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Mukti Organics – Discover the Benefits of Natural Skincare

Content by: mukti

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week, I’m excited to welcome Mukti from Mukti Organics to the podcast. Mukti has been actively involved in the beauty and personal care industry for over two decades. Her aim is to reconnect people to nature, creating health and happiness for your toxin-free lifestyles and beauty regimes. In this episode, we talk about the ingredients we should be looking to avoid in our skincare products, we dig deep into natural ingredients, and also discuss where we could be going wrong with our own skincare regime. Over to Mukti…

Audio Version

Some questions asked during this episode:

  • Where are we (the public) going wrong with skincare? (04:51)
  • What ingredients should we be looking to avoid in our skincare products? (05:47)
  • What would you recommend for a basic skincare routine (20:54)

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The views expressed on this podcast are the personal views of the host and guest speakers and not the views of Bega Cheese Limited or 180 Nutrition Pty Ltd. In addition, the views expressed should not be taken or relied upon as medical advice. Listeners should speak to their doctor to obtain medical advice.

Disclaimer: The transcript below has not been proofread and some words may be mis-transcribed.

Full Transcript

Stu

(00:03)
Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long lasting health. Now, I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do. Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We are into whole food nutrition and have a range of superfoods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website that is 180nutrition.com.au and take a look. Okay, back to the show.

(00:44)
This week, I’m excited to welcome Mukti from Mukti Organics. Mukti has been actively involved in the beauty and personal care industry for over two decades. Her aim is to reconnect people to nature, creating health and happiness for your toxin-free lifestyles and beauty regimes. In this episode, we talk about the ingredients we should be looking to avoid in our skincare products, we dig deep into natural ingredients, and also discuss where we could be going wrong with our own skincare regime. Over to Mukti. Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and I’m delighted to welcome Mukti from Mukti Organics to the podcast. Mukti, how are you?

Mukti

(01:26)
Good, Stu. Lovely to see you.

Stu

(01:28)
No, thanks so much for sharing some of your time. Really appreciate it. But first up, for all of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your work, I’d love it if you could just tell as a little bit about yourself, please.

Mukti

(01:41)
Sure. And so, I entered the skincare space over 22 years ago. And back then, there was not a lot available, particularly in Australia, in relation to natural and organic skincare. There wasn’t actually a certification back then for skincare. So, I always had this penchant to want to create a skincare range that was as clean as it possibly could be. And I’ll define clean a little bit later on in our discussion. But I wanted to use ingredients that were as pure and natural as they possibly could be, but still be stable that people could buy and that they could use them for daily treatments, just for everyday products like a cleanser and moisturizer and just do basics. So, that’s pretty much how it started.

(02:40)
I have a background in naturopathy, and I was always in interested in particular in aromatherapy and client medicine and herbal medicine. I could see the benefits of plants on the human system, because we are so similar in our biology and our makeup. So, it kind of made sense to me. And I was using a number of different ranges. There was a lot of brands coming out of Europe in particular, so those brands that have been around forever such as Hauschka and [inaudible 00:03:18], but there wasn’t really a great deal in Australia at the time. So, I recognized a bit of a niche and I thought with the background that I had that I could start experimenting and playing around with a few different ingredients and see what would happen. And I had a whole lot of little herbal remedy books and bit of witchcraft and bit of alchemy, but I really didn’t know what I was doing.

(03:43)
Back then, you couldn’t just ring up a chemist and say, “Hey, I want to create a natural product. Could you help me?” Back then, there was really no one to turn to that was interested or thought that it was viable to create products that were natural. It was very much a journey of discovery and self-learning and research and trial and error. But that then made me quite creative in my formulating because I had to figure things out. I’ve realized over the years that I’m very tenacious. And so, I just kept going. In spite of everything, I’ve just kept going and trying new things until I could work it out, because I couldn’t bring up a cosmetic chemist and say, “Hey, I don’t know what’s happening at this phase when I do this and I do that. Can you help me?” And I did do that a couple of times, but it was basically laughed at. So, I just worked it out. Yeah.

Stu

(04:51)
Well, you certainly worked it out because it’s a big, very well established, well-known brand. And when I spoke to a lot of people as well and said, “Oh, I’m going to be chatting to Mukti from Mukti Organics,” they said, “Oh, right. Yeah, we know that brand. We use that brand. Can you ask this? Can you ask that?” So I guess, first question from me would be that where are we going wrong in terms of skincare? If I’m walking into, let’s say, a supermarket and I can see lots and lots of beautifully packaged products. And oftentimes, it’s the packaging that wins the consumer and we don’t think to turn it around. And quite frankly, we may not even know what we’re looking at on skincare where we’ve got lots of different types of ingredients, whether they be botanical or synthetics. What are the things that we should avoid, or maybe, just the red flags that you’d say, “If you’re reading this, put it back?”

