally friendly ethos?

Every aspect of my packaging is environmentally friendly, My lipstick canisters are made from PLA: a corn resin based material that biodegrades back into the earth with in 100 days. My boxes are made from 100 per cent renewable, recycled paper using soy inks.  I wanted to be able to provide my customers an easy fast option of recycling.

Are all ingredients in your skincare products certified organic?

All Karen Murrell skincare products are from 99.5 per cent natural origin with 50 to 99 per cent of ingredients coming from organic farming.  All of my skincare products are certified with Ecocert, which is an international organic certification body.  My True Miracle Balm has also been awarded with OFC Australia’s highest organic certification.

What synthetic ingredients are your products free from?

All the nasties! Mineral oils, paraben preservatives, artificial colorants, TEA and petrochemicals.

Tamanu Oil features often in your skincare range. What is it and what is its benefit?

Calophyllum inophyllum is extra precious oil.  Grown in Polynesia this little wonder of an oil encourages new tissue, accelerates wound healing and the growth of new skin.   I fell in love with the history of this oil and the stories of healing and happiness.

You have been quoted as saying that “a woman consumes an average of nearly two kilograms of lipstick during her lifetime.” Is this something women should be concerned about?

Women should be concerned about any product they put on their bodies that is not of a natural source. Coal tar and it derivatives, lead, synthetic oils and synthetic waxes are not desirable ingredients to be placed on ones lips.  But I see the biggest oversight with lipsticks is the synthetic colorings used.  These have been well documented as being dangerous for humans on consumption.

Chemical reaction

The average British woman “hosts” 515 chemicals on her body every day, according to a new study.

The poll of 2016 women by deodorant-maker Bionsen said most of the pollutants are self-inflicted by women who sprayed on deodorant, slapped on body moisturiser and applied lipstick each morning.

Today’s average British woman uses body and facial moisturisers, perfumes, deodorants and various other make-up products which leave them unknowingly carrying hundreds of chemicals on their bodies throughout the day, Bionsen said.

Moisturiser can contain over 30 different chemicals and perfume up to 400, it added.

More than a third of the women who took part in the study were unaware of the key ingredients in their toiletries, with only 9 per cent aware of most of the ingredients in the cosmetics they put on each day.

More than 70 per cent of the women polled said they were not concerned about the number of chemicals they put on their skin and only one in 10 opted for chemical-free toiletries when shopping.

“Women have never been more image-conscious and their beauty regimes have changed dramatically over the years, from a simple ‘wash & go’ attitude, to daily fake tan applications, regular manicures, false lashes and hair extensions,” Bionsen’s Charlotte Smith said in a statement.

“Lots of the high-tech, new generation cosmetics and beauty ‘wonder’ treatments naturally contain more chemicals to be able to achieve even better results, which, of course, means that women now carry more chemicals than ever before.”

Eight out of the 12 areas on the body highlighted by Bionsen as places where women used cosmetic products containing chemicals were on the face or head and included moisturizers, foundation, blush, eye make-up, hair spray and perfume head or face.

Reuters Life