She's so Cult

Meet the Founders: Kim & Zoe Roebuck

The brainchild of Australian twin sisters, Kim and Zoe, {Dr Roebuck’s} pays homepage to their doctor-parents’ ‘secret’ formula… Developed over 40 years ago to heal and soothe their baby daughters’ stressed-out skins, this clean, vegan brand stars this skin-healing cocktail and aim to use fewer, not more of Australasia’s wealth of incredible ingredients to nurture and respect skin’s changing needs.

An array of gentle (but ultra effective!) essentials, Dr Roebuck’s is a range of calming, strengthening and skin-loving products with a conscience.We caught up with Kim and Zoe about their inspiration, quirky brand names and the {Dr. Roebuck’s} ethos… 

{Cult Beauty} First things first, can you tell us a little bit about the brand’s beginnings? What’s the Dr. Roebuck’s story so far?

{Kim and Zoe} Our journey started with a family formula that was made to cure our dry, sensitive skin when we were children. Our mum and dad, both doctors, discovered that the secret to clean, effective skin care is by taking a less-is-more approach, using only the ingredients needed and nothing else. 

30 years later, we decided to share our #RoeGlows with the world and {Dr Roebuck’s} was born! Blood, sweat and tears were put into everything we’ve created while taking our time to perfect our formulations – it’s really important not to rush development! We built genuine relationships, found the funding we needed to grow, partnered with outstanding brands and retailers, while meeting amazing people along the way – and here we are!

{CB} We’re on the cusp of an Australian Beauty frenzy. Why do you think the beauty world has suddenly ‘woken up’ to A-Beauty?

{K & Z} A-Beauty is having a major moment right now because it actually works – no fluff, fillers or exaggerated marketing required. Australian ingredients deliver the results as promised – they’re unique, powerful and efficacious, which is why skin care-lovers are reaching for Aussie products now more than ever – plus you can get amazing results with a lot less. 

It’s just simple beauty, which is the Australian way. No complicated routines. We were fortunate to grow up in one of the purest places in the world, where wellness and healthy living were a natural part of our day-to-day, back when it wasn’t the mainstream. Consumers are so much more sophisticated today and social media has given Australia a platform that we didn’t have before. It’s now easier for the world to connect with our way of life and we are proud that we can share it.

{CB} Where does Dr. Roebuck’s ‘fit’ within the growing A-Beauty movement? What makes it so unique?

{K & Z} We’re all about minimal ingredients for maximum results, reinforcing that a simplified list of ingredients does not mean sacrificing efficacy. Our less-is-more approach makes us unique, as well as our inclusion of clean, Aussie super ingredients that are packed with multi-functional benefits. 

Each and every product has been carefully formulated with the clean, adaptive, sustainably-sourced ingredients your skin deserves. Our products are cruelty-free, sulphate-free, paraben-free – in other words, no nasties. We also follow the supply chain all the way to where our raw ingredients are sourced – it’s all about transparency for us – even down to our spring water.

{CB} Who is Dr. Roebuck’s aimed at? Do you have a ‘poster’ person in mind when developing product?

{K & Z} Laura Brown, the Editor in Chief of InStyle Magazine, is a great example of a ‘poster’ woman for Dr Roebuck’s. She’s a girl who really lives a maximised life without making compromises on her health or skin care. While having such a great career, she makes sure to have fun along the way and finds the time to look after her beautiful skin! Beauty from the inside out, at its finest.

{CB} What does ‘cult’ mean to you, and how does this apply to Dr. Roebuck’s?

{K & Z} A ‘cult’ to us speaks to the community surrounding your brand. For {Dr Roebuck’s}, that means cultivating a loyal group of followers who are active, inclusive and who truly believe in beauty from the inside out. They strive to live a balanced, ‘no worries’ lifestyle and understand that our clean skin care products are an accessible way to do exactly that.

{CB} Can you talk to us about your inspiration? How do you dream up the names for your products?

{K & Z} Our home has inspired everything: branding, packaging design, formulations – even our product names! Each recyclable product box has an aerial shot of a particular landscape in Australia, like the Daintree forest for example. The product names are handwritten in copper foil to represent the beautiful sands of Bondi Beach.

