Miranda Kerr has been talking about clean beauty for far longer than most of us. The model and mother-of-three founded natural skincare brand KORA Organics back in 2009, when organic ingredients were more commonly associated with the fresh produce aisle than the beauty counter. But Kerr, having developed a passion for wellness, was disappointed to find that she couldn’t extend her love for clean ingredients into her beauty routine. So she created a skincare brand that championed efficacious ingredients and produced results (and just so happened to be all natural).
Twelve years on, KORA Organics is now stocked in more than 30 countries globally. Clean beauty has become a thriving category of its own, with Kerr continuing to lead the market with innovative new skincare solutions. It’s been an exciting time, but of course, this past year has been unlike any other.
Here GRAZIA speaks to Kerr about the rituals she sought solace in during a tumultuous time, building a successful business (and simultaneously proving doubters wrong), and the one skincare product that ex-husband Orlando Bloom‘s fiancée, Katy Perry, always steals from her.
GRAZIA: What have the last 12 months been like for you? Have you been able to create a routine?
Miranda Kerr: “It’s been very busy! I have three boys – a one-year-old, a two-year-old and a 10-year-old – so I try to book my meetings around their nap times. My 10-year-old has been homeschooling because of COVID, so that has been pretty full on in and of itself with him being homeschooled, but he’s adapted. My husband wakes up every morning at 5:30, so that gives me a good hour to myself before the kids wake up. I’m not naturally a morning person but I’ve had to learn to be to take that time in the morning. So I’ll do a 20-minute meditation, then I’ll do my skincare routine and get ready for the day before my kids wake up. Once they’re up it’s breakfast together, getting everyone sorted for the day before I get into my work day.”
GRAZIA: And what about at night?
MK: “We have dinner together early. I’ll have a little bite so that I’m eating with the kids at around 5pm and then they’re in bed by 6:30. Then I have a second small dinner with my husband around 7pm. On the weekends we spend time together with the kids outside as much as possible, going for walks and having a little picnic. My little ones are really into blowing bubbles at the moment!”
GRAZIA: You mentioned meditation. Are there other daily beauty practices that you’ve turned to during such a tumultuous time?
MK: “Once I’ve meditated, I’ll do some dry body brushing every morning to stimulate circulation. I’ll also do a little gua sha massage in the morning, then I keep that rose quartz gua sha tool on me to use throughout the day, to really help relieve tension – it’s amazing, if you can give just five minutes to yourself, it can just help you to reset. I use it on the different pressure points on my hands, on my neck, on my chest. I always have the heart-shaped rose quartz gua sha that I designed for KORA Organics with me. It’s such a great tool, even when I meditate I hold it in my hands.”
GRAZIA: What about when it comes to wellness?
MK: “Another thing that I really, really love is the [Medical Medium] celery juice. His way of eating has completely transformed my health to a whole other level. I really, really believe that the celery juice has helped so much with my digestion, as it’s such a good anti-inflammatory. It supports kidney function, it’s alkalising and full of electrolytes. My body craves it now, and even my husband loves it. I’m very much into health and wellness but he is the opposite, and he asked for it and really enjoys it. I also love mixing up my traditional yoga with Kundalini yoga. And sleep is obviously very important – I put my phone on aeroplane mode, but unfortunately I get woken up by my children multiple times in the night. If for whatever reason they ended up sleeping entire night, I literally do a happy dance in the morning because it just means so much to me.”
GRAZIA: You’re definitely a pioneer in the clean beauty space, after launching KORA Organics back in 2009 when people weren’t really talking about it. What was it like launching something that a lot of people perhaps didn’t understand at the time?
MK: “It was interesting. All the KORA products came naturally as an extension of the tools I’ve relied on in my life. I wanted to incorporate that into my skincare range, which is why the products are energised with crystals – the Turmeric Glow Moisturiser is infused through citrine crystals, the Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil is infused with clear quartz crystals. Incorporating those wellness tools that have been helpful to me for many years in my life, like the crystals and the positive words of affirmation, which are on the back of every single KORA Organics product, just really uplift that experience.
