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Christo and Johanna Everingham of Lepaar

The husband and wife team on their sun-infused, biodynamic compositions, the power of the gold, frankincense and myrrh trinity, and how skincare can surpass our skin and senses to affect our whole being.

Between the coast of Sydney and a pristine 100-acre property in Kangaroo Valley, husband and wife duo Christo and Johanna Everingham created Lepaar, a unisex skin and body collection that’s so grounded in nature, ancient wisdom and sun-infused extracts, it’s practically out of this world. And therein lies the interconnectedness. The balance.

Named after a rough translation of “the pair” in French and German, the combination speaks to the story of Christo and Johanna coming together, sharing their passions and using old practices and knowledge to craft new formulations from whole plant extracts and seed and fruit oils. Their processes, philosophy and principles are unlike anything we’ve come across — so heartfelt, precious and pristinely made from nature.

Just to give you a taste: all of Lepaar’s compositions (they prefer this term over “product”) are made with base, middle and top layers (like fragrance notes) called the Energising Foundation, Balancing Centre and Harmonising Charge respectively. The first is a sun-infused base that carries the concoction; the middle is a blend of extracts, seed and fruit oils; and the top layer is an offering of sustainably harvested frankincense and myrrh resin extracts and their essential oils, as well as 24 karat gold. Every single composition is also charged with the brand’s signature medley of gold, frankincense and myrrh to “harmonise our whole being, balance our state of mind and lift our spirit”.

It’s a lot to take in and we took our time to do so ourselves. But if you can only takeaway one thing, just know that you can trust in the “wholistic” ingredients, formulation process and purpose of Lepaar’s gold-stamped works of art to heal and harmonise your skin, senses and soul.


We love Lepaar’s brand aesthetic. Tell us about it, the logo and what the name means.

Johanna: The sword featured in our first business, No King. It comes from Christo’s training in Aikido around the sword as a symbol of the spirit. There is a saying in Taoism: “If you don’t have a sword in your nature, you can’t hold your line.” Pairing up together to form Lepaar — a rough translation of “the pair” in French-German — we brought in two swords. Your inner sword is your spirit, your character. We all need one to fight for a cause close to our heart, or a cause worth fighting for, like nature, natural processes, against GMO, plastic, today’s throwaway culture. Maybe even the right to just bloody age gracefully with lines, sagging skin, warts and all.

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Lepaar’s ‘wholistic’ skincare philosophy is fascinating. Can you tell us more about how it influences every aspect of the brand from what kind of products you decide to formulate, to the ingredients used, composition processes, and everything in-between?

Christo: We are collectors, artists, lovers of exquisite quality, and supporters of things to pass on. We follow that which excites us. These things we love — everything created with love, or are handmade with artistry — are imbued with spirit. We do not move on a product until we are moved, and then we do it with spirit. We call our skincare creations “compositions”, never “products”. They are a symphony of so many voices and intentions that go way beyond just skincare.

We consider provenance to be more important than the show pony circus of organic certification; wholesome ethos to be of more substance than adherence to a ‘holistic’ trend; attention to humanity’s constant, re-aligning play (or struggle) of body health, state of soul and development of spirit to be more significant than soft, subtle skin. Our compositions, whether you chose a simple lip balm, an intensive serum or a harmonising elixir, are created to stimulate, realign and balance your whole being — the cells of your body, the fabric of your soul, awareness of spirit — into a naturally healthy, harmonious state.

Because we work in the realm of biodynamic principles, our whole process follows the lunar cycle, seasons, weather etc. We have a beautiful and wild 100-acre property in Australia’s pristine Kangaroo Valley, where we biodynamically grow a lot of our own plants, and wander around to forage what’s in season. Our ingredients are also sourced from where Johanna has a connection with her German roots.

Essentially, we work with sun-infused whole plant extracts, meaning we lovingly grow, hand-pick and air-dry parts of the plants. These extracts are gentler on the skin and whole system yet deliver a more powerful and complete spectrum of the plants’ properties than singular essential oils or seed oils. We find that the combination of whole plant extracts with seed and fruit oils are far superior to anything along the standard lines of base oil plus essential oil formulas.

“I love plants, I love the whisper of trees, the silence of rocks, the sun seeking flowers, the gentle herbs — they all talk to me of their healing powers. They are all here for a reason. True beauty.”

Johanna: I love using the warmth of the sun to make our whole plant extracts. Slow and gentle, just like everything we do; changing the herbs and rotating the jars daily like maturing champagne bottles. Most extracts sun-infuse for four to six months, sometimes for over a year for a particularly exceptional vintage. Barks, roots and wood need much longer to extract than flowers, leaves, herbs and fruit.

During the macerating process, a symphony of colours emerges, changing our sun yellow biodynamic olive oil to all shades of the spectrum, imbuing it with medicinal goodness, skin healing properties and beautifully complex aromas.

This ancient remedy-crafting process, using nothing but the divine energy of the sun, preserves the heat sensitive properties of our precious botanicals, leaves zero carbon footprint, and requires only a fraction of the botanical raw materials of essential oils and seed oil production. Minimal intervention skincare making that’s good for skin, the planet and the soul.

We make a sun-infused calendula and vanilla extract in biodynamic olive oil, which is the foundation of all our compositions. Calendula, because it is the world’s oldest known healing plant that not only cures everything, but is also a beautifully vigorous plant to grow and a fantastic companion plant. On our property, wherever calendula grows, everything else thrives, even through the drought.

Olive oil, because with its unique and self-preserving nutrient content, it’s the only oil that does not oxidise in the sun-infusion process and has a phenomenal ability to extract the medicinal properties of our plants.

Vanilla, because it’s the ultimate spice. It balances the bitterness of the olive oil and ever so softly melts with the distinctive calendula so the resulting extract is a true composition of bioactive properties, texture, colour and fragrance. We call this our Energising Foundation, the all-healing base that carries the composition. From here, we decide on the skin-nurturing aspect we want our composition to have. Do we want to brighten? Tone? Protect? Exfoliate? Soften? Calm? Hydrate? This part we call the Balancing Centre. A song of extracts, seed oils and fruit oils selected to combine their properties into a targeted performance.

We prefer not to work with essential oils for this reason as they are too strong, too volatile for the body’s system to handle because the environmental impact of the world’s increasing demand for essential oil production is borderline catastrophic and they are really much more beneficial in homeopathic quantities as a spirit charge. Lastly, we add the Harmonising Charge, a base composition of fair trade, sustainably harvested frankincense and myrrh resin extracts and their essential oils, as well as 24 karat gold. We call this the Sacred Trinity Blend, which is also a sun-infused extract in biodynamic olive oil and, depending on the whole composition, we might add different essences. If we use a rose petal and leaf extract in the Balancing Centre, we like to add a rose essence to give a full spectrum of the plant (the spirit charge).

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Luminous Beauty Balm

To what extent does your three-fold composition and bio-dynamic principles affect the final product and physically or tangibly differentiate your products from others in each of their categories?

The Balancing Centre is where the targeted skin performance sings. Here we have an orchestra of up to 10 different ingredients that directs the composition’s purpose. Serums are usually more intensely directed, meaning they have ingredients with similar properties. Elixirs and balms are more round, more multi-functional, drawing their powers from ingredients that combine their very different properties. Physically, the differences are subtle.

All compositions are oil-based, and we use wild harvested beeswax in our balms so the colours of all our compositions are a variation of gold yellow. The Zen Matcha Cashmere is a dirty moss green because of the matcha extract, and the Elemental Day Silk is creamy white because of the zinc. We don’t use colourings and would never think of using that much essential oil to, say, colour our compositions blue. Again, the feeling and texture depends on what we want them to do. A lip balm is firmer, while the Luminous Beauty Balm is velvet soft. The Elemental Day Silk is silky and the luscious Zen Matcha Cashmere is like a super soft melting night balm that suits an evening ritual of calm cocooning after the day’s activities.

“All compositions are oil-based, and we use wild harvested beeswax in our balms so the colours of all our compositions are a variation of gold yellow. We don’t use colourings and would never think of using that much essential oil to, say, colour our compositions blue.”

How do the positively charged, ‘alive’ compositions of the formulations harmonise with our physical and spiritual being?

It’s like eating dead or alive food. Straight from the garden compared to plastic packages of greens that have been processed, shrink-wrapped, frozen and sprayed. When we say alive, it also means ‘whole’, full or complete, to nurture and energise our qi, the life force. On a metaphysical level, these ‘alive’ compositions are of high vibration, so they help tune us in to a higher frequency. Just like everything made from alive, whole ingredients does.

Lepaar’s offerings are crafted from a signature blend of gold, frankincense and myrrh. How was this trio selected out of so many other ingredients that also deliver skin benefits, cell renewal and overall well-being?

Christo: From the outset, Johanna was drawn back through time, exploring her heritage in German wildcrafting which led her down warren holes of ancient stores associated with precious healing substances. Johanna grew up with the story of the three wise men and their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Both symbolically and physically, they are very powerful substances, given to accompany us through our lives. Johanna’s family is deeply involved in the Antroposophic movement that inspired homeopathic medicine, which considers this trio to be a uniquely powerful activator of all of our bodies — in particular, the ethereal body, which is the form of our being that holds us in our physical presence for as long as we live, and helps us transcend to the spirit realm when we die.

