At Beautiful Because, we know healthy skin goes hand-in-hand with a healthy mind and body, one such brand that really resonates this from the core is The Divine Company, originally co-founded by wellness advocate Therese Kerr (and yes, she is the gorgeous mother of Miranda!). At Beautiful Because, we felt compelled to start stocking this brand after being blown away by the purity and efficacy of their new luxe skincare line, Divine Woman, created especially to meet the needs of ageing skin, but priced to be more attainable to more women – just perfectly aligned with our own brand ethos. Discover more about the formidable organic beauty force; the woman behind the brand.
Therese’s holistic journey begun back in 2001, with her own health crisis that sadly resulted in the removal of her spleen, but which was a revelation for her to regain her most optimum health, and study nutrition. She now shares her expertise with others, and has worked closely with some incredible wellness practitioners, including Professor Marc Cohen (a doctor and Professor of Wellness at RMIT University in Melbourne): "I specialise in the area of sharing the impact of chemical toxicity on the body and in particular sharing the impact of the chemicals found in our personal care and beauty products,” says Therese.
“Many nutritionists share how necessary it is to eat healthy, certified organic produce, removing the chemical toxicity that comes from that area of our life, but very few people or wellness practitioners, until now, have shared the importance of removing the chemicals toxicity placed on our bodies by the products we use every day."
Therese is a wealth of knowledge and reminds us of the fact that our skin absorbs, on average, 60% of everything we place on it. In many instances, our skin will absorb up to 100% of what we put on it. According to Bill Statham, the author of The Chemical Maze, examples of this higher skin absorption rates occur when: a conventional product contains the word “fragrance”; when we put a product under our arms (since we will absorb up to 100% of it); when we use products in our intimate areas; and when we put a product such as toothpaste or mouthwash in our mouth.
Research also concludes that our skin will absorb chemicals up to ten times faster than by way of ingestion, simply because our skin doesn’t have digestive enzymes available to break them down, nor does it have the further purification process of the liver (which can naturally break down chemicals in food). It is therefore, vitally important that we understand the repercussions of everything we put on our skin and there are different layers of chemical exposure.
“These chemicals cause free radical damage, age us, our organs and our skin. Most of the chemicals in our everyday products have never been tested for safety in cosmetics and any that have are tested in isolation and anyone who knows anything about chemistry knows that if you test one ingredient you will get one result and a completely different result if you combine it with one other ingredients, let alone the hundreds, if not thousands, that can be found in any given product.”
It is aided with this knowledge, and her own experiences, that inspired her to co-create The Divine Company range with Nick Allan: "When I had tumours in my spleen I couldn't find products that were certified organic that actually worked. I found this incredibly frustrating. In 2009, Miranda (through KORA Organics) and I started sharing the benefits of certified organic skincare. During this time I still could not locate certified organic deodorants, toothpaste, mouth rinse, hand sanitisers, self tanning or exfoliating body products that actually worked, and nor could I locate any certified organic baby products, or men's products, that were certified to the level I felt was acceptable.”
The Divine Company incorporates personal care products, Divine Man, Divine Baby and Divine Woman – a specialist highly active skincare range specifically for women 25 years and over. It has really revolutionised the skincare industry through state-of-the-art technology combining nature with science; utilising the power of plant botanicals in their most potent form and taking the results achievable in skincare application to an unprecedented level of efficacy. Divine Woman sure is proving that chemicals are no longer required to deliver measurable and clinically-proven results, and are being used in some of Australia's leading Spa's. Better still, often it is locally sourced, native ingredients used to give such age-defying skin benefits.
Therese says of Divine Woman: "At The Divine Company we stand by the fact that, gone are the days when a woman would compromise herself, her health and her long-term wellbeing for the sake of external validation as a means to identify her self worth. The Divine Woman knows her worth and engages in a beauty ritual that honours just that. The Divine Woman is authentic, confident, discerning and committed to looking and embodying her greatest self. She is a pioneer of a new era seeking the purest certified organic ingredients, the power of science and the ultimate in age-defying skin care. The choices she makes are an extension of her values. Flawless skin is a reflection of her essence.”
Shop The Divine Company at Beautiful Because, or discover more about Therese in our interview below.