Mukti

(05:47)
Yeah, I think that’s a really great question. And it’s multifaceted really, because it’s very easy to get lured in by marketing and also by price point. I think they’re the two things. And as you mentioned, reading labels is where to start. What you’re going to see on the front of the packaging is what’s going to draw you in. There’ll usually be something like a claim in relation to an ingredient. It might say, “Contains avocado or vitamin E.” And then, once you turn the product over and you read what’s called the INCI or the International Nomenclature Ingredient list, which sounds like a lot of gobbledygook… It’s actually just reading the ingredients on the back of a food product.

(06:34)
So, I always like to compare the two just when you’re breaking it down. So it’s just when you’re going to buy something from the supermarket and you flip it over, read the ingredient list, look for numbers and colors or anything artificial or anything that the body probably won’t be able to naturally assimilate, that might have a bioaccumulative effect on the organism. And then, you sort of start to categorize it and look for certain things that you would want to avoid. So, there’s a lot of carcinogens as a byproduct of manufacturing which aren’t listed on the labels. There’s endocrine disruptors or EDCs that are also not listed on the labels. There’s irritants, there’s [nugenix 00:07:16], there’s neurotoxins, there’s penetration enhancers, there’s respiratory irritants, there’s xenoestrogens.

(07:24)
So, none of those things are actually listed on there. And when I say all of that, it sounds a little bit fear-based, but it’s just knowing what to look for and it’s about minimizing exposure, because we’re all exposed now in the environment to various chemicals. It’s just part of being a human now. We’re inundated from everything that we put on our skin to everything we eat to everything we breathe. So it’s about minimizing your exposure to toxins, because unless you’re living in a bubble, you can’t really get away with that. So, it’s minimizing your overall body burden.

(08:02)
So, there’s some chemicals that are already banned in a lot of countries and there have been red flags. Some of the ones that I tend to pull out to look out for will be things like hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarbon. And it’s so hard to pronounce some of them. Anything that’s hard to pronounce is usually somewhere to start as well. Parabans which we all know about, sulfates SLS, SLES, which most of us know about. Another one that I’ve red flagged, which is still commonly used, is phenoxyethanol, and that’s because it’s contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1, 4-dioxane, which are both known carcinogens. So that to me is a no-no as a preservative, and it’s still used very broadly.

(08:53)
In some cases, I think my understanding in looking at it is that a lot of brands have swapped out parabens and they’ve gone for another cheaper, easier swap out, which is phenoxyethanol as a preservative. I don’t know what the long term residual bioaccumulative effects of that are, but I personally would suggest avoiding it because of that reason. Mineral oils, formaldehyde, coal tar, all of those ingredients. I’ve got checklists that I usually have. And then the other thing I tend to do, I’ve actually got a great little handout which I might make available to you as a PDF so you can link that in the show notes.

Stu

(09:37)
Yeah, that would be great.

Mukti

(09:40)
But one of the things that I did when I wrote my book, which is called Truth in Beauty, was one of the things that I suggested people do is divide the label into thirds. So your top third is where most of those ingredients sit, similar to a food label. So, 80 to 95% of the product. The first ingredient is usually the majority of the product. So with organic, you’re looking for something that’s usually from a plant base. It has to come or be plant derived to reach that percentage of allowable inputs as a certified organic product. So most organic products will have floral hydrosol of some sort, or they’ll have aloe vera as that first ingredient which is a really lovely ingredient to use on the skin. It’s very compatible with the skin. It’s very cool, soothing, calming. It has a myriad of really good vitamins and constituents in there that feed and nurture the skin. So, that’s a big tick. Anything that’s aloe vera is your number one.

(10:45)
And then, your middle third constitutes about the next four to 12% of the product. It’s usually made up of oils and your actives and emulsifiers and your surfactants. And then, your final third’s usually the preservation, fragrances, stabilizers, and often label claims. So going back to that first point, if you see something on the front of the label and it says, “Avocado or vitamin E,” pick up the back, scan it and see exactly where it is on the label. And sometimes interestingly enough, it’s not even in the product. So when I say that, there’s not really a great deal of… There is regulation, but there’s no one actually going around and checking every single label for every single product that’s on the market, because there’s so many that it’s almost an impossible task to be able to do that.

(11:36)
So, it’s really in your own hands to do the research when you are buying products and just to have your own checklist as to what’s okay and what isn’t okay. But there’s definitely guidelines. So I often say, “Go with that, break it into thirds.” And then, you want to look for botanical sounding names. So anything that sounds plant-based or sounds like it comes from a plant species. So Macadamia ternifolia, Simmondsia chinensis, anything that sounds sort of Latin derived is plant-based. So, that kind of helps as opposed to more of a chemical sounding name. So, that’s a good starting point. I think the other thing too when you say, “Where are people going wrong with skincare?” I feel like there’s a lot of choice and there’s a lot of hype. And I think too less is more. I think there’s a tendency to want to trial these new things.

(12:44)
And the other thing that we’re experiencing now, as clinicians and as therapists, I’ve also got a background in beauty therapy, is that the dermis of the skin or the outer layer of the skin is impaired. There’s a huge increase in skin sensitivities and irritants and allergies and flare ups as well not only from what we put on our skin, but also environmental factors as well. It could be washing powders, detergents, fragrances. Another thing that I really suggest to people that have got sensitive skin and are having flare ups is to avoid any form of fragrances in their products.

