With Chrisanthi Kaliviotis

In a time of peak introspection, we’ve never been more inspired by our own backyard. Our unique landscape makes for some pretty cool (and highly innovative) ingredients our skin loves, and now, more than ever, is the time to revel in Australia’s fertile beauty spoils.

But along with our diverse, precious geography, the Aussie “way of life” is also important in our beauty story. The rise of Australian Beauty (or A-Beauty) is testament to this: with its natural, hardworking yet blissfully laid-back approach, it reflects and distills archetypal Aussie values into both ritual and product. That quintessential “Aussie glow” is beauty folklore the world over: a celebration of fresh, clean, radiant skin that leans on simple yet effective formulas, down-to-earth ingredients and an eco-sensibility. And as we move into the warmer months, the best way to capture this coveted “glow” — indeed the very essence of an Australian summer — is by hitting refresh on our skincare routine.

Here are some ways to prep your skin for summer, and importantly with local brands (and vegan products!) that blend all the wonderful things that make this Aussie life so great — and so very, very enviable.

FACE

The joyous, gold-tinged glow of Australians in summer usually arises from an Aperol-spiked afternoon by the seaside. But, there are ways you can both mimic it and maintain it. A change of season usually ushers in a whole new approach to skincare, “but you don’t necessarily have to change everything just for the season,” advises Dermal Therapist, Diandra Politano. “Stay in tune with your skin and cleanse or hydrate accordingly.” Politano recommends cleansers with a gentle dose of AHA’s, which are particularly useful after a day of reapplying SPF (a mandatory). “This will ensure you are cleansing deeply enough at the end of the day.”

While technically not Australian, neighbouring New Zealand is essentially extended family, and Emma Lewisham’s Illuminating Exfoliant with AHA/BHA & 24 Hour Hydration is the gold standard of AHA exfoliation, delivering a resurfacing, hydrating and brightening triple threat. While fellow Kiwi Jeuneora’s newly-minted Brightening Booster is basically sunshine in a bottle, an antioxidant-rich booster serum with two high-potency forms of our favourite brightening ingredient, Vitamin C (essential for good glow-giving).

Back on home soil, Aesop’s new Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Intense Serum is perfect for warm or humid climates. A daily hydrator that replenishes and fortifies the skin while guarding it against airborne pollutants, its pleasingly lightweight finish makes it a canny choice for those seeking an alternative to cream or oil-based moisturisers, something Politano suggests if you break out from sweating or the heat. “Lighter emulsions and fluid creams are great to have on hand for very hot humid days.”

But, don’t put oils to the side just because it is warmer! “After a day of swimming or being out in the sun, skin can be left dry, so minimising your evening to a serum and oil is a great way to repair your skin.” Try MECCA MAX’s WATERCOOLER Calming Hydration Serum and Mecca Cosmetica’s Everyday Face Oil from the divine (beauty) beings at Mecca, or Biossance’s award-winning SQUALANE + VITAMIN C ROSE OIL.

And remember, a tinted SPF — like Rationale’s new skin-perfecting and protecting #3 The Tinted Serum SPF50+ — goes a long way.  “A lot of these products now have ingredients to actually help clear your complexion. So you can let your skin shine through, glow and treat all at the same time.”

BODY

Endless time idling indoors may have had its downfalls, but it has given rise to a wonderfully ritualistic approach to self-care. Having now honed our skills, take your self-care to the next step with a suite of local innovation. Politano says “a beautiful body scrub is a really nice, easy way to help you glow,” so try Leif’s Caviar Lime Body Scrub with Bergamot and Pink Grapefruit to gently lift skin cells and invigorate (hint: it pairs particularly well with their healing Lemon Myrtle Body Cleanser — a blissfully botanical double-take on exfoliation). Follow with liberal layers of AYU’s silky, soothing, sensorial Body Oils, an undeniable feast for your skin.

 

Of course, a “sun-kissed” finish is the popular beauty refrain Down Under, but there is no such thing as a safe tan. Thankfully, there is such a thing as a safe fake tan. Eco Tan will keep up the bronze charade naturally, with its certified organic, nasty-free formulas.

And for a final stroke of sensory bliss, spritz skin with an Australian fragrance evocative of the great outdoors. Our picks are Grandiflora’s botanical Boronia EDP, Recreation’s freshly squeezed SUN-KISSED EDP, and Glasshouse’s tropical A Tahaa Affair Devotion, from their debut Eau de Parfum collection.

INSIDES

Practising what you preach on the outside is just as important for the inside, and collectively we’ve never been so invested in what we ingest and the way it may affect our skin. Australia has long been a breeding ground for wondrous tonics, potions and powders that promise big on beauty results. The Beauty Chef’s GLOW® Inner Beauty Essential is cult for good reason; it pioneered the inner beauty category with its scientifically-proven formula that plumps, protects and transforms your skin from within. And while upping your water intake is a skin sine qua non come summer, adding a few drops of CILK’s Beauty Rose Extract will elevate your hydration game. A rosy elixir derived from certified organic roses, it acts to aid digestion, regenerate skin cell health and hydrate from within.

Now gulp in the beauty glory and get ready: it’s gonna be a good, glowy summer…

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