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Science for Skin


Given the chance to rummage through the bathroom cabinets of international celebrities like Sam Smith, Cara Delevingne, Georgia May Jagger and Elle Macpherson , you’ll spot the green labels of Antipodes.



Despite the fact that this green beauty brand is now sold in more than 20 countries and continues to win multiple beauty and health industry awards for performance, the Antipodes story began right here in Canterbury where she grew up.

Armed with a University of Canterbury science degree she wasn’t sure what to do with, Elizabeth headed off to New York, before taking on a gig teaching Australasian surgeons how to use ground-breaking laparoscopic equipment. But it was the difficulty finding a natural product range that would work for her own dry and sensitive skin that resulted in the launch of Antipodes in Elizabeth’s kitchen.

Metropol catches up with Antipodes company director and founder Elizabeth Barbalich about the science of skincare.

What attracted you to the beauty products industry?
I saw a need in the market for a cool, avant garde, niche brand that elevated natural skincare to the next level. In my invitation to women to make a positive health choice by converting to natural skincare from their conventional brand, I wanted to offer them the familiarity of similar textures and levels of hydration.

I found the natural brands available at the time didn’t do enough to maximise hydration for my own dry skin. The natural brands that I’d experienced simply weren’t hydrating enough. So I invested a lot of time and care in replicating a velvety texture.

But I also wanted to offer them the courage of my convictions. 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 findings and really trust that Antipodes can work to improve your skin’s appearance.

The key to the brand’s success is our devotees around the world. Any number of people might try a brand after being attracted to something that may appeal like its packaging. But you will only buy a brand again and stay loyal to it if you find that it’s skincare that performs for you. The anecdotal support and testimonials we receive every day, as well as the huge results we get on our scientific and clinical testing, spurs us on.

How big is the company now?
We have just over 40 staff, but we are constantly expanding so that number will rise. Some staff are based in our key markets – Australia and the United Kingdom – and we’ll soon be bringing on board a business development specialist in Japan.

The company was the forerunner of the vegan beauty boom. Why was this such an important consideration for you?
I’m vegan, so this is a cause close to my heart. I looked at trends in natural healthcare and lifestyle and I saw that vegan skincare was going to be big, so I got to work to make sure we could give consumers what they wanted – certified vegan products.

Our vegan and vegetarian products are all certified by the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom, the oldest and most respected vegetarian organisation in the world.

It’s great to see more people embrace the vegan lifestyle and more brands catering to them. This lifestyle is wonderful for health and wellbeing – my diet helps give me the energy to keep up with my demanding schedule.

How does your daily beauty regime look?
Always start with perfectly clean skin. Grapeseed Butter Cleanser followed by Hallelujah Lime & Patchouli Cleanser gives a great double cleanse and doesn’t dry or irritate my sensitive skin. I follow that with Divine Face Oil Rosehip & Avocado Oil, then Kiwi Seed Gold Luminous Eye Cream and Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream. My look is finished with Skin-Brightening Mineral Foundation and Moisture-Boost Natural Lipstick in Dusky Sound Pink.

What should we be thinking about in terms of skincare as we head into summer?
Refresh your skin before summer begins. Reincarnation Pure Facial Polish & Exfoliator removes lifeless skin while replenishing vital nutrients. With a creamy, moisturising base of antioxidant-rich avocado and jojoba bean oils, combined with calendula and carrot seed extract, it reveals clear and revitalised facial skin.

Next, sun protection. Immortal SPF 15 Skin-Brightening Face and Body Moisturiser is a natural alternative to chemical sunscreens. It can allow you sun exposure of up to 15 times your normal burn time, utilising the natural sun care of raspberry seed oil.

Finally, pollution protection. As we’re travelling and going outside more when the weather is warmer, our exposure to harmful pollutants increases. Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum provides a daily natural barrier against pollution particles and is scientifically shown* to inhibit oxidative stress in-vitro by up to 52 percent.

Finally, restore your skin after exposure to the elements with Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream. Native New Zealand manuka honey draws moisture to your skin to help bring a truly ageless visage.

Revolutionary Vinanza Grape is a potent antioxidant extract from Marlborough sauvignon blanc grape seeds to help neutralise the effects of free radical damage that can lead to premature ageing.

It’s also scientifically shown to stimulate synthesis of collagen production in human cells by up to 92 percent**.

What do the next 12 months have in store for you?
We have some ambitious plans in place – new markets, new products and new projects. We’re working from a brand new premises in Ghuznee Street in Wellington, which means our team can gather and collaborate much more easily.

Our newly refurbished, heritage building gives us everything we need to put our big ideas into action – plenty of natural light, a skin lab for training and discovery, spaces for innovation, a living wall of plants for pure air, and a beautifully designed kitchen and bar in the basement, where the entire staff gathers to enjoy vegan lunches together.


*Trinity Bioactives: In-vitro Investigation into the Antioxidant Effects (Production of Superoxide) of Test Products at 0.10% by Activated Macrophage Cells After One-Hour Exposure. March 2018

** Trinity Bioactives: Independent Blind Study In-Vitro Scientific Investigation into the Effects of Antipodes Products on the Production of Type I Collagen in Human Skin Fibroblast Cells in Culture, Concentrations Between 0.02 and 0.200 mg/ml, 48 hours (2009)



Time to replenish

We love summer… I mean, what’s not to love, right?



While summer is the season to kick back, relax and enjoy the outdoors, it’s not time to slack on your skincare routine.

Even on the overcast Kiwi days, UV rays are harmful, but when you’re spending long days languishing on the beach or at the park, it’s particularly pertinent. Here’s our top tips.


  1. Pucker up: Skincare may be hot on your agenda, but lips also need some summer loving. Look for lipgloss that provides moisture with SPF.
  2. Slough it away: This is the time of year to step up your exfoliation routine; follow it up with a great moisturising routine and you’re away laughing.
  3. Don’t scrimp on the scalp: Hair may provide some protection, but sensitive scalps can still get burned. Use sunscreen along your hair line and where your hair parts.
  4. Rinse and repeat: Take a few extra showers, especially after sweating. The added benefit to hydration is that it will keep your skin clear.
  5. Get hatty: This is the best excuse to pull that wide rimmed hat out of the closet for full protection.
  6. Misty days: If you stash a bottle of face mist in your beach bag, you can soothe and hydrate your skin at the same time as getting a cool down.







Summer Skincare

Just as we modify our wardrobe for lighter clothing in summer, the same applies for our skincare regime due to the heat and humidity. We caught up with Natural Zest Skincare’s Amanda Grindrod about her top five tips for looking after your skin this summer.


Amanda Grindrod


  1. A no-brainer: use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF30 or above and remember to reapply.
  2. Review your makeup collection; is it non-comedogenic? (A product which is made without ingredients which clog your pores.)
  3. Use more lightweight products – consider swapping heavy cream cleansers for a lighter foaming cleanser, like Natural Zest’s Bearberry Leaf Foaming Cleanser.
  4. Freshen skin with a toner – be sure to choose water-based toners, such as Natural Zest’s Sweet Orange & Neroli Facial Toner, rather than ones containing alcohol as these can dry the skin.
  5. Protect your skin from the harsh rays; stay in the shade, and wear a hat and sunglasses!




Natural luxury: Botanical Skincare

Luxury is anything that feels special. Luxury is attention to detail, originality and, above all, quality. A little luxury can be yours every day with the skin, beauty and bath range from Botanical Skincare in Nelson.



Botanical Skincare is created by Amy Burke, whose passion for the therapeutic and sensual properties of plants led her to develop her range made from the natural ingredients and botanical plant extracts that you will find in a classic country garden. “I grew up working with my grandmother, who had a traditional meadow, cottage and herb garden in the Orinoco Valley in Nelson,” Amy says.

“As children, we would help her with the gardens and with serving the Devonshire teas in the café. Surrounded by her medicinal plants and home remedies, she shared her knowledge of the properties of each plant. I guess it’s in my DNA.”

Beautiful form meets natural function, with scents such as rose, chamomile, orange blossom, geranium and mint all beautifully presented in in eco-friendly packaging. From hand creams to facial oils, lip balms to bath bombs, the emphasis is on naturally derived ingredients, free from parabens, sulphates, silicons, mineral or palm oil, and animal testing. The products feel like an indulgent treat, but are priced to be used every day.

“Our products work, they feel good and you feel great about using them too,” Amy says.

