Australian Native Extracts: Trend or Verified Science?
Updated: May 4, 2020
As you may have read in our newsletter or Instagram posts recently, I’ve reformulated our Aqua Serum Elixir by adding substantial quantities of Australian native plant extracts and other super foods to boost its potency.
The world’s most potent natural active ingredients in skincare were right here on our doorstep so I had to give it a go and test it. Bang! They truly worked.
We now use Australian native extracts taken from traditional plant species sourced wildcrafted all over Australia. The extracts are obtained via a cellular extraction process that ensures the bio-availability, potency and stable phyto-activity of the plant’s active compounds.
Why have we added Australian native extracts?
We all know how harsh the Australian sun is. All you need to do is look at our skin cancer stats — sadly, the highest in the world. The purpose behind Aqua Serum Elixir is to support your skin’s natural processes of renewal with a boost of vitamins and other active ingredients without inhibiting the skin's natural functions when it is most active.
Well, Southern Cross University in northern NSW has conducted an extensive research and testing of Australian native extracts using chromatography — a lab technique that separates the chemical components of a substance and analyse them separately for establishing the presence or measuring the relative proportions of chemical substances in a mixture. These studies have exceeded the expectations of researchers testing the potency of Australian native extracts.
Australian native plants have evolved to survive constant exposure to harsh sunlight creating an efficient system to protect themselves from the oxidative stress caused by sun-induced free radicals.
It is thought that these extreme conditions present where these plants grow are responsible for the plants producing extraordinarily potent levels of bio-active ingredients. The levels of anti-oxidants found in these plants have more than exceeded the expectations of researchers with these plants found to contain extremely high levels of key anti-ageing compounds, including vitamin A, C and E and other antioxidants. Some of these extracts boast more than 50 to 100 times the antioxidant activity of Vitamin C and E!
When applied to the skin these ‘supercharged’ nutrients offer sun protection, aid in skin lightening, have an anti-inflammatory effect and are exceptionally hydrating providing superior skin conditioning among a long list of skin benefits.
Our 4 Core Faves
From a wide range of Australian native extracts here’s my 4 core selection:
Davidson's Plum is a rainforest tree found in Queensland and Northern NSW that bears dark purple fruit with vibrant red flesh. This fruit is high in the anthocyanin group of anti-oxidants (higher than blueberries) and polysaccharides. In liquid extract form, it provides anti-ageing benefits and significant hydration for the skin assisting 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.
Quandong or Wild Peach is a native Australian super-food and extract. The Quandong has great anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties making it a valuable addition to any skin care preparation. The Quandong also contains more vitamin C than an orange and the fruit is also a good source of Vitamin E, Folate and Magnesium. Quandong is also a great additive for the eye zone due to the presence of Rutin which has been found to be helpful in reducing dark circles and correcting the visible signs of ageing.
Kakadu Plum is a native tree from Australia which is found exclusively in the Northern Territory and around Arnhem Land. The Kakadu Plum fruit has the highest known Vitamin C concentration of any single natural food source in the world. Studies show the concentration of vitamin C in Kakadu plum to be as high as 3200-5000mg/100g (compared with 50mg/100g for oranges). Indigenous Australians have used this plant and its fruit extensively for food as well as for its traditional healing properties. It is known to have ten times the amount of Vitamin C found in other fruits, making it an excellent antioxidant to be included in your beauty routines.
Kakadu plum 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-tumour activities. Ellagic acid is a phenolic antioxidant that encourages elasticity and suppleness in aged skin and helps stop the breakdown of collagen.
Lilly Pilly is a summer flowering evergreen shrub, belonging to the myrtle family Myrtaceae. It has smooth waxy leaves and dark red berries with a clove-like scent.
Native Aborigines traditionally used Lilly Pilly for its great healing and anti bacterial properties and ate the berries when in season for the vitamin C content. The Lilly Pilly has good astringent properties that improve firmness of the skin, while its high vitamin C and fruit acid content create great anti-ageing and brightening effects to keep skin looking radiant and youthful.
You know we love wildcrafted as much as organic plants because they are grown in nature without any human intervention and in their natural habitat. As they grow in their natural protected and pristine environment they develop organically without the use of pesticides, chemicals or fertilisers. This means the plants are able to develop their full medicinal potential – a very strong reason for me to choose them. Growth in their natural habitat is also thought to enhance the energetic qualities of wildcrafted plants, activating their therapeutic potential.
The extracts we use are environmentally friendly - meaning that the extraction doesn't affect their source or environment in which they naturally grow. Only the leaves, stems, fruits or flowers are normally extracted with the living plant left intact.
A lot of skincare companies highlight their use of the latest trendy ingredients on their packaging but when you look closer you see they’ve only used it in tiny quantities, with the bottle often filled mostly with water.
The truth about skincare products is that it’s a numbers game – so we have not added small insy winsy quantities of the Australian native extracts. We never spare the good stuff! We want to ensure our skincare products bring true results. Therefore, the native extracts and other purposeful ingredients are in their maximum recommendable percentages - not only because I use all my products and I want them to work - I also want you to experience the same benefits.
Tip: To tell the difference between mere label claims and whether an ingredient is incorporated in a cosmetic formulation in enough quantities to benefit skin, check where it appears on the ingredient label. The further down the list, the lower the percentage. Most of the active ingredients should appear around the midpoint, as opposed to the end of the list where you should find the essential oils blend or fragrance.
Enjoy all these superheroes in our NEW Aqua Serum Elixir formulation and tell us what do you think!
Have you heard about the other super food we have included in Aqua Serum Elixir?
Keep glowing naturally,