Going green or seeking organic, natural, environmentally-friendly products is officially out of fashion. Meaning it is no longer a fashion trend, it’s here for good. It’s here for the better. Those who took this ethos on board years ago are reaping the rewards of their desire to do good. Elizabeth Barbalich is one of those who foresaw the potential in organic goods. What makes her particularly unique is her highly-educated science background that meant she was better placed to break the myth that natural products aren’t as effective as they’re synthetic counterparts. This is why Antipodes products are amongst some of our personal favourites – you feel good about them and they simply work! Now, adding this vegan certification only grows our love for our kiwi cousins beauty goodies. Our crush has a particular focus on Antipodes owner, Elizabeth – an inspiration across so many fields for so many women, we asked her a few questions about the brand and what it means to be vegan.
Can you please tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be producing beauty products?
The youngest child of a preacher father and a teacher mother, I was born in a small town in the beautiful Canterbury Plans in the South Island of New Zealand and now live where Antipodes has its HQ, in New Zealand’s cool, creative capital of Wellington.
I gained a science degree in biology from the University of Canterbury before later embarking on an MBA from the University of Auckland and after graduating won a position with a United States surgical corporation that pioneered the technology for laparoscopic surgery.
To launch Antipodes more than a decade ago, I drew heavily on my background in science, and my innovative approach to always trying to make things better.
What makes New Zealand ingredients so special?
Fertile soil, clear air, high sunshine hours and clean rainfall. These superior growing conditions give us bountiful premium natural ingredients from which we create our nutrient-rich skincare and makeup:
* Sustainably harvested botanical bioactives from plants and trees in the lush New Zealand wilderness, with potent skin-enhancing properties that have evolved in splendid isolation over millions of years.
* Nutrient-dense natural ingredients from world-class New Zealand producers: Vitamin C-rich kiwi seed oil, world-famous antibacterial manuka honey from bees that forage on wild manuka flowers, and nutrient-rich avocado oil.
These are just the start of a cache of ingredients from New Zealand nature that deliver a powerhouse of antioxidants and nutrients to your skin.
Image courtesy of Antipodes
There are so many claims out there from different brands. Is there one group or body who can confirm vegan, vegetarian or organic certification? Who can we trust?!
Antipodes’ natural skincare and makeup is approved by the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom, the oldest and most respected vegetarian organisation in the world.
Also known as VegSoc, it audits every Antipodes product line annually to meet its strict criteria for approved vegetarian and vegan status.
These checks offer you independent verification that all our products and their ingredients are free from animal ingredients and genetically modified organisms, and that there is no cross-contamination during the production process.
The only animal by-products we use are sustainable ingredients from lovingly-kept bees.
With regards to our organic certification, which means products containing ingredients grown without chemical pesticides or fertilisers, we use BioGro. This organisation is New Zealand and the Pacific’s largest and best-known certifier for organic produce and products. It is internationally recognised and accredited, giving you independent assurance that you are getting genuinely green skincare.
Not only are our individual ingredients as well as whole product formulations audited, but also our entire production cycle from orchard or field to New Zealand manufacturing plant.
This ensures you of the full traceability of all our certified organic and natural skincare ingredients, and that they are from environmentally sustainable and trustworthy sources.
Is it more important to consider using natural products as we age?
These days it is possible to find natural products to suit any age group and skin condition. It’s probably more to do with increased awareness of what we are putting on our skin and in our bodies. We would advocate using natural products at any age.
Do you have a hero product?
At the moment we are in love with our Halo Skin-Brightening Facial Mud Mask which went onto the market in April 2018 and has been incredibly well-received globally. A high-performance detox for a luminous complexion, Halo features mineral-rich volcanic mud from geothermal areas of New Zealand which binds to the oils in the skin, drawing out impurities as it is washed off.
Can you tell us about the journey to get to vegan certification?
VegSoc only launched its vegan trademark last March and recognising the increasing demand for vegan products we quickly registered our applicable products which are those without ingredients from bees such as honey and beeswax. A year later we were able to launch our first officially vegan product which was the Halo Skin-Brightening Facial Mud Mask. We have a total of 23 vegan products in our range.
Image courtesy of Antipodes
We read that your lipsticks are almost edible! Can you briefly compare the difference between the most common lipstick brand nasties vs Antipodes?
The main ingredient consumers need to watch out for when it comes to lipsticks is petrochemicals which are used as an emollient. When a woman consumes an average of 3kg of lipstick during her lifetime, these chemicals are not something you want to go into your body.
Our vegetarian Moisture-Boost Natural Lipsticks actually moisturise as you wear them because of the pure plant oils they contain from avocado, calendula, evening primrose and Argan nut. Deeply hydrating, they also contain antibacterial beeswax, moisturising shea butter and jojoba oil, and even extra Vitamin E for extra lip nourishment.
All of our lipstick ingredients are from natural origin, with only low levels of FDA-approved colour pigments added for vibrancy making them both beautiful to wear as well as healthy.
Also love ethically sourched fashion? Read about a new Aussie favourite of ours.