Pro's In The Know: Interview With Zk'in's Founder Grace Culhaci

Sunday 8 March 2015

When it comes to beauty products, so many brands promise you the stars and the moon. A lot of the time these promises disappoint. 

Zk'in has a philosophy of "honest beauty," which is so refreshing! 

Some of the things that sets them apart are...
  • COSMOS-standard organic products that are free from BPA, GM ingredients and nano particles, suitable for vegans and free from or containing sustainably sourced palm oil;
  • Advanced, clinically proven ingredients formulated to address every skin concern with outstanding performance and purity;
  • Zero tolerance for unnatural ingredients, unsustainable business practises, animal cruelty or unrealistic photoshopping;
  • Recognition by the Australian Government for contributing new knowledge to science, in the form of a 100% natural preservative system.
I interviewed Grace Culhaci, who founded Zk'in to find out what honest beauty means.


What makes zk'in different from other brands available? 

The zk'in range is the next evolution in organic skincare, where nature and science are no longer mutually exclusive. zk’in truly is the best of both worlds – the safest skincare on the market, backed by clinical data, it’s performance based skincare at its very best.

There are no parabens, no sulphates, no petrochemicals and no unnatural ingredients in any zk’in certified organic skincare product, achieving naturally beautiful clinically proven results, free from worry about toxins or synthetic ingredients. 

Harnessing the best of green science, zk’in’s inclusion of natural and organic clinically tested actives creates gentle yet powerful bioactive formulations – this is true performance based skincare.

Every zk’in product is COSMOS certified organic, the new global standard for the cosmetic industry, which means every aspect of zk’in, from product formulations to packaging, meets the strict criteria designed by COSMOS to safeguard health and the environment.

Every zk’in product is dermatologically tested and approved non-irritant by a qualified dermatologist, so you can trust it to naturally care for your skin without irritation, keeping you honestly beautiful regardless of your skin type.

zk’in packaging is BPA free and recyclable. No acrylic, PVC or styrene. And the boxes are also made from well managed and sustainable forests (FSC paper stock).

Why was it important to use certified organic ingredients and to not include ingredients like parabens, sulphates and petrochemicals?  

I started creating skincare to aid in my recovery from a tumour growing on my optic nerve. I built the company on an ethical platform and therefore zk’in has zero tolerance to petrochemicals and synthetics – this includes parabens and sulphates.

Our skin is our barrier to the world, so it makes sense to look after it and not expose it to chemicals that could compromise its effectiveness.  

While organic skincare is made from pesticide free organic raw materials, most organic beauty standards allow for the use of petrochemical preservatives in their products.  

At zk’in we use a 100% natural preservative system which earned us an R&D grant in 2014 from the Australian Government for contributing new knowledge to science.

To avoid petrochemical preservatives in your organic skincare look for and avoid the following 
  • Dehydroacetic acid
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Phenoxyethanol 
While some of these ingredients can be found in nature, the cosmetic ingredients are not plant derived, they are synthetically produced.  Many of these ingredients are toxic to young children and have a strong potential for skin irritation.

Which is your best selling product?  

zk’in Line Smoothing Serum and zk’in Rejuvenating Moisturiser.

What is your favourite product to use? 

I have very sensitive skin so one of my favourites in the range is Relief Moisturiser – it’s like cooling silk against my skin. It instantly relieves any irritation and helps me relax before sleeping.

Your whole range is vegan. Did you struggle with any of the formulations in trying to make it vegan? 

I have absolutely no interest in using animal based ingredients as I view that practice as unsustainable and completely unnecessary in a cosmetic context. I think the industry understands the need to provide ethical options so for the most part it’s not a struggle.  Some suppliers don’t like it when I drill down into the components of their materials but I won’t proceed with a material unless I see proof it’s vegan, so I’ve had to enter into a lot of confidentiality agreements to be given open access to their component origins. Vegan formulation is extra work from that perspective, but well worth it! 

Will you be releasing a make up line in the future? 

Possibly a lip balm but no other make up planned at this stage!


I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did! I'm off to google those ingredients as some of them I haven't heard of, but I'm sure I've used them hundreds of times in previous skincare!

I did a mini review of 3 zk'in products in my Feb Favourites, which you can see here. Their face mask is my favourite as it smells like chocolate... yummmm! 

You can see their skincare range here.

Is organic skincare important to you?
Amy, XO 

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