The makings of a green brand which not only sources its powerhouse ingredients responsibly, but formulates with integrity and impact, are global in influence and execution. MŪN is a line fueled by Japanese ritual and expertise and sparked by some of nature's richest sources of omegas, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And I'm here for it, and my skin agrees.
If you haven't yet seen the video that coordinates with this blog post, you can watch it here:
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I had the pleasure of meeting Munemi Imai back in April and instantly fell in love with the passion she has for not only her brand, MŪN Skin, but for products in general. She is a successful global makeup artist who has worked with some of the goddesses that graced my bedroom walls back in middle school - Naomi Campbell, Solange, Christy Turlington, and Tilda Swinton. Not only that, but she has experience in the world of product development as well. It seems that this ability to be discerning in the execution of products really shows in the MŪN range, and that's only amplified by the amount of passion she has for beauty. I fell in love with Munemi as a the kind soul she is before I knew much about her skincare range and I'm glad it happened that way. I'm so lucky to have been able to hear her story, and the story of MŪN Skin, firsthand. I loved hearing her explain her desire to create products that were friendly to the earth and the people who helped to produce the organic ingredients that were used to create them.
We’re especially proud of our partnership with a union of women’s co-operatives in Morocco. Made up of primarily Berber women, ages 18 to 50, the co-ops produce the Argan, Prickly Pear Seed and Olive oils used in MŪN products. The operation is a self-regulated, functioning ecosystem, with new trees planted according to the desired scope of production, which depends directly on your purchasing patterns. Profits from the co-ops support a social fund that provides tutors to teach the women how to read and write, as well as scholarships for their children to attend college; and a health fund that covers healthcare costs. It has also provided these women with some autonomy in a society traditionally dominated by men. 21 new jobs have been added as a result of the demand from our customers and we’re just getting started. Our business is driven by a desire to collaborate across cultures, empower others and enable sustainable economic development.
We had tea and desserts at Little Prince in SoHo, which I totally recommend if you are ever in New York City by the way 😉 My grandmother on my mother's side is Japanese, so it was lovely to be able to talk about the significance that culture can have on our approach to, and perception of, beauty rituals. We both agreed that transparency is always key, and that good skincare can really change the way we feel about ourselves. It was great to hear that Munemi also felt that cleansing should be gentle but effective, toning should be mild and renewing, potent plant oils can really impact the skin's overall health, and that body oils should nurture the skin but absorb within seconds. Oh, and that you don't always need to be smelling the skincare on your face for the rest of the day. You can see why I was intrigued by MŪN after that!
She sent me home with the entire collection and it allowed me to experience both the collection as a complete capsule, and incorporated into rituals with other products I was already using and loving. The introduction was seamless, and over time I noticed that each product stood out among the other Miron glass bottles in my wardrobe. It's a line of simplicity, refinement, and practicality. It's not meant to fill your head with the bouquet of a thousand lilies, but it will certainly give you the kind of results that you'd expect from high-quality skincare. I'd almost call it botanically disciplined, clinically green, or organically calculated. You can't help but see results while simultaneously enjoying the plant-based nature of each formula.
There's such a level of transparency and pride in the MŪN brand. They aren't timid in sharing details about their products, packaging, ingredient-sourcing, and inspiration. It's interesting to note that the format in which MŪN lists their product ingredients on their website is reminiscent of the way cosmetic chemists list their ingredients on a formula sheet.
I'm most attracted to the daily-use quality that each product in the collection has. I feel that the majority of the line is suitable for all skin types, save for Akwi if you have extremely dry skin. The sleek and whispered quality of the brand design is refreshing and really lets the product performance and experience speak for itself. You could absolutely classify these products as green in terms of their fair-trade, organically-grown, and thoughtful formulary nature. It's nice to see green that strips away the aromatics in favor of function, though that's not to say fragrant products don't have their place in my heart and my skincare cabinet. Perhaps I just enjoy having both, and I'm sure there are plenty of others who enjoy the thought of using products that contain as many plant based ingredients as possible but don't smell like a flower shop.
Without further ado, let's talk about about the MŪN Skin collection.
Boy is this a unique cleanser. It's balmy, but not oily. It has grip, but not slip. It emulsifies, but definitely benefits from use with a washcloth. It's gourmand in scent, but not in a classical sense. Most importantly: it's not drying, stripping, or alkalizing. It has a pH of 4.7-5.5 per MŪN's post here. I greatly appreciate MŪN's transparency with their products. They address topics that some of us product-savvy consumers are quite curious about and have the right to know.
If you have combination to oily skin, this could be a fantastic morning or second cleanse. It feels quite cleansing but never stripping and always very balanced. I don't use it for makeup removal, though you could in theory. This is a cleanser that I reach for when my skin is experiencing some grease or gunk, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a nice cleanser to use on any random Tuesday either, if that makes sense. It's purifying, no doubt, but because it's so gentle, you don't have to make much of a conscious effort to use it exclusively when your skin is feeling gross. It truly benefits from the use of a cloth because castor tends to cling to the skin, as gorgeous as it is to cleanse with.
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Aqua, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Silica Silylate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Bis-Hydroxyethylglycinate, Coco-Glucosides Crosspolymer, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Non-GMO Vitamin E)**, Isopropyl Palmitate, Citrus Junos (Yuzu) Oil *Certified Organic
$60 for 3.38 fl oz, or 100 mL
Available from MŪN
HYDRATING ROSE TONER
What ANAROSE does so well is balance. It's so completely well-rounded that it can only be described as a daily toner - enough of what you need each day to keep your skin happy. It doesn't feel overwhelming in any way - no stinging, drying, or stickiness - and that's something I can definitely get behind. There's also not an overwhelming rose scent, either. It's quite faint, and certainly not perfumed in any way. As a result, there has been zero irritation in my trials thus far. I'll take it!
