Shanan Birkin Magnesium Interview

Shanan Birkin Magnesium Interview

Aussie Ingenuity Results in Innovative New Magnesium Product Range

Unique formulation maximises absorption of highly concentrated, Australian-sourced Magnesium through the skin
Starts to work more quickly, providing effective relief from joint and muscle pain.

Innovative Australian skincare brand Abundant Natural Health has introduced an exciting new product range to its line-up with the potent Magnesium Body Range, formulated with 99.9% natural Australian-sourced Magnesium Chloride and organic citric acid extracted from 100% Australian-grown, purpose-bred cucumbers. This remarkable cucumber extract acts as a powerful exfoliant, preparing the skin for maximum absorption of the highly concentrated Magnesium.

The Abundant Magnesium Body Range, which includes an Ache Relief Gel and a unique pump-action Sport Spray, is the second product line to be launched by the 100% Australian grown, made and owned Abundant Natural Health, and follows the success of the brand's Lycopene anti-ageing skincare range launched in 2017, which showcased the powerful anti-ageing properties of lycopene extracted from purpose-bred Australian tomatoes.

Shanan Birkin, CEO of Abundant Natural Health, is passionate about plant-based skincare, and is excited to share the benefits of the new Magnesium range.

"We discovered and reclaimed this 99.9% natural Magnesium from discarded natural resources in Western Australia," says Ms Birkin, "which we then combined with organic citric acid extracted from purpose-bred cucumbers grown by our sister company, Abundant Seeds."

"By combining these two powerhouse, naturally-sourced, organic ingredients - highly concentrated Magnesium Chloride, which is proven to relieve joint and muscle pain, and citric acid, a proven skin exfoliant - we've created an innovative product that delivers Magnesium through the skin straight into the bloodstream and gets to work on aches and pains immediately. It also energises and hydrates the skin at the same time," she explains.

Magnesium is one of seven essential macrominerals in the body, and is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions, including regulating blood pressure, maintaining a steady heart rhythm, and ensuring normal nerve and muscle function. While increasing Magnesium levels can be beneficial to people of all ages and levels of activity, it is of particular importance to athletes due to its vital role in energy production and muscle recovery. Magnesium is lost through sweat and urine, both of which increase during exercise, and the resulting Magnesium deficiency can often be the cause of muscle cramps and spasms during activity, and aches and pains afterwards.

"Health professionals have long been aware of the critical link between Magnesium and optimal physical performance, however there has been some debate about the most effective way to deliver it into the system," says Ms Birkin. "We know that oral supplements can be very effective, but they often come with unwanted side effects due to the path they need to take through the digestive system. Delivering Magnesium through the skin – known as transdermal delivery – bypasses the digestive tract and avoids those uncomfortable side effects."

One of the key issues identified by researchers with transdermal delivery of Magnesium has been getting it through the skin barrier, however the Abundant Magnesium Body Range has been developed specifically with this in mind.

"Our cucumber extract effectively removes dead skin cells, ensuring maximum absorption of the Magnesium, so it can get to work on aches and pains much more quickly," continues Ms Birkin.

"The organic citric acid we use is also vastly superior to the synthetic acids used in other Magnesium products available."

The Abundant Magnesium Body Range also contains a high concentration of Magnesium ensuring more effective delivery through the skin.

Working in collaboration with scientists at two of Australia's leading universities, the research team at Abundant uses cutting-edge technology and extraction techniques to preserve the maximum bioactivity of the ingredients, resulting in highly active skincare products.

"Our brand is all about celebrating the natural wonders of Australia," explains Ms Birkin, "and we pride ourselves on the purity of our products and the fact that we offer consumers a natural alternative to some of the more synthetic products on the market. We're so excited about our new Magnesium Body Range, as we truly believe our formulation is a game-changer. All of our ingredients are naturally-sourced or grown in Australia to the highest standards in the most environmentally-sustainable way possible – we like to call it natural pain relief with a conscience."

Abundant's Magnesium Body Range has been garnering rave reviews from professional athletes and weekend warriors alike, with some of the more high-profile brand ambassadors including three of Australia's most well-loved professional footballers, Chloe Logarzo, Caitlin Foord and Lisa De Vanna.

Midfielder Chloe Logarzo, who recently represented Australia in the Women's Olympic Football Team and reached the pinnacle of her sport at just 21 years of age, loves how easy the Abundant Magnesium Spray is to use, saying "I need a quick and accessible way to use Magnesium, and the Abundant Magnesium Spray is perfect. It's easily absorbed into my skin, and it gets to work on any muscle aches I might have straight away."

Striker Caitlin Foord, who became the youngest Australian to play at a World Cup when she represented the nation at just 16 years of age, agrees, adding, "with other products you can feel a bit sticky sometimes, but this is super light. It makes me still feel fresh and doesn't interrupt my routine going into a game. Sometimes in those crucial moments mid-game you need something quick, which is where I find the Sport Spray really handy."

