Antipodes is a highly innovative scientific organic beauty brand. Its visionary New Zealand founder and director, Elizabeth Barbalich, has built her skincare and makeup company on a cutting-edge combination of the highest quality ingredients from New Zealand nature and raw super-fruit extracts with science and innovation to produce high-tech certified organic and premium formulations.
As a result, Antipodes® is a trailblazer in natural skincare with scientific validation to prove its performance. Her clean certified vegetarian skincare that delivers outstanding results for helping support production of collagen, elastin and antioxidant activity has found favour with women of all ages right around the world. Antipodes® is now sold in 13 countries to its many passionate devotees including international celebrities. Products continue to win multiple beauty and health industry awards for performance.
A lifelong love of science
To launch the green beauty brand a decade ago, Elizabeth drew heavily on her background in science. The youngest child of a preacher father and a teacher mother, she grew up in a small town amidst the stretching plains of Canterbury in New Zealand’s South Island. Before later embarking on an MBA from the University of Auckland, she undertook a science degree in biology from the University of Canterbury. After graduating, she won a highly competitive position with a United States Surgical Corporation. The specialist company pioneered the technology for laparoscopic surgery. Trained in New York on the equipment’s use, she had sole responsibility for the Antipodean territory of Australia and New Zealand where she trained surgeons and registrars in the use of their groundbreaking instrumentation for keyhole surgery. She was twice the company’s top salesperson globally for a new product launch. During her eight years working with the international medical technology company she learned that innovation is key. She’s taken this trailblazing approach to her own company, for instance with the use of revolutionary antioxidant Vinanza® Grape – a cutting-edge and sustainable product which is cleverly extracted from award-winning Marlborough sauvignon blanc grapes.
She says, “Working for years in operating theatres alongside surgeons, I also learnt a very rigorous approach, which is probably in my nature anyway. There is no room for error in surgery.” This trait characterised the years of preparation and research she undertook in the lead-up to Antipodes’ launch. In a bid to fully understand how skincare works and skin creams are constructed she weighed and mixed countless trial formulations at home which she experimented with on her own dry and sensitive skin. “Daily work for me at Antipodes® now, even ten years after launch, is still a drive for continuous improvement in every area of the business.” “For example, a trial product can take up to 18 months of Research & Development. Sometimes, the scientific investigations fail to show the kind of skin-enhancing performance we’re after - we simply park these. We are unrelenting in delivering you the highest performance skincare we can possibly produce, and we never compromise on quality.”
An organic life
Raising a family saw Elizabeth develop a passion for a natural lifestyle. “My husband Zoran developed a real interest in natural health, and cared for the whole family’s health with healthy food, raw juices and supplements. Even with three kids under four years old I felt the best I ever had. The interest broadened to natural cleaning products for a non-toxic household, and eventually skincare. She trawled the world’s natural skincare offerings to find a product hydrating enough for her own dry skin type. Failing, the New Zealander decided to make her own. “I couldn’t find any natural skincare that performed as well, or felt as good on my skin, as the conventional brands I was using.” “I saw a need in the market for a cool avant garde, niche brand that elevated natural skincare to the next level.
Scientific proof that Nature knows best
“In my invitation to women to make a positive health choice by converting to natural skincare from their conventional brand, I wanted to offer them the familiarity of similar textures and levels of hydration. I found the natural brands available at the time didn’t do enough to maximise hydration for my own dry skin. The natural brands that I’d experienced simply weren’t hydrating enough. So I invested a lot of time and care in replicating a velvety texture. “But I also wanted to offer them the courage of my convictions. I knew scientific proof of performance would be key in a market starting to fill with natural skincare. How could we stand out from the crowd with so much ‘greenwashed’ marketing? I wanted consumers to be able to see past the hype to the black and white results of our independent, third-party scientific investigations – so they could rely on a scientist’s findings and really trust that Antipodes® can work to improve your skin’s appearance.” “The key to the brand’s success is our devotees around the world. Any number of people might try a brand after being attracted to something that may appeal like its packaging. But you will only buy a brand again and stay loyal to it if you find that it’s skincare that performs for you.” The anecdotal support and testimonials we receive every day, as well as the huge results we get on our scientific and clinical testing, spurs us on.
Forging a legacy
The Barbalichs are motivated to create a legacy for their children. “We encourage them to find a vocation they love. With Antipodes®, we’re proud to show them by example that you can build a life for yourself based on your beliefs.” They’ve kept manufacturing in New Zealand for sustainability and quality control. “All of our business partners are stringently picked for their values, and a commitment to sustainability that’s similar to our own Green Beauty Ethos. We invest in long-term trustworthy relationships, so the legacy we offer our partners is that as our business grows, so does theirs.”