How did it all started? What motivated you to start your own brand?
Originally, it was born out of frustration - which sounds a little odd but it’s true. Health, nutrition and wellness have always been topics close to my heart and I desperately wanted to find a natural skincare brand I could trust. I soon found out though that most other products fell short of the mark (I have high standards!) so I decided to take things into my own hands and create my own range. Since day one it’s always been really important that our skincare formulations were based on the practices and principals of herbal medicine so somewhere along the journey I completed further study in Natural Skincare and a Diploma in Herbal Studies after which point The Sage Apothecary came to life.
Why is using natural ingredients so important? Where do you source them?
To put it simply: natural ingredients are more nutrient dense and are better for you. If you use skincare products that contain chemicals on your skin, even at low doses, you can disrupt the bodies endocrine system and end up carrying toxic chemicals inside you. Not only that, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests there are connections to long-term health concerns like metabolic disruption, reproductive problems and Cancer. Sadly, these sinister ingredients have been popping up in family favourites for years – From mineral oil and parabens in skincare to formaldehyde in baby wipes and shampoo, it can be a consumer minefield.
In truth you’d be forgiven for thinking that a little moisturizer or shampoo here and there can’t be that bad. But if I told you that on average a human body can absorb over two kilos of cosmetics and make-up each year – well then, you get quite the different picture.
Your skin is your largest and thinnest organ – and it’s highly permeable so most items you put on it end up in your bloodstream. So that’s why we say if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.
We put a lot of effort into sourcing our products from sustainable sources - like our Bee Pollen, which is ethically harvested from a Beekeeper in New Zealand’s South Island. In fact most of our herbs come from New Zealand but some of our ingredients, like Tamanu oil are produced in their country of origin – which in this case is Vanuatu. The main thing to take home though is that all of our products are made from scratch and you won’t find one toxic or unpronounceable chemical in them but you’ll definitely find the names of flowers, herbs, barks and fruits.
If you have to choose ONE product that is our absolute must-have, what would it be?
Oh goodness! That’s a hard question – I think I would have to say that my favourite current product was Bee Lush. It’s a fantastic, deeply hydrating and nourishing cream, which harnesses the power of Marshmallow Root, Bee Pollen, Chia Seed, Nettle and Lady’s Mantle. It also uses oils like Camellia, which aside from being described as the beauty secret of the Geisha’s, has a highly restorative and rejuvenating effect on skin and provides an effective shield from environmental pollutants. Camellia oil also has high levels of Squalene, which is an important component of the skin’s natural emollient system that prevents both dry skin and premature aging. That said I am very excited about a new product that will be coming out in early 2016 – I have been testing it now for the last 9 months or so and it’s a game changer. I can’t say much about it but it’s an oil cleansing balm with a twist so watch this space!
We’re curious about you as well – what is a typical day in your life like?
Honestly, no day is typical- which is why I love what I do. For example this morning I’ve had a meeting to discuss a Christmas collaboration with two artisan product makers here in Wellington followed by a catch up with my business partner Jess on our priorities for the next quarter and then I’m writing a photography brief to shoot our Sage mini range which has just launched. Being a small business owner it means I wear many hats during the day but it’s no surprise that I’m most happy when I am working on new formulations or just enjoying the smell of herbs infusing around The Sage Apothecary HQ.
What are your wellness tips for us?
In my opinion maintaining a healthy diet, a balanced lifestyle and chemical-free environment are the three pillars to achieving wellness and they are not mutually exclusive. For example, you may have the best nutrient-dense skincare routine in the world but if you diet is full of sugar, which is an anti-nutrient, then you are most likely to still be in deficit. Equally you could have the best diet and chemical-free environment but if you are continually under excessive stress your hormonal system is going to suffer and that will take its toll on your body. That said, I am also a realist. Life is not a straight line and for one reason or another you might be able to stay on track 100% of the time. If that happens, don’t worry, just dust yourself off an re-align. Oh, and don’t try and do everything all at once – just baby steps.
To be fair that’s why we created The Sage Apothecary the way we did, we didn’t want it to be too serious or overly complicated for people. We just wanted to develop a product line that you didn’t have to think about too much – you could just simply buy it with the complete confidence that the it was 100% natural, had the very best ingredients for your skin type and smelt ahhh-mazing.