Stu

(13:28)
Right.

Mukti

(13:29)
Yeah, they can be very irritating and create things like contact dermatitis, but they can also inhibit the olfactory… When we’re breathing in, we can also have issues there. And some people just have very adverse reactions to fragrances. So I think we need to be more mindful about using synthetic fragrances, especially every day too, because they can have an impact on our overall health and wellbeing.

Stu

(14:04)
It’s interesting that you said that and quite timely, because this week, I went to come out of the house and put my shorts on, and the cat was sleeping on my shorts. And I just picked them up and brushed off the hair and I thought, “Oh, probably bit catty.” And so, I borrowed one of my wife’s perfumes and just put a spray on the shorts. And as I was sitting here later on the day, I just started to feel wheezy, and I could just smell this blooming perfume. It felt like it was inside of me.

Mukti

(14:31)
Yeah. So the reason being is that the perfume contains phthalates. And I’m sure you know that phthalates and I’m sure most of your audience does. So, they’re plasticizers. They’re-

Stu

(14:42)
Right.

Mukti

(14:43)
It’s a plastic, and it actually adheres and sticks to your clothing and to your skin. So, that’s what keeps it stuck to you.

Stu

(14:52)
Right.

Mukti

(14:53)
Yeah. And then, the other thing that happens with fragrances is that once you wear a fragrance all the time, you actually become immune to it yourself. You can’t smell it. So it’s like…

Stu

(15:04)
Right. So, you might put more on.

Mukti

(15:06)
So the person, the wearer, the user can’t smell it. So then, they tend to put more on. They’re walking around this big cloud and they can’t smell it themselves. They’re not aware of how strong their fragrance or their perfume may be. So I’m a huge advocate of if you do want to use, if you do want to incorporate fragrances and smells, look for essential oils.

Stu

(15:31)
Right.

Mukti

(15:31)
But again, use them with wisdom and carefully because they are very strong and they have therapeutic capabilities as well. They work on the whole system. So you have to also use them with reverence, and know you should never use any of them neat on the skin and only in small quantities and for therapeutic use.

Stu

(15:55)
Yeah. No, that’s good to know. I can understand that because oftentimes, you’ll be maybe in a shopping center or just out and about, and you will just smell this fragrance bomb.

Mukti

(16:06)
Yes, exactly.

Stu

(16:07)
And it can be very overwhelming.

Mukti

(16:09)
It can be. I mean, I think the more you move away from fragrances, the more sensitized you become as well. So for me, I avoid certain aisles if I go to a supermarket, which isn’t that often these days. But I’ll avoid certain aisles of the supermarket because if I walk down them, I know afterwards it affects me and I’ll start to either feel nauseous or I have a headache or I just don’t feel quite right, and I want to get out into the fresh air and remove myself from that. So, that’s part of that innate thing that we have as humans is we move away from something that smells bad. It’s one of our sensory organs that moves us away from danger. So, I think that’s another really important thing. And then if you desensitize that, we don’t have that innate-

Stu

(16:55)
No, that’s right.

Mukti

(16:57)
That tells us, “There’s danger here,” or, “This isn’t right. Something’s not right.” But I think that gut instinct, because it does go straight to your gut, it’s like, “Oh, something doesn’t…”

Stu

(17:07)
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:17:07].

Mukti

(17:07)
“I don’t feel well.” Yeah, as soon as you have that reaction. I’m a big no-no in relation to artificial fragrances and perfumes because of the phthalates and because, oh, they’re bioaccumulative, the long term effects. It’s one really simple thing to cut out of your life, but it’s a huge, of course, multi-billion dollar industry and it’s also considered to be a luxury item. So, I think there’s a lot of education to be done in relation to that. I just don’t think that sensory pleasure for some people is worth the long term effects.

Stu

(17:51)
No, I agree. And I think in terms of toxic load as well, and if you’re perhaps not eating as well as you can, not sleeping as well, not moving, exposed to environmental pollutants, as well as whatever your personal hygiene products may contain, then it’s just more of a burden. It’s more weight on your back.

Mukti

(18:10)
Yeah, it’s a really easy one to just cut out and substitute for something that the body can assimilate, that won’t bioaccumulate. And that brings me to certain products as well. So if you are looking to make the switch or to swap things out, you’d be looking at things like your toothpaste, because you’ve got your mucus membranes there which are highly penetrable. You’ve also got deodorants which go straight into under the arm. So that’s another really easy trans [inaudible 00:18:41] penetration that can happen really easily through the hair follicle. And then, other products that you would use all over your body like a lotion or wash, you want to swap those out for cleaner or less chemically-based ingredients. So, they’re good places to start if you’re not so much interested in facial care.

Mukti

(19:03)
I think too with face care, a lot of people are using ingredients that I would consider to be quite harsh on a regular basis. So things that I call actives, so it might be acids and peels and things like that, are going to break down and impair the dermis. And then also, certain vitamins if you’re using them at high percentages, they’ll also cause irritation as well. So, I think it’s important to also know what your skin type is and your skin type is different to your complexion. And your complexion is more like fair or olive or the type of skin that you have, as opposed to your skin type which is then considered to be normal, dry, or oily. Yeah. So I think for guys, that sometimes gets a bit confusing, complexion versus skin type.

Stu

(19:58)
Oh God, dear. Old and haggard would be my skin type, but…

Mukti

(20:00)
No. Experienced is a nice-

Stu

(20:01)
Oh, I like that.

Mukti

(20:02)
It’s a nice word. I think for some guys, they don’t want a big, complicated routine.

Stu

(20:08)
No.

Mukti

(20:08)
So the best thing to do is just to use something that’s going to hydrate you, protect you, give you some moisture because the skin does tend to dry out, particularly if you are using soaps and detergents on your skin as well. So, it’s good to moisturize and use emollients and help repair the skin barrier. So, you can just stick to a simple cream for that type of thing.

Stu

(20:32)
So then, as a very basic routine, let’s say, a blanket routine that you could recommend to everyone, and again, I’m probably the wrong person to talk about this because I don’t do any of this, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on… Is it the cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize, all that kind of thing, again, alien words to me-

Mukti

(20:54)
[crosstalk 00:20:54].

Stu

(20:54)
But what would you recommend?

Mukti

(20:57)
Yeah. So, most people will wash their face every day. So I would definitely recommend washing face but never with soap-

Stu

(21:07)
Right.

Mukti

(21:07)
Because of the pH of the soap. It’s quite alkaline, so it’s very high, which can cause dryness and then dries your skin out. So, you want to use a cleanser that’s pH balanced. So you could rather use a cleansing cream or a gel or even some sort of a wash that’s pH balanced, so it’s not going to dry the skin out. That feeling of when you wash your face and it feels really parched and dry, that’s a bad feeling.

Stu

(21:35)
It’s not good.

Mukti

(21:35)
The skin’s not happy if you’re doing that because you’re just pulling out all the natural oils on the surface of the skin.

Stu

(21:40)
Right.

Mukti

(21:41)
And then, people tend to put an occlusive product or a mineral based product on top, which then doesn’t allow the skin to breathe. So if you’ve got oily skin, that can then be a real problem because you’re drying the skin out and then you are almost putting a clean wrap around it. So, it doesn’t allow the skin to transpire and breathe naturally. And then, you set yourself up for a whole host of problems and then you get a pimple or you use really harsh peroxides or things like that, that dry skin out. And so, it goes on.

Mukti

(22:10)
So I think oily, acneic skin, I always say just use two products. Just use a cleansing gel that will remove dirt, make up, and impurities, and then just use a gel-based moisturizer. And then for skin that needs hydrating, you’d use more of a cream cleanser and then you’d use a more emollient moisturizer. And then for skin that is irritated and sensitized, you really want to pair it back and just use a very hydrated cleansing lotion. And then, you would use something like an oil without a lot of fragrances or perfumes in there. So, something with really calming ingredients in that.

(22:56)
With my range of products, we have different groups or categories of products for different skin types. So, it makes it pretty simple to know which ones to use when you know your skin type. So there’s hydrating, calming, balancing, for example, and those fit into normal, oily, combination skin. And then, a calming would be for skin that’s sensitized or red, irritated or having hormonal issues, because the skin also changes throughout our lives as well. As we mature, our skin gets drier. So, we need more hydration.

(23:31)
And so, you just have to adapt and evolve your skincare routine. But it’s usually just cleanse and a moisturizer. And then, if you’re wanting to fight off certain physical signs of aging, you can include things like vitamins and active ingredients, such as peptides, et cetera, that the body also recognizes and can assimilate, because we already make those. But they start to break down as we get older. So your collagen and elastin starts to degrade.

Stu

(23:59)
Right, yeah.

Mukti

(24:02)
And then, you start to see those physical signs of aging because you haven’t got that same volume that you used to have.

Stu

(24:08)
Which then leads me to sunscreens and I guess the strategies that we utilize when we’re outside, because there are… I look at it as there are two sides of the camp. Those that say, “Well, you’ve got to get out there, get your vitamin D, get full body exposure because it’s really beneficial for so many different cofactors in the body.” But on the other side it’s, “Slip, slop, slap, cover up, avoid the sun at all costs, make sure that you’re plastered in sunscreen.” How does that fit into what your beliefs are?

Mukti

(24:43)
Oh, that’s a very good question. I’m always scared to answer it. So I will speak from my perspective-

Stu

(24:48)
Yes.

Mukti

(24:48)
But probably similar to you, I believe in the benefits of sunlight. And I know that it is very important in relation to the body to manufacture certain substances such as vitamin D. So, I believe in safe exposure in order for the body to create and make vitamin D and to benefit us on that level of health. But I don’t recommend going out and baking in the midday sun for example, and I also recommend that if you are going out into the sun after a certain point in the day, then put on some sort of a barrier, be it clothing or using some form of sunscreen that’s zinc oxide-based as opposed to something that’s a chemical-based sunscreen. Unfortunately, with a lot of the zinc-based sunscreens, they tend to have a waxy feel and they can be quite occlusive on the skin as well. So people don’t like to use them, whereas, the more chemical based sunscreens tend not to have that greasy effect.

(25:55)
So I think it’s about safe sun exposure, and not having so much… I think it’s an important conversation that we need to have about this. And I think that the sun is not something to be feared, but it’s something to be revered and to be wise about using its benefits. So for me, I have what I call is a safe tan. I will go out in the morning when I walk the dogs on the beach early in the morning. And I’m talking in summer, it’ll be before 8:00 AM.

Stu

(26:30)
Right.

Mukti

(26:32)
But I’ll make sure I get the sunlight into my eyes and I’ll make sure that I’m wearing no shoes and I’ll make sure that I’m getting exposure on my skin, so that all year round, I have a very light tanned skin. But I’m not going out and spending hours baking in the sun on a towel in the middle of the day by any means. So I do not advocate that at all, but I do advocate a healthy exposure at certain times of the day.

Stu

(27:04)
Excellent. Yeah, it’s good advice. Like anything, I think you can use it wisely and it can swing both ways.

Mukti

(27:12)
Yes.

Stu

(27:12)
And you certainly don’t-

Mukti

(27:12)
And in saying that, if I go out after a certain time, I will put a zinc-oxide based sunscreen, I will use a hat, and I will use sunglasses. So, it really just depends on what time of the day. But I think we’ve got to just pull back on this fear around the sun a little bit, because it does have beneficial properties as well. So yes, as you said, like anything, it’s a balance.

Stu

(27:35)
Yeah, totally.

Mukti

(27:35)
And it’s a very loaded topic, especially right now. So…

Stu

(27:39)
It is. So, into another loaded topic then.

Mukti

(27:43)
Great.

Stu

(27:44)
Just jump in from sunlight into nutrition. Obviously, you’ve heard the adage, we are what we eat, and that will be reflected in the way that we feel and look and think as well. So, your thoughts on diet as a factor around skincare.

Mukti

(28:03)
Yeah. So, I think anything that’s processed is obviously not going to be good for you. Everything comes from the gut health as we know. So if your gut is dealing with processing hydrogenated fats, sugars, complex things that we can’t really assimilate that easily, then that’s definitely going to reflect in your skin. And then, there’s things like crosslinking glycation and that can have an aging effect on the skin as well. So, I don’t advocate any particular form of diet other than only eat what our ancestors would have eaten I think is probably the best. Stay away from things that are too complex or too processed. And also, tune into how you feel after you eat something. Whether it be a few hours later or the following day, how does it affect your moods? How does it your overall body? And I think my journey with food has been as I’ve become more attuned to my body and I’ve kept my wheelhouse of what I eat a lot smaller than I used to.

(29:19)
If I introduce something that doesn’t agree with me, I know pretty quickly that it doesn’t and it’s usually some form of a belly ache or uncomfortableness or flatulence. That’s a really good sign that your body’s having problems digesting what it is that you’ve eaten. And I think that elimination process of N equals one and you just go back to, “Okay, well, this works for me. I didn’t have an adverse effective reaction with that.” I found cutting out lectins for me was really beneficial. And then, that’s sort of how I worked out what I couldn’t eat or what agreed and what didn’t agree with me. So, I think it’s very much an individual journey. But definitely, what we eat does impact our skin without a shadow of doubt, because it’s excreted. It’s one of our organs that is a living, breathing organ. So, it reflects whatever’s going on internally in the gut definitely.

Stu

(30:17)
Yeah. Well, no, it’s good to hear. And it’s good to hear your thoughts on… You mentioned on the beach, you’ve got sunlight in your eyes and you’re always barefoot. And so, there’s grounding. So there’s a whole heap of other stuff happening there as well that you’re clearly aware of to support not only skin health, but overall health and energy and vitality and all of the above.

Mukti

(30:37)
Yeah. I think just at this stage of life, it’s all about longevity and being healthy and well for as long as you possibly can be. And it’s definitely all about exposure, what we put in, what we put on, and understanding all of that. I mean, sure, it’s convenient sometimes just to go out and have a fast food meal. But then, what are the costs of that versus that convenience factor? What are the payoffs for that? I spoke to my daughter this morning because she stayed out late last night, and she was a bit offended to me because I said, “Oh, but that’s okay. You did that because you’re not yet an adult.” And then, she took great offense to the fact that I said she wasn’t adult.

(31:24)
And I said to her, “Oh, well actually, let me clarify that. What I meant by that is that through life experience, I know that if I go out in the middle of the week and I don’t get enough sleep, then that’s going to impact the rest of my week. And for me, I would rather sacrifice not going out in the middle of the week so that I can get a good night’s sleep.” So I think that’s sort of a good analogy to use in relation to those decisions that you make. It’s like, “Well, what’s the payoff going to be?” For me now, at this point in time in my life, I just want to be as healthy and as active and as free as I can be for as long as I can be. So I don’t want to be constrained by my body because I made a heap of bad choices.

