A-Beauty: The Australian Native Botanicals You Need Now
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Taking Aussie pride to the next level, A-Beauty is the latest (and obviously, greatest) beauty trend to take off. Making use of the vast and potent ingredients our great southern land has to offer, A-Beauty is here to stay.
As some of the most potent natural skincare ingredients in the world, native Australian botanicals deliver results, minus the harsh chemicals. Speaking to brand founders Ross Macdougald of Biologi and Jonnie Vigar from Leif Products, we delve into four of the main Australian botanicals to discover exactly why they deserve a place in your routine.
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First things first: why Australian botanicals? We’re just as patriotic as the next guy but do we really need to shake up our routine?
According to Macdougald, for years, we relied upon foreign lands for skin-changing extracts (how many times have you heard a story about an ingredient from the rolling hills of France?) when really, we were sitting on a gold mine. Our local, home grown botanicals “contain a high amount of ‘active’ nutrients which are beneficial for the skin as they change it on a cellular level,” says Macdougald.
These ingredients are also completely safe straight from the natural source – meaning, they don’t need to be altered in order to be effective. The only downside? You (might) need to play favourites. “It isn’t a good idea to use multiple botanicals together because many of these ingredients don’t actually ‘like’ each other,” recommends Macdougald. “This means that when they are mixed or layered on the skin they can actually cancel out or dilute the active ingredients.” The best thing to do? Find out what your skin actually needs and apply a single, potent Australian native to address said need.
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Native to the sunshine state, Desert Lime is a thorny shrub that can change skin for the better. “It’s main benefit, when it comes to skincare, is it’s incredibly high concentration of Vitamin C which helps to brighten the skin and improve texture,” says Vigar.
The plant is also rich in antioxidants, which help reduce pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles as well as folic acid which works to neutralise harmful free radicals. You can also count reducing oxidative stress as another perk. No matter if you choose to incorporate it into your skincare, body care or hair care routine, one thing is certain – you will be glowing all over.
Gritty Pretty Loves: Leif Desert Lime Body Cleanser ($39), Edible Beauty Desert Lime Flawless Micro Exfoliant ($39), Mukti Cucumber And Desert Lime Shampoo ($54.95)
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Bursting with essential fatty acids, this plant is Western Australia’s best kept secret. Not only do fatty acids assist in healthy cell growth, but they also boost the plumpness and youthfulness of our skin.
“Kangaroo Paw extract has numerous active ingredients for the skin,” says Macdougald. “These include tryptophan, chlorogenic acid, rutin, phenolic acids and isorhamnetin.” Don’t mind the jargon – these ingredients are all key in brightening the skin and preventing pigmentation. It’s also rich in linoleic acid which strengthens the skin and hair barrier to lock in moisture.
Talk about an all-rounder.
Gritty Pretty Loves: Alkira Hydrating Cleansing Lotion ($16.95), A’Kin Kangaroo Paw Flower And Hyaluronic Acid Face Mask ($7.99), Clarins Extra Firming Day Cream ($122)
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A tropical almond to a botanist, but a Vitamin C treasure trove to a beauty junkie, Kakadu Plum is a flowering plant native to the tropical woodlands of Australia. Naturally the world’s richest source of Vitamin C, Vigar says it’s the one botanical people should incorporate immediately.
“The harsh growing conditions mean that the Kakadu Plum has to arm itself with antioxidants in order to not just survive but thrive,” says Vigar. “The plant has to protect itself from hard sunlight, so over thousands of years developed extremely high Vitamin C content.”
Said Vitamin C content is great for increasing the suppleness of skin and, according to Macdougald, inhibiting melanogenesis (pigmentation) and UV damage. The plant is also high in ellagic acid, which calms redness and irritation due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
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Coming in a very close second on the vitamin C front (Kakadu Plum is numero uno), Quandong is great for stimulating collagen production to plump up the skin, reduce dark circles and soften fine lines.
“Quandong is useful for Australian skin, in particular because of our exposure to the harsh Aussie sun, as it helps prevent pigmentation,” says Macdougald. The reason being that the member of the sandalwood family is potent in natural levels of tryptophan, ferulic acid, rutin and chlorogenic acid – all of which play an important role in preventing pigmentation.
“Rutin and chlorogenic acid are critical to reducing redness and pigmentation that already exists, while tryptophan and ferulic acid prevent pigmentation from forming in the first place.”
Gritty Pretty Loves: Biologi Bqk Evening Serum ($138/set), Cedar And Stone Chakra Balance Palmarosa And Quandong Mist ($20), ASPAR Geranium And Quandong Revitalising Shampoo ($32.95)
Have you got an Australian botanical beauty product you swear by? Share it in the comments below!