Uniquely packaged in Amy’s hand-sewn custom-printed paper and in beautiful craft papers, the bath bombs and foot soaks are popular for gifting and in hampers. See



Stronger & healthier skin: H&B

H&B is now offering Medical Dermal Needling in salon today! Dermal needling serves two main functions; firstly, it stimulates epidermal growth to provide stronger and healthier skin, secondly, it stimulates the production of collagen, making skin tighter and firmer.



Dermal needling uses a specialised instrument that contains incredibly fine medical needles to create micro punctures on the skin’s surface layer. This triggers the skin’s natural collagen production and restorative processes. The treatment is minimally invasive, however it has been found safer than some other skin treatments such as chemical peels, laser treatments, etc. If you have scars, stretch marks, fine lines and wrinkles or want to give your skin some firming, dermal needling could be for you!

Dermal needling can help to stimulate collagen, increase skin elasticity, soften fine lines and reduce the appearance of scarring, pigmentation and sun damage. It also allows treatment products to be better absorbed by the skin. As every client is different, H&B does require you to have a quick consultation with one of their amazing beauticians beforehand, as they can tailor a treatment plan to your skin needs.

Contact H&B on 03 381 8939, email or visit, or pop into the salon at 96 Cranford Street.



Crushing on Vitamin C

Vitamin C’s the hottest thing to hit skincare since sliced bread. We’ve got a big dose of everything you need to know about this antioxidant and why we’re crushing on it right now.



As the new ‘it’ ingredient in skincare, Vitamin C has been adding muscle to our beauty regime over recent years with its antioxidant super powers. We up the vitamin internally in the winter, so externally, it’s logical to utilise the superhero’s properties to help fight those unavoidable free radicals in the environment – these arch enemies of our skin.

Winter especially ravishes our faces with free radicals such as pollution, and the drying effects of cold winds and moisture-zapping home heating. We need plenty of collagen in our skin and neutralising antioxidants to be able to fight back – Vitamin C does both.

The vitamin’s role in collagen is essential. It is the structural protein our bodies need to create the connective tissues for our entire body. This building-block protein plumps skin with firm elasticity and luminosity. Collagen synthesis sadly decreases with age in our bodies, so the more help we can get from both inside and out to infuse the powerful C into the skin’s structural matrix, the better.  By incorporating the vitamin in a form that is readily bioavailable to our skin, quality beauty products can now help heal, nourish and protect from the outside.

And the science does stack up quite nicely. From serums to creams, the new age in skincare claims, in many cases, to help prevent and even reverse signs of aging such as wrinkles and age spots. Vitamin C as an antioxidant helps regulate skin tone. In a multitude of game-changing new products, it works in effective synergy with other antioxidant skin savers. Packaging and storage is also important to protect the vitamin’s effectiveness from light, heat and air.

Yet another little trick up its beauty sleeve, Vitamin C neutralises chlorine, which can dry the skin. So for a bath that doesn’t smell like a swimming pool, add around 1000mg of Vitamin C in powder or effervescent tablet form to counteract chlorine tap water.  It’s really a wonder that Vitamin C only comes third in the alphabet – but it comes first in our toiletry bags this winter.



Head-turning deals: V for Hair and Beauty Merivale

As the temperatures start their downward descent, it’s the ultimate opportunity to give your skin some love because, for all the upcoming seasonal highlights, the downside of the cooler temperatures is the drying effect they have on our skin.



A 60-minute Exfoliation and Hydration Facial with a Dilo Oil infusion with the experts at V for Hair and Beauty Merivale, can not only keep your skin in tip-top condition, but with a double cleanse, double steam exfoliation, prescribed face mask to infuse and plump the skin, Dilo infusion massage, it’s also just bliss!

The Exfoliation and Hydration Facial is just one of the ‘Hot Deals’ you’ll find at, where the hottest hair, beauty and barber deals are regularly updated. Perhaps you’re ready to embrace winter with a ‘cool’ new colour palette or you’re yearning for some warmth – either way, this talented team can create a head-turning new look just for you. After all, they don’t just do hair, they do beautiful.



Winter skin

You know how your grandma said to take care of your possessions so they last a lifetime? Well your skin is no different. For all of winter’s seasonal highlights – hitting the slopes, snuggling by the fire, chunky knit throws and spiced mulled wine – the downside is the drying effect it has on our skin. So, while winter is the time to update your wardrobe, it’s also the time to update your skincare regime. We’ve pulled together some top tips for looking after your skin throughout the cool months of winter.



