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Why choose Ash & Ivy?

Our reason for being...


Ash & Ivy came about due to my need to create my own, safe, skin-care products after having suffered for many years with reactions to moisturisers, soaps, deodorants and shampoos available on the market. I tried a huge range of products to try and help my sore, inflamed and itchy skin to no avail. Whilst researching a technology unit on the impact of World War 1 on the production and use of soap, I found out that detergent and petrochemical ingredients invented around that time were used due to the scarcity of oils. I started to wonder if this was why my skin reacted so badly to so many products. These days synthetic ingredients are predominantly used to preserve, stabilise and provide emollient/moisturising attributes to not only soaps and shampoo, but face cremes and deodorants, makeup and perfumes. I was bombarding my skin with all sorts of chemicals on a daily basis! Now, I can use soap, deodorants and shampoo without reaction but only if they do not contain ingredients such as triclosan, sodium laurel/laureth sulfate, EDTA, propylene glycol, synthetic colours and fragrances. I  discovered this when I started making my own soap in 2017 with organic oils. I realised there must be more people out there wanting organic and non toxic skin care. My daughter Brigitte, was able to bring her medical/ herbal knowledge to the design of the salves and cremes and so the ingredients selected are based on the clinically proven therapeutic properties of plants. I started trials in 2018/19 then quit teaching in 2020 to do this full time and Ash and Ivy was launched online. Our recipes have been trialed and formulated to gain the best results, especially for those like me with sensitive skin and for those seeking organic products as they know that what goes on the skin can go in! Our product range has been carefully created to deliver genuine benefits for your skin. I feel very satisfied to know that our customers are hooked and have enjoyed using our products for the past 2 - 3 years.      

-  Mel (B.Ed, Diptchg)

(Founder of Ash & Ivy)

Naturopath Endorsed

Our very own qualified Naturopath Brigitte (BNatMed) (NZCertSCP) has guided the creation of our products and as the 2019 recipient of the Phytomed Award for Excellence in Herbal Medicine she was recognised for her unique passion and knowledge of the power of herbal medicine.

"It is important to understand the properties of plants to safely use them in manufacturing, which is why each extract is examined in clinical trials to be sure of their efficacy as well as what to be cautious with.


Herbal medicine is an amazing way to re-set your body's natural functions, for instance skin defense. Your skin has it's very own microbiome (bacteria) which helps to protect you from pathogen colonization and supports cutaneous immune system function. In other words we are instrumental in determining our own health, based on what we eat and what we put on our skin. When our skin comes into contact with chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, non organic and petroleum based ingredients, our skin microbiome becomes less and less able to resist unwanted bacteria. Therefore, this can result in common conditions such as eczema, fungus, dry and scaly skin, acne, rashes, blisters and many more. These chemicals not only affect external health, but can affect internal health too - such as endocrine disruption, but that is a whole other story.

To summarise this - your health is important. So why keep buying products that don't reflect that? Make yourself and your loved ones a priority by choosing products that are helpful, and not harmful." -Brigitte

Why Organic Ingredients?

We choose to use organic or spray free oils, essential oils and extracts to manufacture a pure product which has not been grown with pesticides so that you can be sure you are not coating your skin with toxic residues.


An important concern (not only for your skin but for the environment) is the prevalence of ingredients such as Triclosan (an antibacterial agent) in personal care products. This toxic ingredient is widely used in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, hand sanitisers and general cleaning products. This ingredient may be appropriate for circumstances needing antibacterials (such as cleaning hospital environments or your bathroom and toilet) but is not necessary for everyday use in personal care products. 

Organic oils are more expensive to produce but we believe it is worth it to prevent these chemicals from getting into our bodies and natural environments.

We are proud to include herbal extracts from Phytomed, New Zealands' leading manufacturer of herbal extracts, a company with Gold Standard manufacturing practices uniquely accessible to Naturopathic Practitioners and Medical Herbalists.

We are also committed to using as little plastic as possible in our packaging, opting for recyclable glass and biodegradable unbleached paper/cardboard.

Graduation day with BNatMed 2019

Brigitte & Mel at Brigitte's graduation 2019

About us/acknowledgements

Ash & Ivy Artisan Organics Ltd began based in the heart of Lake Karapiro , in Cambridge New Zealand. We now have moved our home and business to Kingsdown just south of Timaru. We now have a much larger commercial kitchen and the space to set up a shop! We'll send you pics if you are on our mailing list. Currently most of our customers are in the Waikato so we have set up a distributor to post your orders to save on time and postage for any North Island orders.   We are fortunate to have a NZ  bee farm supplying us with Kanuka/Manuka honey and beeswax to use in our products from Tui Bees

and now ACRE FARM a Cambridge Lavender Farm supplying us with Silver Award winning Grosso lavender oil.

We also acknowledge the incredible work done by phytomed in the creation of the beautiful tinctures we use.

Thanks to our family and friends for their encouragement and support and for never letting us give up when times got tough.

Our special thanks go to Mat Baker for his photography of our products, and Barney at Indium design for creating our new logo and label design.

Website created by Brigitte and Mel Coles with Wix.

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