Today I have a special post for you, I’ve worked really hard to find as many Indigenous beauty brands in Australia that I could. I have contacted every one of these Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned brands and asked them about their animal testing policies, including their manufacturer, suppliers, third parties, affiliates and if they are selling in areas where testing is required by law. Every brand I have included in this post has answered these questions so I can confirm that they are all cruelty free. I also asked each brand for a list of their vegan items, for those of you who are looking for those products. Please do not copy, or re-create this list, some brands in this post do not want to be written about without their express permission, and some of the other brands I contacted asked to not be included at all. So if you want to share this information, please just share this post. I hope that you will share this post with everyone you know, as I would love to see many more people supporting these Australian Indigenous beauty and wellness brands.
Before I continue with this post, I would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people who are the traditional custodians of the land on which I live, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging of the Kulin nation, and I extend that respect to other Indigenous people who are reading this.
As stated earlier, all the Indigenous beauty and wellness brands in this post have answered all my animal testing questions and given permission to be in this post. I found more Indigenous beauty and wellness brands than this, in my many hours scouring social media and google, but I haven’t included them if they haven’t answered all my questions. I don’t think it is fair to include brands that aren’t cruelty free next to these brands that are either passionately cruelty free, or who went out of their way to contact suppliers at my request. I hope that some of the brands that I have emailed multiple times, will get back to me after this post is published, so that I can update this and include them. Also, I just want to give a quick thank you to Starwin Collection, for helping me get in contact with the owner of the brand Boodjera, which helped me to confirm that the brand has shut down and any products being sold by retailers are the last products from the brand.
My blog posts are normally product reviews, so I want to state that I have not tried any products from any of these Indigenous beauty and wellness brands, and therefore I cannot tell you about the quality of anything mentioned in this post. I will try to get some items from some of these brands so that I can test them out. Let me know if there is something in particular that you want to see reviewed, and I will try to do that for you.
Before I get into the Indigenous beauty and wellness brands I just want to give you a quick bit of information. Prior to colonisation, there were 200-300 autonomous language groups in Australia. You can check out the AIATSIS interactive map to view the areas of all the known language groups. Some of the major Aboriginal group names include Koori (NSW), Koorie (Victoria), Noongar (south west Western Australia), Murri (Queensland and Northern NSW) and Palawa (Tasmania).
I think it is really important that every Australian understands the history of this continent and that includes the tens of thousands of years before invasion. One resource you can use to start your education is the book Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe, Also ensure that you are listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders online, but remember that it is our responsibility to educate ourselves, so be grateful but not demanding when people share their stories and information with you.
Australia was invaded, this land was never ceded and there is no treaty, So this land always was and always will be Aboriginal. You can learn more about this during NAIDOC week this year. NAIDOC week is normally held in the first week of July (Sunday to Sunday), but it has been postponed to the 8th – 15th of November this year because of the pandemic. The theme for NAIDOC week this year is ‘always was, always will be’. They “want all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that our sovereignty was never ceded.”
There are a lot of things that you can do to support Indigenous people in Australia, buying from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned brands is one of them. So please, buy from as many brands in this list as you can, but also do the work to ensure that you are supporting, uplifting and listening to Indigenous people in every way you can.
Cruelty free Indigenous beauty and wellness brands list
The Brand: Baagi Milaygiin means grandmothers spirit and this brand focuses on making Aboriginal bush beauty products. All products are cruelty free and are made using Australian native plant based botanicals and organic ingredients. Deb, the owner, was led to create this brand by her grandmothers spirit and she creates products from remedies that have been “passed down through generations, from a line of gifted healers”. She is a proud Gomeroi woman who lives near Port Macquarie, where she hand pours all the products for this brand.
Products: On their website you can find skincare products like a cleanser, toner, clay masks, moisturiser, lip balm, after sun spray, bush oil and bush rub. The products that are vegan are the toner, after sun spray, pink clay mask and bush oil.
