We chatted with Craig Jones, CEO and Founder of MooGoo
Tell us about MooGoo
We make skin and hair care for people with skin and scalp problems. We have expanded now to make toothpastes, sunscreens and even pet care from ingredients that are healthy for people and the environment.
Where does the name come from?
Twelve years ago my mother was using ‘Udder Balm’ for her psoriasis. This was a balm to keep the skin on cow’s udders in good condition. That was the basis for our first product. She thought the word ‘udder’ a bit crass, so she referred to it as “Where is my moogoo?”
What’s your beauty ingredient philosophy?
Whatever ingredient we put into each batch eventually ends up on our own skin and our children’s skin as we only use our own products. So there is a long list of ingredients that typically go into moisturisers, toothpastes, shampoo and sunscreens that are used because they are cheap and easy rather than healthy. Very few people even read the ingredients. With sunscreens the ingredients aren’t even shown – just the ‘Actives’ and preservatives! So we can understand why many people don’t care that much, but we do.
Why are your sunscreens based on zinc?
Zinc sunscreens form a reflective barrier that sits on top of the skin. Ours is mixed in with a moisturising base. The other type of sunscreens are based on ‘UV Filters’ like oxybenzone. These are absorbed into the skin. A US survey found 97% of people have oxybenzone in their urine, and a recent study found more is absorbed than predicted. These type of sunscreens do absorb well, but we prefer to use a zinc-based sunscreen that protects the skin by sitting on the surface rather than being absorbed.
What are your best-selling products?
Our Eczema Creams just nudge out our shampoo for sensitive scalps as the top seller. After that comes our Deodorant Cream. Sometimes we get tempted to stop making a product that is not as popular as the others, but even those such as our Acne Cream have its diehard fans.
Which products would work well as a gift?
It depends on what it is for so we have a few gift sets for new mums, or for people with skin problems and things. Personally, I find the moisturisers are a good place to start as once someone uses them, they tend to get addicted.
How is the Dusty Girls makeup going?
It is going quite well. People don’t buy as many lipsticks as they do moisturisers for example. So it will never be as popular as MooGoo, but makeup is a fun thing to do and that’s important as well.
What is Tamanu oil?
It’s an oil that is wild-harvested in the Pacific Islands pressed from the nut. It is quite herby in scent and green in colour. It has been used in the Pacific Islands traditionally to help prevent acne and for wound healing.
How is your company collaborating with medical practitioners?
“Collaborating” is a bit strong a term. I am not sure if that is even legal anymore? I know in the olden days a skin care company would do the parties on boats etc for dermatologists and doctors, but I don’t think that is allowed now. I hope not anyway! But MooGoo is used in a lot of oncology centres. We also donate quite a bit of product to patients leaving hospital to go home. After initially getting a lot of pushback because the name didn’t sound especially medical (incredibly, we don’t have ‘derma’ in our name anywhere at all!) we are now well supported by many doctors as they have heard from their patients that MooGoo has helped them with their skin conditions.
Tell us about the Dr Zoo natural pet care range?
People were using MooGoo on their pets as many suffer similar problems to humans. But the skin of pets is a little different in its pH and dogs, for example, find zinc poisonous if they eat the whole tube, so we modified MooGoo for pets. That’s how Dr Zoo came along – it’s for pets with itchy skin or skin problems.
What do you love most about what you do?
Making something here in Australia that helps a lot of people. It is more satisfying than, say, importing and reselling something. Also, I really enjoy the people I work with at MooGoo. We employ about 80 people directly and indirectly now. They come from all sorts of backgrounds; they work hard and we enjoy having something worthwhile to do.
Who or what inspires you?
Hugh Mackay wrote a book called The Good Life where he interviewed people at the end of their lives about what they thought was most important for a happy life. Almost all said it was the people they had in their lives that made their life good or not; family, friends and colleagues. Nobody said it was the money or toys or appearance, so I am inspired by that to try and be something positive for the people around me.
Do you have any predictions for the beauty industry?
More outrageous promises about some new ingredient! It will be hard to beat the incredible ‘Swiss Apple Stem Cell Technology’ that was promoted a few years ago, but I always enjoy what the latest marketing people dream up for cosmetics.
Plans for the future with the brand?
World domination with one bottle of shampoo at a time!
MooGoo website: https://moogoo.com.au/