Australian Native Extracts — the Top 5 Plants That Pack a Skincare Punch

Beauty

Australian native extracts are sought after functional actives in skin care. The small berries, nuts, roots, leaves and seeds of our indigenous flora pack a powerful punch indeed with incredibly high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients essential for the nourishment and regeneration of skin cells.

We were an early adaptor and have been using combinations and various blends of Australian native extracts in our products since 2013 and now science is revealing exactly why these native extracts have such an incredible impact on the skin.

Here’s a quick look at five of our favourites and why we use them across our skincare ranges.

1. DAVIDSON PLUM: ANTIOXIDANT & ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BOOST

There are at least three forms of Davidson plum. The one we use in our products is Davidsonia pruriens, a medium-sized rainforest tree that grows in northern Queensland. Its indigenous name is ooray. The edible, dark purple coloured fruit is produced in large clusters, providing a delicious and nutritious food source for many rainforest creatures, as well as being a key component of Australia’s bush tucker.

The Davidson plum is extremely high in antioxidants (even higher than blueberries) and is rich in vitamins and fruit acids. It contains anthocyanin, a flavonoid which researchers have found assists in the prevention of wrinkles and the elimination of free radicals. It reduces UV damage to skin, promotes production of collagen and elastin and improves skin elasticity. Anthocyanin also has anti-inflammatory properties and behaves like an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) on the skin.

Davidson plum contains phenolic acids, which have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties stronger than vitamin E. It also contains flavone glycosides, which work synergistically to intensify the antioxidant activity of vitamin C. It can strengthen capillaries and reduce dark circles and puffiness under the eyes.

THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS CONTAIN THIS INGREDIENT AS AN ANTI-AGEING AND REGENERATING AGENT:

Age Defiance Eye Serum, Age Defiance Day Serum, Age Defiance Night Serum, Antioxidant Facial Oil Omega 3-6-9, Rosehip Eye Gel, Botanique Lotion.

2. MUNTRIES: COLLAGEN SUPPORT, HYDRATION, ABSORPTION

Also known as emu apples or native cranberries, muntries (Kunzea pomifera) are delicious red-tinged green or purple berries that grow along the southern coast of Australia.

In a landmark study investigating the antioxidant properties of native Australian foods, muntries had the second highest free radical scavenging activity of the seven plants examined. 

Crunchy in texture with a flavour of spicy apple, they contain up to four times more antioxidants than blueberries and provide natural waxes that nourish the skin. Muntries contain gallic acid, a powerful antioxidant and excellent wound healer. The berries also contain flavone glycosides, an important ingredient in natural skincare, as they facilitate the absorption of other vital ingredients into the skin. Flavone glycosides are strong antioxidants that protect the skin from aging and strengthen capillaries. 

Our Age Defiance Eye Serum contains this ingredient as it is ideal for reducing dark circles and puffiness under the eyes.

3. QUANDONG: REDUCES FINE LINES, BEHAVES LIKE AHA

Quandong is a common name for the species Santalum acuminatum, especially its edible fruit.

The quandong is a unique native Australian fruit found in the arid and semi-arid regions of all Australian mainland states. It was traditionally an important source of bush tucker for Aborigines — so high in nutrients it was considered a suitable substitute for meat.

The fruit was also prized for its medicinal qualities, with the tree roots being ground down and used as an infusion for the treatment of rheumatism. The leaves of the quandong were crushed and mixed with saliva to make a topical ointment for skin sores and boils.

Within each seed is an oil-rich kernel which was also processed to treat skin disorders. Native Australians traditionally crushed the kernels to make a hair conditioning oil.

Active ingredients in quandong include phenolic acids, which have antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and behaves like an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) on the skin. It also contains rutin, another strong antioxidant which works synergistically with vitamin C to have an anti-aging effect.

Rutin strengthens capillaries and reduces blood pooling in the delicate skin under the eye area, hence reducing dark circles and puffiness.

THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS CONTAIN THIS INGREDIENT:

Age Defiance Eye SerumAge Defiance Day SerumAge Defiance Night Serum.