Veteran Australian women's footballer Lisa De Vanna is also a big fan, and appreciates the versatility of the range, saying, "I love that you can choose between the Spray or the Gel for different situations. I also love that it's a 100% Australian brand, made from locally and naturally-sourced ingredients. Having played for Australia for many years, I'm passionate about supporting my country in any way I can."

The Abundant Magnesium Body Range is available online at
Magnesium Sport Spray RRP $24.99
Magnesium Ache Relief Gel RRP $22.99

Interview with Shanan Birkin, CEO of Abundant Natural Health

Question: What inspired the new Magnesium Body Range?

Shanan Birkin: We're plant breeders and scientists first and foremost. We knew all about the critical link between Magnesium and physical performance and its powerful relationship with citric acids, which we had in abundance in our wonderful cucumbers, so set out to find the purest, natural source of Magnesium that we could. We found what we were looking for, created something unique and the rest is history!

Question: What products are included in the Magnesium Body Range?

Shanan Birkin: We currently have a Magnesium Spray and a Magnesium Gel in the Body Range but there are more on the horizon so watch this space!

Question: Are you able to tell us about the development of this range?

Shanan Birkin: Our passion has always been about uncovering Australia's natural secrets to source and create unique ingredients that we transform into our amazing products while respecting the environment and giving back where we can. And that is at the heart of what we're doing at Abundant. We're working with the brightest minds in Sydney and Korea to leverage cutting-edge processes and technologies and are now upcycling waste products to create powerful active ingredients for our skin and body care ranges.

Question: How can we use the Magnesium Ache Relief Gel and the Sport Spray?

Shanan Birkin: You can use both products before and after exercise to help reduce fatigue and muscle soreness and accelerate muscle repair and recovery. We're finding that a lot of our customers like to use the Magnesium Spray before exercising as it's quick, easily absorbed and refreshing and the Magnesium gel afterwards - as part of their warm down routine - as they can massage it into sore muscles. It all comes downs to your application preference and you can apply both as often as you need to.

Question: Can you talk about the ethos of Abundant Natural Health?

Shanan Birkin: We're proudly Australian first and foremost and supporting the environment and upcycling is at the heart of what we do. We believe that we all live on this planet and have a responsibility to pass it on to our children in the way that it was given to us; we want to be a solution to the environmental problems that we're all facing and not contribute to it. We fundamentally believe that you can create beautiful and impactful products that don't compromise our planet.

We wanted to take things one step further here at Abundant Health and focus on reducing the footprint of the ingredients to our skin and body care ranges, not just the (recyclable) boxes that they come in!

Question: What are the health benefits of Magnesium?

Shanan Birkin: Magnesium is an essential mineral and it's crucial for a healthy body; it helps us to regulate blood pressure, maintain a steady heart rhythm and normal nerve and muscle function. While increasing Magnesium levels can be beneficial to people of all ages and levels of activity, it is of particular importance to athletes due to its vital role in energy production and muscle recovery, which is why we're seeing such great feedback from PTs and sporting professionals. That being said, we've had a farmer tell us how it helped him recover after being kicked by a steer, a mum tell us how it's helped her son with growing pains and a tradie who packs it in his esky to help with his aches and pains after a long day on site, so the benefits are far reaching and for everybody. Magnesium is also known to help with migraines, insomnia, PMS, the list goes on really.

Question: How do you source the Magnesium used in the Body Range?

Shanan Birkin: We repurpose pure, highly concentrated Magnesium, from a waste stream that pollutes our Western Australian waters, and precipitate and organically purify it for our Magnesium range. We like to think of our Magnesium Body Range as pain relief with a conscience.

Question: Why was it crucial for you to add organic citric acid to these products?

Shanan Birkin: The inclusion of the organic citric acid - which is a proven exfoliant - promotes dermal penetration delivering our highly concentrated Magnesium into the bloodstream so that it can get to work on aches and pains immediately. It's where the magic happens essentially and where this product range comes into its own as you won't find anything else on the market like that. We like to think of Magnesium and cucumber as the ultimate power couple.

Question: Why are you personally so passionate about plant-based skincare?

Shanan Birkin: I have sensitive and dry skin. Natural based products never react on my skin and come with the added benefit of no alcohol or synthetics that strip my skin of its natural oil. I prefer skin care that leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth rather than squeaky clean.

Question: What's next for Abundant Natural Health?

Shanan Birkin: Our scientists have been developing some incredible new Magnesium products to extend the range. We're looking at a higher concentration of Magnesium and adding an array of natural acids from our vegetables to enable higher absorption; we're focusing on easily accessible, 'on the go' Magnesium and exfoliation.

Interview by Brooke Hunter