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People Real Beauty Rebels

Therese Kerr & Lessons in Real Beauty

From overcoming illness, to founding KORA skincare with her supermodel daughter Miranda, Therese Kerr is using her own healing journey to help others. She’s now taking her wellness and natural beauty message to the world with the launch of personal care range, Divine by Therese Kerr.

Congratulations on the launch of Divine. Where did the inspiration come from?

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Since having tumours in my spleen, I have been a sponge for all things relating to health and wellness. I have learnt so much and it is my passion to share what I have learned with the world, as I feel it is information everyone needs to know. I was at an event not that long ago and a young mum came up to me and told me her young son, at four months of age, had testicular cancer. That shocked me to the core. I have since spoken with doctors who now say it is common to treat babies with cancer. How sad that is to hear? My goal is to prevent illness, prevent this from happening, to share a holistic approach to wellness as it seems pointless filling your body with nutrients, if your body is stressed, and incapable of absorbing them. In my opinion, we have no option but to question what we are doing to ourselves and I am committed to ensuring the health message gets transferred to all.

My goal is to prevent illness, prevent this from happening, to share a holistic approach to wellness as it seems pointless filling your body with nutrients, if your body is stressed, and incapable of absorbing them.

Here are a few reasons for my inspiration and why I am so passionate about what I do and sadly most people are not aware of the majority of this information: There are over 10,500 chemicals used in skin, beauty, hair and personal care products and according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) only 13% of these chemicals have ever been tested for safety over the last 30 years. What you put on your skin is said to be absorbed up to 10 times faster than by way of ingestion as your skin doesn’t have the digestive enzymes to break down chemicals that your digestive system has available to it when you ingest products so it is equally as important, if not more important to ensure you are using only chemical-free products and certified organic products are the only products that provide that guarantee. A lot of the chemicals found in conventional products are known obesogens, which cause us to put on and maintain excessive weight and are known endocrine (hormone) disruptors.

With disease rates at an all-time high, educating the world is definitely a big task. Where do you start?

People need to know of the alternatives and educate themselves accordingly. I don’t just simply cover skincare. Through my websites: www.theresekerr.com and I have taken much of the research and guess work out of discovering the “how to” of health and wellness. I have naturopaths, nutritionists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, kinesiologists, healthy chefs, spiritual leaders and soon-to-be medical doctors who practice integrative medicine, contributing to my site providing information in the hope of making a difference to others. What a blessing these people are to my life and to the world. Personally, I have seen amazing things when the body is given adequate nutrition, internally and externally. We have received so many testimonials over the years that are so heartwarming and beautiful, results that have astounded me.

You’ve worked closely with Miranda on KORA over the years. What did you learn from that and how do the two ranges compliment each other?

Being the CEO of KORA Organics was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I had never been in skincare in my life before, let alone certified organic skincare and to take the company from where it was to where I left it was such a joy and such a blessing. As the holder of the intent for KORA Organics at the time it was never about selling skincare to me… I had a team of incredible people all sharing the same vision that I had, that is, to make a difference to the lives of others. We helped people with their skin, diet and the like and as a result we helped them to regain, discover or to rediscover their self confidence and the business grew phenomenally from there. I took the company through organic certification and managed the business through a huge growth phase from start up, developing the online presence to where we were shipping to consistently over 67 countries around the world. During my time as CEO I also took the business to Japan and when Miranda took over as CEO, she cemented that relationship even further. KORA now has a distribution presence in the United States and that’s exciting for the business.

As the holder of the intent for KORA Organics at the time it was never about selling skincare to me… I had a team of incredible people all sharing the same vision that I had, that is, to make a difference to the lives of others.

In late 2012, it was decided that KORA would remain with skincare and I would develop the certified organic personal care line under my name: Divine By Therese Kerr. The products are totally complimentary and non-competitive to the KORA Organics products and that has and will always be the case. Divine By Therese Kerr is simply an extension of what already exists. Under the Divine banner I will also bring out a certified organic hair care and baby care range and eventually a sun care range consisting of certified organic sunscreen, certified organic sun tanning lotion and no doubt eventually homewares too. It is indeed a very exciting future as we collectively take  certified organic products in all capacities to the world.