4. MOUNTAIN PEPPER LEAF: SUPER ANTIOXIDANT, VITAMIN E & C

Mountain pepper leaf or Tasmannia lanceolata is a hardy shrub native to the woodlands and cool temperate rainforest of southeast Australia. As its name denotes, the mountain pepper leaf we use in our products comes from the forests of Tasmania.

Mountain pepper leaf was used by native Australians for traditional medicine for centuries. Mountain pepper berries were also used as by colonial Australians as a pepper substitute. More recently, it's become popularised as a bushfood condiment.

We use the leaves rather than the berries, for their extremely potent antioxidant content. The leaf also contains vitamin E in the form of lutein. Mountain pepper leaf has been scientifically proven to strengthen capillaries and reduce free radical damage, which protects the skin from breakdown and ageing. It’s also super anti-inflammatory.

Mountain pepper leaf contains two flavone glycosides (potent antioxidants) called isovitexin and rutin, which protect the skin from breaking down and ageing and work synergistically with vitamin C to intensify its antioxidant activity. These glycosides also strengthen capillaries and reduce dark circles under the eyes. It also contains a polyphenol called chlorogenic acid, again a strong antioxidant for skin care.

THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS CONTAIN THIS INGREDIENT:

Balancing Cleansing Gel, Age Defiance Day Serum, Antioxidant Facial Serum, Blemish Control, Hydrating Cleansing Lotion.

5. KAKADU PLUM: VITAMIN C, ELASTICITY, COLLAGEN, REPAIRS UV DAMAGE, REDUCES PIGMENTATION

Science has identified the Aboriginal bushfood known as the Kakadu plum as the world’s richest natural source of vitamin C, which makes it an excellent ingredient in skincare products.

A native of Arnhem Land in northern Australia, the Kakadu plum is also called Gurumal, Gubinge, Billygoat Plum or Murunga by indigenous Australians, who have been using it for thousands of years as a traditional antiseptic and healing remedy, as well as a gourmet bush food.

Studies show the concentration of vitamin C in kakadu plum to be as high as 3200-5000 mg/100g (compared with 50mg/100g for oranges). Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for the formation of proline, an amino acid that is required as a buildinging block to make collagen. It also helps reduce wrinkles, improves skin texture, reduces skin damage caused by free radicals and protects skin against UV damage.

Kakadu plums medicinal and anti-aging properties are exceptional. It contains phytochemicals such as gallic and ellagic acids. Gallic acid is a phenolic antioxidant that has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activities and also shows anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activities. Ellagic acid is a phenolic antioxidant that encourages elasticity and suppleness in aged skin and helps stop the breakdown of collagen. 

Kakadu plum is so whizz bang phantasmagorical that it's in just about all of our facial care collections. 

THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS CONTAIN THIS INGREDIENT:

Age Defiance Day Serum, Age Defiance Night Serum, Antioxidant Facial Oil Omega 3-6-9, Antioxidant Facial SerumBlemish Control, Aloe Vera Moisturiser, Balancing Moisturiser, Hydrating Moisturiser, Tinted Moisturiser With SunscreenDaily Moisturiser With Sunscreen, Hydrating Cleansing Lotion, Rose Blossom Hydrating MistOrange Blossom Balancing Mist, Marigold Hydrating Crème, Deep Cleanse Antioxidant Masque, Botanique Lotion, Vital C Elixir

By the way and very loudly, I'm not into making label claims and waving a small insy winsy bit of actives in my products. The native extracts and other functional ingredients are in viable percentages, not only because I use all my products and I want them to work, I also want you to experience the same benefits. 

Can you use and combine native extracts and layer them without any adverse effects? Absolutely! There is no data to prove otherwise.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

AUTHOR

By Mukti

Mukti has been actively involved in the beauty and personal care industry for over two decades. Her varied career has encompassed a common thread focusing on health and wellness. Her aim is to reconnect people to nature, creating health and happiness via toxin-free lifestyles and beauty regimes.