The Beauty Brands Making Waves Out of Byron Bay

Nestled within Australia’s wellness capital are some of the best known clean skincare brands on the market, writes Madonna Melrose.

The beauty of Byron Bay is evident wherever you look – in the people, the beaches, the rolling hills. It’s no wonder the beachside destination has such a strong pull for pleasure. However, serious beauty businesses are found at this playful paradise.

As Australia’s most easterly point and touted as the wellness capital of Australia, its not surprising Byron Bay plays home to some of the country’s most pure and clean skincare ranges. On a recent trip to the region, I sat down with two industry leaders to discover their reasons for basing their skincare businesses far removed from the hustle-and bustle-of a capital city.

Mukti Organics

Mukti Organics pioneered the green beauty movement at the turn of the millennium, and in 2013 was the first local brand to incorporate Native Australian Extracts. Now, with a strong footprint as a certified organic range, founder Mukti is right at home in her stunning new beauty rooms and manufacturing facility in Mullumbimby.

Mukti has a childhood connection with the region; it has always spoken to her as the right place for the right people. Those people not only being her staff and therapists, but also for her perfect niche of clientele, she insists.

The brand founder believes in living your truth and that all things are aligned. This is evident in the space she has created and the products she produces. Seeing the environment and human organisms as one, I witnessed a perfect marriage between this certified-organic range and its location. One Mukti product alone took three years to perfect its original formula. Luckily, being away from the city affords her the luxury of time.

Mukti Organics is built on a philosophy of delivering clean, conscious skin formulations that are ethical, sustainable, and traceable in approach. Their product range contains potent, bioactive indigenous superfruits and botanical extracts that are sourced from the local pristine surrounds, where possible.

When asked what makes her products unique, Mukti says, “all products are created with love and touched by energy”.

Cawarra Cosmetics

Where The Hinterland and ocean collide, Cawarra Cosmetics produces some of Australia’s best known brands including Sanctum, organicspa and Byron Bay Skincare.

Their story began 40 years ago in Sydney in a small lab with a big vision. Their founders moved operations in 1989 to Billinudgel – a town in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, part of Byron Shire. Today, this proudly, purpose-built production facility services local community, their families and beyond. In the early 2000s, Cawarra’s manufacturing complex became one of the first cosmetic certified facilities of its time. 

Talking with Katrina Main, the second generation now at the helm and Cawarra Cosmetics’ General Manager, I learn her emotion around the environment and community runs deep, and has only deepened since rooting in these spiritual surrounds from a young age. “Natural and organic is better for the individual and better for the environment”, she says.

Katrina considers the impact of climate change and says that when working with natural products, you are at the mercy of mother nature. So much so, that climate and seasonally available ingredients can sometimes dictate their production runs and stock levels.

Fortunately, Cawarra’s loyal clients are prepared to wait for their natural and organic skin, hair, and body care. They understand that slight variations of colour or scent are a result of the affects the natural world has on ingredients such as Lemon Myrtle, Macadamia, Hemp Oil, Tea Tree, and Davidson Plum which, where possible, Cawarra source from local suppliers.

When asked what her daily motto is, Katrina chimed without hesitation: “Care for skin, care for people, care for environment”. This aligns with the company’s guiding principle – ‘truth within labelling’.

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