Instagram: @baagimilaygiin https://www.instagram.com/baagimilaygiin/
Barri Health and Beauty
The Brand: The word Barri means ground, earth in the Aboriginal Dunghutti language. Kashana, the owner, grew up around the bush and has always experimented with nature by being creative. She is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Dunghutti Tribe of Kempsey, NSW, which is where she was born and raised. Barri is “committed to promoting health and wellness by sourcing and providing high quality skin care and health products”. Barri products are free from silicones, sulphates, and artificial colours and fragrances. All products are vegan.
Products: The products available include a cleansing milk, toning mist, moisturiser, exfoliating cream, probiotic cream, eye serum and face masks. All products are vegan.
Instagram: @barri_healthandbeauty https://www.instagram.com/barri_healthandbeauty/
Bush Balm Social Enterprise by Purple House
The Brand: Bush Balm is run by Purple House, an Indigenous owned and operated health service based in Alice Springs. Purple House runs 18 remote dialysis clinics in the Northern Territory, as well as a mobile unit called the Purple Truck. The Bush Balm products provide employment opportunities for patients and their families. Bush Balm products are made from wild harvested medicinal plants that are expertly collected on Aboriginal Lands in Central Australia. Bush Balm don’t test any of their products on animals and have been able to get confirmation of no animal testing from all suppliers but one – their soap supplier. I really love what this brand is doing by supporting Indigenous health, so I am making the exception to include the brand, but also telling you that I cannot confirm that the soaps are cruelty free. I also want to note that their cream products are about to be replaced and that new supplier has been vetted. I am hoping their supplier will get back to them soon so that I can update this and give the whole brand the cruelty free status.
Products: On the Bush Balm website you can find medicinal balms like the Irmangka irmangka Bush Balm, which helps with arthritis and pain, and the Arrethe Bush Balm, which helps with eczema, psoriasis and dry itchy skin. Other products include a face cream, intensive moisturiser, lip balm and organic hemp seed oil. As above, I cannot confirm that the soaps are cruelty free. The Organic Irmangka Irmangka Hempseed oil is the only vegan product at the moment.
Instagram: @purplehousedialysis https://www.instagram.com/purplehousedialysis
Bush Medijina by Anindilyakwa Services Aboriginal Corporation (ASAC)
The Brand: The vision for Bush Medijina is to be a “sustainable, independent enterprise that supports our women, our culture, our community and our future”. Bush Medijina was “born from the desire of Warningakalina elders to address the need to build culture and capability across the archipelago to positively impact the livelihoods of women, children and families”. Bush Medijina is run by the Anindilyakwa Services Aboriginal Corporation (ASAC). It is governed by an all female board, with 80% of their team being Indigenous. 100% of the revenue generated by sales is reinvested in to culture and capability-building training. The hope is that with more support Bush Medijina can expand beyond their “current home in Angurugu to other communities across the Groote Eylandt archipelago”. Bush Medijina harvests bush produce on country and carefully handcrafts their products combining traditional and modern techniques to create their own take on their elders’ bush recipes.
Products: There are multiple medicinal balms available, including the Calm Balm, Miracle Balm aka Skin Sanity, Skin Soothe Balm, Sleep Balm and a Breathe Easy Balm. Other products on their website include a lip balm, body butter and hair oils, as well as multiple clay and soap options. The Happy Hair Oils are vegan.
Instagram: @bush_medijina https://www.instagram.com/bush_medijina/
Dilkara Essence of Australia
The Brand: Dilkara means rainbow in an aboriginal language. Julie, the owner of the brand, is a “proud Kamilaroi woman and was born in Coonabarabran NSW”. She currently lives in Canberra with her two children and puppies. Over the past 25 years, Julie has run multiple hair salons, her first when she was only 19 years old. Julie has “melded her Aboriginal heritage and business knowledge, to create Dilkara Essence Of Australia, the first range of hair care products utilising native Australian ingredients”. Dilkara sources native ingredients from local Indigenous communities and all products are made in Australia. Dilkara products are cruelty free, and do not contain SLS, SLES, parabens, petrolatum or palm oil.
Products: Dilkara makes hair care, grooming products and skincare. The hair and grooming products include shampoo, conditioner, heat protection spray, detangling spray, curl enhancer cream, volumising spray, beard oil and a gel pomade. The skincare products include a cleanser, moisturiser, eye serum, clay mask and spot treatment as well as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid serums. All products are vegan except for some of the men’s grooming products which contain a small percentage of beeswax.
