New Zealand is a growing hub of incredible beauty brands, and it’s latest export is a sustainability-focussed skincare brand worth knowing about. Here, Stylist’s beauty director Shannon Peter exclusively walks you through everything you need to know about Syrene.
Move over K-Beauty. Right now, when it comes to international beauty hotspots, New Zealand is certainly having a moment. In the past year or so, the country has served up a raft of innovative new beauty brands that have (thankfully) made their way onto UK soil.
First, there’s the incredibly chic home fragrances and fancy hand washes of Ashley and Co and then there’s the playful body products from Only Good. I’m particularly in to Girl Undiscovered, the Instagram-friendly skincare line that fuses NZ-native ingredients with satisfyingly decadent textures. But the latest NZ brand to land over here is Syrene, a sustainable skincare line inspired by the depths of the Pacific Ocean. And if you ask me, this is one brand that is soon to become pretty popular.
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Syrene’s MO? To harness the most powerful ingredients from the local New Zealand environment to create soothing, hydrating skincare products. In each of the formulas you’ll find things like seaweed, marine-sourced collagen and sea salt, as well as land harvested substances such as manuka honey. They also focus heavily on extracts from native plants such as the black fern, the kawakawa plant (a herb used in traditional Maori medicine), and the pohutukawa — a tree found along the country’s coastline. Basically, it’s the best of NZ flora, bottled.
Now, this isn’t a range that is going to solve every skincare bugbear under the sun, and you won’t find intense actives like retinol or acids. But, it is the ideal range for anyone with dehydrated skin like me. Why? All the formulas focus on plying skin with hydration, as well as nutrients beneficial to overall skin health.
Better still, the textures are all very light, so they feel extremely refreshing, but it also means they’re a good option for anyone with dehydrated yet oily skin. The moisturiser, for instance, is way more hydrating than it’s lightly-whipped gel texture would suggest, but without the richness of heavier moisturisers, it doesn’t exacerbate greasiness. Ideal.
As for the packaging, it shouldn’t matter, but it does help that it looks nice. But better still, the brand uses recycled ocean plastic to make it.
I’ve had a few of the formulas in my bathroom cabinet for months now — I first found out about Syrene when researching for a feature on the new global beauty hubs — and can really vouch for how hydrating, soothing and generally comforting they are on skin.
Interested? Here’s a rundown of the entire collection.
The whipped moisturiser
Syrene Aqua Intense Cream
Yes, this moisturiser is intensely hydrating, but it isn’t in the slightest bit greasy. It contains lipids to bulk out the skin barrier as well as seaweed extracts for skin elasticity and kawakawa extract for its natural anti-inflammatory properties. Basically, it’s just a great all-rounder face cream and the one I turn to when my skin needs hydrating and plumping up.
The ultra-light face lotion
Syrene Aqualight Moisture Gel Lotion
Prefer super, super light moisturisers? Syrene has thought of that too. This cream practically disappears on application, simply laying down a super fine veil of moisture that sits really well under SPF and make-up. It’s hero ingredients are squalane and manuka honey for moisture and marine collagen and seaweed extract for elasticity.
The refreshing eye cream
Syrene Aqua Eye Restore Essence
I’m sure you know it by now, but the skin around your eyes is a hell of a lot thinner than anywhere else on your face, so loses moisture a lot quicker. This eye cream is so cooling, it’ll soothe even hayfever-ravaged eyes, and keeps the skin in this area plump, rather than crepey.
The comforting cleanser
Syrene Aquagel Oil to Foam Cleanser
Jelly cleansers like this one are brilliant for removing make-up; the oils melt down stubborn mascara and eye shadow and then as you add water, the formula turns milky, lifting everything off the skin. Plus, this cleanser contains glycerin which is brilliant at softening the skin.
The soothing toner
Syrene Aqua Gel Refreshing Toner
Toners are often recommended to people with oily skin as they help to lift off excess sebum and clear out pores. This one does all that but it isn’t a harsh astringent, so won’t strip the skin or mess with the moisture balance.
The cooling face mask
Syrene Aqua Hydrating Masque
This face mask is weirdly cold, which makes it brilliant for taking down any redness, inflammation or irritation, or just to soothe skin at the end of a long week. Apply a thin layer all over (you honestly don’t need much) and if you’re skin is anything like mine, it’ll drink it up in minutes.
The treatment sheet mask
Syrene Aqua Power Masque Advanced Hydration
More of a sheet mask person? This one is soaked in a brilliant mix of antioxidants, collagen, manuka honey and kakadu plum extracts (which, by the way, is high in vitamin c) — basically all the things you need to induce glow.
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Images: courtesy of brand.
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