Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
In a world filled with high chemical skincare products, Talavou Skincare is staying true to organic ingredients to bring you the best natural care for your skin.
Founder Kilisitina Junior Mataika strongly believes that “what God has created with his own hands and provided us with will always stand the test of time over high chemical skincare products.”
Talavou Skincare is proud to source products from New Zealand owned suppliers who are certified organic providers, as well as Tongan suppliers who grow their ingredients without the use of chemicals.
Launched in April 2020, Talavou Skincare was encouraged by Kilisitina’s urge to rid of her insecurities.
“What society portrays as ugly and unclean skin was the stigma that was drilled into my head about my own skin. My confidence was on the floor, my bangs were always cut to cover either my forehead or long enough to cover my cheeks to cover my scars,” she shares.
It took Kilisitina four years of researching and trialling to find the right blend of ingredients to formulate her products. In creating her Tuitui infused bar soap, Kilisitina pays homage to the ancient Tongan practise of kaukau tuitui (shower in candlenut).
She explains; “before western perfumes arrived in Tonga, ladies and men picked the candlenuts from the tree along with botanical plants such as heilala or pako and start chewing on them,”
“Once it was a thick paste in their mouth, they will then apply that lump of paste onto the skin and start massaging/rubbing it onto all parts of their body. It was a natural way of exfoliating the skin before you hop into the shower.”
Kilisitina would like to reiterate that during production, all products are safe, and hygiene is taken seriously in all stages of crafting – and no chewing is involved.
The Talavou Skincare line includes facial mists, bar soaps, coconut oil and face serums. Kilisitina’s favourite product of the season is the Organic Almond face serum.
“I have naturally oily skin [so] to counter this, I use a couple drops on my face, both morning and night right after I cleanse my face,” she says.
“I highly recommend this to customers who have combination skin and are struggling to manage their oily skin. About 85% of customers who buy this product become regular customers with us. “
A testimony to her hard work, customers from around New Zealand and Tonga have shared successful stories of their skincare journey with Talavou Skincare.
For the upcoming months, Talavou Skincare will be releasing more products revolving around the tuitui to continue paying homage to the homeland of Tonga.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I was not brought up experiencing this traditional way of using tuitui,” Kilisitina says.
With more trials, testing and research to be done, the new Tuitui infused products will be released sometime in the future. In the meantime, a collaboration with the American based business, Polynesian Entrepreneurs (@polytrepreneurs) will be released at the end of the year.
Outside of Talavou Skincare, Kilisitina works full time at a finance company in Newmarket.
To hear more about Talavou Skincare, check out their Instagram page – @talavouskincare or place an order via DM.