Industry Insider

Founder Series: Gary and Terry from Kumuya

We speak to co-founders Terry and Gary from Kumuya Beauty - ex-marketing and brand consultants who have channelled their passion for wellness and nutrition into a journey to create products for well-being, and tell us more about the link between nutrition and beauty.



Cheryl Yong

Founder Series: Gary and Terry from Kumuya

What is Kumuya about?

Kumuya is about nutritive skin wellness. Inspired by our life experiences and that the fact that we are growing older - we wanted to develop a range of skincare that is not only about effective products but also embodies key values that we hold dear. 

Peau Peau Beauty - Founder Series - Kumuya

‘KU’ is about Nature - looking to nature for inspiration and listening to nature's wisdom and carefully selecting her remedies. ‘MU’ celebrates Enlightenment - as we get older we experience change and our souls are enriched by our life experiences. We would like for our customers to embrace skin health over momentary fixes - and knowing more of what we consume. ‘YA’ embodies Elegance - as Taylor Swift once said "Happiness and confidence are the prettiest things you can wear". As such we hope that people embrace a stronger sense of the authentic self, be comfortable in their skin and let that elegance shine.

What inspired you to start the brand?

Eating more consciously is the rude awakening we got when a family member contracted cancer. We started our entrepreneurial journey to create products that cater to well-being through clean superfoods. One of the positive side effects of eating well is healthier skin, which is important for so many of our customers including ourselves. Like many, we too suffer from aging skin, pigmentation, acne and even ezcema. Eating the right foods is certainly a key pathway towards great skin but that alone is not optimal.

Peau Peau Beauty - Founder Series - Kumuya

Just as we created Anaya and Pili Pushers to encourage consumers to read labels, be more conscious about their consumption, and reap the benefits of clean and natural living, we wanted to expand our support of wellness of the skin to do the same. With that, Kumuya was born. 

What was your background before this?

We spent many years in the corporate world of media and brand consultancy. Having been exposed to so many brands and marketing for them, we wanted to bring to market products that would make a positive impact for both the source and the consumers. yet deliver an amazing experience. 

How is Kumuya different from other brands in the market? Could you highlight any key ingredients / formulations?

We believe achieving greater skin health is not through trendy ingredients and flashy marketing ads, but through a multi-pathway approach of nutritive skin, mind and body. Our products are not only dermatologically tested and irritation-free, they're also made with plant-derived ingredients proven to be effective.  

In fact, our Illuminate Nutri-Serum Concentrate was proven to reduce melanin production by 25% in pre-clinical trials. Anti-aging skin care lovers will be thrilled to know that cell aging is reduced by 69.5% when treated with Rejuvenate Nutri-Serum. The magic of plant-power done right!

Peau Peau Beauty - Founder Series - Kumuya

The reason our products are able to deliver such results is that our product development philosophy other than being plant-centric also follows these key ideas:

  • Science-proven plant actives - Ingredients that have been rigorously studied scientifically to show proven results and used for good reason.
  • Optimal levels of each ingredient - Something seldom mentioned - the right amount of actives needed for results and not cause reactions.
  • Dual purpose - Serums are not workhorses for nothing - we want ours to work doubly hard to play both preventive and curative roles.
  • No nasty ingredients - Parabens, synthetic fragrances, silicones, phthalate, mineral oils, Triclosan, etc you name it. Just no B.S.

Our key ingredients for our Rejuvenate Nutri-Serum are Bakuchiol derived from the Babchi plant which performs similarly to a retinol but without all the side effects of dryness and irritation. There is also hyaluronic acid for moisture, and Magnesium which helps to regulate fatty acid levels in skin to maintain skin elasticity, collagen and moisture. 

The key ingredients for our Illuminate Nutri-Serum are Alpha-Arbutin extracted from the dried leaves of plants like blueberry, cranberry and bearberry, which blocks melanin synthesis and helps with hyperpigmentation. There is also Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant for brightening skin. Lastly Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 helps to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone, dull skin, fade pigmentation and minimise enlarged pores.

Your brand tagline is "Nutrition-Powered Beauty". Can you tell us more about the link between nutrition and beauty?

Quoting David Wolfe - "The skin is a true symbol of our health because it's the last place to get nutrition and if you can drive all those nutrients all the way through to the skin then you know it's gotten everywhere else too and that's something that we all recognise." 

In the pursuit to achieve fast results, we think that many tend to overlook the foundations of good health and skin health. Skin health can be achieved through a variety of nutrients such as Vitamin C, A, E, and also minerals such as magnesium and zinc.

Peau Peau Beauty - Founder Series - Kumuya

What was your biggest takeaway from your journey with the brand?

In the development of our products and also testing and speaking to people, we realised that the pursuit of better skin is about happiness. As the Dalai Lama said, everyone has an innate desire to be happy, and as such we want people to achieve their happiness through a more wholesome and also holistic approach towards their health and mind. 

What are some of your favourite self-care and wellness rituals?

One of the key things we like to do is to do meditation. For Terry he makes it a point to sit every other morning, and do some breath awareness work as this helps to calm the mind. Stress can also manifest itself as breakouts and affect our health. Gary's wellness routines include regular Yoga and Pilates. He also enjoys aromatherapy at home with essential oils that relaxes the mind, along with some Netflix for a mental break. 

Peau Peau Beauty - Founder Series - Kumuya

Keeping to a disciplined bed time ritual is also key. This starts with a warm shower to loosen our muscles, taking a deep breath of a lavender shower gel, and then moving towards our skincare ritual before we snooze on our silky smooth silk pillowcases. Bliss!

What’s in store for Kumuya?

We're super excited to launch our Kumuya skin wellness meal plan service where we tailor a personalized meal plan based on your skin concerns. This will be based off a book we're working hard on to share how one can eat your way to skin wellness. We'll be launching in the coming months so keep a look out! Moving forward, we are keen to explore working with partners to educate more people about nutrition for skin health. We also want to work with partners who embody the values of positive beauty.