When it comes to skin care, we know South Korea is famed for their 10-step regimen and France embodies the birthplace of beauty’s cool girl. But on an island in the Southwest Pacific famed for incredible diverse, unspoiled scenery in all its expansive natural beauty, New Zealand might easily be the best organic and natural skin care on the market. Touching down in Hong Kong, award-winning New Zealand skincare brand, Antipodes, is out to support the body’s biggest organ – your skin – while leaving a light carbon footprint to make a lasting impression. Below we take a closer look at this cult favorite and talented woman behind it.
Founded in 2006 by Elizabeth Barbalich, Antipodes is grounded in selecting sustainably sourced ingredients that are scientifically and clinically shown to help promote youthful skin. Growing up in a small town over the long grassy plains of Canterbury in South Island, the biology major trained as a clinical sales manager at an American surgical corporation specializing in technology for laparoscopic surgery. After almost a decade, Elizabeth left the company to venture on her own path – starting a family. As she and her husband began leaning toward a natural lifestyle – organic food, raw juices, and non-toxic cleaning products – skincare became an organic extension of a need she wasn’t able to fill. “I couldn’t find any natural skincare that performed as well, or felt as good on my skin, as the conventional brands I was using,” stated the mom of three. “I found the natural brands available at the time isn’t do enough to maximize hydration for my own dry skin.” With that, Antipodes was born.
Combining her science degree and MBA, the Waipukurau native set out to source ingredients from independent certifications of organic and vegetarian products by the largest and best-known certifier for organic produce and products, BioGro New Zealand, and the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom. Choosing only sustainably harvested botanicals to create skincare and makeup at their peak in the lush New Zealand wilderness, Antipodes is committed to results-oriented skincare and anti-aging science. Barbalich created products that feature scientifically-proven ingredients from the onset; in fact, the company successfully applied for a research grant from the New Zealand government to analyze native ingredients. 80% of ingredients are local to New Zealand – a host of plants and fruits like anti-blemish Manuka honey from bees that forage on wild Manuka flowers, Vitamin-C dense kiwi seed oil, and luxurious avocado oil – scientifically shown to stimulate collagen production for youthful, fresh skin. Fun fact: their best-selling product, Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream, is so popular it sells every 15 seconds (!).
Key product lines undergo over a year of research and development before hitting market shelves and their experimental blends are tested on human fibroblast skin cells in a lab where their effects are studied to boost collagen production, elastin and antioxidant activity. As stated on the company’s website, Barbalich explained, “I knew scientific proof of performance would be key in a market starting to fill with natural skincare. How could we stand out from the crowd with so much ‘greenwashed’ marketing? I wanted consumers to be able to see past the hype to the black and white results of our independent, third-party scientific investigations – so they could rely on a scientist’s finding and really trust that Antipodes can work to improve your skin’s appearance.” If the work of scientists isn’t enough to sway you over, how about the likes of celebrities and models, whose careers are built on appearances – the innovative New Zealand green beauty brand has a strong, devoted following by headliners like Cara Delevingne, Cate Blanchett, Elle Macpherson, Sam Smith, and Bianca May Jagger.
Housed in evergreen biodegradable packaging (another fun fact: their product design is meant to mimic forest-designed wallpaper), their products also give off the pleasant scent of the Antipodes region: from a dew-dropped spring morning in the forest to the a secluded bay on a summer’s night. Now widely accessible in our fair city, +852 beauty queens can experience the award-winning organic beauty brand for ourselves. With steadfast conviction to limit harmful effects on the environment, the animals and our skin, the company is devoted to scientifically validated organic beauty – a mantra that rings deep into the ethos of Antipodes.
Available exclusively at select health and beauty retailer, Watsons, with more stores to stock Antipodes in the near future.
All images courtesy of Antipodes.