In time for Australia Day, we toast our local professional skincare brands. The diversity of these high quality, true blue collections is palpable; from the all-organic to the Ayurvedic-inspired. There is an ocean of choice that is ever-expanding
And local manufacturers understand the nuances of our sunburnt country and its effect on our skin better than anyone.
We speak with the inspiring women behind these thriving brands.
Vanessa Megan Skincare
Vanessa Megan started formulating natural face products in her kitchen in 2001 seeking to create harmless, healing skincare.
“My love of biochemistry resulted in the birth of my own natural skin care brand which I christened Vanessa Megan after the Greek translation: Vanessa – ‘Butterfly’ and Megan – ‘Strong’, my first and middle names,” she says.
Today, the brand retains this ethos and is stocked in spas and wellness businesses across Australia
“Our mission is to empower natural beauty and wellness through advancing the creation of innovative organic and natural skincare products.
“We are so excited about our new active range of 100 percent Australian Certified Organic skincare. We hope inspire people to be open to new ways of taking care of their skin using products with active ingredients provided by nature.
“Certifying our products through Australia’s largest certifier allows for complete transparency about the ingredients we use and where they came from.
“The active range is a full anti-ageing skincare system with the most advanced natural ingredients in potent doses; prebiotics and Vitamin C for brightening exfoliation and our one-of-a-kind Cryo Facelift treatment for deep restoration (see our home page Video of the Week to see the treatment in action and the client’s reaction).
“Vanessa Megan Skincare regenerates tired skin on a cellular level, plumps up fine lines and wrinkles, and protects against further environmental damage. The results are visible and instant, and the process is luxuriously spa-worthy.”
Michelle Reeve – Waterlily and Spaceuticals
A passionate aromatherapist, Michelle Reeve launched the Waterlily skincare brand in 2004 and Spaceuticals, a natural cosmeceutical collection, in Spring 2016.
Each line is created in-house in Queensland, and both are dedicated to servicing Australian skin, harnessing aromatherapy to deliver transdermal effects.
“Australian suppliers have an amazing reputation for creating clean and green products and we are seeing the development of new methods of extraction that maintain the biochemical integrity of the ingredients,” says Michelle.
“An omega-rich infusion with powerful antioxidants is the first step to remedy photo damage which is Australia’s number one cause of premature ageing.
“We are also prone to temperature extremes so using ingredients that are easily transdermal while delivering anti-ageing benefits is really important.
Both brands combine the therapeutic benefit of essential oils with local ingredients to rejuvenate and regenerate the skin, but each has distinct characteristics.
“While Waterlily is renowned soothing and calming the mind, body and soul, Spaceuticals is concentrated with cosmeceutical ingredients for a corrective, remedial solution.
“Spaceuticals is a synergy of vital skin nutrients including essential fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes, minerals and trace elements supported in a bio active base compatible for skin to absorb and metabolise the benefits at a cellular level.”
Anna Mitsios – Edible Beauty
Anna Mitsios conceived Edible Beauty (now stocked in Sephora and spas all over the world) while working as a naturopath, specialising in fertility.
“I was recommending products which were free of anything that would disrupt hormone balance, including fragrances, preservatives and alcohol,” she explains.
“Since we absorb about 60 percent of what we put on our skin, skincare absorbs straight into our bloodstream bypassing our digestive system and causing havoc with hormones, irritating the skin and disrupting our endocrine system. So if it is not good enough to eat you will not find it in our products.”
“What we put both onto our skin and into our bodies has a lot to do with our outer radiance and glow,” she says.
“Our ‘beauty tea’ and skincare range embodies this philosophy of “inside out beauty” and also reflects my passion and belief in the therapeutic value of botanical herbs, which are abundant in the products.
“In our range, we embrace the wildcrafted ingredients found growing in arid regions of central, northern and western Australia. They have a unique antioxidant profile, which really raises the therapeutic qualities and efficacy of our range.
“Weather and seasons can dramatically impact the availability of these ingredients so it can sometimes be a case of literally scouring the country to source them.
“Our hero product and best selling product is our No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk. This is a coconut-oil based milk cleanser infused with natural brightening ingredients like apple and strawberry extract that works wonders for acne prone, dehydrated and lack lustre skin.”
Marie Enna-Cocciolone – O Cosmedics
A former beauty therapist committed to making a difference, Marie Enna-Cocciolone launched O Cosmedics in 2010.
She captured international “firsts” in science and technology but also took into account the business needs of Australian skincare centres.
O Cosmedics is now stocked in an ever-growing number of spas and medi-clinics across the country.
The range is formulated here with concentrated medical-grade ingredients that blend harmoniously with naturally sourced actives.
