What is good skin care?

Green Lifestyle online

Founder of Australian natural skin care brand Kosmea, Marie Jenkins speaks to Green Lifestyle about the ethics behind the skin care market and the importance of using innovative and organic products.

Marie Jenkins

Marie Jenkins, founder of Kosmea skin care.

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To many, living a 'green lifestyle' means looking after yourself while being conscious of your impact on the environment. And this philosophy is the reason why Marie Jenkins created the international organic skin care brand Kosmea. After all, the skin is our biggest organ and, as Marie explains, ethically sourced skin care products are also an important consideration.

“With so much confusion in the skin care market of what is good and simple to use on the skin, I think it’s important to really educate people regarding the simplicity of skin care, and to also read the labels of what we are putting on our skin," says Marie. "Ninety-nine per cent of skin care products contain harmful ingredients that really play havoc with the health and fitness of one’s skin.”

Twenty years ago, Marie was mixing up a homemade face mask, which usually consisted of natural ingredients such as avocado, brewer's yeast, yoghurt and herbs. She tried a new recipe that included rose hips and was impressed with the results and its versatility of use. Marie was sure that others would be as impressed with rose hip as a skin treatment, so she sold the family car to start a business and bought a drum of rose hip oil. Her family would spend long nights sitting around the kitchen table labelling bottles of oil to be sent out to customers, creating what is now known as skin care brand Kosmea.

Kosmea is founded on the healing property of certified organic rose hip oil. “Rose hip oil is extracted by a supercritical method under low temperatures. This gives us the highest quality rose hip oil in the world,” explains Marie. “Also, we use the skin as well as the seed of the rose hip, which gives us a higher content of Vitamin A than any other brand by up to eight times more. Our products are very simple; therefore you do not need to spend lots of money and time to get healthy great skin.”

It was important to Marie that Kosmea would be a truly ethical business that contributes to a green lifestyle for consumers. “We like to think that our business from growing, picking, manufacturing to the finished product gives our end user the great feeling that we have thought about sustainability right the way through,” says Marie proudly of her certified organic products. "Ten years ago, we decided to source our rose hips from a sustainable source in South Africa (Lesotho). This helps communities that are otherwise impoverished. We believe these are much healthier and juicier rose hips than the Chilean grown.”

Over the years, Marie has jugged running the business and bringing up her children. The mum-entrepreneur values the importance of family. “All my children have been brought up with only knowing their mum was running a business,” Marie notes. “Now that my children are older, they are all very independent in what they do.” Perhaps some of Marie's independent, entrepreneurial spirit has rubbed off on her children as well.

In September this year, Kosmea will celebrate 20 years of success in the business with the launch of a limited edition rose hip oil, working with some of Marie's favourite charities. Stay tuned on Kosmea's Facebook page.