New Zealand- Ingredient Focus

Introducing the ‘Secret Life Of…’ our employees will by sharing little snippets from their lives. First off it’s Colin from Creative talking about his recent trip to New Zealand- which happens to be the home of a hot trend in the cosmetics industry for Spring 2019 ‘Ingredients from Australasia’. So Colin went on a little field trip for us.

Three weeks in the Land of the Long White Cloud

Aotearoa – the land of the long white cloud, aka New Zealand. Existing on a geothermal platform of volatility, which has recently been responsible for the loss of structural and human life.

New Zealand has 9,300 miles of coastline which border the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. It is home to people who are fiercely protective of its environment. This was evident on arrival, as the queue to get through customs was longer than the one at passport control. Strict rules apply as to what can be brought into the country and even such things as footwear are checked for cleanliness.

(Forest with Kauri trees- boots disinfected before entry was allowed| Maori kiwi illustration| geothermal mud pond)

The Kauri tree is currently under attack from a rogue spore and is in danger. Great care is being taken to protect them throughout the country. Special cleaning booths have been erected at entrances to forests, so boots can disinfected before entering.

Farming is huge, New Zealanders are very connected with their land. Irrigation systems are everywhere making sure cattle, sheep, vegetables and fruit production (including wine), are supported through the summer months where rainfall may not be enough. Irrigation reflects the quality, diversity and price, particularly of fruit and vegetables.

The hemp industry has become more popular, with regulations easing up surrounding the sale of hemp products, more New Zealand farmers are diversifying their crops and ditching dairy for hemp.

Hempseed Oil

Hempseed oil is made by cold-pressing hemp seeds and unlike cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is an extract of the cannabis plant and utilises hemp flowers and leaves for its production.

Hemp seed oil produced for skin care doesn’t contain any THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component.

Hemp oil is perfect for most skin types as it can moisturise without clogging your pores. It can even help to balance out oily skin, hydrating it and regulating the skin’s oil production.


Arguably the ‘star’ product of the country is Manuka honey only produced in New Zealand and Australia. Other species of the bush do grow all over the world, but do not produce the flowers bees need to produce the honey. With its bioactive, and healing properties, it is believed that the New Zealand produced manuka honey should have a regional protection. Many bee hives can be seen as one travels through the countryside.

The Manuka plant is native to New Zealand, it’s scientific name is Leptospermum scoparium and comes from the same family as Australia’s tea tree.

There are countless reported benefits to manuka oil, which is a part of the reason it has seen such popularity over the last couple of years.

Much like tea tree oil, Manuka essential oil is known for inhibiting bacteria, treating dry scalps and dandruff.

There are studies that support Manuka oil being anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic. Apparently it promotes new cell growth helping to fade scars and marks on the skin.

Interestingly Manuka oil is purported to help reduce swelling and pain associated with bites from bugs.

If you suffer from hay fever or pet allergies, Manuka oil is said to reduce the amount of histamine that the body produces. Histamine is released as part of the immune response, so you can use manuka for coughs and other allergic reactions like sneezing and itching from dust or pets.

Most importantly Manuka oil gives a relaxed feeling so is great at fighting depression, anxiety, anger and stress.

Manuka Essential Oil

Manuka & Tea Tree are often confused as the same thing, but the essential oils are very different.

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.

Tea tree oil is probably best known for its antibacterial activity and makes a great all-purpose cleaner.

Used in many cosmetics tea tree oil is often used in acne reducing products and dandruff shampoos.

It has been shown to kill or repel insects. In some cases, it is as effective as or more effective than standard insecticides or repellents.

Essential Oil

Tea Tree & Lime Shampoo Bar

Tea Tree & Lime Shampoo

Natural Soap Making kit- Tea Tree

Peppermint & Tea Tree Shaving Soap

(Panoramic of the Abel Tasman)

National Parks cover 30,000 square kilometres. In some cases, such as Abel Tasman, only accessible by boat or by foot. Many geothermic areas attract tourists to the hot springs and geysers. Thermal mud being used to produce milled soap bars, hand cream, face masks, and in some cases mixed with manuka honey.

The Maori culture is to the fore, showing respect for the indigenous settlers who arrived first around 1300. I found this illustrated in design, both architectural and in retail.

(Traditional Maori art| wood carvings| a modern take on Maori art)

Finally I did see a kiwi (or two), but unfortunately they were in captivity. However they were well looked after in a dark building where one had to get night sight sorted to view. Many areas throughout the countryside were marked with kiwi signs, so motorists were alerted to the safety of this rare nocturnal creature.

Another animal famous for it’s New Zealand home but unlike the kiwi, made it’s appearance known and often was the sheep!


Ok, so not strictly a product from New Zealand but with so many sheep there they must have a lot of lanolin.

Lanolin is also referred to as wool fat but it is in fact a wax that comes from the wool of animals. Chemically, lanolin is a complex mixture of esters, fatty acids and alcohols. A regular ingredient in many cosmetic products, lanolin is an excellent emollient and moisturiser as it emulsifies water on the skin and holds it there creating a protective film over the skin, allowing it to function and breathe naturally. It is said to resembles skin’s own sebum.

Lanolin is often used in lip balm products although it can irritate the lips, it is frequently used in protective baby skin treatments and for sore nipples in breastfeeding mothers. Lanolin is a popular additive to moustache wax, particularly ‘extra-firm’ varieties.

Lanolin is an excellent moisturising ingredient; its cushioning, plumping effect is noticeable. It is a perfect ingredient for conditioning and protecting the skin.


We hope you’ve found this article interesting and informative, if you have any comments about any of the ingredients we’ve mentioned, please use the box below. More ‘Secret life of…’ coming soon!

(Kiwi Sunset)

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