All about: New Zealand’s newest high performance skincare offering, RAAIE

If you’ve been on Instagram lately and your feed is as beauty-obsessed as mine, chances are that some elegantly fabulous posts popped up courtesy of RAAIE. ‘What is RAAIE?’ you may have asked, so I’m here to fill you in.
RAAIE is a new active skincare brand with the transformative power of New Zealand’s land, sea and alpine botanicals at its heart, and it is seriously impressive. It was founded by New Zealander Katey Mandy, who spent 11 years working in the fashion and beauty industries in London and New York on high-profile celebrity campaigns such as Katy Perry for ghd, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Ryan Reynolds for M&S, and renowned Hollywood stylist Kate Young for Target. Her attention to detail and eye for a seriously covetable aesthetic is immediate from the minute you lay eyes on RAAIE’s two launch products, which are reportedly being added to over the next few months.

RAAIE founder, Katey Mandy

But RAAIE doesn’t just look next level, it also comes with the science to back it up. Each product combines lab-approved, highly-effective active ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and retinal, with powerful, locally-grown plant antioxidants that boost them firmly into the high performance skincare category. “When I came back to New Zealand, I realised we are so fortunate to have access to a treasure trove of unique ingredients — some of which are only just being discovered,” says Katey. “New Zealand’s botanicals are special because of their resilience - they survive under some of the harshest UV in the world. In response, the plants have developed unique defensive mechanisms by producing very high levels of antioxidants. It’s like they have created their own ‘plant sunblock’.”
The name RAAIE refers to ‘Ra’, god of the sun, and ‘ray’, as in ray of light, and central to the brand’s ethos is an awareness of our complex relationship with the sun in this part of the world. While we celebrate it and love to be out in it, we are always aware that the Antipodean sun is incredibly harsh. Sun exposure is shown to be responsible for 80-90 percent of visible facial ageing, and an effective form of sun protection is always the top anti-ageing product named by dermatologists, cosmetic doctors and makeup artists the world over.

Taking this into consideration, Mandy recognised the need for products that are equally restorative and preventative, driven to both protect and heal. RAAIE launched with two essential products for morning and evening, the first being Morning Dew Vitamin C Serum, which has two different types of vitamin C in the formula to bestow a dewy glow, also helping to reduce redness and hyperpigmentation, and even out the skin tone. Wild-harvested New Zealand alpine rosehip is included to provide a natural form of vitamin A and omegas, while mamaku (native black fern) provides an instant firming effect. New Zealand blackcurrants, containing the highest anthocyanin levels of any berries, help to protect against UV damage, while native kānuka (a powerful inflammatory) and native marine sea algae complete the picture. After having a good play with the product I was enamoured, and it definitely worked well with products to follow when I allowed it a few moments to sink in.

For night, RAAIE has the gorgeously named Yellow Moonbeam Retinal Elixir, which contains encapsulated retinal (clinically proven to work 11 times faster than retinol without the irritation) as well as linoleic acid-packed native harakeke, and clinically-proven actives alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) and niacinamide (vitamin B3). Once again it absorbs like a dream, and is the perfect product if you like the idea of a retinol but want a more natural – and gentle – alternative that still does the trick.
With RAAIE set to drop a sunscreen, a moisturiser, two cleansers and a nourishing oil treatment in the not-too-distant future, I am seriously excited for the potential of this beautiful brand. Did I mention that the chic packaging is also refillable? RAAIE will collect them for free when you’re done, and refill in their lab.

For more about RAAIE and to try it yourself, head here.


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