From the very beginning, Australia was tailor-made for skincare. Much of the continent is dominated by a vast desert, forcing occupants to cope with some of the driest conditions on earth. What's more, millennia of isolation have bred an ecology ripe with solutions: 85% of Australian flora is exclusive to the continent, providing a vast source of unique, moisture-rich ingredients. The result is a perfect storm for skincare, and a wide array of homegrown brands that are quickly making their mark. Here are the ones to know.
While this Aussie brand was founded by an American, its products and principles are firmly rooted in the outback. All of eshu’s formulas are designed for simplicity, and make full use of local ingredients, from eucalyptus and coconut to blue cypress oil—an age-old treatment for dry skin. Take special note of their face wash, which features Australian paperbark oil, a traditional healing remedy that tackles everything from irritation to acne.
Founded in Melbourne in 1987, this worldwide sensation has started a major push into the American market. With a blend of natural and lab-based ingredients, the brand has assembled a wide array of specialized products, allowing a customized regimen specific to skin type. For the best experience, take a trip to any of Aesop’s retail locations for a one-on-one consultation.
This upstart brand pairs two of Australia’s greatest strengths: natural ingredients and world-class athletics. Founded by Olympic gold medalist Michael Klim, Milk & Co. harnesses rich marine extracts, along with outback essentials like coconut, aloe, and tea tree oil. The result is a lineup of simple products that keep pace with an active lifestyle, like its sun-blocking Sports Moisturiser.
While most Australian brands tap a range of indigenous plant life, Lucas’ Papaw sticks to one—and it’s very, very serious about it. Each of its products is formulated with locally grown papaws (or papayas), which serve as a natural antibacterial agent. This makes its signature ointment a perfect remedy for any day-to-day wound, from cuts and insect bites to scalds and sunburns.
Though it may be the youngest name on this list, Gentleman’s Brand Co. has wasted no time making an impression. Its three-step skincare regimen features all the finest traits of Australian skincare, including natural formulas, simple applications, and homegrown ingredients like Kakadu Plum. Not familiar with this outback exclusive? Check out our February box overview for the full lowdown.
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Copywriter, cold brew advocate, purveyor of handcrafted birthday haikus since 2009.