Magnesium is just one of those things we keep hearing we need more of, which is fine, but what exactly is it and where do we get it?!
“Magnesium is involved (and is required) in over 300 processes in the human body,” explains Cassie Sanghvi, pharmacist and co-founder of magnesium skincare brand, The Base Collective. “Some people refer to it as one of our master minerals, it’s involved in everything from muscle function to blood glucose control.”
“An easy way to think about it is similar to photosynthesis—in order for plants to make oxygen, they first need the right components; namely carbon dioxide, water and sunlight. It’s the same in our bodies, we need certain minerals in order for processes to happen—magnesium being one of the big ones. If we are low in magnesium, then these processes can’t occur and this may result in symptoms such as muscle cramps, sugar cravings and headaches, for example.”
Cassie explains that on average, we should be aiming for 300-400mg of magnesium per day (which equates to about 3-4 of sprays of their magnesium oil). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that over 70% of the population is magnesium deficient which indicates that we are not getting enough from our diets alone.
“Some believe this is because our food is not what it used to be due to a change in farming practices,” says Cassie. “Another theory is that lots of us have gut health concerns and hence are unable to absorb our essential minerals efficiently from our diet.”
Keen to learn more? Here, we chat to Cassie about what inspired her and business partner, Carly Pountney to create an entire (and may we say, delightful) organic product range based on magnesium (hint: it’s absorbed better through the skin) and the many benefits of getting more of the good stuff in your life.
Amodrn: To start off with, take us through The Base Collective story and why you decided to introduce magnesium products to the range.
Cassie: Carly and I were both looking for a side project and I have always had an interest in living the natural and organic way of life. We felt there was a gap in the market for genuine, no-nasty products that also looked good displayed in your bathroom. We launched in April 2016 with The Hand Wash and The Hand Milk.
From here, it was Carly who was actually taking magnesium supplements and we started talking about how it was an interesting mineral as it was actually better absorbed through the skin. That’s when we came up with the idea to develop a skincare range which incorporated magnesium and also adhered to our genuine no-nasty, natural and organic, clean, green and safe principles. It’s been so well received it taken over the direction of our company.
As a pharmacist, is magnesium a skincare ingredient you’ve always had an interest in?
Absolutely, I’m all about ingredients that have multiple benefits. Not only is magnesium perfect to add to skincare as it gets absorbed into the body, but it’s actually also amazing for skin tone, hydration and overall skin integrity.
What are some of your favourite ways to incorporate magnesium into your daily life?
Using our TBC skincare is a no brainer way to incorporate magnesium into my daily routine. So whilst I’m going about my daily activities, whether that be my shower at the start of the day, where I use our White Tea & Magnesium Body Wash, followed by our White Tea & Magnesium Body Balm or it might be whilst making the kids dinner and washing my hands at the kitchen sink before starting to cook with our hand and body wash.
How important was it to you to ensure all products were made with natural, certified organic ingredients? In your opinion, is this something that should be a non-negotiable when it comes to skincare?
Our skin is the largest organ of the human body and what you put on it goes inside our bodies and ultimately impacts our health now and into the future. It is a non-negotiable that TBC products are made using only the best natural and certified organic ingredients where possible, and that as a company we adhere to a clean, green and safe policy in all that we do. I’m proud that TBC were early adopters, that our products have been received so well and hopefully we encourage other companies to adopt similar manufacturing principles.
Has having children changed the way you look at beauty products?
Having children amplifies your emotions and you want to make sure you are making the best possible choices for your children. Being a pharmacist, I’ve always read ingredients labels and found it a struggle to find skincare that I felt comfortable using on my family. So many companies would market things as ‘free from this’, and ‘free from that’ and on the surface, in a split decision you would be forgiven for thinking it is ok, when in fact they would be sneaking other not so great ingredients in and relying on no one noticing. I mean who has the time to read every single thing! We wanted the busy mums of the world to know that when you purchase a Base Collective product for your family it is a genuine no nasties product and is safe for you and your family.
“We wanted to create products that you would be proud to display on your kitchen bench or in the guest bathroom, that when you looked at them, they made you smile.”
Is magnesium safe for use during pregnancy?
Not only is it safe to use in pregnancy, your magnesium requirements increase during pregnancy as your body is using so much of it to help grow that beautiful baby. We have a lot of pregnant customers who use our magnesium oil in particular for restless legs and leg cramps as a natural way to get relief.
It’s understood that magnesium can help with sugar cravings, can you share with us the scientific reasoning for this?
Yes, that’s right. Magnesium is involved in the process of glucose metabolism and helps our body regulate natural insulin levels. If we are low in magnesium, these processes are thrown out of balance and the result can be sugar cravings. We have a lot of people who use our magnesium oil daily to help combat sugar cravings.
What makes your magnesium product different to others on the market?
Our products are pharmacist formulated and genuine no nasties. We source our magnesium from The Dead Sea, as this is the source that all the evidence is based on. We also like to think our packaging looks good too!
What has been the most hardest part of your business journey thus far?
Learning to really segment my time and try to turn off when I’m at home with my family. Owning your own business is absolutely rewarding, but it can mean that you potentially never turn off! When we first launched I was packing orders from my home office and it just took over our world. Taking the plunge to outsource is scary but I have learnt it is also an investment in your business as it allows you to grow and then focus your energy on growing the business in other ways.
It is definitely when we get feedback from customers telling us they have had the best night’s sleep after using our products, or that our oil has helped their back pain they have had for years! For me, one of the reasons I became a pharmacist was to help people with their health journey, and creating The Base Collective has allowed me to continue my pharmacist work in a non-traditional sense.
What can we look forward to next from The Base Collective?
We have a few new and exciting products in the pipeline in the skincare category and we are also looking at ways to expand our TBC principles into other areas of our lives–watch this space.