Turns Out the Coolest Natural Beauty Products Come From Australia
If you've ever visited the US you probably started to notice a mass Australian invasion a few years ago. In cosmopolitan hubs like New York and Chicago, Aussie coffee culture is rampant and even in sprawling, sunny LA you can’t escape the accent—remember we were the country that brought avocado toast to people's attention, and flat whites, after all. We can thank ourselves for more great things too: Heath Ledger, flared sleeves, Tim Tams, Chris Hemsworth—and now, your new favourite clean beauty brands.
As an Aussie export living in NYC, I’ve tried (and still love) cult-hit American clean beauty brands like May Lindstrom, RMS Beauty, and Tata Harper, but nothing impresses me like natural beauty hailing from the motherland.
Perhaps these brands are just innately better than their international counterparts because the ingredients used are derived from plants that must survive harsh climates Down Under. Or maybe Australia embraces natural beauty more readily than other countries. Either way, Aussie clean beauty just works. Take kakadu plum as an example: This plant is often used in serums and moisturisers, and is one of the highest natural occurring sources of skin-brightening vitamin C on the planet. It can help fade acne scarring, rejuvenate dull skin, and even naturally help acne-prone skin. Then there’s Manuka honey, a powerful substance native to Australia’s east coast and to New Zealand that can fight breakout-causing bacteria and promote collagen production. And that’s really just the start of it—keep scrolling for a full breakdown of 12 thoroughly-vetted Australian natural beauty brands missing from your skin care regimen.
Manuka honey is here to solve all of your skin issues. It’s been used holistically since ancient times to clean wounds and prevent infections on both the inside (like a sore throat) and outside, and is now a key ingredient used by skin care brands like Mrs Manuka to kill acne-causing bacteria, stimulate collagen production, and help reduce pigmentation.
Manuka honey’s made by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush—also known as tea tree, an ingredient regularly applied as a spot treatment or antiseptic. This powerful botanical-extract has higher levels of antibacterial component methylglyoxal than other honeys which means it can kill germs, including the pore-dwelling kind that might trigger a breakout.
I use the dry Detox Face Mask mixed with water (dry masks contain less preservatives than pre-mixed masks!) whenever I think my skin’s looking a little clogged or dull, and love it. I know the line suits multiple skin types too: My sister, who has never seen a pimple in her life but has sensitive skin, is also obsessed with Mrs Manuka’s Daily Moisturiser.
I fell for Rohr Remedy’s slick packaging before I even caught a whiff of their wild-harvested, botanical formulas. I first tested the super-fragrant, cleansing Honey Myrtle Body Wash ($28), loved it instantly, and moved on to the Kakadu Plum Vitamin C Face Serum ($48). The latter is derived from a native Australian plant that, conveniently, happens to be loaded with skin brightening vitamin C and antioxidants. In fact, this ingredient is so potent it’s considered among Indigenous Australians to be a gift of The Dreamtime—a sacred feature of the Aboriginal spiritual belief system that explains when land and people were first created. The serum smells delicious, is lightweight and quick to absorb, and didn’t make my acne-prone skin breakout.
The rest of Rohr’s line continues in a similar way, combining the ancient knowledge of Indigenous Australian people with scientifically-backed formulas to craft clean beauty products that are totally natural and seriously effective. You’ll love it, trust me.
Must try: Kakadu Plum Vitamin C Serum
As far as country towns go, you don’t get more Australian than Mudgee. This charming, rural, beautiful district is the kind of place where you will spot kangaroos on the side of the road and cattle outnumbers the human population of around 10,000 residents. It’s also where equally wholesome beauty line, Wildcrafted Organics—and its founder herbalist and nutritionist Nicole O'Sullivan—hail from. O’Sullivan uses certified organic, Australian, ethically-sourced, plant-based ingredients. My favourite? The Neroli Cleansing Oil ($45); a rich, fragrant cleanser that quickly wipes away the day’s makeup and leaves my skin feeling smooth and fresh. It’s a little thicker than some cleansing oils, which is why I like to use it as a pre-cleanser and follow with a natural toner.
Must try: Neroli Cleansing Oil
Soak Society is Australia’s most-’grammed bath and beauty brand right now. Since launching in 2014, these minimalist, scented bath salts have become hugely popular among the beauty influencer crowd Down Under. There are dozens of different blends, but my favorite is “Noosa.” Named after one of the country’s chicest beach towns, this under-$15 blend mixes salt with jasmine and lemon myrtle for a light and refreshing scent. I’m so into it.