Instagram: @dilkara_australia https://www.instagram.com/dilkara_australia/
The Brand: Earth Blended is a “mix of alternative healing and story telling through essential oil blends and contemporary Aboriginal art”. Jame is a “Gumbaynggirr Nyami (woman) living on country – Mid north coast NSW”. She is a mother to three boys and many of her oil blends focus on children or mothers. She believes “as a first nations woman it is important to acknowledge the way of life my ancestors loved and lived”.
Products: Earth Blended sells a range of essential oil blends including those aimed at energy, sleep, immunity, anxiety, headaches, patience, and focus. There are special blends available for children, like teething, and ones aimed at pregnant mums, like perineum and a full birthing essentials pack. There is artwork available on the website as well.
Instagram: @earth.blended https://www.instagram.com/earth.blended/
The Brand: Flyy Bod is a new skincare brand that will be launching in 2020. This is an Indigenous brand, the owner is a “proud Aboriginal and South Sea Islander” and her “mob are the Minjungbal people from Bundjalung nation”. All the Flyy Bod products will be cruelty free and natural, and will include native ingredients.
Products: Flyy Bod is set to launch later this year. The launch has been delayed due to a packaging backlog with suppliers from the current pandemic, but you should be able to buy their products in time to get them delivered for Christmas. Some of the products will contain honey.
Gumbi Leaf Powder
The Brand: Gumbi Leaf Powder is a business that focuses on traditional bush tucker, in particular, the Gumbi Gumbi plant. Husband and Wife, Cameron and Maree Young, ensure that their Gumbi Gumbi (Pittosporum Angustifolium) harvesting is sustainable by doing selective pruning and gentle harvesting practices. They want to ensure that the trees are around for future generations. Cameron and Maree live in Chinchilla, Queensland, and “have Indigenous family heritage between them from the Paredarerme/Pungenna people at Oyster Bay, Tasmania and from Mandandanji people from St George, Queensland”. All Gumbi Leaf Powder products are handmade, natural, organic and plant based. They are vegan and plan to make the whole range vegan friendly by the end of the year.
Products: Products available on the Gumbi Leaf Website include a moisturiser, face mist, lip balm, shampoo and conditioner, hair serum, body scrub, soap hand sanitiser as well as Gumbi Gumbi leaves and extracts. All but two of their products are vegan, the Gumbi Gumbi Lip Balm and Gumbi Gumbi Moisturiser, but they will be transitioned to vegan alternatives by the end of the year.
Instagram: @gumbi_leaf_powder https://www.instagram.com/gumbi_leaf_power/
The Brand: Indigiearth is a 100% Aboriginal owned business based in Mudgee, NSW. Indigiearth sources native Australian foods and ingredients “from Aboriginal communities that use traditional land management practices that respect the land”. Sharon Winsor, a Ngemba Weilwan woman from Western NSW, started Indigiearth to provide premium bush foods and Australian products that are ethically sourced and sustainably harvested. Sharon has “assisted Aboriginal communities to set up wild harvesting, business enterprises and purchases produce back from those communities”. Indigiearth has grown as a business so that it now can offer more than two hundred products, which now includes an all-natural skincare range.
Products: There are lots of products available on the website like native foods, candles, essential oils, diffusers, soaps and skincare. All the skincare items are cruelty free and vegan. The skincare range includes a cleanser, moisturiser, facial serums, clay mask, body custard and hand cream.
Instagram: @indigiearth https://www.instagram.com/indigiearth/
Juddarnje Natural Skincare
The Brand: Juddarnje is an Australian Indigenous family business, run by the Slockee family. They attribute their love of the land and attachment to the bush to being a part of the “Bundjalung tribe of Northern New South Wales”. Juddarnje originally started with a batch of hand-made soaps but has now expanded to include creams, lotions and balms. They believe that “choosing ‘the way of nature’ is the best choice for your skin”. All Juddarnje products are free from sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS or SLES) propylene glycols and parabens.
Products: The skincare range includes cleansers, day and night creams, eye cream, body lotion, hand cream, baby bottom balm, and a range of soaps. Most of the products contain beeswax and honey.
