Each year, the Australia Day holiday grows in its contentiousness, dividing the nation and bringing about pain and sadness for countless indigenous Australians. It can be difficult for some who are wishing to find ways to celebrate in respectful ways, so we thought we would share a few of our thoughts.
The slice of earth we are lucky enough to stand on and call home is nothing less than a marvel – and with that in mind, we believe the best way to celebrate January 26th is to reflect on all our native wonders and sacred culture, the things that make our incredible country so unique, and why we are so grateful to be standing here today. Rugged but magical, vast but jaw-droppingly beautiful, and brimming with some of the most wondrous destinations, scenery, fauna and flora imaginable.
When it comes to the latter, we have so many powerhouse natives growing in our own backyards that have been used for hundreds of years as traditional remedies, and only now are we really beginning to appreciate them within popular and commercial culture. Indeed, native Australian ingredients are booming right now even on the international skincare stage, and we couldn’t be more thrilled they are finally receiving the recognition they deserve. So as we cherish all the sacred natural treasures our extraordinary homeland boasts, here are a few native Australian botanicals and active skincare ingredients we’re appreciating this January 26th.
Kakadu Plum is now widely accepted within the beauty community as the plant-based alternative to ascorbic acid, containing very high levels of naturally occurring vitamin C. Found in the Eucalypt open woodlands throughout Northern Australia, the pale green fruit has traditionally been used to treat colds, the flu, and headaches, plus as an antiseptic. A powerful brightening agent and antioxidant protection.
Found in the far tropical north of Australia to northern New South Wales, Davidson Plum boasts antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is another antioxidant powerhouse due to its high anthocyanin content. It is a traditional bush tucker, despite its sharp acidity. It is also said to act like an AHA and produce a brightening and fading effect on pigment.
Found in the lush east coast of Australia and up to tropical north Queensland, Indigenous Australians have long utilised the benefits of Lilly Pilly for its healing and antibacterial properties. A small shrub with vibrant berries, its another Aussie native revered for its high Vitamin C content, brightening effects and collagen-stimulating properties.
Lemon Myrtle can be found growing in the sub-tropical rainforests of central and south-eastern Queensland. With antimicrobial and antifungal properties, this native ingredient has incredibly high volumes of citral, the oil that offers citrus fruits their pleasant uplifting fragrance. In skincare it is often used as an astringent and sebum regulator, and of course for its powerful, fresh natural aroma.
You will likely know this ingredient better in skincare as ‘caviar lime’, for the fruit’s tiny pearls do closely resemble caviar. The outside of the fruit more closely resembles a gherkin, and has been used traditionally by indigenous Australians both topically and as a valuable food source. Widespread in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, it’s another native rich in Vitamin C, and said to improve skin hydration and support collagen production. It is also recognised by some as a healing agent, suitable for acne, rosacea, even psoriasis.
Potent in natural levels of tryptophan, ferulic acid, rutin and chlorogenic acid, Quandong (grown throughout arid and semi-arid areas of Australia) is used both as a pigment fader, and a pigment inhibitor. Traditionally, not only was the sweet and tangy fruit eaten, but the kernel extracts were used for teeth and gum aches.
Hailing from Western Australia, Kangaroo Paw is brimming with essential fatty acids, beneficial for hydration, restoration and overall skin health. Traditionally it has been used for wounds, cuts and burns due to its healing properties.
These are just a few examples of the natural wonders Australia is bursting with, and we are in a lucky enough position to work with these ingredients professionally, to share them with our community, and use them to change people’s lives for the better. If celebrating that isn’t in the spirit of Australia, we don’t know what is!