Why are natural and organic ingredients so important to you?

I truly love people…. I love connecting with gorgeous souls, and making a difference by providing people with information that allows them to educate themselves on all things health and wellness. I am creating a world of wellness for everyone to hopefully discover for themselves the benefits of using and consuming certified organic products, benefits for themselves and also for our planet. Our bodies weren’t designed to be loaded with toxic chemicals and on average a women will put around 250+ chemicals on her skin a day, of which 65-70 percent will be absorbed into her body. I liken our bodies to a bucket of water where we keep filling it up with toxic chemicals and then it gets to a point where for example with the bucket, you only need to place one more cup in and everything overflows. I believe our body reaches a point where it simply says: “Enough is enough” and an illness results.  Our poor bodies are so taxed with dealing with everyday issues, stresses and we stress our bodies out even more by applying and consuming chemicals and our livers become so taxed that they can’t perform vital roles of, for example, breaking down fat. When our body does not have the ability to detoxify, it pushes toxins out to the extremities and into our fat cells and with a fat-laden brain of around 80%, according to Delia McCabe, that is extremely dangerous for our health.

Our bodies weren’t designed to be loaded with toxic chemicals and on average a women will put around 250+ chemicals on her skin a day, of which 65-70 percent will be absorbed into her body.

Because we live in a chemical and toxic world that is impacting our lives and our environment adversely everyday we need to look after ourselves by eating and using only certified organic foods and products. When we do that we automatically look after our environment and that brings me to the fact that there exists a huge misrepresentation in relation to the use of the word “organic” in Australia and around the world.  The term “organic” is used loosely and that needs to change so that customers who think they are purchasing safer options, actually are. The everyday “organic” products commonly found on the supermarket shelves are far from “organic”, “natural”, “safe” “pure” and “pesticide and chemical-free”. The occurrence in the misuse of the word “organic” sadly does not just relate to self-care products, but rather to any products that can in fact be marketed to a mostly unsuspecting audience. “organic” cleaning, food, clothing and personal hygiene products are often mistaken by consumers genuinely wanting to purchase “safer options”.

Supply always meets demand and while the majority of consumers remain uneducated as to what “organic” truly means, companies will continue to produce inappropriate and misleading products, and why wouldn’t they? Profit is the driver in most businesses and the ingredient and manufacturing costs of producing chemical-based products are far less than the cost of producing certified organic ones. Consumers are driven predominantly by price and companies will position their product accordingly to ensure maximum uptake within the market.

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How do we break the cycle and make companies accountable for their labeling?

Education is the key to empowering consumers. Consumers need to arm themselves with the knowledge required to make informed choices and if necessary to make complaints to the ACCC when they feel a company, by way of their labeling, has deceived them. The challenge is that currently the majority of consumers aren’t even aware they are being deceived. It is only through education that consumers will gain an understanding of what “organic” truly is and become present to the level of deception within the market place.

Who regulates what in Australia?

The subject of mislabeling has been on the agenda of the ACCC in Australia with a recent finding against numerous water companies making “organic” claims. This is a positive step in the right direction for the “organic” industry, however, we still have a long way to go to rid our shelves of deceptive marketing. The catch 22 situation is that the majority of consumers, that is, those not au fait with the true meaning of what “organic” really is, are unaware of any possible label deception and as such continue to use products they think are the “organic” healthy alternatives.

Thankfully, there is a growing interest in organics and especially in certified organic. The trend in wellness appears to be gaining momentum. Farmers markets are becoming more common place, wellness websites are offering advice (most based on an individuals personal wellness journey), organic healthy megastores and eateries are opening, magazines, such as Australian Natural Health, share much needed health and wellness information regularly, and health centres offering a holistic approach to wellness are appearing.

Thankfully, there is a growing interest in organics and especially in certified organic. The trend in wellness appears to be gaining momentum.

It is important as a consumer that we understand the difference between “conventional”, “organic”, “certified natural” and “certified organic” products and the potential impact of using non-certified organic products on the body, is important.Certified Organic is the customer’s guarantee that all products manufactured by a company adhere to the strict and rigorous criteria placed upon it by the certifying body. The certification criteria encompass every step of the process from pre-planting of the soil through to dispatch of the end product to the consumer via the warehouse.