I really believe that our thoughts affect every cell in our body, and we can help to really transform our thoughts. We can choose a positive thought and uplift our own experience, which is why those positive words are on the products. I’ve done all those things since day one, and it was really something that I wanted for myself.
GRAZIA: What was the process like when it came to formulating natural products during such a different time in the industry?
MK: “I remember speaking to the chemist and saying, ‘Listen, I don’t just want something because it’s healthy for me. Do you think it’s possible to create not just clean products, but really, really powerful products?’ And she said, ‘Yes, if you’re using certified organic ingredients, they’re obviously going to be powerful’. It just made so much sense to me, and I really wanted the transparency that a world certification agency can give, an assurance to people that this really can help you and give you the results you need. So on every single package, it shows you the exact percentage of natural origin, the exact percentage of organic origin. I’m all about focusing on the powerful antioxidant-rich ingredients that we do have and the power of certified organic, because I don’t want to just put something on my skin because it’s healthy – I want it to be results driven. And I really truly believe wholeheartedly that the results are coming from the fact that we are certified organic.”
GRAZIA: Even though it was only 12 years ago, it also wasn’t as common as it is now to see women starting their own businesses like you did. When you went into the beauty industry, did you ever experience doubters in an industry that was traditionally dominated by men?
MK: “I’m sure there were plenty of people that doubted me, but I just had this vision and a really deep desire to bring out these powerful products. I wasn’t able to find it out there on the market for myself, and then I realised that it really can help to transform people’s skin. To know that you can help them be more confident in themselves, in their own skin, is just a really rewarding thing. I’ve built this business from day one with love and a desire to really help people with their skin. I’ve put my whole heart into creating each and every one of these products. I can thank my mother for my really great work ethic – when I was a child she always said to me that if you’re going to do something, to give it more than 100 per cent or don’t do it at all. So I’ve lived my life like that, and I’m so passionate about every single product. I drive the chemists crazy because I go back and forth, back and forth, always wanting push it just a little bit more. But I really believe in the longevity of this brand and hope that one day I can leave this legacy to my children to continue.”
GRAZIA: Obviously, we have to talk skincare. What’s your current morning routine?
MK: “So every morning, I’m using my Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil. You shake to activate it, which mixes the silver ear mushroom and the aloe leaf juice with the powerful oils, and it turns into a milky texture which is really lightweight. Some oil cleansers leave a residue but this one doesn’t, it leaves the skin so soft with none of that tackiness on there. The scent is geranium and basil, which are aromatherapy oils that are really soothing. Then I use the Turmeric Brightening And Exfoliating Mask, which is so invigorating. I keep it in the shower and use it every morning, so does my husband – there’s no other product that I’ve tried that’s anything quite like it. Then I use our Energizing Citrus Mist, followed by the Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum. Then I apply the Turmeric Glow Moisturiser, which has a refillable pod, and inside it has a liposome technology, with the turmeric, licorice extract and noni fruit. This is the first certified organic liposome technology used in a cream – basically it’s like tiny bubbles that have those ingredients in it, which are activating when you’re rubbing it in.”
GRAZIA: Okay, I have to try that one.
MK: “You do! You will thank me. lt helps to target pigmentation, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles, which is why I call it the créme de la créme of moisturisers, it really helps with your skin to brighten it and hydrate it and calm your skin, and it’s great for all skin types – even oily skin. I have some friends that have been using it and just getting incredible results. Katy Perry basically threw out all her other moisturisers was like, ‘I’m obsessed with this moisturiser!’ I was like ‘that is amazing, thank you!’ She has a tendency to break out and so she was like, ‘I don’t know. I’m going to see if I like it’ but she has not broken out and she’s been using it for the last six months! She keeps getting the refillable pods off me. My skin type is more dry, and my husband’s skin type is extremely dry, and he loves using it. He uses the scrub, he uses this moisturiser and then he uses the face oil [laughs]. Those are his three must have products and they really have transformed his skin too.”
Shop Miranda’s current KORA Organics favourites below.
Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil, $54 SHOP NOW
Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer, $78 SHOP NOW