Johanna: When my father passed away two years ago, I had just started to work with frankincense, myrrh and gold. I was fascinated by their historical significance that imbued so many layers of ancient society: religion of many faiths, healing traditions, protection rites, embalming ceremonies, trade, cleansing rituals, worship etc. These ancient substances are so much more than once-been precious trade fare.

I flew to Berlin just in time and held vigil by his deathbed. Instead of the usual, spirit-numbing morphine load favoured by the palliative care system, our homeopathic family doctor administered a concoction of gold, frankincense and myrrh. She explained to us that the intense pain he was feeling was not physical pain, but the horrendous pain of having to let go. To say a final goodbye. To leave his body, his home of 72 years, us, forever. No amount of morphine can take that pain away. It only dulls the senses so the spirit cannot make a conscious decision to let go, to die. That’s why dying people wither, prolong their exit and hang in there; albeit in a drugged state of mind that’s just nothing.

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Gold, frankincense and myrrh

As soon as we injected the gold, frankincense and myrrh, we rubbed on his heart, lessened his pain and awakened his spirit to connect once again with a higher consciousness. We rubbed the cream on our own hearts and pulse points as well to make this moment bearable. And it did. It so did. He died two days after I arrived. He was so sad to go, but not desolate. Neither were we. We washed his body with more gold, frankincense and myrrh, dressed him in his suit, laid his body in the bed covered in white sheets, lit candles either side of his body to keep away the death shadows, and, as is the custom in anthroposophical circles, held death watch for three nights burning more gold, frankincense and myrrh.

I returned back to Australia with my heart so full, and a recipe for the Sacred Trinity Anointment Serum materialising in my head. It took a few more months to work out how to extract the resin’s psychoactive properties along with all the bioactive skin goodness. This is because essential oil does not contain the psychoactive spectrum as the molecules are too large to pass in the distillation process.

What are Lepaar’s bestsellers and your favourite ways of using each product?

The Precious Face Elixir post-morning shower nurtures, fortifies and protects. The Zen Matcha Cashmere after cleansing before bed helps to cocoon skin and feels like heaven. And the Luminous Beauty Balm as an extra layer of protection over the Precious Face Elixir against harsh conditions, and as an instant hydrator is divine. The Sacred Trinity Anointment Serum, of course, goes everywhere with both of us. It’s our next-level rescue remedy that helps with everything.

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Which is your favourite ingredient out of all your healing herbs, and why?

Johanna: I don’t really have a favourite. We really don’t. But at the moment, I am particularly in love with the calendula flower because they totally rescued our garden throughout the winter drought. But I also really love the light root that grows in long tubers underground, storing the most light ether of all plants in its root. I love plants, I love the whisper of trees, the silence of rocks, the sun seeking flowers, the gentle herbs — they all talk to me of their healing powers. They are all here for a reason. True beauty.

What is your daily beauty routine, and what other brands do you love or are inspired by?

Johanna: Simple: Shower, Precious Face Elixir, Velvet Lip Balm and I’m done. I don’t wear makeup so that’s it, really. When I am in the country, I put on a layer of Luminous Beauty Balm before working in the garden, and a smear of Elemental Day Silk on my nose, cheeks, chin, forehead and above my lips to combat any development of melasma, which I suffered from after pregnancy.

In the city, I go to the beach, so I’ll put Elemental Day Silk on my face. The only other skincare brand I use is Dr. Hauschka. I like their mascara and eye liner for when I go out for dinner or so. I love how Dr. Hauschka has virtually resurrected very specific medicinal plants in their native environments by supporting local growers and establishing small biodynamic farms all over the world. I want to be like that one day. I also use Lavera, another German organic brand for haircare.

Christo just wears the Precious Face Elixir and Elemental Day Silk on his nose.

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What’s next for Lepaar?

We are constantly evolving and move towards what excites us most. Creating more healing ‘auric’ serums along the Sacred Trinity Anointment Serum line is in our minds eye at the moment. Less beauty, more depth. We are also working on alcohol-free internal tinctures.

We are constantly evolving and move towards what excites us most. Creating more healing ‘auric’ serums along the Sacred Trinity Anointment Serum line is in our minds eye at the moment. Less beauty, more depth. We are also working on alcohol-free internal tinctures.

“We do not move on a product until we are moved, and then we do it with spirit.”

What does conscious living mean to you?

Wholistic is a word we use to describe our brand and ethos. To consider the whole and not just a single aspect is important to us. This means to consider the backend and not just the front. Are there any empty areas, as in unethical practices, environmental hazards etc. in this process, ingredient, product? Know where a shirt is made, what it’s made from and who has made it. Only from here can you make conscious decisions from the right place.

Images courtesy of Lepaar