Must try: Noosa Wellness Soak
The Makeup Factory
Clean cosmetics companies like RMS Beauty and newer line One Over One do a great job with creme blushes, highlighters, and bronzers, but I’ve always found it tricky to lock down a natural foundation and concealer that gives an even, light-to-medium coverage and lasts just as long as its synthetic counterparts. TMF is a sustainable, Earth-friendly brand free from nasty chemicals, and also happens to make the only clean foundation and concealer I’ve used that’s just as good as mainstream competitors like Chanel, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Charlotte Tilbury, and Estee Lauder. I know it’s a big call, but from the second I tried their Vegan Skin Perfector Liquid, I haven’t even been tempted to use anything else.
The TMF Vegan Skin Perfector Liquid ($65) is a lightweight foundation that offers light-to-medium coverage and doesn’t leave any cakey residue. I layer with a little Dream Conceal cover-up under my eyes and over any blemishes—it blends nicely and gives good coverage. Right now the color options are limited, but they’re expanding to a more inclusive lineup of shades.
Must try: Vegan Skin Perfector Liquid
Bias aside (this also happens to be my own beauty line), The Buff blends totally customised face and body oils ($47) that are targeted to your specific skin type and concerns, whether you’re battling pigmentation, dryness, breakouts, dullness, or fine lines. Everything’s packaged in a monogrammed bottle and ships internationally. I use a hydrating and antibacterial jojoba oil blend every night and swear it’s helped clarify and clear my own blemish-prone skin. A couple of drops added to foundation each morning also gives my makeup a dewy, glowing finish. The line also has nourishing face, body, hand, and hair oils available without the customisation.
Must try: Customised Face Oil
Folk Soap is handmade, which is what originally drew me to the bar and liquid soap line. I’m a sucker for natural beauty made in small batches. This Aussie brand is crafted using vegetable oils, aromatherapeutic essential oils, natural clays and botanical exfoliants, is cruelty-free, vegan, and free from nasties like parabens, preservatives, sulfates, and other synthetic ingredients. In practice, that means this simple bar of good-for-you soap leaves skin feeling soft, hydrated, and healthy. I’ve tried all the bar soaps in their line, and while every scent is great, rose geranium with cocoa butter is the prettiest, most deeply hydrating pick.
How many natural deodorants have you tried, been repulsed by, and swiftly regarded? Personally, I’ve tested—and hated—dozens. Erica Brookes’ Deadorant Creme Double Strength is one of the few natural options I’ve used that’s just as effective as non-natural options, even during a gym workout. A two week detox period is pretty normal when shifting to natural deodorants, but after that timeframe this creme is super effective. It also contains nourishing shea butter, coconut oil, as well as an active bi-carb soda blend.
This Aussie line started in 2006 with a simple hand scrub and has since expanded to include natural serums, moisturisers, and oils, in addition to the deodorant I’m so enamoured with.
Must try: Deodorant Creme
Theseeke blends clean skin care and mindfulness with products like a calming temple balm and aromatic facial steams to purify the skin, improve circulation, and help you to bust stress. The "Breathe" face steam blend includes rose buds, certified organic calendula flowers, rose petals, Jasmine buds, and rose geranium essential oil. After cleansing, I add a small handful of the blend to boiled water, hold my head over the mixture and cover it with a towel. After about five or 10 minutes, blackheads and whiteheads are loosened (and so much easier to remove!), and skin feels softer and more hydrated. It’s a bit of a process, so I usually do this on the weekend.
Must try: Breathe Floral Facial Steam
Generics products always look chic AF sitting in your bathroom vanity—the packaging is modern and the oils are infused with actual flower petals. The brand is best known for its “cleopatra oil” which is a blend infused with sweet-smelling jasmine absolute and rose essential oil.
Must try: Cleopatra’s Body Oil
All Quite Frankly Natural ingredients and formulations use 100% natural, pure, plant-derived and certified organic (ACO/USDA) ingredients. The brand's probably best known for its ultra-alternative skin care, like a colloidal silver face cream and Himalayan crystal body scrub—but I really love their Pure Mineral Makeup powder. Applied with Quite Frankly’s Vegan Kabuki Brush, it gives a very light, even coverage.
Must try: Pure Mineral Makeup
Sienna Byron Bay
Byron Bay is a boho coastal town known for surfing, beaches, and an ultra-alternative way of life. It’s also where your new favourite seven-free nail polish brand, Sienna Byron Bay, hails from.
Many natural beauty fans believe that the chemicals in mainstream nail polish can be potentially harmful and even disrupt your endocrine system. Seven-free varnishes like Sienna Byron Bay’s are free from potentially hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, synthetic camphor, xylene, and formaldehyde resin.
The brand has a comprehensive lineup of shades—from deep reds to neutral pinks—and is Vegan and Cruelty-Free Accredited by CCF Australia. Right now I’m wearing a peachy shade called “Harmony” and have been chip-free for six days.
Must try: Harmony Nail Polish
Up next, check out the 10 beauty tips every Australian woman swears by.