ANAROSE is influenced by traditional Japanese toners and essences, so it's best applied with a cotton pad or pressed into the skin, even though the nozzle may tempt you to mist this all over the face. In reality, it just doesn't perform all that well as a mist and won't be able to work as intended. When you stroke a cotton pad over the face, you'll notice some dead skin being lifted away and a soft suppleness left behind. It really is fabulous. My skin is usually often dry and always dehydrated so for me, I tend to need just a little bit more hydration than this toner can supply on its own. With that said, it pairs beautifully with hydrating essences and serums, so it's a toner I get use out of regardless. I can totally depend on it to perform, and how beautifully it does.
Aqua, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice*, Maltodextrin, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Stem Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract*, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol (naturally derived from essential oils)
$65 for 3.38 fl oz, or 100 mL
Available from MŪN
BRIGHTENING YOUTH SERUM
AKNARI is effective, plain and simple. It not only manages to provide an immediate look of brightness and enlivenment in the face, but it thoughtfully moisturizes and leaves behind a sheer layer of velvety softness. It's not going to smell fragrant or aromatic the way many other oil-serums-in-Miron-glass do, but it outperforms most of them without even flinching. In my mind, this remains the pinnacle of the MŪN brand because it really lets the prickly pear seed oil sing lead vocals. The results are almost clinical in nature, and the experience of using the product from a sensory perspective feels relaxed and unadulterated. There's nothing in the formula that takes away from the magic or potency of cold-pressed, organic-grade, ethically-sourced oils. And I like that.
This serum has really made me fall in love with prickly pear seed oil. It has an agreeable nature about it, so the fact that AKNARI contains so much of it means that most skin types should get on well with it. I also think most would find it equally lovely to use. Complex, but not confused. It performs so many functions and does them so beautifully that I'd call the overall composition a velvet hammer of sorts. It packs a punch, but does so with a silken touch. It's the product I would personally pick up if I could only have one.
Prickly Pear Seed Oil*, Argan Oil*, Rose Flower Essential Oil
$95 for 0.68 fl oz, or 20 mL
Available from MŪN
BODY TONING SERUM
This is truly an oil-serum for the body. It doesn't sit on top of the skin, but doesn't lack moisturizing qualities either. It doesn't drag or tug on the skin as it's being applied either, which I really appreciate. I love using it on my chest and arms to ensure that I keep my skin firm, but it can be used anywhere that you see fit. The scent is a deliciously bright lavender that dissipates after touching the skin softly for around half an hour. As is common with the rest of the MŪN range, the inclusion of essential oils is for their intended skin benefits rather than to fragrance the product.
As I mentioned in the video, a customer documented her progress using AYOUR and its improvement in the appearance of stretch marks on the hips and thighs. She used the product twice a day for around four months. I was able to see said photos, and sure enough, they were less noticeable. This may not be the case for everyone, but one customer's testimonial with documented progress is certainly notable.
Fabulous body serum regardless, and it's certainly the quickest way to help me sleep.
Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Oil, Rosa Moschata (Rosehip) Seed Oil*, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Seed Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Tocopherol (Non-GMO Vitamin E), Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Origanum Majorana (Marjoram) Oil*, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Oil*
$75 for 3.38 fl oz, or 100 mL
Available from MŪN
PURE ARGAN OIL
This is the MŪN product that made its way into Greatest Hits*. Frankly, it's the last product I ever thought would end up in such a category, but here we are. I'm not questioning it either. I feel it deserves praise for its utility and application in my life, and I can't help but feel that there are some of you out there who may look at ARGAN the same way - multi-functional and abundant in quantity. It's great as a head-to-toe moisturizer and the sheer size of the bottle allows that kind of wiggle room. ARGAN lacks the toasty nuttiness that other Argan oils tend to exude and feels extremely pure and refined in consistency. It absorbs quickly and leaves such a silky fluffiness on the hair, skin, and nails. I use it everywhere, all over, and it's especially great for lazy days where you want nothing more than to do just that. Plus... just look at how gorgeous it is!
Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil*
$70 for 6.76 fl oz, or 200 mL
Available from MŪN
ORGANIC FACE TOWEL
This is a fantastic cloth for a thorough cleanse. I've been a devotee to the washcloth for a long time, but not all are made the same. This one just so happens to be made from organic cotton that truly does feel just that much softer than some other washcloths in my cabinet. I used a macro lens attachment for my iPhone and as you can see above, there is definite fuzziness. I love the blue color and pattern - it reminds me of something that you'd find in the bathroom of a marine-themed hotel and, coincidentally, my bathroom accent color is blue ;)
This luxuriously soft face towel by Ikeuchi Organic of Japan is made of 100% organic material that is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Hang it by the loop in your bathroom to dry super fast after each use. Eco-friendly Compostable Polyester Fiber OEKO-TEX standard Class 1 Imabari Towel Brand certified Wind Woven Towel Low impact dye Size: 10" x 10"
$10 for one cloth
Available from MŪN
This is the plushed headband imaginable. It's quite large, which means it covers the front half of your hair as well. This is great if you tend to splash your face with water, I say as I quietly point to myself. Unfortunately, my manly square-shaped hairline means that this headband has to sit halfway off my head in order to expose all of my forehead, so it's not a headband I can get a ton of use out of. However, everyone whose hairline is a bit better suited for this headband has absolutely loved using it! It's organic cotton, so it's incredibly soft against your ears.
We have partnered with Ikeuchi Organic of Japan to create the most luxuriously soft headband imaginable made of 100% organic cotton.
$18 for one headband
Available from MŪN