We named each product after either a unique Australian location or slang, and our bestselling moisturiser – {No Worries} – was inspired by one of our favourite phrases. We also highlight ingredients native to our home like caviar lime (a natural AHA), and kakadu plum, which has 50 times more vitamin C than an orange. Sourcing these local ingredients and having Australian culture at the centre of our branding allows us to share our home with the rest of the world.

{CB} And what about ingredients? How do you source them – and do you have a favourite?

{K & Z} We source all of our ingredients from ethical, sustainable and cruelty-free sources. We follow each ingredient from source, extraction, refinement through to final product. Every ingredient is sourced each time we create a new batch to ensure the highest and freshest quality. We have a very close relationship with all of our ingredient suppliers and head scientists at these labs to sustain the highest quality and ensure ethical/fair trade sourcing. 

Our Australian ingredients are sourced from indigenous farmers and suppliers whenever possible, as they have been using these ingredients for medicinal purposes for centuries – so not only are we supporting the indigenous peoples of Australia, but they are also the purest source. Some of our ingredients are also made to order, proving we will never compromise quality just to make a product.

Macadamia oil is our favourite ingredient! It is in several of our bestselling products because of its multitude of benefits. We use high grade, cold-pressed macadamia oil to ensure the highest quality and efficacy. The oil has so many helpful benefits that many people are not aware of! It’s the closest match to the naturally-occurring sebum of the skin. 

The oil is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and is highly emollient yet lightweight, so it penetrates all layers of the dermis. It contains squalane and oleic acid which helps with cell regeneration, as well as palmitoleic acid which aids in the healing of wounds, scratches and burns.

{CB} Why was creating a ‘clean’ skin care line so important to you? Can you talk us through the brand’s extensive list of ‘clean’ credentials?

{K & Z} The overall ethos behind the brand is clean beauty. We’ve taken an eco-friendly and sustainable approach to everyday living to not only minimise exposure to nasty chemicals and toxins, but also to limit our carbon footprint. This is how we were brought up as children, and we continue to live our lives in the same manner. 

Our personal DNA has become the foundation of our business. We are very blessed to have grown up in this way of life, where our parents taught us the importance of clean and healthy living at a very young age. We sourced all of our own food from local suppliers, so we never ate any processed foods. White bread and sugar were completely banned from our home – we didn’t eat chocolate until we were 16 years old!! Creating our clean skin care line is our way of sharing Australia and our less-is-more lifestyle with the world.

Ultimately we have a long list of ingredients we don’t formulate with – from parabens, silicones and sulfates to EDTA, BHA/BHT and phthalates. Within the ‘clean’ space, we choose to take a positive approach to our brand and our DNA to focus on the amazing, good-for-you ingredients vs. fear mongering on the harmful chemicals.

{CB} For those brand new to the range, is there a ‘hero’ product guaranteed to trigger an addiction?

{K & Z} We recommend starting out with {No Worries}, our everyday hydrating face moisturiser that’s packed with super ingredients like hyaluronic acid, rosehip oil, vitamin E and macadamia oil – our favourite. It will get you hooked and glowing in no time!

{CB} And finally, which products are your personal favourites? Are there any you’re particularly proud of?

{K & Z} {Surf Chaser} – It has this amazing ingredient called Coenzyme Q10 that is very powerful. I also take it in a supplement form.

{Daintree} – This product has changed my skin, giving it an amazing glow. It took a very long time to formulate and source all of the ingredients, so it is a major labour of love for me.

{No Worries} – I can’t live without it! if I don’t have it for a few days, I notice right away and just cannot wait to use it again. It’s the best everyday moisturiser on the planet, in our humble opinion 🙂

{Byron} – It’s a fabulous scrub and mask, all in one. When I’m busy, I’ll use it as a mask while I shower. I love the eco-friendly jojoba beads – they were sourced specifically to exfoliate at the perfect level and dissolve before going down the drain.

Thank you so much guys! Who else can’t wait to immerse themselves in Dr. Roebuck’s sunny range of skin care heroes?


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…