Mettā Skincare founder Anca Grigoras discusses how her beautiful handmade natural skincare range came to be lovingly handmade in Melbourne using 100% natural ingredients ethically sourced directly from local and international artisan producers.
The idea for Mettā Skincare products emerged 6 years ago when I was doing research for a work project aimed at reducing chemical exposure in the workplace. I was very concerned to learn most people use in excess of 100 chemicals on their bodies daily, with skin and body care products being the main culprits. As I have always been passionate about healthy living, I then started researching and formulating my own products based on natural, organic, food-grade ingredients. After spending over a decade working in the corporate world I also wanted to develop a business which creates value by doing good for all its stakeholders: customers, suppliers, communities, our planet.
Mettā, the brand's core concept, means loving kindness. This is an ancient style of meditation that encourages loving-kindness with yourself and the world around you. Regular practice fosters a sense of belonging, a pure connection with other living beings and a compassionate understanding of the interconnected world. Mettā Skincare shares much with this style of meditation. It is a range of skin and body care products created with an environmental and social consciousness yet, more than just a product range, it is a conscious lifestyle choice that will leave its users feeling good about their skin and the earth.
Each of our products is based on a unique combination of oils, butters and botanical extracts chosen for their specific nutrient profiles and skin nourishing benefits. But beyond their functional characteristics I also like to choose ingredients that work together synergistically to provide a complete sensory experience through their texture and scent.
I have very stringent selection criteria for the ingredients I use because they ultimately determine the quality of the finished product – in much the same way as you need excellent produce to turn a great recipe into a delicious meal. Our ingredients are sourced directly from the producers who grow them, which ensures that our products are made with only the freshest and purest food-grade quality ingredients. Many of our suppliers are family owned and operated farms and hearing stories about how the farms were first established or learning about the current harvest and seasonal challenges makes me feel more grounded and connected to nature. It also makes me really appreciate the amazing amount of hard work, skill and passion that goes into producing these ingredients.
The Hand Balm. The skin on my hands gets painfully dry in winter and it took several years of research before I was finally able to come up with a product that provides consistently good results.
As human beings we are very much part of the natural world: we thrive on a natural diet of wholesome unprocessed food, we need clean and fresh air and water, and we choose to spend time in nature to relax and unwind. Our immune system works very hard to process everything that goes into our bodies and artificial substances can often cause it to overwork unnecessarily. Skin is the largest organ in our body so to me it makes sense that using natural ingredients to look after it will provide the best results.
Our skin mirrors our overall health so a healthy lifestyle will keep it looking best well into our older years. Rather than concentrating on certain anti-ageing ingredients I think it is more useful to focus on helping the natural skin regeneration process as much as we can through a healthy diet which includes plenty of vitamins, minerals, good protein, healthy fats and antioxidants, exercise to bring more oxygen to the skin and help flush out toxins, relaxing and getting enough sleep every day. There is some great scientific research into genes and the ageing process which has found that a healthy diet, regular exercise and relaxation have a huge impact in keeping ageing and age-related disease at bay, so I am sticking with these principles!
Our packaging reflects the same philosophy that goes into making our products and our love of simple natural ingredients. In nature everything is based on simple structures and nothing is wasted – we wanted our packaging to align with these principles.
Our vision is to live in a world free of extreme poverty and we believe this can be achieved during our lifetime and we contribute 50% of profits to support not-for-profit organisations working towards making this vision a reality. Our current partnership is with Good Return, an Australian organisation that combines microfinance and education to help the poor in the Asia Pacific change their lives forever. Their work is designed to contribute to individual growth as well as community and national development and their programs focus on small business management and sustainable agriculture.
This is such a hard question! My skin really loves the Face Balm, especially during the colder months. It contains Sea buckthorn extract which gives the balm a really intense and vibrant yellow colour and together with all the other botanical ingredients combines into a rich floral aroma. It makes me think of a beautiful meadow bursting with wildflowers in full bloom in the middle of summer.
Another hard question! I love Shea butter – it’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants and offers a ton of benefits for the skin: it’s softening, moisturising and helps maintain elasticity, it’s anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, it helps the natural skin regeneration process and protects against the damaging effects of sun exposure. Our certified organic Shea butter comes from Uganda and it provides local women with a steady source of income every year, as well as supporting other business education and development programs.
I try to keep things really simple. I love dry brushing and use Mettā Skincare Body Butter daily. My skincare routine often changes depending on the season and what my skin feels like. At present I use jojoba oil as a cleanser, a custom blend toner made with rose, geranium and chamomile and I moisturise with Mettā Skincare Face Balm at night only. I also love masks made with clays and various fresh ingredients from my fruit basket or pantry.
I have received many requests for expanding the range, so I am working on developing more skincare products as well as adding to the existing body care range.
Make time to relax every day.
DIY Face Polish
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until you have a smooth paste. Massage gently into clean face for a few moments then rinse off.
I love green smoothies – they’re quick and easy to make and the perfect example of skin-friendly food. My current version includes:
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
A walk in the park or on the beach, or a Yin Yoga class.
Visit our Mettā Skincare brand page to find out more and shop the range.
By Nina Weston