Stu

(32:07)
Exactly right.

Mukti

(32:08)
[crosstalk 00:32:08] life. And I don’t know whether it’s a thing that comes with age, but I guess, every heartbeat that we take is leading us one step further, isn’t it? So, it’s like we are not immortal.

Stu

(32:21)
That’s right.

Mukti

(32:22)
[crosstalk 00:32:22].

Stu

(32:22)
Yeah.

Mukti

(32:22)
So, yeah.

Stu

(32:23)
Choose wisely. Health is a choice.

Mukti

(32:27)
Health is for life as Matt would say.

Stu

(32:29)
Absolutely, yeah. That’s right. It sure is. Yeah, I love that holistic standpoint around all of the different centers and energy systems I think that can support health, because at the end of the day, nobody wants to feel like a train wreck day after day. And so many of us do.

Mukti

(32:48)
Yeah. And it really comes down to those choices every single day. And it’s building those blocks and having that awareness of, “Well, if I do this, then I’m going to feel better or am I going to feel better or am I going to feel worse? Am I going to feel energized for me to feel uplifted?” Yeah, so it’s just working that out for yourself I guess and seeing-

Stu

(33:11)
Absolutely.

Mukti

(33:11)
What that is.

Stu

(33:12)
Yup. Test and learn.

Mukti

(33:13)
Yes. N equals one.

Stu

(33:16)
It does. I was keen just to dig in a little bit into your book, Truth in Beauty.

Mukti

(33:25)
Yes.

Stu

(33:26)
Interested to learn why you wrote it, and what could we expect if you grabbed a copy and started to dive in?

Mukti

(33:34)
Well, what you can expect is not to find it in print. But this is it here. And this is where I’ve got to go back and rewrite-

Stu

(33:48)
Oh, wow.

Mukti

(33:48)
This.

Stu

(33:48)
Okay.

Mukti

(33:48)
So I’m going to do a reprint, a revised edition because I actually self-published this and it was very popular. And so we sold out, which was wonderful, but it was a great experience. I loved writing the book. I woke up every morning at four o’clock, and from 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM for six months, I just focused on this. And it was like a big jigsaw puzzle that I put together, and I just loved that whole process of doing that. And it started as what I call The A to Z Blacklist of ingredients that we’re best to avoid using because of information that was coming to surface in relation to these ingredients. So it points out all the different things that I spoke about before, as far as irritants and allergens and carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, et cetera. So, all of these ingredients that have been red flagged.

(34:47)
And then, I just sort of married everything else together around that. That was the bulk of the book. And then checklists on what to avoid, how to tell the difference between toxic products or products with toxic ingredients versus natural and organic products and what you should switch out, how to understand and decipher product labels, which we spoke a little bit about earlier, because it can be very confusing and daunting when you don’t know what to look at, nature derived ingredients as opposed to chemicals, natural ingredients that are more in tune with our physiology and immune system. We don’t have the enzymes to break down all the chemicals that bioaccumulate within our system. So it’s sort of right precautionary measure and taking protection, start eliminating those bad and potentially harmful ingredients from your personal care products.

(35:51)
And yes, just a lot of evidence in there as far as many chemicals that have cancer causing potential and hormone disrupting potential. So it’s sort of a guideline or a beauty Bible, if you don’t know where to start and what to navigate, and it also goes into what ingredients are and what to choose and things like essential fatty acids, the benefits of those. It’s a meaty book. It’s 300 pages with a lot of references at the back-

Stu

(36:24)
[crosstalk 00:36:24].

Mukti

(36:24)
[crosstalk 00:36:24] sort of referencing it. And then, it sort of goes into health and lifestyle, beauty biohacks, recipes, makeup. Then we spoke about before, there’s a whole section on fragrances and perfumes, and then just different natural ingredients and ones that you should avoid and ones that you shouldn’t avoid.

Stu

(36:55)
In term, you’ve mentioned that there were a ton of revisions to be made. When do you think it will be ready for re-release?

Mukti

(37:07)
As soon as I create. I’ll carve out a little bit of time. It’s just been a very hectic six months because we moved the business from Sunshine Coast down to the Northern Rivers.

Stu

(37:20)
Yes.

Mukti

(37:21)
And as you’re probably aware, we’ve just been through a huge natural disaster down here. So, there’s just been a few little things to take care of.

Stu

(37:31)
Few, little road bumps along the way.

Mukti

(37:33)
Yeah. So, I’m just looking to carving out that space. And then, we move down here as well, so there’s just been a lot going on. So once I can find that time again, I’m hoping before the end of the year to have that out. I do still contribute regularly to a blog post online. And education’s a huge part and huge passion for me. It’s part of my creative process for me. So I’m pretty keen to get that out there again, either as an ebook or a print on demand, or doing one of the reprint of the book ,revised edition.

Stu

(38:11)
Interesting.

Mukti

(38:12)
So, I’m looking forward to that. It’s definitely towards the top of the to-do list, yeah.

Stu

(38:16)
Okay. Yeah, I get it. It’s definitely on the to-do list, but it’s not right at the top at the moment.

