Whether born and bred flora or simply flourishing here, these extracts excite attention.
What Hops, being extracted for use by Oxygen Skincare, a Nelson region-based company begun by Alana Riley. On a 2012 research trip to Europe, Riley discovered hops were being used as a beauty ingredient and, given that her husband's family farm grows them, the decision quickly followed to use their own produce across lines for adults and teenagers. Key products include Oxygen Women Ultimate Botanical Serum, $53.99, and Oxygen Teen Blemish/Acne Gel, $39.60.
Why Hops are said to work in harmony with skin to aid collagen production and to improve pigmentation, while also having a natural toning effect because of their anti-inflammatory tannins. This two-pronged effect makes them suitable for use on mature and teen skin. They contain alpha acids and up to 15 per cent soft resins, plus around 0.5 per cent essential oils for an added aromatherapeutic benefit.
What Grapes used for Vinanza grape extract by Antipodes, the Wellington-based skincare exporter founded in 2006 by Elizabeth Barbalich. Vinanza is a registered name for an extract from the seeds of sauvignon blanc and pinot noir grapes from Marlborough. It is used across the Antipodes range, including in the Hosanna H20 Skin Plumping Serum, $49.50.
Why Vinanza is said to be especially high in antioxidants because of the sun's power on New Zealand plants doubling polyphenolic levels. Antioxidants are hot property in skincare as a defence mechanism, addressing signs of ageing and helping neutralise free radicals that can damage the skin's surface. Antipodes uses results from clinical trials to support its claims about Vinanza, following an overseas trend where natural skincare makers competing for mainstream customers are adopting similar marketing tactics to those seen in Big Beauty.
What Harakeke seeds used for oil added to Snowberry skincare products. Founder Soraya Hendesi uses 150 ingredients across her range, believing no single one can do all that skin requires. Harakeke is a favourite, however, and comes off her own land. It acts as an emollient in the Bright Defence line of moisturising and skin brightening day creams, $65-$73.
Why Maori applied harakeke's sticky sap or gum to wounds and used it for toothache, with the root juice applied to wounds as a disinfectant. The seed oil is tricky to extract so was apparently not used. Studies show it is high in linoleic acid (an unsaturated Omega 6 fatty acid the body cannot make itself), and in oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid, and that it is a significant source of skin-repairing phytosterols and antioxidants.