1. Our skin is the barrier that keeps water inside of our bodies. When it is dry and cold, that water is able to evaporate off the surface faster and easier. So throwing back an extra glass or two of water each day over the cooler months can help restore the moisture in your skin.

2. It may seem like common sense, but moisturising is the first step to keeping skin hydrated throughout winter. So invest in the best. This is one time when quality really does trump quantity. Body oils are also a great option, as they can create a barrier before having a warm bath to prevent skin from drying out.

3. While it’s tempting to get home on a cold day and jump into a hot shower, taking hot showers and not immediately moisturising after can result in small cracks in the surface of the skin which expose the skin nerves to air, creating what’s known as ‘winter’s itch’; dry, itchy and irritated skin that can feel like eczema. If you do have a hot shower, lather on the moisturiser while the room is still nice and steamy.

4. This is one time of the year when it’s OK to chill on the exfoliation routine. Too much exfoliating during the winter months when it is cold and dry can compromise your skin’s barrier.

5. Cleanse gently. Harsh cleansers can strip away natural oils, leaving your skin exposed. Cream-based cleansers, preferably with moisturising attributes, will remove the day’s dirt and makeup while keeping the moisture in.

6. Slapping on sunscreen in winter may seem like the last thing on your mind, but sunscreen is just as important during winter to protect skin from those harmful UV rays – especially in New Zealand. Opt for a sunscreen with at least SPF30 and if you’re heading up the slopes, make sure you reapply every two hours – or immediately after heavily sweating.


Naturally beautiful: Natural Zest Skincare

Most of us would love to tread more lightly on this earth, reduce waste and pesticide use while supporting local, ethically sourced and organic products, but time is the great limiter – time to shop around, time to research, time to experiment.



When it comes to choosing skincare, Christchurch local Amanda Grindrod makes it easy. Her online range – Natural Zest Skincare – is all natural, made in accordance with cosmetic regulations following ‘Good Manufacturing Practice’. Made from organic ingredients where possible, they are sustainably and ethically sourced and cruelty free, and the packaging (apart from lids) is recyclable and glass, rather than plastic.

There are five moisturisers, a revitalising facial oil that improves elasticity, a foaming cleanser, a toner, and a facial scrub is in the making. The products are affordably priced and handmade in small batches. Unlike in most products the first ingredient is not water but flower water – the end product of the distillation of making essential oils, meaning that 100 percent of each product is therapeutically beneficial.

The scent of the natural oils used, such as manuka, sweet orange blossom and ylang ylang, have proved irresistible, and “positive feedback about the brand through word of mouth from existing customers has created steady growth for the business,” Amanda says. A practicing nurse with Diplomas in Aromatherapy, Organic Skincare Formulation, and working towards a Certificate in Herbal Medicine, Amanda loves the process, “starting from the beginning with the basics, to create something beautiful, natural and beneficial”.

Spend $80 or more in June and receive a free travel-sized moisturiser. Visit to contact Amanda for guidance on the products best suited to your skin.


Love the skin you’re in: Bespoke Cosmetic

Bespoke Cosmetic owner Nicky Blue has had a fascinating career, touring with some of the biggest names in music as a wardrobe mistress.



Watching makeup artists work their magic built the foundation for a love of makeup and great skin that has proved a common theme throughout her career and she worked locally as a makeup artist on commercial photo shoots before retraining in cosmetic tattoo and skin needling.

For Nicky, it’s about so much more than making women look good; it’s equally about making them feel good. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing women, but what I’ve found is that no matter how extraordinary these women are, we’re all the same; we all have the same concerns and worries,” she says.

“Everyone I’ve ever met, it doesn’t matter how much money or fame they’ve accomplished, they’re still searching for the comfort that comes with looking and feeling good.” An important part of the business for Nicky is the supply of Cane + Austin products, developed by board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist, Dr. Craig Austin; a range that she passionately believes in.

“It’s a range that women can understand, use and get results from,” Nicky says. “Women want skincare to be simple and straightforward or we don’t do it. These products slip into existing regimes nicely.”

She is also the New Zealand distributor of Freedom natural deodorant and stocks her favourites from the Youngblood makeup range, providing simple lessons in makeup. “It’s a satisfying mix of creative work, sales, marketing and distribution, while getting to meet wonderful people.”