The Kiwi beauty brands that you need to know

Looking to support homegrown Kiwi beauty brands? We’ve rounded up a handful of our favourite Kiwi beauty houses that will help you transform your skin this season. 


There’s a common belief in the beauty world that natural-based beauty brands tend to forgo real skin results in favour of green ingredients. Snowberry, however, combines the best of both worlds to create efficacious skincare that caters to your unique complexion needs. Science, nature and sustainability are at the heart of this much-loved homegrown brand and many key ingredients are grown and sourced locally at the Snowberry Gardens in Wellsford. Snowberry proves that serious skincare lovers that are passionate about caring for the planet don’t have to sacrifice results.

Try: Cleansing is the first step in every great skincare routine and Snowberry’s Instant Deep Cleansing Oil  (shop it here) uses a handful of nourishing botanicals to cleanse and care for skin at the same time. Lingonberry oil, macadamia oil and Harakeke seed oil work to remove make-up and impurities while deeply hydrating skin.

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Christchurch-born Ethique is another homegrown brand that is taking a sustainability-first approach to beauty. Founder Brianne West came up with the idea for Ethique when she became dismayed by the amount of plastic waste created by haircare. The qualified biologist took matters into her own hands, manufacturing an entirely ‘solid’ product range that is all packaged up in biodegradable and compostable packaging – to date, Ethique has prevented over 6 million plastic bottles being made and disposed of. Today the Ethique range consists of everything from shampoo through to face serums, deodorants and even shampoo for your pooch.

Try: The Ethique range has a plethora of products that you never knew could be quite so environmentally minded. Start by trying one of Ethique’s solid shampoo – there are various options that cater to unique hair types – or try one of their bestsellers: the Botanica Lavender and Vanilla Solid Deodorant (shop it here) is a MiNDFOOD favourite. 

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Founder of Aleph, Emma Peters, knows a thing or two about beauty. With 20 years’ of experience as a make-up artist behind her, Peters founded Aleph when she couldn’t find a make-up brand that aligned with her beauty philosophy – that beauty shouldn’t mean sacrificing health or the health of the planet. With that thought in mind, Peters launched her sustainable, cruelty-free brand which harnesses the power of clean ingredients.

Try: Aleph’s multi-tasking Cheek/Lip Tint (shop it here) is a handbag essential. Available in four easy-to-wear shades, the clever vegan formula can be applied with fingers to add warmth to your complexion and a pop of beautiful colour to your lips.


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Emma Lewisham

When Emma Lewisham discovered that a skincare product she used to combat uneven skin tone was formulated with questionable ingredients she decided to delve further and soon discovered that clean yet effective beauty was hard to come by. After failing to find the products that met her needs while being environmentally friendly and safe to use, Lewisham launcher her own product – the Skin Reset Serum. Not long after, Lewisham’s effective serum scooped up a Think Dirty Award for the clean, green formulation.

Try: There are now a handful of skincare products in the Emma Lewisham collection but we recommend starting with the award-winning Skin Reset Serum (shop here). The clever formulation is perfect for pigmentation-plagued skin and contains a powerful blend of plant stem cells, omegas, amino acids and vitamins that work to restore clarity and radiance to skin.

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George & Edi

Lighting a beautifully scented candle is one of the quickest ways to transform your home into a relaxing space. It’s nice to be able to indulge in a candle or two while knowing you’re supporting a local business too – there’s a duo of sisters behind the much-loved Wanaka-based brand George & Edi. Sisters Sarah and Rose craft delightfully scented soy candles, diffusers, rooms sprays, hand creams and creme perfumes that are sure to uplift the senses.
Try: George & Edi has a variety of scents to suit all tastes and occasions. Floral lovers should try the Peony scent (get it here) or if you’re more fond of oriental, woody fragrances, opt for Havana (shop it here).

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Everything you need to know about using Retinol

Vitamin A, or retinol – a derivative of vitamin A – has long been touted as the hero of the. But even with its well-known youth-restoring properties, there’s still a lot of confusion as to why we should be using it and how we use vitamin A skincare to see the best results. For anyone who wants healthy, resilient skin the why, according to experts, is compelling. “Retinol helps with overall textural and tone improvement, and it can be beneficial for numerous different signs of ageing. It helps with cell turnover, making skin look more youthful,” explains New York-based Dr. Dendy Engelman, Elizabeth Arden consulting dermatologist and cosmetic and skin cancer surgeon. “It also helps to support skin’s natural collagen and elastin, thus improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” she explains.

How to Use Vitamin A Skincare

As for how to use retinol-based skincare, that’s when things can become a little more complicated explains Dr. Ellen Selkon, appearance medicine expert at Clinic 42. “There’s some debate about when to begin using retinol, however, prevention is key, the sooner you can start on retinol the better,” Selkon explains. While retinol is sometimes used to treat acne in teenagers most clients, Selkon believes the early to late twenties is the best time to start using retinol. “It should really be part of everyone’s nighttime routine,” she adds.  The earlier you start working on something – the earlier you will see results.

If you’ve ever used retinol and have been put off by redness, flakiness or sensitivity, Selkon explains that it’s not an allergy or intolerance but you could be using too much product or strength your skin isn’t quite ready for. Dr. Des Fernandes, founder and scientific director of Environ agrees and says although retinol is a highly effective molecule when it comes to skin health, it is also rather aggressive. “When one does not have enough retinoid receptors, retinoid reactions can be induced at even low does,” he explains. “The reality is that when one applies retinol to the surface of the skin it enters the skin as retinol and irritates the outer membranes of the cell if there are not enough retinoid receptors.”

Work Vitamin A Skincare into Your Routine Slowly 

As a precautionary measure, Fernandes recommends building up your tolerance slowly by using “softer” versions of vitamin A, that are still effective but won’t irritate the skin so much  which is why Environ have developed their unique STEP-UPTM SYSTEM to allow the skin to gradually adapt to increasing levels of vitamin A.  Less is more when starting out,” says Selkon. “Depending on strength you will want to start out using it every second to third night and then build up to every night after a few weeks.” Regular appointments with your skin therapist will ensure you’re getting the most out of your skincare routine explains Selkon. “Your strength of Retinol should be increased from time to time according to what you can tolerate and your age to keep receiving the maximum benefit.”

The Best Vitamin A Skincare Products

Vitamin A isn’t the only ingredient you should be including in your skincare routine. Find out why you need to be using Vitamin C on your skin here.