“I want it to stand alone without me.” Miranda Kerr‘s multi-faceted skincare brand is not just a line of products with her face on them. Since its birth in 2006, Kora Organics has revolutionized the way that clean ingredients exist in the cosmetics space. Reading the label is hardly a requirement while shopping Kora’s certifiably trustable brand, but if you do — be prepared to learn about real plants that naturally transform your skin.
On the packaging of Kerr’s brand new Berry Bright Vitamin C Eye Cream, a lush remedy of cloudberry, kakadu plum, kangaroo paw flower, and more can easily persuade you to select Kora in a sea of brightening creams. To provide some background on the Berry Bright’s creation and her personal attraction to creating organic products, Miranda Kerr opens up in a dynamic chat with CR.
CR: We’d love to know more about the origin story of Kora. What was your entrance within the skincare space and how were you inspired to create your own organic brand?
MK: So it actually goes back to when I was 16. My mother was diagnosed with cancer in her brain. Basically as a family, we had to look more into our health and really research all the products we were using at home, from skincare and haircare, to cleaning products. I grew up in a country town in Australia, eating organic produce. My grandparents had a farm with an organic vegetable patch. So we thought that we were healthy, but we didn’t understand that there were so many other things that we were using on our bodies. Our entire family was so shocked to learn how potentially carcinogenic and toxic certain ingredients are readily available on the market. Your skin is your largest organ. So what you put on your skin sinks in, and you need to really be aware. People just assume that they’re safe, and even products that claim to be natural — they really aren’t.
When I finished school and started modeling, I was trying so many different products day-to-day and learned so much about what textures really work under make up to give your skin that glow. I remember thinking to myself, how amazing would it be to create a range of healthy, really powerful products that were results-driven? I spoke to a friend of mine and I said, “look, I eat certified organic food. I’m looking for products that are actually certified organic, do you know of any?” And she said, “no, but I know a woman in Melbourne, Australia, and she makes certified organic essential oils. Speak to her, and maybe she knows someone, blah, blah, blah.” I spoke to her, and she put me in touch with a chemist whom I ended up working with to create just that — truly certified organic skincare. Everything started from there: a genuine need and desire to find products that are truthfully healthy.
Actually, my mom had some kind of dermatitis rosacea at the time. She was on steroid cream and really didn’t want to be using it, so I gave her the Noni Glow Face Oil. Within a week she called me and said, “I’m completely off my cream—I’m just using the oil. This has to be more than a testing phase.” And I thought, this is amazing. I’ve got to get these products out there. So, we did a couple of years of putting together all the formulations, then launched in 2006 with the concept. Now we’re in brick and mortar stores in over 30 countries, and 100 more on the internet.
CR: Tell us a bit about how you select clean ingredients for your products. Is there a long trial process? Have certain fruits, vegetables, or plants become a Kora signature?
MK: As we are certified organic and all of our ingredients must meet Ecocert-Cosmos standards, the trial process is definitely long. There’s all this talk at the moment about “clean and natural,” but there are no rules around that. A certain brand or company decides what they deem to be clean, saying “we don’t use this, this, and this ingredient.” Well, what about if you talk about what ingredients you are using? Just because you’re not using three bad ingredients, it doesn’t mean the product is actually clean in my opinion.
It’s infuriating to me as a customer, which is why I created this line, and why from day one I still own 95 percent of the company. I didn’t want someone else coming in to try and dilute my vision and make money out of it. I want this company to be around long after I’m gone. I want this company to be passed down to my children and hopefully their children, to have that longevity. I’m not in there to make a quick buck; I’m in there to make products that are really powerful and healthy for people.
On top of that, a study from Cambridge shows that certified organic products have 60 percent more antioxidants in their ingredients, along with not getting the pesticides sprayed on them. That’s exactly why I think Kora’s products are getting such powerful results for people. You have 60 percent more antioxidants in each ingredient. It’s a no-brainer that you’re going to have more powerful results. People eat organic so that they get the health benefits, and this is the same for your skin. At Kora, we love seeking out innovative ingredients and formulations that really push the boundaries in the certified organic skincare space and deliver visible results.
So when I’m developing a product, I work directly back and forth with the chemist and our team, testing many samples and making changes along the way. After I’ve tried the product for many months, we do our clinical trials and our consumer studies so that the results are proven. We don’t begin the manufacturing phase unless I feel more than a hundred percent happy that a product is the very best it can be.
The key ingredient across the whole range, along with other powerful ingredients, is the noni juice, which was actually introduced to me by my grandmother when I was 12. I’ve been drinking noni juice every day since. Originating from Tahiti, it has over a hundred vitamins and minerals with high amounts of vitamins A and C, actually known for its rejuvenating properties. Noni juice helps protect your skin from any environmental damage, and it’s antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, etc. Plus, our other ingredients work really synergistically with it.
CR: Your Berry Bright Vitamin C Eye Cream’s launch is just around the corner. Could you tell us about how the product’s formula was designed? Specifically with your 360 approach to wellness and the incorporation of crystals in your formulas?