Instagram: @juddarnje https://www.instagram.com/juddarnje/
Jyelah Mind and Body
The Brand: Jyelah Mind and Body aims to produce luxurious handmade bath and body products. Kerrilee, the founder, is an Indigenous mother of three, including the late Jyelah, who is the namesake of brand. Kerrilee will eventually offer grief and loss guidance through the company, but is currently focusing on creating handmade items. She has done formal studies in soap making to ensure the quality and safety of products, and she specialises in making gemstone soaps.
Products: The website has a range of soaps, including gemstone soaps, balms, bath bombs and candles. Kerrilee hopes to expand the line to include body scrubs, body lotions, face masks, face mists and toners in future. The soaps are vegan and made using a base of vegetable glycerine and coconut oil.
Instagram: @jyelahmindandbody https://www.instagram.com/jyelahmindandbody/
Kakadu Organics by Kakadu Tiny Tots
The Brand: Kakadu Organics is a skincare line made by Kakadu Tiny Tots. Kakadu Tiny Tots is an Australian brand that creates Aboriginal clothing, accessories and artwork. All of their “designs originate and are uniquely handcrafted in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory of Australia”. Kylie-Lee, the founder of Kakadu Tiny Tots, grew up in a small Aboriginal community and “wanted to prove to Indigenous women all over Australia that if you have a dream and believe in yourself, anything is possible”. She is proud Murrumburr woman, and her mother is a traditional owner of Kakadu, which meant she grew up in “rich culture and heritage”. She is now a leader and mentor in her community, and along with the Kakadu team, has run many cultural programs for disengaged youth. Kakadu Organics focuses on producing cruelty free organic wild harvested skincare.
Products: The current Kakadu Organics range includes a milk cleanser, moisturiser, toning mist, hydrating serum and exfoliating mask. On the website you can also find organic soaps, candles, baby clothes, bush tea and bush tucker. They try to produce vegan friendly products as much as possible. All of their products are vegan except for the Goat Milk hard soap range.
Instagram: @kakadu_tiny_tots https://www.instagram.com/kakadu_tiny_tots/
Kaizi’s Coconut Oil
The Brand: Kaizi’s Coconut Oil is a business that focuses on making 100% pure, unrefined coconut oil. Their coconut oil is made from nutrient rich, wild growing Australian coconuts from Far North Queensland. Kaizi’s Coconut Oil was started when Kaizi started selling coconuts at a local market. He learnt how to make coconut oil the traditional way from his mother, who had been taught by her grandmother, “a native woman from Murray Island in the Torres Strait”. You can read about how they extract coconut oil the traditional way on their website. The company also harvests wild growing noni, and sources tea tree oil, untreated honey and beeswax locally.
Products: On the website you will find the pure coconut oil which can be used in your beauty routine or in cooking. You will also find coconut oil and essential oil blends, coconut oil infused with Oobarr (noni), which is a traditional recipe used to help pain, as well as body balm, lip, hand and foot balm. There is also a range of coconut based soaps, including shampoo and exfoliating bars.
Instagram: @kaiziscoconutoil https://www.instagram.com/kaiziscoconutoil/
The Brand: Ketahli beauty is an Indigenous brand owned by Latoya. The name Ketahli comes from a combination of her three daughters names Tahkara, Keahni and Maharlie. Latoya says that “the brand represents them and their beauty as well as the beauty of our people. Especially our women who are so often over looked.” All products are cruelty free, vegan, Australian made and are hand crafted and made to order in small batches. The skincare range has native ingredients and is free from SLS, parabens, and synthetic or artificial ingredients.
Products: On the website you will find a range of organic hair care, Australian skincare and faux mink lashes. The skincare range includes a cleansing gel, hydration cream, eye cream and pink clay mask. The hair care range includes two shampoos and conditioners, and a repair mask. All products are cruelty free and vegan.
