Locally sourced cosmetic ingredients “The rise of geographical hotspots”

Locally sourced cosmetic ingredients “The rise of geographical hotspots”

For a few years, the term “sourced locally” carried with it an air of exclusivity, while also giving a nod to those eco-conscious movements that, for a while, seemed to be more of a trend than a consumer demand.

Then COVID happened. Supply chains suffered. And we’ve begun to realise the richness of what’s in our backyard in a more mainstream way.

This does two things: It allows an industry to celebrate ingredients that have been right under people’s noses for a long time, and it creates a demand and interest into further developments of sustainably grown and processed ingredients.

By the way, when I say “our backyard” I am referring to the Pacific in general. Our quiet, somewhat protected corner of the world.

It’s been a long time since I wrote about what’s happening in the industry. A lot has changed! There’s been a lot of pivoting, and some business and industry casualties. But with that comes opportunity: new ways, new ideas and quite a lot of new learnings.

New Zealand has weathered the storm well, a small Island in the South Pacific that was once self-sufficient has had to learn how to do this again. Enter the newly celebrated movement of “locally sourced ingredients”.

Number 3 in Global Cosmetic and Personal Care Trends is The Rise of “Geographic Hotspots”. This is true for any geographic region of the world, and with New Zealand’s reputation for its clean green ingredients – along with those from our South Pacific neighbours – it’s something we can look to leverage from.

A move toward country-branded beauty has also gained steam, and the “made in” stamp on cosmetics products allows brands to capitalize on their own cultural associations.

Globalization and renewed interest in travel and culture helps drive this influential beauty trend and I can assure you the South Pacific is abundant in beautiful exotic ingredients.

We could have never predicted the strain we would have on our supply chain and cosmetic manufacturing. With lead times and freight costs blowing budgets we are forced to look closer to home for new ingredients for cosmetics and highlight our own cultural associations. I think I speak for all of the South Pacific when I say we are absolutely OK with that!

The benefits of sourcing ingredients within our own country is a direct reflection of what the solutions to challenges that COVID has presented us:

  • Reducing carbon footprint
  • Reduced lead times
  • Transparency
  • Country ownership/identity

I’d like to introduce some of the new – and locally sourced – natural raw ingredients that have recently caught my eye for personal care formulation.

OceanDerMX™ range (Stewart Island)

Intriguingly unique, bioavailable and multitasking bio actives that adds a supreme level of 100% natural anti-aging, moisture binding, antioxidant and pollution protecting elements to your cosmetic products by enhanced delivery of its own as well as added actives

Clinically Proven – Lift & Firm, Restore & Protect, Balance & Brighten, Calm & Soothe


VALÉRE KELP (Akaroa), Certified Organic, NZ Harvested, Healthy, Traceable, Sustainable

NZ Giant kelp(Macrocystis pyrifera) is harvested fresh from living kelp forests. It grows abundantly in the cool sheltered waters around the South Island and is one of the fastest growing organisms on the planet. It is  harvest within 1m of the sea surface leaving the bulk of the plant to regrow and remain as shelter for living organisms. Harvesting Giant kelp is like the lawn mowing of the ocean – except the lawn grows back at up to 50cm a day!

After harvesting it is dried gently using air flow and dehumidification. During the drying process, temperatures never go above 30°C. This is to retain the natural flavour and nutrients. It is then simply crushed and sieved to two sizes – Fine & Powder, with an extremely high Iodine content.


NZ EXTRACTS (Marlborough) use the world’s first 100% aqua pure water extraction process to produce gold standard, waste-free products from fruit, berries & plants into multifunctional bio-active ingredients for the food & beverage, health & well-being & beauty & skincare industries.

VINANZA® BLANC XGS (Upcycling at its best)

Clinically proven by a leading Japanese University:

  • Anti-Ageing activity against accelerated ageing by UV Irradiation
  • Stimulate collagen production
  • Protect Skin Cells from oxidative stress
  • Provide low ß-galactosidase activity of ageing maker


MAILELANI COCONUT OIL (Samoa) The Direct Micro Expelling method (DME) is simple and environmentally friendly technique  founded by Kokonut Pacific, bringing “new life from the tree of life” to island coconut producers. With the DME process, virgin coconut oil is extracted only from fresh coconut flesh. The oil that is produced is excellent quality – handmade, natural, raw and unrefined, retaining all the original qualities. The oil is extracted from the coconut within one hour of splitting the seed. Small local teams grate the flesh, dry and load it into a press and hand- press it. The dry coconut residue is great for baking, so nothing gets wasted!


May the next wave of industry innovation be abundant with the bountiful variety of ingredients and innovation that are – more often than not – right there in front of us.

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In my role as a Design Practice Teaching Fellow at the University of Canterbury's School of Product Design, I leverage my extensive background in entrepreneurial ventures and industry experience spanning cosmetic chemistry, marketing, design, and brand management. My mission is to empower and guide the upcoming generation of product designers. With over three years in this position, I have supported numerous students in honing their abilities, fostering their creativity, and building their confidence to craft innovative and impactful personal care products and brands. My dedication lies in bridging innovation, curiosity, and creative expression to produce formulations, products, and brands that truly differentiate themselves. Holding a Diploma of Personal Care Formulation from the Institute of Personal Care Science, my involvement has stretched across various initiatives and bodies within the cosmetic sector, including Cosmetics New Zealand and NZSCC New Zealand. I am perpetually in pursuit of fresh challenges and avenues for personal and professional development, finding my deepest fulfillment in witnessing the achievements of others.

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