Turns Out the Coolest Natural Beauty Products Come From Australia

Updated 04/18/17

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 and sunny L.A., you can’t escape the accent—remember this is the country that brought you avocado toast and flat whites, after all. You can thank the land Down Under for more great things, too: Heath Ledger, flared sleeves, Tim Tams, Chris and Liam Hemsworth—and now, your new favorite clean beauty brands.

As an Aussie export living in NYC, I’ve tried (and still love) cult American clean beauty brands, but nothing impresses me like natural beauty hailing from the motherland. Perhaps these brands are innately better than their international counterparts because the ingredients used are derived from plants that must survive harsh climates. 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 moisturizers and is one of the highest naturally occurring sources of skin-brightening vitamin C on the planet. It can help fade acne scarring, rejuvenate dull skin, and even 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 the 12 Australian natural beauty brands that are missing from your skincare regimen.

Mrs. Manuka

Mrs. Manuka Detox face mask
Mrs. Manuka Detox Face Mask $45
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Manuka honey is here to solve all 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 it is now a key ingredient used by skincare brands like Mrs. Manuka to kill acne-causing bacteria, stimulate collagen production, and help reduce pigmentation.

Manuka honey is 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 honey, 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 fewer preservatives than pre-mixed masks!) whenever I think my skin’s looking a little clogged or dull, and I 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 Daily Moisturizer.

Rohr Remedy

Rohr Remedy Vitamin C serum
Rohr Remedy Kakadu Plum Vitamin C Serum $36
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I fell for Rohr Remedy’s slick packaging before I even caught a whiff of its wild-harvested botanical formulas. I first tested the super-fragrant, cleansing Honey Myrtle Body Wash ($21), loved it instantly, and moved on to the Kakadu Plum Vitamin C Face Serum ($36).

The latter is derived from a native Australian plant that’s 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. The serum smells delicious, is lightweight and quick to absorb, and didn’t make my acne-prone skin break out.

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.

Wildcrafted Organics

Wildcrafted neroli oil
Wildcrafted Organics Neroli Cleansing Oil $34
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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 outnumber 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 favorite: The Neroli Cleansing Oil (approximately $34 in USD), 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.

Soak Society

Soak Society
Soak Society Noosa Wellness Soak $9
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Soak Society is Australia’s most ’grammed bath and beauty brand right now. Since launching in 2014, these minimal 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-$10 blend mixes salt with jasmine and lemon myrtle for a light and refreshing scent. I’m so into it.

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 Estée Lauder. I know it’s a big call, but from the second I tried its Vegan Skin Perfector Liquid, I haven’t even been tempted to use anything else.

The TMF Vegan Skin Perfector Liquid ($59) 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 the brand is expanding to a more inclusive lineup of shades.

The Buff

The Buff Customized Beauty Oi
The Buff Customized Beauty Oil $38
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Bias aside (this also happens to be my own beauty line), The Buff blends totally customized face and body oils ($36) 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 I 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 customization.

Must try: Customized Face Oil

Folk Soap

Folk Rose Geranium
Folk Earth Rose Geraniu Soap $11
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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 the line, and while every scent is great, rose geranium with cocoa butter is the prettiest, most deeply hydrating pick.

Erica Brooke

Erica Brooke
Erica Brooke Neroli & Vanilla Deodorant Crème $17
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How many natural deodorants have you tried, been repulsed by, and swiftly disregarded? Personally, I’ve tested—and hated—dozens. However, Erica Brooke’s Deodorant 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 bicarb soda blend.

This Aussie line started in 2006 with a simple hand scrub and has since expanded to include natural serums, moisturizers, and oils, in addition to the deodorant I’m so enamored with.

Must try: Deodorant Creme

Theseeke

Theseeke Floral Facial Steam $23
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Theseeke blends clean skincare and mindfulness with products like a calming temple balm and aromatic facial steams to purify the skin, improve circulation, and help you 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.

Generics

Generics Cleopatra Body Oil $49
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Generics products always look chic 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.

Quite Frankly

Quite Frankly
Quite Frankly Pure Mineral Makeup $50
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All Quite Frankly 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 skincare, like a colloidal silver face cream and Himalayan crystal body scrub—but I really love its Pure Mineral Makeup powder. Applied with a Quite Frankly Vegan Kabuki Brush, it gives a very light, even coverage.

Sienna Byron Bay

Sienna Byron Bay Nail Lacquer in Barefoot Dancer $23
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Byron Bay is a boho coastal town known for surfing, beaches, and an ultra-alternative way of life. It’s also where all-star 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.

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