Instagram: @ketahlibeauty https://www.instagram.com/ketahlibeauty/
The Brand: Li’Tya, pronounced Li deeya, is day spa company that also creates Australian native botanical skincare. Li’Tya means “of the earth” and the brand philosophy is to “tread lightly” and respect mother earth. All packaging is recyclable and they use sustainably wild harvested ingredients when they can. Their products have been developed with over 20 years research into the unique qualities of Australian plants, clays, seeds, salts and fruits. All products are made in Australia and Li’Tya is a Supply Nation certified company. Li’Tya is overseen by an Aboriginal Advisory Board that ensures the ongoing and appropriate use of Aboriginal Knowledge and culture referring all aspects of the business back to the integrity, knowledge, and wisdom of their Elders and wider community. There is a huge amount of information on the brand website if you want to know more.
Products: Some of the products Li’Tya makes include facial serums, cleansers, creams and masks. As well as an eye serum, lip balm, body lotion, oil and polish, aftershave oil, essential oils, hand wash and hand sanitiser. The majority of the range is vegan, except for products that contain honey or mother of pearl.
Instagram: @litya_au https://www.instagram.com/litya_au/
Lowanna Skin Care
The Brand: Lowanna is an Australian made, cruelty free and vegan skincare brand. Lowanna has two meanings, one being girl/woman and the other being exquisite beauty. Sinead, the founder, sees girl and exquisite beauty as being synonymous, she thinks that “every girl is, in fact, exquisite beauty”. She hopes that everyone will feel”‘exquisitely beautiful” in their own skin. Sinead has a great connection with her Indigenous heritage and values the nature-based beliefs of her ancestors. She is a proud descendent of the Narungga people of the Yorke Peninsula region and grew up in Adelaide. All Lowanna products are formulated using key native Australian ingredients. The ingredients highlighted on the website are Kakadu plum, ylang ylang, lemon myrtle, green clay, lemon aspen and desert lime. You can see the information about these ingredients on the website.
Products: There are four skincare products available, a cleanser, moisturiser, eye cream and green clay exfoliating mask. All products are vegan, and they have clarified with me that the hyaluronic acid they use is from bacterial-fermentation and not animals.
Instagram: @lowannaskincare https://www.instagram.com/lowannaskincare/
The Brand: Mandanga (pronounced mun-dar-ngar) is a 100% Indigenous owned business that “makes quality skin care products from Australian native plants and natural plant based products”. The name Mandanga is based on a Western Desert word for land. Kerry and Michael, the founders say that Mandanga products have the “essence of ancient botanical knowledge born of Country, culture and connection
with the Land.” The brand uses sustainable wild harvesting of native ingredients on country as a part of their mission to “protect the land and the knowledge about Indigenous botanicals handed down by the ‘old people’ for future generations”.
Products: The skincare products available on the Mandanga website are a gel cleanser, toning mist, skin balm, exfoliating mask and massage oil. There are also some fashion and accessories on the site too. All skincare products are vegan friendly.
The Brand: Marnta is an Aboriginal family business that focuses on making Australian sandalwood oil. The business specialises in harvesting dead sandalwood trees from the wild, and plants seeds to promote new growth and sustain the species. Australian Sandalwood, Santalum spicatum, is a wild native tree that grows in the desert and drier climates of Western Australia. It is different from the commonly available Indian Sandalwood. Kado and Deeva, the founders, started the business to create job opportunities for their children and other Aboriginal people in the northern Goldfields region of Western Australia. The business creates “oils for luxury skincare and fragrance” from dead Sandalwood trees harvested in the wild, and Sandalwood nut oil sourced from the nuts of trees after they have fallen in a WA Sandalwood plantation. On top of their commitment to sustainability, the brand also donates to Aboriginal language revival projects.
Products: The only product currently available is the 100% pure Australian Sandalwood Pulse Point that can be used for skincare or as a fragrance.
Mwerre Soap and Skin
The Brand: Mwerre Soap and Skin is an Aboriginal owned soap company that specialises in creating handmade soap that incorporates Indigenous ingredients. Mwerre’s “clay and ochre range of natural, cruelty-free handmade soaps are named with Arrernte language words from Central Australia to describe the clay & ochre colours of the soap.” All of the soaps in this range are made with different recipes that combine luxury bases with essential oils that can be used for a range of skin types. Mwerre Soap and Skin doesn’t have a website, you can instead purchase the products from the First Nations Gifts link above, or check out the other retailers via the Mwerre Instagram page. If you have any questions about the products, you can contact Liz, the owner, and she will help you out.