Mukti

(38:22)
There could be a few copies floating around. There could be one on beautyheroes.com, which is one of our partners in the US. I think they may still have a few copies. But there’s probably just a handful if they are still there. So…

Stu

(38:39)
Get them while you can.

Mukti

(38:40)
Yes. Otherwise, it will be available again when I reprint-

Stu

(38:44)
No.

Mukti

(38:44)
In not too near distant future.

Stu

(38:46)
We shall look out for it. And in terms of new technology, ingredients, trends, fads, things like that, is there anything that you can see that perhaps is becoming more popular? You think will become more widely used? Because I’ve noticed in terms of things like collagen for one, that’s been widely adopted by so many people and seems to be very beneficial, supported by science, and something that perhaps could be worthwhile adding to your daily shopping list, whether it be in a supplement form or a cream.

Mukti

(39:25)
Yeah. We have a collagen supplement that I brought out a few years ago now. It’s been very well received. It has a range of other skins supporting ingredients in there as well. So, it’s not just collagen. I believe that you need to have an animal form of collagen in order to support and replace the collagen that we have utilized on a daily basis. So I think once you reach a certain age, it does help support the skin and the skin tissue. And then, vitamin C and all those other ingredients that help create collagen. It’s got [inaudible 00:40:04] in there as well. So, it’s very soothing and calming for the gut and gut related problems. So, I usually just have a heap teaspoon of that every day. It tastes great. It’s like a refreshing drink that you can make up.

Stu

(40:15)
Awesome.

Mukti

(40:15)
So, that’s the bioactive collagen boost. A big fan of that. I think we’re going to see more skin supporting supplements available in the marketplace, because as we spoke about before, gut health is definitely reflective of skin health. And then, I’m really excited about plant stem technology and incorporating a little bit more of that into some of the products. And I’m a big fan of using infrared and stimulating collagen and elastin naturally with that, interfering in the process. So, using lights and things like that is definitely a great healing tool. So I think any of those sorts of incorporations are definitely something that interest me, and we’ve got treatment rooms here now. So we’re making some of those treatments available moving into the near future as well, so it becomes a holistic… As you said before, it’s a holistic-

Stu

(41:24)
It does.

Mukti

(41:24)
Journey in relation to skincare. So internal, external.

Stu

(41:28)
Yeah. I’m interested to see how tech plays into that in the future as well with all of the gadgets now that we can track and utilize for light, heat, cold, all of the above.

Mukti

(41:40)
Yeah. So, I know you’re a big fan of ice baths and so on. And so-

Stu

(41:42)
All that kind of stuff.

Mukti

(41:45)
All of that’s great for cleansing, detoxing, stimulation. Yeah.

Stu

(41:50)
Exactly.

Mukti

(41:51)
So, all good tools in the toolbox.

Stu

(41:54)
Love it. We’re coming up on time. I’m really keen just to ask you a question about your daily non-negotiable. So, it’s personal just to you. What are the non-negotiable practices that you follow each and every day in order to crush the day, and the types of things that if you don’t do it, people don’t want to be around you? Stay out of my way.

Mukti

(42:21)
Yeah. So, I think the most important thing that I do and I would recommend is preparing for sleep and making sure that your whole day focuses on getting good sleep and enough sleep. That’s where my focal point is. How do I get seven and a half to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep? I’m still thinking I might build some sort of a cave somewhere that I can just retreat to, and just it’s the perfect temperature and it’s dark and it’s my place that no one else can come in there. Maybe, I was a Dracula in the past life, I don’t know, but I love that idea of just being able to retreat somewhere dark and quiet and with an ambient temperature. So yes, my day is very much focused around that.

(43:21)
I do practice meditation. So, that keeps me calm and balanced and less reactive and a nice person to be around. I like to intermittently fast. So, I usually do a 16 hour or 18 hour fasting window. And then, I have two meals in that timeframe that I’m eating. So, I always like to eat at least three hours before I go to bed so that my sleep isn’t interrupted with my digestion. So, that’s very important for me. Drinking lots of water with bit of lemon juice, which I like to do. I like to go through at least one and a half to two liters a day. And then, just being organized as much as possible with my day and with how I spend my time, because it’s important to have… Especially when I’m running the company at the moment, just to be as organized as I possibly can be to fit everything in that I need to fit in.

Stu

(44:24)
100%. And I think that organization will then fit into the mindset, which will help you sleep because you’re not ruminating about the things that you haven’t organized enough.

Mukti

(44:33)
Yeah, exactly.

Stu

(44:33)
So that-

Mukti

(44:34)
And exercise is another huge factor in the wheelhouse, but not over exercising. When I say that I walk the dogs every day on the beach and then I’ll train… Well, I do train with you on Saturday. So, our beach workout which is phenomenal.

Stu

(44:51)
Amazing.

Mukti

(44:52)
Makes me rest for the rest of the weekend. But I train three times a week with my partner, Matt, as well. And I find that’s really helpful just getting that recovery strain balanced. I’m enjoying wearing the Whoop at the moment.

