There are an endless array of beauty products on the market, with plenty of Korean, Japanese, French and Swiss brands making waves and riding their own trends in recent years. What about beauty from Down Under, though? Whatever your routine looks like, there’s plenty of reason to include at least one Australian beauty product in your regimen, whether that be a high-grade SPF facial moisturizer, an internationally best-selling glycolic acid overnight peel, a streak-free tan worthy of Sydney’s Bondi Beach or an all-natural, sustainably-made fragrance.
Australian beauty is reflective of Australian women: in a land of extreme climates and landscapes, we seek skincare that can multi-task. We want sun protection, deep cleansing, exfoliation and brightening, and moisturizing to address the dry, hot climate and its impact on skin. Australians highly value our eclectic landscapes and wildlife, and to that end, many Australian beauty brands are cruelty-free, based on botanical ingredients, made using sustainably-sourced products, and led by women.
Rather than sending you out into the world of A-Beauty alone, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the best in Australian beauty that is presently available in the U.S. You’re welcome.
All products featured are independently selected by Observer editors. When you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission that supports our work.
Over 25 years in the skincare business has refined and strengthened Alpha-H in regards to targeted, effective products that particularly address acne, pigmentation, fine lines and dryness. Founder Michelle Doherty based her brand on her own experience of severe, chronic acne in her teenage years and her 20s. When a job introduced her to glycolic acid and its ability to clear and exfoliate skin without the abrasive, parching effects of other AHAs and medications, she knew this was a game changer. She was a pioneer in introducing professional-grade glycolic acid products to everyday beauty products with her Balancing Cleanser and Liquid Gold.
Sand & Sky
Using ethically sourced, Australian botanical ingredients, Sand & Sky offers a range spanning face masks (the Porerefining mask uses Australian Pink Clay), targeted serums, toners, moisturizers and eye creams that are all 100 percent cruelty-free and PETA-approved.
Gold Coast-based Sonya Driver began Eco Tan in 2009. It was a time of huge upheaval, in which Driver made a move away from her job as a flight attendant, divorced her husband and became a single mother. A period of depression followed, which drove Driver to commit herself to volunteer work in East Timor to reestablish her perspective and purpose. Upon returning to Australia, Driver began to research all-natural and non-toxic beauty products that would be safe for her family and the earth. Her tanning, body and face products are all organic and sustainable, and a percentage of all purchases goes towards supporting not-for-profits around the world. We love the Super Acai Exfoliator.
Tribe Skincare offers a full array of cleansers, moisturizers, serums and scrubs. The Clearing Anti-Breakout Serum is designed to cleanse without harshness, while the Smoothing Body Moisturizer does exactly what the name promises—and that strawberry milkshake-hued packaging looks perfectly designed for Instagram bathroom #shelfies.
Founded by Miranda Kerr, Kora Organics is more than just a supermodel’s indulgence. Kerr’s fascination with natural products, internal and external health and well-being, as well as sustainably-sourced ingredients, was established long before she created her beauty brand. Whether it’s algae, noni, acai or turmeric, Kerr has worked with experts in formulating non-toxic, beautifully packaged and sustainably-made skincare that looks glamorous and genuinely works.
If you’ve never seen the flawless, bronzed glow of limbs on Sydney’s Bondi Beach, you don’t know what you’re missing. If you want to look like you’re ready for a pair of 10-inch stilettos and a slinky cut-out cocktail dress to party beachside, then Bondi Sands has the preparatory products required. Their Dark Foam is tried-and-trusted from Bondi to Babinda. More recent additions to the collection include the Pure array of foams and lotions, and the one-hour express tan range, Technocolor.
The common refrain when it comes to excuses for avoiding the use of SPF face products is that they cause blackheads or acne. While SPF-caused breakouts are certainly a valid concern, skincare technology and formulations have evolved extensively over the last decade to address sensitivity, chalkiness, pore-clogging and allergies. To that end, Software was formulated to make SPF skincare both appealing and effective. This is particularly evident in their beloved Daily Facial Sunscreen SPF 50.
After scrubbing, cleansing, masking and moisturizing, you’re likely to be glowing like the Australian sun reflecting off ultramarine ocean waters. The best way to finish your regimen is by applying a clean, multi-award winning luxury fragrance from Australia. One Seed was established in 2009, promising “no chemicals or nasties, just beautiful nurturing products made with 100 percent pure botanical ingredients”. With a range that includes floral, fruity, woody and fresh scents, there’s a fragrance to appeal to the most discerning perfume lovers. Our picks are the oceanic “Tides” or the heady “Hope“. The brand is currently available in limited retailers in the U.S., with major retailers expected to begin offering the range towards the end of 2023.
A’kin bases its beautiful skin, hair and body products on botanical ingredients, which are kind to humans and the planet. Their lavender body wash is a favorite, as are their gentle shampoos and their Intense Hydration Day and Night Cream.
Not only does Grown Alchemist boast beautiful scents and textures, but their packaging is also lovely, as it’s based on old-fashioned pharmacy bottles and tinctures. The elegant, minimal designs are covetable for aesthetes who want their products to look as good as they work. We love the Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser and the Natural Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen.