Justine Turns 40, With Not a Hint of ‘Middle Age Meh’ in Sight

A couple of weeks ago I got to attend the 40th Birthday lunch of Justine cosmetics at the very swanky Le Chatelat in Sandhurst. We were prancing around the beautiful estate garden like real ladies with white umbrellas to shield us from the scorching sun, and every now and then I had to remind myself that I’m in fact not an extra in a period drama, and that there’s no need for quite as much staring off into the distance…

The Justine Tissue Oil range - lotions, potions and oils - it's a little empire by itself
The Justine Tissue Oil range – lotions, potions, scrubs and oils – it’s a little empire by itself
The Justine Honey Herbal range - these things smell absolutely amazing, and has everything from body oils, scrubs, lotions, butters and bath goods.
The Justine Honey Herbal range – these things smell absolutely amazing, and has everything from body oils, scrubs, lotions, butters and bath goods.

I won’t bore you with a play-by-play of the entire afternoon, but I do want to say that my opinion of Justine (and other brands who use a direct sales model, for that matter) changed instantly on the day. I used to see it as something housewives would get into when they’re bored/want some money they don’t want to ask Daddy for. As my afternoon with the Justine peeps progressed, however, I listened to some pretty impressive stats and stories – not only on how they’ve been empowering women (yes, I went there) since the 70’s, but also about the sheer magnitude of what they’re doing. When one speaker told us about how she made enough money in one month to buy a new car in cash while still having a ‘regular’ salary left over, I realised that they were enabling women to provide for themselves and their families.

In between a lovely lunch, some talks (Sandy Ehrenreich, better known as Sandy Ngema, is the beautiful & bubbly brand ambassador for Justine Tissue oil) and live music, I was very taken with a new Justine offering – Tissue Oil Gold SPF25 (R385 for 50ml). They’ve taken the original tissue oil formula and added some extra goodies – the SPF25, obviously, and then a good dose of oil soluble Vitamin C  called Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate* (Vit C is water soluble in it’s original state. It’s a great collagen-inducer. Vitamin C molecules are pretty small in structure, meaning good penetration levels to treat ageing and scarring. Apparently the oil soluble version is also more stable than the water soluble one).

Justine birthday lunch table
We sat down at this gorgeous long table for lunch – one third of it is still behind me.
Here's Nomfusi, performing during lunch. The chick's about the size of my right leg, but she has a big voice on her.
Here’s Nomfusi, performing during lunch. The chick’s about the size of my right leg, but she has a big, delightful voice on her. My right leg may be a little jealous.


My only niggle with this new tissue oil is the inclusion of mineral oil – as the second ingredient. This is not a Justine-specific niggle of mine, but more of  a general one – you’ll find mineral oil (most often listed as paraffinum Liquidum) in many tissue oils, day creams and night creams to name a few. While mineral oil makes a formulation feel pleasant, it doesn’t do much to the contents – in fact, it detracts from it. Mineral oil can only penetrate the most superficial layers of the epidermis, where it’s function is to create a barrier. My concern with this is then always how much use the other ingredients are if you’re adding an ingredient with the sole function of sitting on the skin. The ideal solution would be to make up the base solely out of vegetable oils, which are much closer to your skin’s own oils, and thus much more easily accepted and penetrated. To Justine’s credit, the first ingredient in Tissue Oil Gold is Sesame oil, which is perfect.

In other news, I was overcome with the most nostalgic feeling when I saw the Epigran range from Justine – I remember them very well as my mom used the Epigran serum on and off for years, and I very distinctly remember the yeasty smell – we used to call it Marmite serum. I’ll do a separate post on this as soon as I’ve used it a couple of times though – I suspect it’s going to be a real goodie.

I received a massive box full of old and new Justine products in my press pack, and I’ll be trying them out and sharing my favourites over the next couple of months. If you’re looking to get your hands on some Justine products, visit the website to locate a consultant in your area.

Happy birthday Justine, and thanks for having me at your party! Here's to the next 40 years xx
Happy birthday Justine, and thanks for having me at your party! Not only was this little cake gorgeous, but if was delicious too.

Thanks for inviting me to your birthday party, Justine, cheers to the next 40 years!

C xx

*I did some research of my own, and it turns out Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, the form of oil soluble Vit C used in Tissue oil gold, is a bit of a wonder ingredient. Compared to good old water soluble vit C, it’s more stable, has a longer shelf life, and penetrates better because your skin welcomes oil soluble ingredients a little deeper into its oil-based pores (makes sense, no?). It also does not need to be in a formula with a low, acidic pH in order to penetrate and stay stable (like it’s counterpart does), so there is a much smaller risk of causing irritation -it also does not have the exfoliating properties of L-ascorbic acid, making it suitable for sensitive skins. This is getting long winded but do bear with me – it also works in synergy with Vit E, meaning each enhances the other’s performance. It prevents cellular aging by inhibiting the degenteration of collagen and preventing the oxidation of proteins; and it’s been known to lighten/brighten dark marks on the skin.

As you were.

C xx



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