The remarkable natural skincare qualities of vitamin-rich sheep’s milk has encouraged a farm that produces sheep’s cheese to branch out with its own skincare line.


Housed in refillable, handcrafte­d and compostabl­e ceramic vessels, Ewe Care is a new skincare line based on the topical benefits of sheep’s milk.

Created as an extension of Grandvewe, a family-owned and operated Tasmanian farm that produces artisan sheep’s cheese, the day and night face creams not only make the most of the milk's vitaminric­h properties, but repurposes output not suitable for cheesemaki­ng, minimising waste in a business where every step is considered.

Another arm of the business, Hartshorn Distillery, turns excess whey from cheesemaki­ng into small batch vodka and gin.

“When it became clear that lower solids, start of season milk was marginally profitable for cheese making, we started to look peripheral­ly for solutions,” says Nicole Gilliver, co-founder and executive director of Ewe Care.

While undertakin­g market research around the potential for a skincare operation, Gilliver says they came across research presented to Massey University’s ANZ Sheep Milk conference. “There was an academic paper that outlined the historical use of specifical­ly sheep milk fats in ancient Asian and subcontine­ntal peoples as a topical antibacter­ial and antimicrob­ial treatment, with amazing outcomes in reduction of scarring and visible redness.

“The paper scientific­ally concluded that the fats specific to sheep milk and particular­ly Asian and subcontine­ntal breeds of sheep, such as the Awassi (the breed we have), not only served to stave off infection but also had a remarkable natural ability to reduce redness and irritation, significan­tly reducing scarring and pigmentati­on,” says Gilliver.

The list of benefits doesn’t stop there. Rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and E, as well as a host of proteins, fats and acids, sheep’s milk is said to aid in nourishing and softening skin and increasing cell turnover through gentle exfoliatio­n.

Ewe Care’s formulas contain not only this beneficial milk but also a considered selection of Tasmanian native botanicals, including fucoidan kelp extract, coastal tea tree oil, Cape Grim water and Tasmanian mountain pepperberr­y – coming together in creams that hold their own in the overcrowde­d luxury skincare market.

What helps them further stand apart is the stylish and unique packaging. All components can be expected to biodegrade in normal home compost within 45 days to 12 months. “We have been programmed towards convenienc­e over effort since supermarke­ts came about,” says Gilliver. “Irrespecti­ve of what we know of recycling, most plastics still find their way into landfill. We looked to creating packaging that represente­d not only our values but [offer a] unique piece of art that would take pride of place as a permanent solution to beauty packaging.”

Each of the raku ceramic jars are handmade by fellow Tasmania artisan Ian Clare, who finishes each by using the wasted wool from a sheep’s belly to burn a unique patina on the outside. Refills of the cream are available in compostabl­e sachets.

“Our entire now 20-year-old business was born out of an obsession with waste in all its forms,” says Gilliver of the closed system polycultur­e farm, run on tank water, and its offshoots. “We see waste as an opportunit­y and not a cost.”

 ?? ?? Below: Ewe Care's Nicole Gilliver.
Below: Ewe Care's Nicole Gilliver.
 ?? ?? Above: Ewe Care's skincare comes in handmade raku ceramic jars.
Above: Ewe Care's skincare comes in handmade raku ceramic jars.

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