Antipodes founder Elizabeth Barbalich reveals her beauty must-haves and how to make the switch to organic skincare

Antipodes founder Elizabeth Barbalich reveals her beauty must-haves and how to make the switch to organic skincare

Green Beauty 101

Text: Sinead Lee

Editor: Jolene Khor

Have you ever dipped your toes into organic skincare that promises hope in a bottle, only to be frustrated at its lacklustre results? Elizabeth Barbalich, the founder of Antipodes has, again and again, prior to founding her own avant-garde (and certified vegan) beauty brand more than a decade ago. "The natural brands available at the time didn't do enough to maximise hydration for my own dry skin," she told Buro.

When you're on the eco-chic bandwagon and actively seeking quality organic skincare that makes going green a breeze, finding your ride or die seems a tall order. But with recyclable packaging and vegetable ink for printing and sourcing natural ingredients that don't impact on fragile ecosystems, Antipodes appears to be a winner in the green beauty landscape.

Curious in the uncovering of how this polymath runs her New Zealand company that commits to an eco-beauty ethos  which has also found favour with passionate devotees including actress Evangeline Lilly and model Georgia May Jagger  we speak to Barbalich, our new beauty BFF.

antipodes singapore

Why the name 'Antipodes'?
'Antipodes' refers to the Southern Hemisphere of New Zealand and Australia. We are, of course, a New Zealand beauty brand, and I also love the word's connotations of exploration and discovery, as innovation is key to our skincare.

Who are the Antipodes customers? Are the brand's natural formulations suitable for everyone?
We've designed our skincare and makeup for eco-conscious world citizens. So the Antipodes® woman is sophisticated, smart and is a typical LOHAS, that is, she follows a 'Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability'. She values high-performance skincare that is ethically produced.

What are your top three must-haves?
I'm currently in love with our new vegan Halo Skin-Brightening Facial Mud Mask which has been incredibly well-received globally. 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.  

Another favourite is our Grapeseed Butter Cleanser, which is ideally used at night and has the ability to quickly diminish acne and bring calm to red and sensitive skins, while also providing nourishment and refinement to more mature skins.

And finally, I love to indulge in some at-home beauty treatments — doing my nails and applying our Aura Manuka Honey Mask which is luxuriously hydrating and helps to keep skin super smooth.

What advice do you have for people who are making the switch to natural and organic skincare formulas?
Firstly, I'd say congratulations! Your face and body — and the planet — will love you for eliminating toxins and switching to natural, organic products. My advice would be to first try products to see how they feel on your skin and read ingredient labels.

How do consumers protect themselves from 'greenwashing' practices in the beauty industry?
I've heard the saying that if you can't eat a product, you shouldn't wear it. That's why our moisture-boost lipsticks are so good, you could almost eat them!