Five Minutes With: Antipodes Founder Elizabeth Barbalich

Boasting high concentrations of luxurious natural ingredients like avocado oil, Manuka honey, kiwi seed, jojoba oil, chia seed oil and a selection of potent New Zealand botanical extracts, skincare brand Antipodes has secured a truly warranted place in the natural beauty Hall of Fame.

Here Elizabeth Barbalich, the founder and CEO of the highly coveted and successful New Zealand beauty brand, takes five minutes out of her busy schedule to share the company’s journey with us and discuss what’s next for the cult favourite skincare label. 

EE: Why did you decide to create your own skincare line?

ELIZABETH: I saw a gap in the market for a lifestyle brand that was natural, sustainable, and organic and that also had scientific validation.

I researched a lot of brands on the global market and I was seeking to create a strong lifestyle brand with clear merchandising cut through and a distinctive style. Antipodes is a niche brand that has graced the shelves of major department stores around the world.

What was the very first Antipodes product you launched?

The Antipodes Divine Avocado & Rosehip Face Oil. The key ingredient was avocado oil, and this product is scientifically shown to stimulate synthesis of Type 1 collagen, so its great introductory skincare item to have in your cosmetics bag!

antipodes divine face oil

Why do you believe in natural skincare?

New Zealand nature is home to a lot of unique plants with potent healing and antibacterial qualities. These ingredients are oriented towards performance. We call our natural positioning “green beauty ethos,” as many answers to health issues are found in nature.

The New Zealand environment is pollution-free which means that our pure plant ingredients have low or no chemical residue. Obviously we choose certified organic ingredients where we can.

Did the popularity and quick growth of the Antipodes brand take you by surprise?

No – I had a clear vision from day one as to what I wanted to achieve and this has taken substantial investment, time, energy and financial resources alongside a uncompromising drive to make sure the brand has done well.

There are so many “me too” brands on the market that I knew a niche brand would succeed, but it has taken some time.

antipodes manuka honey day cream

Antipodes is hugely popularly not just in Australia and NZ, but all over the world. Why do international consumers love Antipodes?

Antipodes has so many special aspects to it that there are a number of things that attract our devotees. It could be our lush green wallpaper packaging and pure plant fragrances, or the poetry on our product boxes.

Over and above that the brand seeks to deliver results as well as connecting you with nature and New Zealand. One of our trademarks is “Scientifically Validated Organic Beauty,” and this sums up our core essence – science with pure objective results (in-vitro), as opposed to just subjective clinical trials.

What’s been your biggest ‘pinch me’ moment since the brand launched?

Sam Smith instagrammed Antipodes as his next favourite thing just prior to his NZ tour so that was a fun moment, however my biggest pinch me moment was when Antipodes became a core range in Wholefoods and Selfridges Department store in the UK.


What’s next for the Antipodes brand?

We are launching a very cool range of products early next year (2017), and we will be excited to showcase this to Australian women.


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