All too often choosing Organic means choosing your environmental principles over your skin-ambitions as many high-tec actives don’t  meet certification requirements. However, after much blood, sweat and philosophising  Dr Tarj Mavi has come up with a plan to treat you, the  organic loving public to a feast of anti-ageing solutions.

She has called this vision of scientific beauty: La Mav and she’s hungry to share it with you!

That all sounds rather fantastic but being a sucker for personal stories I really wanted to know what motivates a perfectly sane and successful scientist to enter the lions den that is the cosmetics industry.  So, I asked her!

Tarj Mavi

An Interview With Dr Tarj Mavi (conducted via e-mail).

Part 1:  Development and Brand Philosophy.

Q) You have a science background, at what point did you decide to take the steps to develop your own range? 

It was following the birth of my second child Alex in 1994 and I’d developed a severe case of postpartum pigmentation. I searched everywhere to find a skincare product that would diminish it. However finding a product that was safe, healthy and effective especially since I was still breast feeding proved hard to find. As a scientist in the research and development field for the last twenty years I was already conscious of the cosmetic industry’s affect on our environment and health. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and many of the products we use on our skin contain toxic chemicals that are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. It is not just us who absorb in these toxins but our children who can suffer the effects of exposure through contact.

I wanted to take my knowledge and experience and create a skin care product unlike any other on the market – LA MAV – based on healthy, effective, organic ingredients that are good for our bodies, good for the planet and good for generations to come. The one vital factor was that the products had to be 100% natural and Fully Certified Organic.

After extensive cosmetology research and development involving the evaluation of data in the augmentation of skin firmness, elasticity and hydration, La Mav was born. I have spent the last 5 years researching naturally derived certified active constituents that are free of all toxins (parabens, petrochemicals and synthetic ingredients). These constituents provide a potent result driven organic alternative for the repair, restoration and rejuvenation of the skin at a cellular level and provide outstanding age defying results.

Q)  What were some of the challenges or surprises in putting together an organic anti-ageing range?

Creating La Mav has been a tremendous learning experience, an experience not without its challenges. We had two major challenges. Incorporation of pure natural actives into the organic formulations to achieve desired results and be within the certification guidelines has been the biggest challenge to date. This meant an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the active constituents at the molecular level to formulate products according to the organic certification authority’s strict criteria. We opted for the O.F.C (Organic Food Chain) as they have strict guidelines and are recognized globally. We also engaged in extensive product trials to ensure the efficacy of each product.

Each formulation is like an art form as our processes are very unique and specific. We would start with up to 20 different trials for one product, each with varying active percentages to see which would work and conducted client tests to ensure clinical efficiency until we had one revolutionary product in the end.

The second biggest challenge was the cost. Quality is imperative to certified organic skincare but it is very expensive to work with certified organic ingredients. We have spent many years locating the purest ingredients from farms across Australia who are skilled in the field of organic farming. Our certified organic raw materials and active ingredients are more expensive than conventional or mass-produced ingredients because the production is far more labor intensive. In addition there is a cost intensive process to achieve organic certification.

It has been a lengthy process and a very expensive journey. I’ve had to overcome countless hurdles but my passion for research backed by science, courage, tenacity and belief in my skill has kept me going. 5 years since the beginning and here is a beautiful range which is the most relevant and the most beneficial on today’s market.

Q) What was the most enjoyable part of the development process and what was the worst?

We absorb so many chemicals in our everyday lives, for me being able to develop a range for the first time which is fully certified organic and anti ageing has been the most enjoyable part to date. I now feel at ease knowing that this is one area of our lives where we no longer have to feel threatened by excessive chemicals and toxins. We also have tons of research and testimonials from clients, professionals and experts in the field that prove our products produce extraordinary results and address ageing skin. 

Of course the development process was also very grueling and some areas were more problematic than what I initially realized. The worst part was during the initial ingredient phase when 2 constituents that I really wanted to incorporate into a formulation couldn’t be integrated into the same product due to their properties and molecular structure.

Q) There are many organic standards globally and standards are constantly shifting and evolving (Ecocert is one).  What process did you go through to work out what “Natural” and “Organic” meant to you and how easy was it then to match your personal goals into gaining your certification? 

Consumers are inundated with organic and natural claims and with frequent media stories and the Hollywood hype surrounding the potential health risks of conventional products, ‘organics’ are appearing everywhere. Consumers are waylaid by labels which is not surprising considering the labeling standards in Australia for cosmetic products are open to interpretation. This has resulted in widespread and blatantly deceptive labeling practices that take advantage of consumer trust in the ‘organic’ labels cheating both consumer and certified organic companies. You can just about call anything organic and get away with it!

While there is no national standard in Australia there are numerous certifying bodies that approve organic authenticity of cosmetics. The requirements are that synthetically processed ingredients are not permitted and processes that are toxic or are harmful to the environment are to be avoided – requirements that I wholeheartedly believe in and my products epitomize. Products carrying an Organic Certification symbol assure consumers that products have been independently audited and approved.

La Mav formulations are based on a unique combination of certified organic ingredients along with the most current and revolutionary scientific and cosmeceutical principles. To, ensure the highest quality for our customers we have certification from one of the strictest and highly regarded certification bodies, the Organic Food Chain Pty Ltd. The Organic Food Chain’s logo is proudly displayed on each of our products along with the signatory for Safe Cosmetics and the Australian Made and Cruelty Free logo. We give you the confidence that you are buying a product that is 100% certified organic and made from nature itself.

So there you have it!  Passion, tenacity and vision are what you need to get a product out of your head and onto the shelves. But when it get’s there what will people find?  La Mav the brand is discussed in our next piece:  La Mav – Getting Results Organically.