Co-founder and CEO of Activist, Gabrielle Mirkin.
Prior to starting Activist, my husband Luke Harwood and I lived in New York, where I worked as an art director at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. But I was born on an avocado farm in New Zealand and spent my upbringing swimming in the salty waters of the Pacific and hiking in the bush, so we’ve since relocated and made our home in Topanga Canyon, in California’s Santa Monica mountains.
I’m eternally blessed to be the mother of two small children, Cisco River and Tallulah Blue, who inspire me every day to be a better person. Activist is my third baby and receives almost as much love as the other two!
Initially, our Activist journey came from personal change and wanting to build a brand and business based on the natural world, with limited industrial impact. Luke and I set out to create a company that works with natural resources with origins in our native country of New Zealand, which is our larger playground and one we have a deep understanding of.
Clean beauty really comes from simplicity. Mānuka is the true cellular beautician and one of nature’s healing treasures.
Mānuka honey is one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world, with considerably higher level of enzymes than regular honey. It’s the antidote to almost any skin issue. The methylglyoxal (MGO) it contains has been found to repair cellular damage, promote regeneration, calm inflammation and get rid of bacteria. Mānuka’s amino acids harmonise the pH balance of our skin, and it has also been shown to increase and protect the production of collagen, promoting structural growth.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, mānuka can reduce redness and heal congested or inflamed skin, including conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It can also be used for its antibacterial properties, which oxygenate pores to draw out or reduce bacteria on blemishes. This can drastically improve acne-prone skin.
Above: Activist Green Botanical Serum, $107 and Mānuka Honey Mask, $92.
Clean beauty really comes from simplicity — over-formulated products are not for us. We advocate using mānuka externally, and especially recommend cleansing, masking and spot-treating with our Activist Mānuka Honey Mask. I use this as a daily face wash, face mask and spot treatment, along with Activist Mānuka Oil. I also use our Activist Green Botanical Serum morning and night, which contains a potent infusion of land and sea botanicals: mānuka and kawakawa oils, wild-harvested algae, New Zealand avocado and kiwifruit seed oil, and blue tansy.
I believe in the concept of cellular beauty, and this refers to ingesting internal health products, rather than just focusing on external skincare. Mānuka is the true cellular beautician and one of nature’s healing treasures. My go-to right from the start of Activist has been our 850+MGO Raw Mānuka Honey, which I take a teaspoon of every day for immune support, cellular beauty and overall wellbeing.
This article was originally published in Fashion Quarterly Magazine, Summer 2023 The Celebration Issue.