Stu

(45:07)
Yeah. So, you’re tracking?

Mukti

(45:08)
Yeah. I’m really loving just being able to see the recovery in the strain and tracking that. That’s good for me because I can see. And I can also see if I’m potentially feeling unwell or not, because sometimes, we’re so busy that we’re not aware of what our body’s actually telling us. So-

Stu

(45:30)
That’s right.

Mukti

(45:30)
I like wearing a device that I can check the stats on.

Stu

(45:35)
Yeah, I do. I hooked on it. I use the Oura ring and it’s just great. Just keep good track on how you’re feeling, and you can also just dial the levers here and there if you think, “Well…” You mentioned about digesting your evening meal before you go to bed. And it clearly shows that resting heart rate just stays up that much higher if you have a late meal and you don’t recover as well. And that’s just a great little tweak to know about and to adjust for the next time.

Mukti

(46:03)
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. So to me, sleep is everything. Sleep is paramount. So, that’s my big focus getting that.

Stu

(46:09)
I’m with you on that one.

Mukti

(46:10)
And yeah, it’s huge. So…

Stu

(46:14)
It is. What’s next for Mukti Organics? Now obviously, you’ve just moved into… You’ve got a big, swanky, fancy place in the Northern Rivers. What’s coming up in the pipeline?

Mukti

(46:30)
Well, we’re just getting everything organized for further growth at the moment. I’ve got a few new products that I’m working on. We’re just settling into this new environment here. We’ve just bought extra plant and equipment so that we can scale. We do everything in-house. We make the products here, we fulfill the products here. And then, we also have the Mukti beauty rooms here as well, so we can offer treatments to our clients and people in this region. So it’s a pretty exciting, multifaceted, little business that we’ve got. Yeah, I think it’s just more for me about education and creativity now, so that I’m not sitting in the CEO founder seat every day, which I know you’ve been through that in business as well. So, it does take up a lot of time. So for me, I’d like to have a bit more fun.

Stu

(47:28)
It does.

Mukti

(47:29)
I think I live in an amazing part of the world and I’m very grateful for that. So, it’s just now about keeping that balance going and having a great team and having a great working place and environment for the staff here. And community’s really important as well. And I’ve really enjoyed in the last few weeks how wonderful and inspiring these communities here in the Northern Rivers. So, I just want to be part of the community more. And I feel like another big factor for me is volunteering my time and helping others. I feel like it’s just the… It’s more fulfilling than anything I’ve ever done or achieved. So, I’d like to spend more time doing that or dedicate more time to doing that.

Stu

(48:22)
Yeah. Well, it’s certainly apparent, isn’t it? You see the strength of the community when things happen, like the floods and everybody rallies together and there is a level of commitment there and assistance that I don’t think I’d ever seen or experienced before. It was profound.

Mukti

(48:43)
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Stu

(48:43)
Just everybody rallies together and just gets stuff done, irrespective of-

Mukti

(48:46)
Yeah, just-

Stu

(48:46)
What needs to happen.

Mukti

(48:47)
It gave me hope for humanity again. It feels great to be a part of that community. And yeah, I’d just like to focus a bit more on that and giving back. I think it’s important that we all do that in our daily lives and keep building, because we all need each other. And I think that’s what the last few weeks has taught me. It’s just been a bit of time for reevaluation what’s important, what isn’t important, and…

Stu

(49:13)
No, I think so.

Mukti

(49:15)
And I think we all need to make money and we all like to have nice things, but it’s like at what cost? At what price? At the heart of it all, what really is important?

Stu

(49:25)
Yes.

Mukti

(49:28)
And I think that’s sort of where I’m sitting right now is just reevaluating all of that.

Stu

(49:32)
Yeah. It makes that happen, doesn’t it? It’s definitely a reevaluation. I liked the phrase that you used, hope for humanity, because it has felt a little hopeless over the last couple of years. But it’s good to see that we can band together and connect when we need to.

Mukti

(49:49)
Yep, absolutely.

Stu

(49:51)
Boy. So for everyone that’s listened today and wants to find out more about you and your journey and the business and the products and everything that we’ve spoken about today, where can we send them?

Mukti

(50:05)
So Mukti Organics, M-U-K-T-Iorganics.com is the website. And then my personal Instagram which I post on randomly is @bymukti.

Stu

(50:18)
Right.

Mukti

(50:19)
The business is @muktiorganics, and that’s really the main channels that you can connect with us. There’s the Mukti Beauty Rooms. We’re based in Mullumbimby Industrial, and we’ve got the warehouse and headquarters here as well.

Stu

(50:36)
Brilliant. Mukti, thank you so much for your time.

Mukti

(50:40)
Thank you.

Stu

(50:40)
Much appreciated. Cannot wait to share this with our audience.

Mukti

(50:42)
Thanks so much.

Stu

(50:42)
Take care. Bye.

 

mukti

This podcast features Mukti of MuktiOrganics. Mukti has been actively involved in the beauty and personal care industry for over two decades. Her aim is to reconnect people to nature, creating health and happiness for your toxin-free lifestyles and beauty regimes.
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