Products: There are a range of soaps available including body bars, facial bars, exfoliating bars and the clay based range. The clay and ochre range is vegan. A special note from the brand is that the palm oil they use is from a sustainable source under the RSPO certification.
Instagram: @mwerresoapandskin https://www.instagram.com/mwerre_soaps/
The Brand: Native Elements creates plant based Australian skincare. Their products are cruelty free, vegan, 100% natural and Australian made. All ingredients are sustainably sourced from across Australia before being hand bottled and labelled in South Grafton, NSW. The owner has a family lineage from Biripi nation and noted that the business operates on Gumbaynggirr land. All Native Elements products are “hand made in short run production” so that the brand “can offer the freshest, fullest shelf life with minimal preservatives”. The brand doesn’t use sulphates, petrochemicals, or synthetic colours or fragrances. All product packaging is recyclable, and the mail bags used are compostable. The brand highlights some of the active ingredients in their products like Jacaranda flower, Banksia flower, Elder flower, Calendula, Milk Thistle, Aloe vera, pink clay and Chamomile. You can find more information about why these ingredients are used as well as the full ingredient break down of each product on their website.
Products: The skincare products that are available on the website are a cleanser, moisturiser, renewal cream, hydrating serum, repairing serum, hydrating gel mask and pink clay mask. All products are vegan.
Instagram: @nativeskincare https://www.instagram.com/nativeskincare/
The Brand: Native Secrets is a skincare company that brings traditional medicinal practises to everyday products. The company extracts essential oils from wild-harvested Australian natives and uses them in their natural skincare range. The leaves of plants like the gumby, white cypress, quandong and gideya are usually “hand-picked to ensure that no damage is done to the original plant enabling it to be used by future generations.” The company also manages overgrown populations of white cypress to “reinvigorate small ecosystems”. Phil and Cherie, the founders, want to use the brand to preserve general knowledge and to share their “ancestors’ secrets”. “Phil is an Aboriginal man of Bidjara/Kara Kara descent of Central Western Queensland” and “Cherie Thompson has a deep spiritual connection and traditional link to the Wailwan people of Central Western NSW”.
Products: The products available in their native skincare line are a conditioner, shampoo, body wash, hand and body lotion as well as a range of essential oils, soaps and candles. All products “are plant based so they can be considered vegan”.
Instagram: @nativesecretsaustralia https://www.instagram.com/nativesecretsaustralia/
The Brand: Natural Cover is an Aboriginal owned business that focuses on creating 100% natural and Australian made products, that “can be used for all skin types and ages”. Sharon, the founder, is a qualified beauty therapist, and found her passion for skincare from her mother, Rose. She was “raised in her traditional land, Bulgul”, where she learnt how to use plants for natural remedies including in the treatment of blemishes. The main ingredient in Natural Cover is Aloe Vera, which is Rose’s favourite natural antiseptic and healing remedy, Natural Cover products have a Frangipani fragrance, which is Rose’s favourite flower, and can help to relieve ‘inflammation and has moisturising effect”.
Products: There are 8 skincare products in the Natural Cover range. They are a cleansing milk, facial scrub, toning mist, facial moisturiser, recovery oil, eye treatment, lip balm and clay mask. A couple of the products contain honey. Full ingredient lists can be found in each product listing.
Instagram: @naturalcoverau https://www.instagram.com/naturalcoverau
Brand: Nood Australia is a majority owned Aboriginal business that specialises in making natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly cleaning and washroom products. The brand uses “Indigenous botanicals that are sustainable and friendly to our environment”. Anthony Wilson is the managing director of Nood Australia. He is a “proud Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna man with family ties to the Narungga and Arrente country”. “Anthony has a strong passion for Aboriginal youth, the environment and creating economic growth and self sufficiency within communities”. Up until now, Nood has been making products for businesses and hotels, but they are hoping to go live with their retail range within the next month, so keep an eye on their social media to see when that happens.
Products: As I said above, their retail range is set to launch within the next month. The sneak peak photos of their retail range show a shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. For now, the bulk products on the website that are available for businesses include, hard surface cleaner, hand sanitiser, bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, dish washing detergent, floor cleaner and hand and body wash. The brand says that they do not claim to have vegan products because their body lotion contains beeswax, but they are looking to replace that in future.
