Harakeke is the Māori name for native New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax). We love this local treasure, which is a key ingredient in our SKIN by ecostore range.
Harakeke in traditional Māori culture
Harakeke is New Zealand’s most common flax, and was essential to Māori, with each village tending its own plantation. Different varieties were planted according to their colour, softness, fibre strength and used to make dishes, mats, ropes, and more. Gel from the long, strappy leaves was prized in traditional Māori medicine to heal burns, cuts and skin infections, and it was eaten to treat diarrhoea.
Why use Harakeke in skincare?
Harakeke is renowned for the clear gel extracted from the lower half of the leaf. This gel is super hydrating, packed with natural skin nutrients and beneficial plant sugars called polysaccharides. Harakeke’s slight astringency is great for controlling breakouts and excess oil production, without stripping, scrubbing or harsh detergents. Also beneficial for acne-prone skin, its anti-microbial action helps to reduce spot-causing bacteria.
With potent active natural skin-conditioning compounds including humectant D-xylose, and pH-balancing D-glucuronic acid, Harakeke gel cools and calms skin in a similar way to aloe vera. It naturally soothes and hydrates, while reducing redness. The extract’s skin softening properties improve skin’s appearance by supporting normal cell turnover.
One of the reasons Harakeke feels so incredibly soothing is because it encourages healthy inflammation management. This naturally promotes recovery in skin damaged by irritation, environmental stresses and late nights. Harakeke is also loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals, reducing dark spots and fine lines.
The Harakeke extract we use in SKIN by ecostore products is sustainably harvested from a plantation in Northland, New Zealand. Some of our most loved SKIN by ecostore products harness its benefits, including our Replenishing Night Cream, Light Moisturiser, Hydrating Moisturiser, Purifying Cleanser and Gentle Cleanser.