Top 10 NZ Body Care Brands
Most of us have at one time or another picked up a product from the grocery store shelf, scanned the ingredients list and frowned. Line after line of hard-to-pronounce ingredients and additives that make your vision swim, and yet all this often leads to is a quick shrug before adding the item to your basket anyway and carrying on with your life.
Words by: Zack Holmes
Photos by: Anna Briggs & Nancy Zhou
But it doesn’t need to be this way! Aotearoa has countless innovative businesses that have set their sights on creating natural, effective body care products without the jargon of the big brand stuff. Make the change today, with our top picks to get you started.
100% natural skincare products made entirely from fruit and vegetables - yes you read that right! Okana Skincare brings new meaning to getting your 5+ A Day, and their playful branding and packaging is equally delicious. Fun, fresh and made in New Zealand, all roads lead to Okana. With fewer ingredients and low-maintenance routines it’s easy to get started, simply order online and have it shipped to your door.
110 a Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
In the heart of Wellington’s iconic Cuba Precinct, Wellington Apothecary is busy doing something a little different. Enchanting aromas wafting from within and the tranquil interior, command the attention of hurried passers-by. This botanical factory really is an alchemist’s delight. Sustainably focused and cruelty free, their teas, tonics and skincare products are created by hand in the shop by qualified naturopaths and herbalists to provide you with simple rituals for daily self-care. Stop by to watch the process in action, try a cup of herbal tea and sample the selection.
27 Boons Valley Road, Waikawa
Nestled among the idyllic Waikawa scenery is a small business doing big things. Founded by sisters Adelle and Deb, Nature Body is focused on making a positive impact on our planet with their range of natural New Zealand self-care products and other home goods. Many of their ingredients are sourced locally from the Marlborough region, and tested on humans to perfect the recipes. Sustainability at its core, Nature Body also offers a refill service and glass packaging buyback scheme. That’s a zero waste approach worth supporting.
Brilliant packaging, bold illustration and damned good soaps, RabbitRabbit might be a funny name but the product line is nothing to laugh about. Pamper yourself via their range of natural soaps with unique fragrances that refresh your mind and body, or indulge in their customer-favourite room mist to transform the ambience of any space. There’s also the stunning handcrafted porcelain soap dishes by Virginia Mitford-Taylor, and a naked soap subscription service for packaging-free soaps delivered to your door at a discounted rate.
Simply beautiful is the meaning behind So.Ah, a body care product company that emphasises quality, simplicity and ethical production. Founder Garam has long held an interest in natural health and beauty products, which led her to start making high-quality soy candles and eventually develop the line of skincare products. Every batch is carefully crafted at So.Ah’s Kaipara Harbour studio, and they are proud to be a vegan, cruelty free, palm oil free company.
211 Queen Street East, Hastings
Real World products look real good. And they are good for you too! The sleek packaging will catch your eye but it’s what’s inside that is bound to capture your heart. Made by founders Adam and Nicola in small batches at their Hastings factory, they blend New Zealand native ingredients chosen for their unique healing and soothing properties, to create products that nourish your home and body. Real World started with a humble hand cream but has now grown to include soaps, sanitisers, salts and even shampoo for the family dog.
Oils, exfoliants, balms and hydrators - try not reading that to the tune of The Sound of Music’s “My Favourite Things”. That’s not a rewrite of a classic, but the keywords I plugged into Google when researching this article. As it turns out, Maryse has them all, and some. The eponymous founder has a facialist background which led her down the path of creating beautiful skincare products with a natural bent. Recognising the benefits of using botanically active formulations, Maryse took this knowledge to the purpose-built blend studio and began producing what has now become a substantial body care range that you’ll be proud to display.
401 Princes Street, Dunedin
Sustainably harvested from the rugged Dunedin coast to the mountains of Central Otago, the wild and native herbs used in Wild Dispensary’s products are carefully selected to make up their range of oils, tonics and elixirs. Formulated by a certified medical herbalist and naturopath, they harness the power of nature to deliver a selection of products designed in the name of good health and wellbeing. Add to that a bottle reuse scheme, Living Wage Certification and their support of the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital, and you can be sure this is a Kiwi business worth supporting.
Antipodes CEO and Founder Elizabeth Barbalich has done something few manage to achieve, creating an award-winning green beauty brand recognised globally yet still created right here in Aotearoa. The company's cutting-edge approach extends from its headquarters to the products themselves, using clean New Zealand ingredients to create skincare that’s good for your skin and the planet. Antipodes takes its environmentally friendly ethos further by pioneering a path toward plastic-free packaging and complete traceability. Their art deco premises in the heart of Wellington is the recipient of two NZIA awards and serves as a beautifully fitting space for a business with passion at the heart of what they do. It’s always a good time to explore nature with Antipodes.
Beginning back in 2012 in founder Brianne’s kitchen, Ethique took the world by storm with their unique take on skincare in the form of solid beauty bars. Following a couple of successful crowdfunding campaigns and an international launch in 2016, they even had A-list celebs touting their range, while travellers loved the no-fuss shampoo for its packability. On a mission to put a shampoo bar in every shower, the company has grown to become a leader in their category, expanding the range to include skincare and other products for your home and pets. Add to that the fact they’re NZ’s highest scoring BCorp, and you’ve got plenty of reasons to check them out.
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