MK: With our eye cream, we really wanted to target the appearance of aging and provide a brightened look around the eye area. The Berry Bright’s combination of powerful, active ingredients added at that efficacious level really helps improve under eye bags, puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles. Red ginseng, kakadu plum, kangaroo paw flower, quinoa peptide, and cloudberry: they’re all very powerful ingredients and the cream is 99.7 percent naturally derived. Kakadu plum is known as the richest source of naturally occurring vitamin C and it actually is from Australia, along with the kangaroo paw flower which really helps with the fine lines and wrinkles. Meanwhile, cloudberry s really rich in polyphenols and gives more antioxidants and benefits to the skin. The cream has 5.5 percent active vitamin C, and it should really help to brighten and strengthen the eye area. Which is something that I’m definitely very interested in, being 38!
From day one, I included rose quartz as part of the process. The eye cream, and every single Kora product, is energized with rose quartz, which is a beautiful crystal that carries soothing energy to encourage love and acceptance of ourselves and others. So that people not only feel that they are nurturing their skin, but they’re also mentoring their spirit at the same time and feeling uplifted every time they have their little morning ritual. That’s my whole life – mind, body and skin connection. I also love that the Berry Bright comes in a beautiful little glass jar that looks like a pink jewel. It’s inspired by rose quartz crystals, and it has a refill pod. So you buy the glass jar once, and then refill the pod thereafter. It’s less waste for the environment.
CR: What does the Berry Bright Vitamin C Eye Cream do differently in comparison with your widely-loved Noni Eye Oil?
MK: Well, I love just using them both. Our Noni Eye Oil is such a favorite for so many people all over the world. People love it because it has kahai oil, which is a natural retinol that helps improve elasticity, smooth out fine lines. But there’s very different ingredients in the Noni Oil and the Berry Bright Vitamin C Eye Cream. I personally love layering them, just like how I layer my face cream and then put the oil over the top. Our oil is super nourishing, while the eye cream really brightens and firms. Some people prefer one or the other, but I just think they work so beautifully together.
CR: On that note, could you please walk us through your personal skincare routine with Kora products? Which product could you never live without?
MK: Well, I try to keep my routines super quick and easy. It sounds like a lot of products, you can get it done pretty fast. In the morning, I get in the shower and use the Dry Body Brush. It’s just so energizing and instantly increases circulation; it’s so good for blood flow. I’ve been doing that since I was probably 18. Every morning. It’s just a good “wake me up.” Then I jump in the shower and use our Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil, which is amazing and so soothing. The aromatherapy that we used in it is very anti-anxiety. Next, I use our Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating Scrub. You can leave it on as a mask, but I use mine in the shower as a scrub and it’s an instant facial at home.
Once I get out of the shower, and I mist my face with our new Minty Mist which preps my skin for the next step: our Vitamin C Serum. It’s been a lifesaver for me to brighten my pigmentation. To help my skin glow all day, I use my Turmeric Glow Moisturizer all over my face and neck. Then I’ll use our Berry Bright Eye Cream, and the Noni Oil on top of that to give myself a little Gua Sha massage using our Rose Quartz Heart Facial Sculptor. It really helps stimulate circulation, reduce puffiness, and naturally lift your face.
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For night time, I pretty much do a similar process. I’ll double cleanse with the cleanser and use our Noni Night AHA Resurfacing Serum, because that really helps when you’re sleeping for dark spots and wrinkles. I put on the moisturizer again, and then the face oil. Right before going to sleep, I put on our Noni Glow Sleeping Mask. It’s next to my bed and you don’t wash it off. It dries as a translucent veil, and locks in the moisture, so it doesn’t rub off on your pillow. You wake up in the morning and your skin is really glowing; it’s incredible.
CR: Sustainability is central to your brand’s mission. How do you manage to incorporate this into every part of the production process, from ingredients to manufacturing and packaging?
MK: Our Berry Bright Eye Cream is the second product which has refillable pods. The Turmeric Glow Moisturizer was first, so that there is less waste and better for the environment. For all the new products launching in 2021 and beyond, we’re only using recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable materials in all primary and secondary packaging where we can. We’re striving to have all of our existing products repackaged over the next three years and incorporate more of those refillable options where it’s possible, in addition to using more glass and recycled, biodegradable paper for our packaging.
Because we’re certified organic, everything from the ingredient and the manufacturing facilities to the packaging materials must be reviewed by Ecocert-Cosmos. By having this independent certification reviewed and accredited to high standards, customers can really trust that our products are organic and produced sustainability. Ecocert-Cosmos guarantees the use of natural resources, respecting biodiversity, no GMOs, no petrochemicals, no artificial colors or fragrances, all recyclable packaging, and cruelty-free. Our organic farming techniques provide a safer, more sustainable environment every month because there’s no use of synthetic pesticides or nitrogen pollution. So therefore, it’s benefiting the water, the wildlife, and the people. Less pollution, less soil erosion, and less energy. It’s pretty intense and in-depth, which is why I want to be aligned with this certification company. You don’t have to take my word for it. That’s what they do full-time to make sure that all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed.
CR: What’s next for you and KORA Organics?
MK: Just continuing to create the most helpful, healthy products for people to get the results they need. There’s so many things that we can’t control, but skincare is one thing we can actively choose. My aim is to continue being a leader in the organic field and really become a household name for people as a trusted, recognized product.
I want it to stand alone without me. It’s great that I can talk about it because it’s my passion, and I can create awareness. But at the end of the day, the products sell themselves. People keep coming back because of the results they’re getting. I really hope that this brand continues to evolve and grow, so I can pass it down to my children and Kora Organics can long outlive me.