Marius Morariu doesn’t want to get back to nature; he wants to marry it with scientific innovation beyond our wildest dreams.
The son of two doctors was born-and-bred with health on the brain and was inspired to follow a preventative wellness path because he could see the future in that reimagining. Fatefully, he crossed paths with esthetician, Tracie Martyn, and, together, the two went on a quest to purify and elevate petrochemical-free skincare—way before that was en vogue.
Ultimately, this pioneering duo founded lauded skincare clinic and created high-performance, clean, luxury product line, Tracie Martyn, adopted by celebrities from Kate Winslet to Kim Kardashian. At their “heaven on Earth” spa, they offer exclusive signature treatments, using proprietary technology.
Here, the CEO and skincare formulator talks about why pure isn’t pure enough:
Live The Process: How did growing up with two doctor parents impact your perspective?
Marius Morariu: Well, you become a hypochondriac, listening to mom and dad talking about work and witnessing major surgery as a “privilege” at 10 years of age. Just kidding! I’d like to think of my obsession with wellness not as pathological, but rather idealistic and visionary. I see—and hope to manifest—a future world, where physical disease (other than accidental trauma) is a thing of the past. Imagine a machine that tests your saliva and tells you: “Today, lower your kale and increase your celery intake.” I envision a kind of medical wellness Alexa with built-in diagnostic tools, so you stay in a state of balance, detox and optimal nutrition all the time.
LTP: How did wellness and preventative medicine come onto your radar?
MM: While my parents started off as left-brained, evidence-based, conservative doctors, they later became believers in holistic methods like TM meditation. Transylvania has a great heritage when it comes to natural remedies, including herbs, but also experimental methods aimed at defying aging like Gerovital. (Sir Winston Churchill, Marlene Dietrich and John F. Kennedy are just a few of the people rumored to have sampled the famous Romanian anti-aging elixir.)
It was not until I worked at a hospital in Berlin, as part of my required pre-med training, that I realized that I needed to focus on prevention and wellness or medical research to be on the pulse of what the future offers in terms of health and wellness. It sounded frustrating to pursue a traditional medical degree, often using old methods and equipment that underperform.
LTP: How did you and Tracie come to partner? What inspired you to integrate effective and non-toxic skincare?
MM: I met Tracie in the mid-90s. We both felt passionate about bringing effective beauty and wellness to a larger audience. We felt that members of the fashion and entertainment industry, especially, could really benefit from a movement we later trademarked “Pure Revolution.” Out with fast food, smoking and petrochemicals in personal care; in with yoga, Pilates, green juicing and clean skincare.
So, when we needed a skincare line to use in our signature Resculpting Facial and retail to our clients, I knew we needed to go safe, clean and green. But we found it challenging to find natural products that matched the quality of our clients’ sophisticated beauty regimens. (In those days, the only options were basically in health food stores.) So, I took on the nearly impossible task of fusing nature, science and green glam to create what I call the “Tesla of skincare.”
After being rejected by over a dozen labs for having unrealistic expectations, I found a custom manufacturer who would collaborate with and help me formulate the high-performance, all-natural, influencer-coveted skincare line we sell today.
LTP: As a pioneer in this world, how have you seen the landscape change? What technology, ingredient or scientific developments are you most excited about recently?
MM: To me, it was always clear that the world of manmade petrochemicals is a dangerous foreign code, almost like a computer virus, that is lurking and one day may wreck havoc and become our downfall—both from a health and ecology perspective. (The two are, of course, interdependent.) So, while I applaud the movement of “clean” skincare—or the concept of removing the worst offenders like parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives from products—that wasn’t clean enough for me. I believe, since our skin is our largest organ, we should only apply topically what we can ingest without harm. After all, the skin is a semi-permeable membrane, hence the efficacy of nicotine and contraceptive patches. So, since your diet does not include eating plastic and drinking petrol for breakfast, I don’t believe you should feed your skin any petrochemicals—no matter how “safe” they are deemed.
In terms of what’s most interesting, I think going all the way, in terms of purity, should continue to be an important trend. More and more, we’re gaining understanding about super potent natural ingredients that benefit our health such as CBD and terpenes. And there’s progressively more information about how food and skincare impact our microbiome. So, I am less about going ‘back to nature’ because we live in a toxic environment, where we need to be more bionic. My skincare is more of a “nutraceuticals for your skin.” Nature has the answer; science unlocks it. One good example is our “Gemceutical” technology, which uses a beautiful crystal—like malachite—to protect skin from UV-induced free radicals and improve the appearance of skin too. Naturally, I’m also excited about technologies that are non-invasive to help support our skin and bodies. (We currently use a lot of LED lights and a proprietary mild electric current technology in our Sculpting Facials.)
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
MM: Happiness, on a spiritual level, is the concept that we have it all and are it all. In other words, we are happiness and, therefore, do not need to seek it on the outside. This, of course, as a mental concept is not going to make you happy; so, I am on a path (like many spiritual seekers) to tap into that feeling of oneness. Until then, I get glimpses of it—and love and good energy certainly make me feel it more than anything material. There is also the feeling of purpose and being aligned with fulfilling whatever higher calling we each have while being on this planet. I am always happy around kind people, who are also fun. It is like Satsang in the yoga community,—simply the great company of people who believe we can all thrive together.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
MM: “Living the process,” to me, is being inspired about our positive transformation, to get to explore the most meaningful dimension of our experience here. Bringing consciousness and awareness to all aspects of our lives can help us live more fully and with more passion and allows us contribute to the highest good. Empowering women, creating equality, being green and being ethical are values I share with founder, Robyn Berkley, and the Live The Process community.
Photo by Simon Kaempfer