Q. What was the first Divine product you created?
The Divine By Therese Kerr Moisturising Hand and Body Lotion (now changed to The Divine Company Moisturising Hand and Body Lotion). This product is so concentrated it will last around 6 months (400mls). Containing all of the essential ingredients for beautiful skin together with a Rose Geranium, Cedarwood and Lemon Myrtle Certified Organic Essential Oil base, everyone who tries this product falls in love with it!
Q. How did Divine get from an idea to a physical product on shelves?
From conception to end market, it takes a lot of work. We decide on the ingredients we want, elect the essential oils that we would like to use (because of their therapeutic qualities as well as their smell) and we start creating. We then trial the products, organise focus groups and re-trial until we are satisfied with our end product. And then there is the organic certification process: every ingredient has full traceability from pre-planting of the soil through to dispatch at our warehouse. We certify through Australian Certified Organic (ACO) which is I believe the most stringent organic certification body in Australia, and fast becoming recognised as the world leader in organic certification.
Q. What are your favourite products from The Divine Company?
Definitely the Divine Woman Lactic Gel Cleanser – the Lactic Acid removes the glue that holds old, dead skin cells to the surface of the skin, the other high active, age defying ingredients promote cellular renewal, plump the skin and leave it feeling refreshed, cleansed yet hydrated.
The Divine Woman Age – Defying Gel Serum – never before have so many proven anti-aging ingredients been included in one product where Cellular renewal and activation potent botanicals, tyrosinase inhibitors (pigmentation inhibitors), plumping and super hydrating qualities, e.g. Hyaluronic acid, abound.
The Divine Company Rose and Grapefruit Deodorant. This product is a highly effective, non antiperspirant deodorant. Containing all of the ingredients that kill the bacteria that cause body odour, this beautiful scented Rose and Grapefruit Deodorant is super effective leaving you smelling like a rose.
Q. Which natural makeup brands do you use?
I only use certified organic beauty products including INIKA makeup products (and of course KORA's Tinted Moisturiser). I have used Ere Perez (not certified organic but safer than conventional) and recommend all women to make the switch to certified organic skin, personal and makeup products as these support, not hinder our body.
Q. What are your top natural beauty tips?
Without doubt, when I removed the chemical toxicity from my life, my life and my health shifted completely. Understanding that our skin is permeable, that unfortunately almost all products contain the word fragrance which in itself contains phthalates (some of the most potent endocrine [hormone] disrupting chemicals in use today)... Phthalates are xenoestrogens that mimic the female hormone oestrogen causing incorrect signalling within the body. Dr Carole Hungerford states: "The very thing a women thinks makes her more feminine, i.e. wearing perfume or perfumed products, is the very thing that is costing her, her femininity" - a very profound and powerful statement.
Q. Your favourite natural beauty ingredients:
Phycojuvenine G, Squalene, Australian Native Kakadu Plum, Hyaluronic Acid – all from nature and not chemically derived. It is interesting to note that only up to a year ago, what we have created in certified organic skincare was not achievable.
Q. Your favourite ways to keep fit and healthy:
Meditation – puts me into parasympathetic mode within my body. When we are in parasympathetic mode, our body burns fat and feels safe enough to digest food.
Having a chemical free home in every aspect – there are things we can control, things we can't, and things we simply don't want to change – for me, it is my hair dye – I am not ready to go grey so I still dye my hair. Knowing it is not a boots and all scenario is important, as sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming and that doesn't serve anyone.
When we realise and fully appreciate every action we take is either in some way moving us away from or moving us towards health; choosing healthy and being inspired by an organic lifestyle is easy. It is up to us to all choose our own path.
Q. Your favourite health foods at the moment:
I just love salads and I love combining banana in my salad. I love, love, love salad dressings and can whip a beautiful dressing in seconds. I just recently I shared my favourite gluten free, flour free Red Kidney Bean Chocolate Cake Recipe on my blog – it is so easy, light and fluffy and delicious – and healthy to boot!
Q. What do you think makes a woman beautiful?
Being comfortable in her own skin, loving and honouring the gift of her body that she has been given and having beautiful skin. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman with beautiful, dewy, hydrated skin.
By Nina Weston