Photography by Daniel Harrison

This Skincare Brand Is Proudly Not Certified Organic

“I want to say I’ve got a bloody good cream. Not a certified organic one.”

Sharon McGlinchey never wanted to make her own skincare line, much less an organic one. “I was dragged there kicking and screaming,” says the skin therapist and founder of MV Organic Skincare, seated in the brightly lit sitting area outside her facial room in Sydney, Australia. “I was a cosmetics snob. I thought good skincare could only come from France, Switzerland or Germany.” But while on a quest to help a client who’d developed “a severe petrochemical sensitivity,” McGlinchey attended a workshop on how to make natural skincare. “It blew my head off,” she recalls of what she discovered over 20 years ago. “What I learned in that weekend, there was no going back from.”

In addition to feeling “literally stupid” for having never questioned “the ratio of ingredients within a product,” McGlinchey was blown away by the ingredients themselves like liquid paraffin, petrolatum and propylene glycol. A bit more digging revealed that not only was this not really public knowledge but some of the brands she contacted for more info were evasive about offering any. “So then my little terrier personality went, mmmm, I wanna know the answer to this,” she says.

“I thought I could create the cream and tell everybody how toxic everything was and start to make changes in the industry.”

She went on to formulate a cream for her client, and later added rose essential oil and it became her cult product, Rose Soothing & Protective Moisturizer. “I thought I could create the cream and tell everybody how toxic everything was and start to make changes in the industry.” But everyone she told was resistant.

Since then, McGlinchey has been on a path on which she makes absolutely no compromises, beginning with being certified organic. Her moisturizers don’t bear that label because in order to qualify, she would need to add a higher content of water combined with powdered aloe vera; water alone can’t be classified as organic. It’s a highly common practice among beauty brands who want the certification. And it would essentially render hers a lotion and she refuses. “I want to say I’ve got a bloody good cream,” she says. “Not a certified organic one.” She follows the same principle when sourcing her lavender oil; most certified organic ones smell like rosemary so instead she buys it from a handful of small suppliers she trusts that provide her with one that has a “beautiful, smooth aroma.”

“I want to say I’ve got a bloody good cream. Not a certified organic one.”

She also turns down most retailers who want to carry her line; interest got particularly high when makeup artist Dotti revealed she used MV Organics’ 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic as well as Pure Jojoba Oil on Alicia Keys. McGlinchey asks interested merchants if they have had a personal experience with the brand. “And if they say, no but they’ve heard all about MV, that’s instantly ‘ehh ehh’,” she says wagging her finger. (The one store that does carry her line in North America is The Detox Market, which McGlinchey was connected to through Dotti and yes, owner Romain Gaillard’s wife had tried it.) Quite simply, she is not interested in ‘scaling’ as they say in the business world, saying “I’m not motivated by money” and has no desire for an investor. “I entertained it once and she almost sent me bankrupt.”

What matters more to her is treating clients with skin sensitivities and that she can stand behind the pureness and integrity of her 16 products, which doesn’t include an eye cream or a traditional exfoliator. She prefers to gently remove dead skin daily “respectfully” with a warm cloth cleansing and a weekly mask, which she teaches everyone who lies down on her treatment bed. “My devoted MV clients were like ‘Wow, I can’t believe it, I’m hardly doing anything to my skin Sharon’. It’s like ‘No, you’re doing lots but lots of nurturing. That’s why your skin is happy.’”

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