Clean skincare from down under with Plantae!

In my mission to explore clean,  organic, ethical, environmentally sound and effective skincare and beauty products, I stumbled across a gem of a brand in the New Zealand-based Plantae.

A family affair, Plantae was borne of Director and Formulator Carol Priest’s desire for safe and simple natural products for herself and her family, and the distinct lack of any on the NZ market. With an extensive laboratory background and experience in pharmacopoeia, Carol’s harnessed knowledge and passion to create Plantae, with her three accomplished daughters (Janelle, Fiona and Jacinta) along for the ride in marketing, sales, design and management roles.

While Plantae is widely available in New Zealand and Australia, we are not so lucky on this side of the globe, so it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to test a few products and share with Addicted readers — if you’re curious, you can check out the line online and even request that local spas and health boutiques order it in! One of the great things about exploring Plantae online is that you can browse by Category (cleanse, tone or moisturize), Collection (purify, balance or hydrate) or Skin type/concern (oily to combination, normal to dry or all skin types), so you can mix and match to tailor to various issues, or go for a complete treatment plan for your overall type.I have the skin of a hormonal teenager (which is strange, because I’m on a pretty even emotional keel 99% of the time), so upon Jacinta’s suggestion, I opted to try the Purify cleanser, toner and moisturizer set.

Lemon Oil-Control Cleansing-Gel: One sure sign that a product isn’t formulated with harsh, mainstream chemicals is foaming. Does it foam like a box of powder detergent in the washer on a ’70s sitcom? Then it’s probably safe to say in contains sodium laureth sulfate, or some other cheap, toxic foaming agent you’ll find in just about everything.

This cleanser is the opposite; it glides gently over your skin with the most subtle of lathers. I know we associate stripping all of the oils from our skin with superior purification, but that’s not necessarily the case. I’ve used plenty of harsh, foamy cleansers, only to find traces of makeup on my toner cotton pad mere minutes later — the only thing they really guarantee is dry, tight skin, which while likely lead to overproduction of oil to compensate throughout the day. You can rinse it off, or buff softly out with a wet muslin or facecloth.

Wild Thyme Oil-Regulating Toner: I am probably the laziest bump on a log you’ll ever meet, so anything that shaves time off of being a real person, I’m all for it. What I love about this toner is that, after patting your skin dry from cleansing, you can just spray it on. No cotton balls or gentle, circular, upward motions. Just spray ‘er on, enjoy the burst of aroma and invigoration, and go about the rest of your routine as it dries.

I’m conditioned to believe that unless I see some residue on my cotton ball, the toner hasn’t done its job and there’s still gunk on my face, so I tested it out one night as a traditional toner. The cotton came out clear, so both the cleanser and toner are doing something right!

Watercress Light Day Lotion: Another lazy man-friendly step in this regimen, this weightless, silky lotion instructs you to simply “press a small amount onto face, neck and décolletage.” Again, no upward, circular buffing with a towel wrapped around your head in your pristinely white bathroom like the commercials – just gently press on and move on. Love it.

These Plantae products all smell great, without leaving a lingering scent around you throughout the day. They don’t sit heavily on your skin and you’ll never be conscious of their presence on your skin. They interact well with other products and deliver on their promises without ever sacrificing ethical integrity. The packaging alone is soothing just to look at! A highly recommended brand that I look forward to exploring further!

Emy Stantcheva
Emy Stantcheva is a lifelong music junkie-turned-music biz dabbler, from music publicity and artist management to the not-for-profit sector. By day, she champions the indies at Canadian Independent Music Association and MusicOntario, and moonlights as Lifestyle Editor for Addicted and rep for southern rock n’ roller Basia Lyjak. A healthy living fan (yes, vodka is a plant), vegetarian of 20 years and lover of cooking, wine and craft beer, she’s always on the lookout for tasty and cruelty-free wares and fares. She’s also known for her hoarding of cats (she has four) and leggings (300 pairs and counting). With her feisty way with words, Stantcheva brings a fresh and intelligent perspective to Addicted’s Lifestyle section.
Emy Stantcheva