Benefits of Australian Botanicals
Australia is a lucky country in many ways – especially when it comes to the bounty of natural ingredients that we produce on home soil. This means that homegrown beauty brands such as Noelle Australia have access to some of the most powerful plant-based ingredients that work wonders for the skin.
Australian botanicals are borne out of the country’s harsh land and seascape. Plants that thrive here do so because they contain ingredients that protect them. Whether it be compounds that help them retain water in the desert or act as barriers from the elements, the botanicals grown as a result are incredibly potent and beneficial for our skin. The native botanicals we see in modern skincare have been used by Indigenous Australians for health and medicinal purposes for thousands of years, so their beauty superpowers are no secret. Here, we explore a few of the best.
Why Natural Botanicals?
Using natural ingredients is very much a personal choice. The most important thing to consider when it comes to skincare is understanding what goes into your products; after all, your skin is your largest organ and can absorb what we apply topically. Your skin is also the interface between your insides and the external world, so it’s important to keep it healthy so it can keep harmful toxins out.
Compounds like parabens (a synthetic preservative) and phthalates (a preservative and chemical used to help products ‘cling’ to the skin) are a hotly debated topic in the beautysphere. As the amount of research on synthetic chemicals commonly used in skincare grows, we’re learning more about the potential effects that they can have on our bodies. This can range from skin and eye irritation to hormonal imbalance and carcinogenic effects. The evidence is inconclusive, but nonetheless, it has led to many consumers opting for natural ingredients to reduce risk.
But keep in mind that natural doesn’t automatically mean good for you. Each individual is different and may react differently to specific ingredients so it’s important to do your research and patch test new products to make sure the ingredients are right for you.
Australian Botanical Ingredients and Their Benefits
Kakadu Plum is found almost exclusively in the subtropical woodlands of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. The fruit of the plant looks more like an almond but this small stone fruit is packed with goodness. Its nutrient-rich content made it a significant bush food for Indigenous people for thousands of years.
Kakadu Plum has been gaining popularity in skincare, most notably because of its high vitamin C content. Kakadu Plums contain 100 times the amount of vitamin C than oranges and are the highest naturally occurring source of vitamin C in the world. Vitamin C plays a vital role in skin health and appearance, particularly through collagen production and antioxidant protection.
Collagen keeps our skin from sagging, and as we age, we produce less of it. This can lead to dry, inflexible skin that is more prone to wrinkling. Topical application of vitamin C may help to keep visible signs of skin ageing at bay by providing the nutrients needed for collagen production.
Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant with the ability to neutralise and remove environmental pollutants or damaging free radicals produced by sun exposure. However, it isn’t the only antioxidant found in Kakadu Plums. They are also high in the antioxidants vitamin E and lutein, both of which are fat-soluble. This means that they can be stored in the body for longer periods and offer more protection from oxidative stress.
Kakadu Plums also contain almost five times more antioxidant phenolic compounds (specifically ellagic acid and gallic acid) than blueberries. Gallic acid is also believed to soothe skin and reduce redness, making Kakadu Plum a wonderful ingredient for sensitive skin.
Another powerful Australian desert fruit is Quandong, also known as ‘Wild Peach’. Quandong trees are found in the semi-arid regions of Southern Australia and are drought tolerant. As a result, their fruit is packed with nutrients.
Like Kakadu Plum, Quandong is rich in vitamin E and phenolic acids making it an excellent source of free-radical fighting antioxidants. It is also rich in the compound rutin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can help calm skin.
Rutin also helps improve the skin’s appearance by strengthening capillaries and reducing blood pooling that can contribute to dark under-eye circles. It also reduces the appearance of wrinkles by improving skin elasticity.
Tasmanian Brown Seaweed
Brown Seaweed, or Undaria Pinnatifida, is native to Japan but is cultivated in the nutrient-rich waters of Tasmania. The marine macroalgae contain compounds for structural and protective purposes that also happen to be beneficial for human skin.
The most potent is fucoidan, a molecule produced by Brown Seaweed to protect it from UV, predation and pathogens. Brown Seaweed is made up of 85% fucoidan, making it an extremely rich source. A clinical trial tested the effects of fucoidan on skin and found that it had improved skin immunity, regeneration, reduced the effect of ageing and provided soothing and protective effects.
Fucoidan helps to slow the breakdown of collagen and elastin, fibres that make up the supporting structure of our skin. A decrease in collagen and elastin makes skin more susceptible to signs of ageing like fine lines.
Brown Seaweed also contains phlorotannins that act as antioxidants and also have antiageing properties. Phlorotannins can also have an anti-melanogenesis effect, meaning that they may inhibit the production of melanin that can lead to hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
As they are a marine plant, seaweeds must be able to retain moisture within their cells. The polysaccharides that make up Brown Seaweed’s structure have excellent water-retention properties and make for an excellent moisturiser when applied topically.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil has been a hero ingredient in many skin care products for a long time which means that it’s been tried and tested. Tea Tree Oil is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia found in parts of Queensland and New South Wales. Tea Tree Oil has been used by the Indigenous Bundjalung people of Northern New South Wales as a medicine to treat wounds, coughs and colds.
Tea Tree Oil has been found to have a broad-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal effect, but in skincare, it is primarily used to treat acne-causing bacteria. Tea Tree Oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, particularly inflammation as a response to the acne-causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes.
Noelle products were inspired by the beauty of Australia, so it makes sense that these super-charged Australian botanicals are a fixture of the collection. Learn more about Noelle and the many more Australian botanicals infused into their collection of natural products here.
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