What are the products in the Divine range and which are your favourites and why?

KORA Organics products consist of certified organic skincare only, the products consist of: facial products, such as cleansers, toners/mists, day and night creams, eye gel cream, blemish gel, tinted day cream, exfoliating cream, lip balm, daily hand cream, masks and rosehip oil and body products that consists of: body wash, body lotion and rosehip body oil.

Divine By Therese Kerr products on the other hand consist only of personal care products. They are: tooth mousse, mouth rinse, deodorant, hand wash and hand lotion pumps (for the bathroom and kitchen areas of the home, not a hand bag size as Miranda already has that in the KORA Organics range), a ground-breaking sanitising hand gel and a fresh breath mouth spray.

My favourite products, hmmm… That’s a hard one as I truly love them all and as I am a perfectionist I will not release anything until I am 100 percent over the moon with the effectiveness, look, feel and scent profile of the products.

If I had to say any products were my favourite, I would have to say the deodorant, because it actually works so effectively. It is not an antiperspirant and nor should it ever be as you don’t want to put any antiperspirant onto and ultimately in your body as you will clog the pores and suppress the bodies ability to release necessary toxins causing those to remain under the arms and in other parts of the body.  When using a certified organic deodorant, after a few weeks you will find, if it is so effective and I have found that it decreases the amount you sweat and I hadn’t been able to find one that was effective until now (I have taken my samples to Bali and had the guests staying at the resort trialing the products for me, which they loved). The other product that I so love is the mouth rinse (so many toxins in traditional mouth wash that unfortunately get absorbed extremely quickly into the bloodstream and organs through the mucous membranes under the tongue) and I also love the moisturising hand lotion – it is such an effective hand lotion leaving the hands with a beautiful aroma and so soft, nourished and protected.

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You’re a big advocate of wellness of body, mind and spirit. How do you ensure balance in your own life and what are some of your top tips on getting to that place?

It is pointless, in my opinion, to fill our body with incredible nutrient-rich, certified organic food or use only certified organic products on our skin if we are not in a sound, stress-free state as the nutrients won’t be absorbed by the body anyway.  When we are stressed—which I personally used to be as I would push myself to the limit, always achieving, being the best that I could be, doing everything for everyone and never taking time out for me—our body automatically goes into what is known as Sympathetic Nervous System State (SNS or “fight or flight”). When our body goes into that state, according to Dr Libby Weaver, one of Australasia’s leading health experts for women, our digestive system shuts down. 80% of the immune system response is generated from the digestive system, so when the digestive system shuts down it impacts every organ in the body.

Interestingly enough in this “fight or flight” mode, our body is also incapable of burning fat. Food for thought for all of the beautiful souls out there currently operating (and according to Dr Libby, 99% of women are) in SNS mode, all exercising like crazy, but not losing weight. Sadly, your poor body is overworked, your adrenals are fatigued and you are in fight or flight and until you get your body into Parasympathetic Nervous System State (PNS “rest and digest” or “rest and repair”), you won’t lose weight.

So how do we transform that?  You need to deep belly breath, you need to do exercise that is calming, that allows you to concentrate on your breathing, such as yoga and you should look at meditating. Meditation is one of the best ways in which you can have your body switch over to the PNS state and you can find out more about this and discover so many other interesting health facts on my website: www.theresekerr.com and also at under my “Educated, Empowered and Chemical-free Program”.

I am not the same person I was 10 minutes ago, let alone the person I was back in 2001 when I had tumours in my spleen.  As human beings, we constantly evolve and I will hopefully continue to evolve in every minute to always be a better version of me.

I now live and breath health and I can honestly say that I don’t think I could feel any healthier than I do at present and I am approaching 50, which I find hard to believe!  It is such a wonderful feeling to actually feel so healthy, vibrant and alive – I feel like I am 20 again. One thing I would love to share with your readers is that health happens by choice, not by accident – in this day and age, you cannot expect to be healthy eating the highly refined, high processed, high sugar and high trans fat diets that most people consume on a daily basis. I choose health daily.

