Meet the innovator behind Antipodes: a scientific green beauty™ brand

Elizabeth Barbalich is an innovator in the green beauty space, the founder and brains behind Antipodes, a certified organic skincare brand that takes the best of New Zealand to develop clinically proven results-driven products.

With a deep passion for nature and sustainability, Elizabeth has led Antipodes to become known for its innovative use of natural ingredients and eco-conscious practices in the beauty industry. Her commitment to creating effective, environmentally friendly skincare products has not only garnered international recognition but has also made her a trailblazer in the field of conscious beauty.

Skindays: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Antipodes & your background?

Elizabeth Barbalich: I have a background in science, but the idea for Antipodes came to me when my three children were very young, and I became concerned about the chemicals we were putting in and on our bodies. We adopted a non-toxic household and switched to a plant-based diet, and I tried to find premium natural skincare that gave me results that were as good as the synthetic brands, but without all the nasty chemicals. I couldn’t find any, so that’s how Antipodes began. I studied natural health and began creating formulas in my kitchen using native New Zealand botanicals.  

SD: What has been your most rewarding moment while developing Antipodes? 

E.B: When I was launching Antipodes, it was just me, travelling up and down New Zealand, convincing retailers there was a market for sustainable skincare, and persuading them to stock my products. I even trained some store staff myself, teaching them about each product and hoping they would understand and support what I was trying to do. It was very hard work, but also very rewarding when I started to see the results. 

SD: What does organic, natural, clean ingredients mean to Antipodes?  

E.B: I’m really proud that all our skincare is made in New Zealand. There really is no other place on Earth – it evolved untouched for 80 million years, humans only arrived 800 years ago. Our geographic isolation in the Pacific Ocean means that pure air, clean rainfall and fertile soil create an abundance of pollution-free, skin-enhancing ingredients that go into our skincare – they really are the cleanest ingredients on Earth.   

On top of that, our organic products are independently certified and 100% natural origin, and customers can be confident that all ingredients are grown free from pesticides and chemicals.    

SD: What are the three most common ingredients used throughout your skincare line and what are their pro-ageing benefits?  

E.B: Vinanza® Grape is an upcycled by-product of New Zealand’s famous sauvignon blanc wine industry. These grapes are shown to contain double the levels of polyphenolic antioxidants to grapes grown anywhere else in the world. The ingredient helps to defend skin from oxidative stress, protecting it from the damage caused by free radicals that can lead to premature ageing. It’s also clinically shown to support skin elasticity and brighten dull, pigmented skin.   

Manuka honey, unique to New Zealand, is famous both as a superfood and as a skincare ingredient, thanks to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. In our formulations, manuka honey nourishes, rejuvenates and revitalises the skin. It’s also a humectant, which means it naturally moisturises, to reveal skin that’s soft, supple and calm.

Avocado oil, from the seeds of avocadoes grown on New Zealand orchards, offers a wealth of benefits for skin, including softening fine lines and wrinkles, increasing hydration, and reducing inflammation. The nutrient-rich oil contains beneficial Omegas and a plant compound called sterolin, which helps support healthy collagen levels, to improve skin elasticity and plump fine lines.


SD: How do you want your community to feel when using Antipodes?  

E.B: I firmly believe that healthy skin is the best-looking skin. I want people who use Antipodes to indulge in luxurious skincare rituals that nourish, hydrate, smooth and brighten their complexion, to reveal skin that glows with good health, whatever their age or stage. And of course, our plant-based formulas are much kinder to the skin – and the planet – than chemical-laden products.   

What’s your favourite Antipodes combo and how do you use it? 

A simple but effective no-fuss routine includes serum, eye cream, day and night cream and, for those indulgent self-care moments, a mask.

My favourite serum is Eve Bio-Retinol Line Reduction Serum. It’s a light oil that sinks in fast, so I massage in a few drops after cleansing. Eve combines both a natural retinol (cacay oil) and a retinol alternative (bakuchiol) to help refine my skin’s surface while softening lines and wrinkles. I’m really proud of this product because it provides all the benefits of a synthetic retinol serum, with none of the irritating side effects. Nature really does know best.  

Next up, Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream is Antipodes’ number one global bestseller. This is a light, vegan, fragrance-free cream, which features nutrient-rich oil from the seeds of kiwifruit, which are very high in vitamin C and vitamin E. I dot it around my eyes and gently tap into the skin. 

In the morning I use our newest day cream, Lime Caviar Collagen-Rich Firming Cream, which features a trio of key ingredients to target signs of ageing: a natural AHA to help with skin renewal, a wrinkle-smoothing peptide and collagen-boosting avocado oil.

I finish my evening ritual with Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream, which has the highest scientific result of any of our products: it was scientifically shown in-vitro to stimulate Type I collagen, which helps keep your skin youthful and plump, by 92%.

A couple of times a week, I treat my skin to Aura Manuka Honey Mask. It smells divine and the high concentration of premium manuka honey in the mask does wonders for my skin, leaving it beautifully soft and glowing. I sometimes use it the shower, I leave it on while I wash my hair.

SD: Vegan skincare brands have been steadily rising in popularity, what sets Antipodes apart? 

E.B: It’s important that if a brand says it’s natural, vegan or organic, you look for evidence. Have the products been certified by recognised international bodies? Our entire skincare range is certified by independent organisations, who audit us annually, and their symbols are clearly displayed on our packaging.  

What also sets Antipodes apart is our science-led approach. Our formulations and ingredients undergo independent scientific testing, which gives proof that our vegan skincare can deliver exceptional results for your skin. It’s just as good – if not better – than premium brands that can be full of chemicals. I’m really proud of that. 

SD: Top 3 things that you believe help support people’s journey towards better ageing? 

E.B: Eat a plant-based diet – or if not fully vegetarian or vegan, then as plant-based as you can for your lifestyle. Your skin absolutely reflects your diet. I try to start each morning with a raw vegetable juice. It fills me with energy for the day, and it’s one of the fastest ways to ensure clear, healthy skin. 

Invest in a high-quality serum. Serums contain a concentrated dose of actives and their light molecular weight means that they’re easily absorbed, so they get straight to work addressing your skin concerns. Antipodes serums are backed by strong scientific evidence, so you know you’re going to see results.  

Don’t forget sunscreen! I know it’s not new advice but it’s worth repeating: apply an SPF daily, without fail, if you are going outdoors, no matter what the weather is like.  

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