“We live in an ageing population where skins require active ingredients, advanced peptides in biomimetic delivery systems to make a visible difference both within and on the skin,” she says.
“Australian-owned and made skincare is well received locally because Australian’s are patriotic and prefer to buy Australian made.
“Buying Australian also means you get what you pay for and whilst our products may be a little more on the expensive side our mandatory regulations ensure we are buying quality.
“Products are made ethically and employees are protected, not to mention the fact that we are creating jobs and supporting our economic growth.
“Business owners appreciate formulas that are made with Aussie skin in mind and love that the training, marketing, promotional resources are tailored toward their specific needs.”
Yasmin Sadikot – OmVeda
Qualified homeopath Yasmin Sadikot launched OmVeda in 1992 – it is now stocked in spas and wellness retreats all over the world.
She is a pioneer in traditional Ayurvedic beauty treatments and spends her life exploring, learning and teaching the dynamics of the healing discipline.
Despite being 100 percent Australian owned, OmVeda is a traditional Ayurvedic brand with all formulations made to strict Ayurvedic guidelines using special herbs native to India.
“In true tradition, we address the inner workings of the body and balance through the skin,” says Yasmin.
“Products are made according to ancient recipes which are part of Indian herbal heritage, that have not only stood the test of time, but have been most beneficial in counter-acting the harmful effects of synthetics and chemical preparations.
“OmVeda uses only the finest natural plant and herbal ingredients, organically grown and harvested by artisans who value, use and adhere to ethical and sustainable practices. This ensures the absolute purity of each and every ingredient used in the product range.”
Theme Rains – Synthesis Organics
NSW far north coast local Theme Rains (pictured in header image) launched Synthesis Organics in 2006 which has since clocked a number of accolades – recently being named runner-up in the prestigious global Sustainable Beauty Awards.
Theme lives and breathes wellness – she is an aromatherapist, herbalist and psychotherapist and personally formulates her conscious cosmetics in an organic lab near Byron bay.
“Our ethos is to be a ‘synthesis’ of the incredible balancing and regenerating power of nature, especially the native Australian flora of our great southern land, and the principles of the healing traditions of the world,” she explains.
“We provide transformative skin care and spa treatments via a heart based business model that cares for the entire supply chain, to nurture beauty and spirit.
“In Australia, we have more organic and uncontaminated land than anywhere else in the world from which to source pure fresh ingredients.
“Our native flora has to withstand one of the harshest climates and so Australia provides actives with exceptional skin care properties when extracted optimally, to service stressed skins anywhere.
“My local area is incredibly fertile, being in the crater of an ancient volcano, with very high rainfall, so the growth and supply of actives from here is relatively easy and stable.
“The Brighten Vitamin C Serum is a hero in the range – in our climate, having regular antioxidant protection is so important and this product delivers cascading antioxidants (that is, they build protection through the day) so is a must have in any Aussie skin care regime.”
Susie Sierra – Sierra Gold
From art canvasses to cosmetics, everything Susie Sierra touches turns to gold – her two gold-infused skin serums launched last year soaring from strength to strength.
Picked up by a handful of local spas and retailers, Sierra Gold, her luxe facial oils are also set to make waves on the international scene. The brand will be exhibiting at the renowned Extraordinary Gallery in Bolonga Italy, at Cosmoprof 2017.
“Beauty encompasses all the senses and is deeply imbedded in nature and the world of art and ancient culture,” says Susie. “I want to inspire women to know the full experience of their beauty which is many-fold.
“Sierra Gold approaches aesthetics from a worldly perspective by incorporating rich, high quality actives with mindful practice and the potent influence of carefully selected fragrances. This is a total experience created to nurture the mind, the body, the spirit and emotions.
“Australia is rich in potent, organic plants such as Crown Of Gold. I harness this wild-harvested native rainforest tree in my skincare – it contains many anti-oxidants, anti-ageing actives, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory actives and wound healing properties.”
Subtle Energies – Farida Irani
Farida Irani combines Ayurveda and aromatherapy principles in Subtle Energies, her range of natural skincare.
What started in a natural therapies clinic back in 1993 has blossomed into an holistic spa concept (designed to empower mental, psychical and emotional wellbeing) while addressing multiple skin concerns.
It is stocked internationally by some of the most acclaimed spas on the planet, such as Six Senses in Portugal and our local treasure, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat.
“We are very proud when we see Australian brands represented at the highest levels of various parts of the industry,” says Farida.
“Our focus is to source the highest grade of a therapeutic active ingredients and although a lot of our skincare base ingredients and bush oils are all grown here we have access to some great international markets as well.
“Good trade relations between Australia and these countries allows for easy access to some very cool ingredients.”