It is interesting, but definitely not an accident that human beings are the only mammals in the world who fail miserably to live out their life expectancy. Our diet, environment, what we put on and in our bodies and the stress we put ourselves under—most of which is driven unnecessarily by the incessant “virtual” reality of our thoughts—in my opinion diminishes our longevity and contributes greatly to the high rate of illness we suffer. We don’t have to accept illness as we age, but sadly not only do we accept it, for the most part we create it with poor health choices.

I am not the same person I was 10 minutes ago, let alone the person I was back in 2001 when I had tumours in my spleen.  As human beings, we constantly evolve and I will hopefully continue to evolve in every minute to always be a better version of me.

I am blessed to live a life I love, because I choose to live a life I love and create my “being” every day. After all, we are human beings, not human doings and by choosing our “being”we get to say how life goes moment by moment and that is such a blessing. Nowadays, I have a calm and a peace within me that I never thought was possible. Even when difficult things happen, I choose my way of being and am at peace knowing that whatever happens is always part of the bigger picture and intended to provide an opportunity for growth on a personal and spiritual level. If I could bottle the peace I have inside and share it with the world I would. The way I do that is that I share my passion and all that I have learned through my website: www.theresekerr.com and am in the process of creating programs, which will be available soon on my website, to take people through a journey to finding and discovering for themselves that inner peace that is and has always been there. I also have my free: “Educated, Empowered and Chemical-Free Program” available at: http://divinebytheresekerr.com/educated-empowered-chemical-free which touches on finding that inner peace and happiness.

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Who inspires your work the most, and why?

People who walk their walk in relation to health and wellness and who give freely of their time to make a difference to others. People who genuinely don’t buy into the BS of the virtual reality in their minds, people who see the greatness in others, the potential, the fact that every human being is an incredible gift to this world and they are. Sometimes we fail to see that, we see and react to the actions of others as opposed to seeing through those actions to who the person truly is. Every human being is simply looking for acceptance and love and when you sit in the space of acceptance, non judgment, let go of assumptions, perceptions, opinions and judgments, you get to see people for who they truly are and that is such a beautiful place to sit.

What is your vision for Divine, and for your other healthy living work?

Hmmm. That’s a big question. I have so many plans for Divine and ultimately my goal is to share wellness with the world to show people how to achieve total health and vitality in every sense of the word: Physical, emotional and spiritual. I would love for people, especially young people to discover their greatness and to show them how to remove the limitations they have placed upon themselves.  My goal is to educate people so that they understand that the human body has the ability to live to an average age of 124. In some cultures that is still happening. In those cultures they don’t fill their bodies with the highly processed, highly refined, high sugar content, high trans fat diets that most people consume every day and they don’t stress. And give people the ability to educate themselves on the how of that and/or at least provide them with information that will hopefully cause them to live healthy disease free lives. It has become acceptable that as we age we are going to suffer diseases and I believe it doesn’t have to be that way at all. There are cultures who live to ripe old ages without illnesses and die when it is their time to do, but without the ailments we consider and accept as the normal process in ageing.

My intent is to create a world of wellness intent on allowing people to discover how incredible they can be in every sense of the word. A world that hopefully through actions, without judgment, assumptions and opinions (that are all ultimately based on beliefs that aren’t even our own) uplifts others and causes us to respect ourselves, each other, other living things and our environment for all that it offers.

My intent is to create a world of wellness intent on allowing people to discover how incredible they can be in every sense of the word.

An excerpt of this interview originally appeared in Australian Natural Health magazine.

  • iris
    November 29, 2016 at 2:05 am

    Hello therese, my name is iris, I live in Puerto Rico. i was listening to the beauty summit and i heard you say you take powdered Vitamin C as well as zinc and iron in liquid form, to support the thyroid gland. I have hashimoto thyroiditis, am on medication and would like to get off. would you have more advice to help me on my quest. where do you get your supplements from? I would really appreciate any help you may provide. your talk was very informative. Thank you very much for your contribution.

    • Shannon Dunn
      March 8, 2018 at 7:44 am

      Hi Iris, you can reach out to Therese via her website. Good luck! Shannon

@shannondunnwriter