Last month I picked up a bottle of the much talked about oil by tahi skincare, from Infinite Definite Shop. I’m in love. And I’m so lucky to be share with you the story behind tahi, as told by founder and creator: Jackie Lee.
tahi oils are made using organic cold pressed almond oil and are infused with different plants, of which each have their own story and benefits. tahi’s focus is on being a ‘healing skincare’ range, with each of their products being handmade in New Zealand using certified organic and local ingredients.
When practicing Rongoā Māori (Māori traditional medicine) some say we should start with the forest. tahi is inspired by Aotearoa’s forest, a forest that is one of a kind.
You can use these oils for so many things, but I’m using mine as a cleanser and moisturiser. As a cleanser it removes make up so easily (even mascara which I think so many products promise to do, but really don’t) and as a moisturiser it leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated (and not oily!). I usually wear the oil on my skin with nothing else, but if I’m feeling fancy I’ll put some tinted moisturiser over the top which glides on super easily after applying the oil.
Founder and creator of tahi skincare, Jackie Lee, has been on a journey to learn about nature’s ability to heal – especially through using New Zealand’s native plants. She is constantly amazed by their power to heal in all aspects of life. Jackie’s goal is to simplify life and to work with nature to help others discover how healing it can be.
The guys at Infinite Definite Shop introduced me to Jackie, and I’m stoked to have been able to interview her about her incredible brand and products.
Here’s how the interview with Jackie Lee, Founder & Creator of tahi skincare, went down…
Let’s start with a little bit about yourself…
I live in Christchurch with my partner, Nate and am halfway through a Degree in Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine, however this is now on hold as I am having a baby in October!
While I’m currently living in Christchurch, my heart is over on the West Coast of the South Island (Moana). I find myself the most inspired about all aspects of my life when I am there, so I try to get over there as much as possible. I love sitting around the fire with the beautiful people in my life and our dog, talking and listening to music.
Nature drives me. We are surrounded by so much beauty that does not ask for anything yet offers so much. Working sustainably with nature and giving back brings me a lot of joy.
What’s the story behind why you started tahi?
I was frustrated by the amount of unnatural ingredients in so many skincare products, the overuse of plastic packaging and the misleading information. All of the different products I tried that had unnatural ingredients left me unbalanced. I struggled with my skin for years, but what it took was the right nourishment, inside and out, for it to heal.
I started tahi after spending time learning about Rongoa Maori (traditional Maori healing). It was then I thought I would mix up a concoction of my own and attempt to heal my skin. When it worked so well I began sharing it with family and friends who encouraged me to take it further.
It feels natural to me to promote the tahi oils because I’m promoting plants, and it is really nothing to do with myself. Although I make every bottle with love, the plants are what naturally offer us the amazing benefits and I felt like this needed to be talked about and shared more.
Why is oil good for our skin?
Our bodies are wonderfully smart, when something is not right it has systems in place to protect us.
That is what the natural oils that come through our sebaceous glands under the skin are doing, the oil acts as a barrier against bacteria and viruses. Our skin will age quicker and heal slower if it is dry. The more goodness we can feed our skin, the better we will look and feel. tahi oils are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Putting oil on the skin can scare some people but I believe this is as a result of lots of misleading information out there. Our skin produces its own oils as a way to clean and protect itself. The more we strip it of those oils (with soaps and other products), the more oil it will produce to make up for that. By feeding our skin good oils we are helping it do its job.
Oil can be used to replace many things: as a makeup remover, cleanser, moisturiser, body wash and to heal many ailments such as wounds, bruising, acne and stretch marks.
What are some of the key ingredients you use, and why?
Every one of the oils is made with a base of almond oil, with the benefits it offers alone being vast. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-aging, a mild pain reliever, an emollient (meaning it naturally relieves dry skin) and anti-dandruff.
I also use mānuka in every oil, but in different ratios. Mānuka is antimicrobial, meaning it helps with bacterial and fungal infections and with acne. It is also an insect repellent and helpful for skin conditions such as eczema. I have always felt so drawn to mānuka as a plant – it’s such a resilient plant and can put up with really harsh conditions.
Kawakawa has a heart shaped leaf and it is a very caring plant. When taken internally, it is useful for stomach pains, and topically it is used to treat inflamed and itchy skin, bruising and sore muscles.
Another plant I use is lavender. It’s not native but I always use New Zealand grown lavender. Lavender has a beautiful aroma which is effective for depression and anxiety. Topically it is known to be very beneficial for healing wounds, scars and acne.
(To read about other ingredients tahi skincare uses, check out their ingredients page on the tahi website.)
Tell us about tahi’s bespoke oils and how you can create customised oils for people and their skin…
I love making bespoke oils! If someone is not sure which oil from our range to get or is looking for a particular remedy, I’ll ask them to tell me everything they can about their skin and then we will work together to create the perfect blend. I also use other plants that are not in the existing range of oils which can help for particular things. For example, harakeke extract is incredibly soothing so it is good for irritated skin and burns. Poroporo, another native plant, works really well for dandruff and psoriasis.
What is tahi doing in the way of being a sustainable brand?
Being sustainable is a high priority for tahi so I’m always checking in to make sure that it’s sustainable to use the ingredient and plants we use. I’m lucky enough to harvest kawakawa from a beautiful family farm (owned by the Laredo’s) in Akaroa, which they have an abundance of and I only take a small amount, occasionally.
I use glass bottles and give people the opportunity to return them for refills at a discounted price. I don’t use any plastic packaging with each oil packaged in a calico bag, and when I send orders to shops I reuse boxes and protective packaging that I have previously received.
Find tahi skincare at Infinite Definite Shop:
Online // www.infinitedefinite.com/collections/tahi-skincare
In store // 246 High Street, Christchurch
*Beautiful photo of Jackie by Andrew Hewson, Grey Area Productions