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  • Marina Ambrosia makes additive and preservative free plant based skin care. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Marina's Ambrosia products are all handmade in a home kitchen in Perth. The skincare line that is additive and preservative free has gone global.
By
Sarah Dowling

Source:
SBS Small Business Secrets
16 Nov 2018 - 2:51 PM  UPDATED 19 Nov 2018 - 10:44 AM

The organic skincare market has surged in recent years, in line with rising consumer demand for chemical-free products. While new product lines are continuing to pop up, one Perth-based entrepreneur has been selling her plant-based face creams for more than a decade.

“I was studying naturopathy, and I got to a module about how plant-based ingredients can be used directly on the skin,” explains Marina Herlihy, owner of Marina’s Ambrosia Products.

“My skin was so bad at the time. I was still relying on doctor’s prescriptions and pharmacies to tell me what I needed to put on my skin," says Marina.

"I thought, if I use these plant ingredients that are good for the skin, then I’m going to get the ultimate moisturizer.

"It was purely because of my own desperation that led me to my innovation.”

"It was purely because of my own desperation that led me to my innovation.”

Consumers are increasingly purchasing cosmetics and skincare products online, and Marina now sells her skin range all over the world. But her decision to use preservative-free ingredients means growth is limited.

“Skincare has water in it, and when you add water, bacteria can grow unless you have a good preservative in there," explains Marina.

“That’s what stops me unfortunately from being able to put it in health food stores or a supermarket shelf.

"It’s little things like that stop me from being able to get a lot of points of distribution on hand.”

Still, the business experiences a high ratio of return customers due to its niche target market, growing by around 20% each year.

“I have customers from all over the world, all different people from all walks of life but they all have the same issue which is skin sensitivity.”

"When I made my own cream to fix my own face, I never dreamed that I’d be doing this as a career".

For Marina, investing in herself has been key to her success.

When I made my own cream to fix my own face, I never dreamed that I’d be doing this as a career. Never in a million years.”

Watch the full episode.