The moment you step into skincare label Grown Alchemist’s new global flagship in Carlton, you’ll be ushered into a “clean room”, which is pumped full of purified air.
Natural light streams in through glass panels and bounces off industrial steel surfaces as one of the team meticulously checks your skin and recommends products and treatments. It’s a methodical process – entirely in line with the brand’s approach to skincare.
“It’s all about skin function,” Jeremy Muijs, who founded the label with his brother Keston, told Broadsheet when the flagship was announced last year. “Beauty just isn’t going to come from this magical pot of cream. Those active ingredients are great, but an active ingredient on a skin cell that isn’t functioning well is pointless.”
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Here, you’re able to buy Grown Alchemist’s products in-person for the first time. The team works with organic, all-natural ingredients such as white tea, olive leaf, pink grapefruit, ginkgo and rosehip to develop cream cleansers, serums, masks, toners, intensive moisturisers and more (Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan of its watermelon and vanilla lip balm).
They’re also incorporated into facials, LED-light treatments, oxygen treatments and IV drip therapy – which “delivers vitamins and minerals directly to your bloodstream,” Jeremy says – that take place in two very zen, minimal treatment rooms.
This is Grown Alchemist’s first standalone physical store (the company already has counters at some David Jones stores). It was designed by celebrated architecture firm Herbert & Mason (Meatsmith, Gingerboy, Sydney’s Reuben Hills) in collaboration with Grown Alchemist's in-house team, and draws influence from industrial laboratories.
“The lab bench is my favourite component,” says Keston of the long steel bench in the middle of the space. “At six metres long, it was one of the most challenging to build and install. I’ll never forget the crane lifting it off the truck when it arrived and thinking to myself, ‘Is it going to bend?’”
When the architects got started, the main brick structure of the old Victorian cottage was crumbling and falling apart. That’s now been reinforced and retained, but the bricks are still raw and exposed, contrasting against the smooth, sleek lines of glass and steel.