Our Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by Dani

As an Aussie, enjoying the sunshine and outdoors is something that comes with the territory. However, while it’s easy to get carried away with mojitos by the beach at sunset, sun damage, dry skin, and premature aging cannot be ignored. That’s why when I first discovered the Aussie brand Mukti I knew I was in for a treat – nothing but natural active ingredients made to work in the harshest of conditions. Expectations were high, but would Mukti rise to the challenge?

I am a sensitive-skinned 25-year-old with no significant lines (yet!). My skin was noticeably oily and blemished in my teens but now in my 20s it has dried out significantly and I would even go so far as to say it can officially be classified as “dry” in the winter months (winter in Queensland, Australia is bone dry, while the summers here are humid). My skin is especially prone to sagging when stressed and has mild sun damage from the intense Aussie sun. So the aims of my skincare routine are prevent first signs of aging; protect against environmental damage in the morning; repair sagging, elasticity, and uneven skin tone; and encourage cell production at night. The expectations I had for the Mukti Antioxidant Facial Oil ($40) are as a “repair” and “prevent” serum, and one look at the ingredients list reveals why.

The ingredients list reads like something from an exotic alchemist cabinet – nothing but essential oils from nuts, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. The first ingredient is macadamia oil. On top of being loaded with vitamins and minerals including magnesium and potassium, when applied to the skin it is particularly effective for healing damaged skin and fading blemishes. The oil also contains gotu kola – an ancient Ayurvedic herb for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema and skin infections. An interesting ingredient is tamanu oil. Tamanu is a nut local to the South Pacific. The oil from the nut contains three lipids – neutral lipids, glycolipids and phospholipids – vital for healthy cell membranes. Rich in fatty acids, the Tamanu nut has been deemed the “wonder nut” for cuts, burns, acne, age spots and assisting in the formation of new cell growth. Combined with healing rosehip and anti-inflammatory calendula oil, this is the ideal oil for repairing irritated or damaged skin.

The second ingredient on the list, jojoba, produces a wax similar to those in our skin already. This seals in moisture and delivers another powerful burst of omega-6 and 9 fatty acids, vitamin A, D and E. The vitamin and mineral cocktail continues with brightening apricot and carrot seed, and antioxidant-dense pomegranate. This is where Mukti's anti-aging powers continue, and I was beginning to see that this little wonder oil might just be the hard-working all-rounder I have been searching for!

Enter my 1-ounce bottle of Mukti Antioxidant Oil. I could smell its spicy, earthy aroma before I even opened the box. The strong aroma was nostalgic, romantic, and transported me back to shopping for incense in little hidden market stalls around Australia. Upon application, the smell lingered for over an hour! Actually I’m surprised it is a night product as the aroma is so evocative – invigorating my mind and completely waking me up when I put it on before bed the first night. My boyfriend, however, failed to share my sense of excitement with the smell. On the first night I tried the oil, I climbed into bed, he took one look at me, screwed up his face and exclaimed “What smells like a hippy?!” But even the greatest skeptic had to admit defeat when a mere three days later, he proclaimed that he couldn’t believe how glowing and smooth my complexion was – “Must be that hippy oil!” he concluded. And the compliments didn’t stop there! Numerous friends and acquaintances commented on the improvement, and considering I hadn’t changed anything except adding the Mukti Antioxidant Oil to my routine, I was feeling pretty certain that this little blue jar will be making a permanent home in my bathroom.

Feeling pretty chuffed with the results on my face, I decided to put the second claim of the product to the test – use as a makeup remover. Given its outstanding performance so far, I was going to put it to the ultimate test – removing very thick, black, waterproof mascara after a full 12 hours of wear. In light of the issues I’ve always had with eye makeup removal, especially with waterproof mascara – the stinging, the redness! – I have to say I was feeling more than slightly nervous for my sensitive eyes. But, in the name of thorough product testing, I put a dab of the oil on a tissue and pressed it to my eyes… and to my complete shock, a mere few seconds later, all my mascara had transferred onto the tissue! No stinging, no redness, no irritation. The oil not only left my eyes clear of makeup, but also beautifully moisturised! A true miracle!

So what are my observations at the end of the testing period? The texture of my skin is noticeably smoother and brighter, and the skin tone is looking more even already.  Even sun damage on my forehead is beginning to fade! The oil is sensationally moisturising and my skin looks and feels plumper. The rich, golden oil has also given me a radiance that lasts long after application. I must add here though that the texture of the oil is quite thick so if you have oily skin I would perhaps limit use to alternate evenings or be mindful of how much you apply. After a month of liberal, daily use for my dry skin, I have barely gone through a quarter of the bottle, so I would imagine the bottle can be stretched out comfortably to at least four to six months.  Considering the price-to-quality ratio, this product gets my highest recommendation.

In conclusion, what I am most excited about, if there wasn’t enough already, is the fact that this brand is founded on my doorstep – right here in Queensland. It is so encouraging to see such commitment to nature so close to home, and I feel so proud! The Mukti Antioxidant Oil will certainly form part of my daily arsenal, and at this rate, my only hope is that Mukti have a customer loyalty rewards program because I will certainly be back!

Ingredients: Certified Organic Oils of Macadamia (Macadamia Ternifolia), Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis), Apricot (Prunus Armeniaca), Calendula (Calendula Officinalis), Evening Primrose (Oenothera Biennis), Rosehip (Rosa Canina), Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica), Pomegranate (Punica Granatum), Tamanu (Calophyllum Inophyllum),Carrot Seed (Daucus Carota), Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), Sandalwood (Santalum Album) & Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin); Olive Leaf (Olea Europaea) & Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extracts