The island nations of Australia and New Zealand have always been fiercely protective of their unique—and fragile—native environments. As any traveler who has landed in these destinations knows, customs rules are strict about what you can bring in, and it’s not unheard of for people to be fined for things like having too much mud on their shoes. Measures like these may seem extreme, but it’s all a part of making sure nothing comes in that can destabilize these precious ecosystems.
As a result, the countries are rich in native flora and fauna, many of which have been used for centuries in healing remedies by the indigenous people of both lands. Now, some of that healing magic is coming our way in the form of beauty lines that are full of natural ingredients and made using sustainable practices. Here’s a look at six notable options that are available in the U.S.
The Jojoba Company
As the name indicates, the basis for this ethical and clean Australian company’s skincare line is jojoba—but not the version with which you might be familiar. Sustainably grown on the line’s own Beresford Farm in the agriculture-rich southwest region of Yenda, Australian Wadi-Wadi Jojoba has elevated healing properties, is full of antioxidants, omegas and vitamins, and shares the same molecular structure of the natural wax esters found in healthy skin. The oil is cold-pressed and filtered 14 times before being mixed with other ingredients like bakuchiol, avocado and calla lily extracts, bisabolol (concentrated chamomile), moringa, carrot and papaya. Standout products include pure versions of the oil, the Overnight Renewal Cream, Ultimate Serum, Ultimate Youth Potion, Firming Eye Balm and the new Calming Jojoba for the face and body. thejojobacompany.com
Beginning over 20 years ago with founder Saya McDermott’s handmade skincare, Australia-based Saya has grown into an international line dedicated to delivering visible results using wild-harvested organic and natural ingredients. Vegan, cruelty-free and certified organic (which helps guarantee farming and production practices), the Australia-made products are packed with sustainably sourced botanicals from all over the country—many of which have developed efficient self-defense systems and healing properties from surviving in extreme conditions. The core of many of the products is a mix of native limes (such as caviar, rainforest and desert limes) and kakadu plum; the combo is rich in minerals, antioxidants and vitamin C. We love products like the Detox Face Exfoliant, which cleanses and brightens with walnut shell powder and extracts of Flame Tree and Crown of Gold (papaya); the lightweight, tone- evening Glow Serum; and new items like the Super Serum (packed with B-complex vitamins and native emu apple, pepperberry and lilly pilly wild berries) and the collagen-boosting, dark spot-lightening Brightening Peel. sayaskin.com
Clean & Pure
While living in the Mediterranean in 2004, Mark and Melanie Chapman noticed that their enjoyment of natural, locally grown foods and products was helping clear Melanie’s eczema symptoms. Upon their return to Australia, the couple began to look out for truly natural skin and body products—and zeroed in on lip balms, which they found to be packed with nasties. Beginning with a range of chemical-free lip balms featuring powerful, water-based Manuka honey blended with local, first-press extra virgin olive oil and beeswax from the forests of Western Australia, the family- owned, 100 percent Australian-made Clean & Pure line has grown to include skincare as well. Check out the lip balms in Manuka Honey (soon launching in a sunscreen version) and Tinted Rose (made with actual rose petals instead of stems and oils), and Skin Nutrition, a multi- purpose hydrating and smoothing balm that can be used on the face, body, hair and nails. The new Manuka & Pawpaw Hand & Body Cream packs a moisturizing punch with Macadamia oil and Tazman pepper. cleanandpure.us
Celebrity fans like Cate Blanchett and Cara Delavigne have sung the praises of this clean New Zealand-based line, whose founder Elizabeth Barbalich—a biologist with a passion for both science and green skincare—uses sustainably grown and sourced ingredients from the island’s pristine, pollution-free orchards and vineyards. Three of the brand’s bestsellers are currently available in the U.S., each packed with New Zealand superfoods like kiwi seed oil, Manuka honey and antioxidant-rich Vinaza grape, plus oils of avocado and rosehip. The Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream restores and revives skin overnight; the Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream soothes, cools and softens fine lines; and the Avocado Oil & Rosehip Divine Face Oil boosts collagen production and tackles the appearance for fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. antipodesnature.com
In 1984, Mary Centofanti began her career by working as a receptionist for Dresslier, the Australian haircare maker and distributor that was founded in 1930. In 2007, Mary and her husband John took over the then-struggling company with the vision to turn things around—which included launching Davroe, Australia’s first vegan haircare line.
Formulated in-house by a third-generation chemist, Davroe has grown to include several professional and consumer collections for cleansing, styling, treatments and hair repair; all are 100 percent vegan, free of parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals, and use Australian botanicals. Try the MCT Moisture Conditioning Treatment to smooth and hydrate worn locks, the Revive Dry Shampoo (with Australian snowflower) to keep hair feeling fresh and clean between washes, the aloe-vera based Scalp Remedy products to cleanse and protect the scalp (and clear dandruff) and the Curl Crème Definer—with pure sunflower oil, fortifying quinoa and Australian lilly pilly berries—to tame frizz and add shine. davroe.com
Started while founder Brianne West was studying science in college, New Zealand-based Ethique is driven by West’s passions for sustainability and conservation—and her horror at how much waste we produce each year. “When I realized up to 75 percent of shampoo and even 90 percent of conditioner can be water, it just seemed crazy to me—why do we put water in our products when we have water in our shower?” she says. Thus, this zero-waste line of water-free bars and concentrates—for the bath, skin, home and kitchen—was born.
In addition to getting rid of the need for plastic bottles (to date, Ethique customers have saved over 10 million plastic bottles from being manufactured), the high-quality line is full of ethically sourced ingredients chosen for both efficacy and the way they are produced. (All products are also free of palm oil and its derivatives.) Favorite
bars include the Heali Kiwi shampoo, which tackles itching with oils of coconut, neem and lime, the SuperStar face cleansing balm and makeup remover and the hydrating Saving Face Serum. If you prefer something in liquid form, check out the beautifully scented body wash and lotion concentrates—a line that will be expanding later this year. ethique.com