BEAUTY KNOWHOW: New Zealand skincare, a real force of nature

Famed for its clean, pure ingredients, New Zealand’s skincare is in the spotlight.

With the recent arrival in the UK of Emma Lewisham – a leading natural skincare brand from New Zealand with hard-working formulas – it seems like a good time to take a closer look at NZ beauty and what sets it apart. Some of my favourite ranges hail from this island country and they all share a certain natural ethos.

exfoliant‘The low levels of water in our products are sourced from home – New Zealand’s water quality is almost unparalleled globally and is highly purified,’ says Emma of her brand. But the country is a rich source of other ingredients, too. ‘We incorporate local elements such as salix alba (willow) bark extract and hibiscus sabdariffa (hibiscus) flower extract,’ she continues. Both of these are natural exfoliants and are included in one of my favourites from her collection: Illuminating Exfoliant with AHA & 24 Hour Hydration (£46, emmalewisham.com) is effective but kind on the skin and leaves a glowing complexion.

However, Emma does point out that not all of her range’s powerhouse ingredients are homegrown: ‘We prioritise science and we’re relentless in our pursuit of science-backed ingredients from around the world,’ she says.

aqua hydrating masqueSyrene is a skincare brand with a focus on marine ingredients. Co-founder Karen Yang explains: ‘New Zealand legislation supports a natural approach and promotes high environmental standards, meaning its beauty brands are eco-conscious by default. If you’re after a routine that’s effective and sustainably minded, Syrene ticks the boxes. Many of the skin-health-enhancing ingredients are sourced locally and include native botanicals such as kawakawa, black fern, pohutukawa and manuka honey.’ Black fern and manuka honey feature in its effective Aqua Hydrating Masque (£70, syreneskincare.co.uk).

kiwi seed oil eye creamIt’s a similar story at Antipodes where founder Elizabeth Barbalich emphasises that, ‘New Zealand is known the world over as clean, green and unspoilt. Breathtaking natural landscapes, clean air and water, lush and healthy native forest – nature is at her best here and she bestows our range with high-quality ingredients. We pride ourselves on using only 100 per cent natural, pollution-free, results-driven formulas sourced from sustainable suppliers.’ Antipodes bestsellers include its cult Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream (£32), Aura Manuka Honey Mask (£27) and Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream (£35, uk.antipodesnature.com).

rosehip oilAnd, of course, there’s also Trilogy – New Zealand’s number-one natural pharmacy skincare brand. It sells a bottle of its well-known Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (£19.50) every 20 seconds; it’s great for fine lines and dehydration and is said to help reduce the look of scars and stretchmarks, too. I’m also a fan of its Vitamin C Booster Treatment (£29.50, trilogyproducts.co.uk) for helping to brighten and even skin tone.

Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson