Harnessing the power of Tōtara

New Zealand’s best kept beauty secret is finally out, with the launch of new luxury skincare brand TWYG™.

 Luscious and rich in antioxidants, TWYG harnesses the power of 100-million-years of history with its super ingredient Bioactive Totarol™ which is sustainably sourced from naturally fallen New Zealand Tōtara trees.

TWYG’s first range includes a highly potent facial oil, serum and multitasking hydration cream, all high in Bioactive Totarol.

Totarol occurs naturally in the heartwood of the Tōtara tree and is found throughout the tree by about 150 years of age. Totarol’s purpose is to protect the Tōtara against bacterial and environmental attacks and enable the trees to live for thousands of years.

When carefully harvested, Totarol has the same antioxidant and protective properties for skin. Founded on the principles of sustainability, efficacy, nature and science, the team behind TWYG is Auckland husband-and-wife duo Ryan and Steph Davies.

Ryan and Steph, who come from marketing backgrounds, have made this highly sought-after luxury ingredient accessible by formulating it with other potent skincare actives to create the world’s first and only high-dosage Bioactive Totarol skincare brand.

Steph’s family are owners in Hyperganic Biogroup, the exclusive global manufacturer of Totarol, which gave the couple the idea to create TWYG and use this powerful ingredient for the first time in such high potency, for maximum efficacy.

Steph says Totarol has been featured in luxury cosmetics and personal care globally for many years, but never to this level. “Totarol is already a much-loved skincare ingredient by many high-end New Zealand and global companies and formulators due to its impressive antioxidant properties. 

Having direct access to the supply of Totarol and seeing its efficacy first hand has allowed us the opportunity to showcase this ingredient to the world in a new way,” she says. Davies says as she has grown older, she’s become acutely aware of the pollution and environmental damage her skin is exposed to every day.

“Our skin plays a crucial role in protecting our bodies from harmful organisms and pollution. Ryan and I became passionate about helping people protect their largest organ by harnessing the power and potential of Totarol, and that’s where the idea of TWYG was born,” she says. TWYG is Steph and Ryan’s second brand to feature Bioactive Totarol. Earlier this year the duo launched byebyebad®, a range of natural personal care products. A highly active ingredient, Bioactive Totarol has the ability to ‘anti’ a range of negative environmental factors. It is antiaging, antibacterial, antioxidant, antimicrobial and proven to be seven times more effective than Vitamin E, a common antioxidant used in skincare.

Developed in New Zealand by a team of skilled cosmetic chemists familiar with Totarol, TWYG is, at its core, a skin protective range, aiding skin to look and feel its best at every stage of life, due to the very high amounts of protective antioxidants in each product.

Steph says Bioactive Totarol™ is the ‘holy grail’ when it comes to helping prevent unwanted lines, wrinkles and dark spots that inevitably come with ageing.

“We are utilising something found in nature that does this phenomenal job at protecting the tree and applying that to skin to do the same thing. It’s important to note we don’t cut down a single Tōtara tree to do this,” she says.

Totarol is sustainably sourced from naturally fallen Tōtara trees across the North Island of Aotearoa. Bioactive Totarol is extracted through a patented manufacturing process that ensures the purity and organic nature of the ingredient.

The antioxidants found in Bioactive Totarol neutralise free radicals, the unstable molecules that oxidise skin and cause ageing. Steph says the potent antibacterial and antioxidant properties of Bioactive Totarol take on visible signs of ageing while aiding cell regeneration and boosting the skin’s natural elasticity.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find such an effective protective powerhouse natural ingredient than this,” she says.

Sustainability and design is a focus for TWYG, with the brand’s bespoke packaging, designed by award winning studio Seachange, being crafted from recyclable materials like glass and recycled plastic. “Like a forest of skincare, our packaging has been designed to be admired, not out of sight, each with its own expression. The deep, rich orange palette pays homage to the colours found within the heartwood of Tōtara,” she says.

Efficacious, luxurious and uplifting skincare, TWYG restores, rejuvenates, and reinvigorates the skin. It is modern skincare, with ancient roots.

“It’s like TWYG has been 100-million-years in the making and we feel so lucky to be sharing it with New Zealand this year,” says Steph.

TWYG’s first range is available online at twygskincare.com, with another product set to be released in early 2024.

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