In light of the Black Lives Matter movement that is sweeping across the world, you may be wondering what small part you can do to make a difference. Believe it or not, there are plenty of things you can do to bring about change right here in Australia, and right from the comfort of your own home. All it takes is a small change, starting with your beauty routine.
By simply swapping out some of your regular go-to items for more sustainably sourced beauty products made by Indigenous owned and operated brands, you could be making a positive contribution to the lives of Aboriginal communities across Australia, one lip balm at a time.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best Indigenous owned beauty brands that you can add to cart, so go ahead and treat yourself—and your skincare routine—today.
If you’re all about female empowerment, then Bush Medijina is the beauty brand for you. Using locally sourced ingredients using recipes passed down from elder generations, Bush Medijina offers an impressive selection of hand-made products that work to support and empower the Warningakalina women. Share in their rich culture by trying out affordable goodies such as the refreshing Dumburumba Soap, made organically with coconut oil and leaves from the native plant of the same name. Or, if it’s a hair treatment you’re after, check out the naturally soothing Weeping Tea Tree Happy Hair Oil.
Want a product that will do the trick without harming your skin or the environment? The Slockee family of the Bundjalung tribe have just the solution for you. Knowing the importance of treating your skin with nutrient-rich, natural products as opposed to chemical-heavy formulas, the Slockees created Juddarnje as an alternative way to nourish your skincare needs, as well as to honour their Aboriginal heritage. Their products take advantage of the healing powers of nature, with items such as their Wear All Day Moisturiser using a mixture of cocoa butter and almond and grapeseed oils to revitalise tired skin. They even offer a nourishing Night Repair Cream—light and rejuvenating with infusions of green tea and jojoba oil for that perfect beauty sleep.
Founded by Kamilaroi descendant and Canberra-based salon owner Julie, Dilkara Australia is your one-stop shop for all your hair care needs. The locally founded brand specialises in hair treatment and colour, using native Australian ingredients to develop a unique range of hair care solutions—the very first of its kind. Dilkara offers a variety of eco-friendly products, from their Marreba Original Formula Eco Conditioner, to the Badu Antibacterial Handwash (which could come in handy right about now). And what’s more? All products are paraben-, sodium laurel sulphate-, palm oil-, petrochemical-, cruelty-, and guilt-free, so you can rest easy knowing that you are not only treating yourself, but the environment, too.
Lowanna Natural Skincare
All women are beautiful—that is the philosophy of Lowanna Natural Skincare: an inclusive beauty line founded by Sinead, a proud descendant of the Narungga people. Lowanna strives to empower women to feel comfortable in their own bodies, calling on centuries-old remedies to create a natural skincare range utilising the best of all that the earth has to offer. The signature Everyday Cleanser is a testimony to this, using locally sourced ingredients such as Ylang Ylang and hints of the native Australian Desert Lime to create a gentle cleanser that suits all skin types. But you best get in quick if you want to get your hand on one of Lowanna’s skincare items—they regularly sell out.
On a mission to share her passion of Aboriginal culture with the world, proud Ngemba Weilwan woman Sharon Winsor founded Indigiearth—New South Wales’ leading Indigenous brand. Originally only specialising in bringing bush food to the homes of people across Australia, Indigiearth has grown to include an impressive, authentic and naturally sourced skincare line. Haven’t tried their award winning skincare range yet? From Body Custard to Finger Lime Serum, Indigiearth has everything you need to spice up your beauty regime, naturally. Be sure to try the Active Hydration Mist, made with plenty of Australian sandalwood oil, Kakadu plum and lilly pilly extracts to nourish the skin.
If you’re wanting to get around a brand that is all about organic ingredients, look no further than Li’Tya. Literally meaning ‘of the Earth’, Li’Tya was founded on 21 March, 2000—the International Day For Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The brand offers an impressive array of skincare solutions that combine modern methods with traditional Aboriginal knowledge of plants and remedies. Their Spa @ Home range is made using native Australian plants and resources proven to be beneficial in skincare, such as lemon myrtle, kakadu plum and quandong, as well as a variety of oils present in products such as the Rosalina Facial Oil.
Bush Balm is a beauty brand with a difference. Originally starting out as a home remedy solution for Indigenous dialysis patients across Central Australia, the brand has grown to become openly available to both patients and the public alike, either online or in person at the Indigenous run Purple House in Alice Springs. Each product you buy goes towards supporting Indigenous patients and their families, and uses natural healing agents found in lemongrass, arrethe and irmangka irmangka. Try out the Native Lemongrass Lip Balm or Face Cream, or go for the signature Irmangka Irmangka Bush Balm.
Want to do more to educate yourself and support Indigenous culture? Check out these incredible podcasts.
Image credit: Li’Tya