Harnessing Australia’s Powerful Botanicals — chatting with the brothers behind Noelle Australia
Leung brothers, Kevin and Arnold, discuss the trip that inspired them to found the skin care and spa brand Noelle Australia and their journey to create the best skin and scent products with the country’s powerful natives.
Can you tell us about Noelle Australia and how it all began?
Noelle Australia is a carefully curated collection of skincare products rooted in self-care and inspired by the natural beauty of Australia. Technically, Noelle came from an awe-inspiring road trip around Australia, but our story began well before that.
We are Kevin and Arnold Leung, the brains and brothers behind Noelle Australia. Our father was a biochemist and ran a cosmetic laboratory for over 30 years so we grew up influenced by his work with ingredients and cosmetic formulas.
After we graduated from UNSW (Kevin’s area of study was accounting and finance and Arnold’s was industrial design), we started a cosmetic consulting company with our father’s guidance. With that company, we consulted many international beauty brands to help design and develop their product ranges (from skincare, home fragrance, perfume to essential oil products) and gained even more of an understanding of the industry.
We got the idea for Noelle during the Christmas break of 2006 when we went on our Australian road trip. We were amazed by what we saw and learned, especially the landscapes and native flora. We were so inspired that we decided to create Noelle – a brand designed to celebrate Australia’s unique and powerful botanicals.
What are the values that guide Noelle Australia?
We value wellness and this has guided us towards creating more holistic products. The Noelle range is not just effective skincare and personal care, but it promotes self-care too. We believe that beauty goes beyond skin-deep and that products should enhance our emotional and psychological state too – this is why we use essential oils to add an aromatherapy aspect to our products.
There is so much stress that comes with our modern lives. We really wanted to create products that encourage pause and mindfulness. Whether it is essential oils for aromatherapy or gentle, plant-based ingredients to nourish the skin, Australian botanicals are unique and highly effective for skincare and wellness. These ingredients are at the core of our brand and we see it as our mission to promote our Australian-inspired wellness experience.
How is Noelle different from other skincare companies?
Our difference is that we look beyond skin with our range. We put a lot of thought into how our products deliver therapeutic effects to relax, revive and soothe our minds and soul, as well as take care of our bodies. We created the spa sets to make it easier to create a luxurious at-home spa experience without the hassle or hefty price tag. We really wanted to cater to people who are time-deprived and help make wellness an easy part of their daily routine.
What difference does using Australian botanicals make in skin care and scent products?
Australia is home to many unique plants that have to endure fairly harsh environments. In adapting to these conditions, they’ve created phytoactive compounds that also happen to do great things like protecting skin from oxidative stress.
A great example is Quandong. Quandong is a fruit tree native to the arid regions of Australia. It’s packed with rutin (an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory), vitamin E and phenolic acids (both antioxidants) and vitamin C (great for stimulating collagen production).
How does Noelle support Australia and the environment?
By using native ingredients we promote research, development, production and help prop the industry up.
We work with a great team of botanical scientists to research new Australian native botanicals and to identify their efficacies in skincare and wellness. They’ve helped us develop a revolutionary extraction technique called “barrier infusion” that helps preserve plant actives during extraction.
We’re also proud to work with the Southern Cross University Plant Science Laboratories, University of Queensland & Macquarie University to analyse all the research data and results.
Sourcing also creates opportunities for us to engage with local communities. We source high-quality raw materials from local organic growers where possible and we also work with Indigenous communities for wild harvests.
We’re continually looking at how we can lighten our environmental footprint. For example, we are now using rain-harvested water during production to save water. We also support the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) each year in September for Save the Koala Month where we donate 50 per cent of online sales.
What’s your favourite product from the Noelle range?
Our favourite products are from the Bushfood Luxury Organic Skincare range. Kakadu Plum is the hero ingredient – and for good reason. It is the number one source of plant-derived Vitamin C which is a powerful restorative ingredient. It’s also rich in compounds that smooth the texture of skin, improve elasticity and boost radiance.
The range is also enhanced with other native botanicals including Quandong, Mountain Pepper, Blue Cypress, Emu Bush and Sandalwood to help soothe skin, reduce fine lines and provide intense hydration. In short, the range feeds your skin bush botanicals to help you look your best.
What are three things you would recommend to someone looking for skincare products?
Skincare is very personal, but as we said before we, we think that it can do more than just improve your appearance. When looking for skincare products, we believe that these three things can be a valuable guide:
- Ingredients that you understand – your skin is your largest organ and its main purpose is to protect you from external stressors. Unfortunately, some synthetic products do more harm than good. Always check the ingredients label and do some research on what is listed so that you know what you are putting on your skin.
- Value alignment – every purchase is an opportunity to vote with your dollars and support a business with values that align with yours.
- Find products that make you feel good – of course, if your skincare does great things for your skin, you’ll feel great. But you’ll feel even better if using these products make you feel good too. For example, if you would like glowing skin you could get a peel (which can often be irritating) or you could use gentle natural products that feel luxurious too. We think that skincare should be self-care and you’ll look your absolute best if your mind is also taken care of.
What can we expect to see from Noelle Australia for 2021 and beyond?
We’re always on the lookout for new Australian botanicals to infuse into our products and as part of our mission to promote these ingredients, we’re hoping to expand Noelle into more stores, wellness centres and online shops.
The pandemic has also been eye-opening for us as business owners. It’s shown us just how important our goal of integrating wellness with skincare is. In response, we’re working with a team of spa therapists to develop new products that will elevate our DIY home spa offering even better.
For more information, visit Noelle Australia