Uniquely NZ: Māori-owned firm launches first range of cosmetic ingredients showcasing local cosmetic potential
The OceanDerMX portfolio comprises of four ingredient blends built upon a blend of New Zealand native red algae and native black fern, also known as mamaku.
According to Andrea Taimana, founder and Chief Scientific Officer, the blend is the result of six years of research.
“It was quite a long process to make it so appealing as a cosmetic ingredient. We worked on the blend for six years. It’s not a new discovery, it has time-proven efficacy, that’s why we’re so confident about these products.”
On its own, the blend of New Zealand native red algae and native black fern provides long-lasting hydration and helps to smooth out fine line and wrinkles.
“Red seaweed in general has absolutely vast clinical data behind it that can prove anti-ageing properties – it provides long-lasting hydration, has antioxidants and peptides like collagen, everything that supports anti-ageing,” explained Taimana.
This original blend is part of the OceanDerMX range as Lift & Firm.
While variants of red seaweed are found across the world, the climate of New Zealand makes the Kiwi variety superior, thanks to the regions’ pristine, nuclear-free waters, said Taimana.
“That is important because seaweed detoxifies our oceans and picks up pollution so it’s not good to harvest seaweed in polluted oceans,” she said.
She noted that the company has tested New Zealand red seaweed and found it has advantages over red seaweed that has been harvested in controlled environments elsewhere.
“This is because our coasts get streams from the Antarctic, which brings with them a plethora of antioxidants and super rich minerals.”
The ingredient’s lifting properties come from the native black fern, which holds the skin together with a “network of scaffolding”.
“This fern is so interesting because it has an unprecedented chain of polysaccharides. So, if you stretch at release it, it will bounce back. When you apply it on the skin, it’s like stretching and elastic band. After a few minutes, it will give an instant lift and firm.”
Another product which the firm believes has a lot of potential in the Asian skin care market is OceanDerMX Balance & Brighten.
In addition to New Zealand native red algae and native black fern, it also contains Cica and and licorice root, ingredients that can be found in many brightening skin care products.
“We knew the red seaweed, centella asiatica and licorice root all have brightening effects so we studied all of them and found that they all have different modes of action. By packing all of them together, we multiply the effects and cover all the different pathways,” said Taimana.
The firm is planning to perform third-party clinical trails on Asian skin in Hong Kong, along with its Calm & Soothe blend which tackles blemished and irritated sensitive skin.
Organic Bioactives had initially scheduled to launch the range at in-cosmetics Global this year before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic derailed those plans.
“COVID-19 hit us hard because we could not go to in-cosmetics Global. Being at the show would have been an awesome opportunity for us. It’s hard to just talk about the products, you have to go in front of people and show them,” said Taimana.
The firm hopes to make it to in-cosmetics Asia to launch an oil-based range of products.
“We will have a range of oil botanical extracts or bioactive oils for skin care. These oils will have age-defying properties that can be added to skin cleansing products or even hair and body,” said Taimana.
Moving forward, the company hopes to find more distributors to take its products to Asia, Europe and the US. It is currently in talks with distributors in Asia and the US.