Instagram: @noodaustralia https://www.instagram.com/noodaustralia/
Ochre and Acacia
The Brand: Ochre and Acacia is a low waste, cruelty free, vegan, all natural skincare brand. It is run by an “Indigenous Australian woman of Wiradjuri and Wemba-wemba descent, and a Latin American woman of a mixed descent”. Both women are vegan and care deeply about the environment. They “believe that we are a part of nature, it does not belong to us”. This guiding principle has led them to also offer unique vintage clothing pieces on their website to combat fast fashion and mass production. All Ochre and Acacia skincare products are free from “Parabens, Sulfates, DPG, PG, Mineral Oils, Phtalates, Formaldehyde, PEGs and they are also Gluten free and Non GMO”. They hope to bring you “an alternative that respects traditional ways of interacting with the world, and one that honours our place in nature”.
Products: On the website you will currently find their Nara Naturals handmade, vegan soaps that come uniquely handwrapped with native and foraged flowers. Ochre and Acacia are very eager to expand their skincare line. They have plans to make bath salts, balms and creams, roll-on essential oil blends, as well as face and body oils. All future products will also be vegan.
The Brand: Paperbarklove creates authentic, handmade, natural skincare products that help to “refresh and replenish your skin”. Amanda, the owner, takes inspiration from her “Kungarakan, paperbark heritage to create products using natural and simple ingredients”. Paperbark was used “abundantly in ceremony by the Kungarakan people” and she sees paperbark as symbolic and a reflection of our inner beauty. All Paperbarklove products are made in small batches by Amanda to ensure authenticity and quality.
Products: On the website you will find a range of soaps, as well as lip balms, body butter, body lotion, body mist, body scrub and hair butter. The current vegan products are the soaps, body lotion, body scrub and body mists. Amanda is working on making the balms vegan friendly and is experimenting with beeswax alternatives like soy and candelilla wax, so you can keep an eye on the social media pages if you want to stay updated on that.
Instagram: @paperbarklove https://www.instagram.com/paperbarklove/
The Jummi Factory
The Brand: The Jummi Factory was created to “bring Indigenous healing skincare products to the world”. Josie Alec and Adrianna Irvine Alec are mother and daughter and are both “First Nations Women”. The brand is based in Karratha and won the grand prize at Generation One’s inaugural Dream Summit last year. The prize money has allowed them to invest further in their business. Right now, the website is having a makeover, but it should be back up in the next couple of weeks. They are also in the process of changing their products. Once the website has launched I can update you with more information about this brand and their products.
Products: When the new website launches I will be able to update this with all the products that they are selling. Josie has told me that the EnjoyaJummi Scrub is vegan and that the other products contain beeswax.
The Brand: Wangkathaa Beauty is a small Aboriginal brand, run by a 17 year old Wongi teen from Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (which is Wangkathaa land). She started the business in March of 2020 as she has a passion for beauty and hadn’t seen many Aboriginal beauty brands before, so she wanted to start her own. She hopes to inspire other Indigenous people to follow their dreams and discover self love. The brand is very new, so there are currently only two styles of faux mink lashes on the website, but there are more products coming.
Products: There are two faux mine lash styles on the website right now, Aries and Angel. All products are cruelty free and vegan. The Wangkathaa Beauty Instagram page has some sneaks peaks of future items.
Instagram: @wangkathaabeauty https://www.instagram.com/wangkathaabeauty/
Willow & Co Organics
The Brand: Willow & Co Organics is a brand that creates organic skincare from Aboriginal remedies. Kira-Lea is the owner of Wilow & Co Organics, and is also an international athlete and mum of 3. She is a Wiradjuri Woman from Orange, central NSW. Willow & Co includes activated charcoal as a part of their core range, and notes that it is “rated a category 1 safe and effective food consumable.” Clay and Ochre are considered to be the essence of their Dreaming Collection as they have “enormous amounts of rich minerals directly from the earth”. Willow & Co hopes to share the benefits of these natural resources with their customers.
Products: On the website you will find a couple of different product ranges, the Dreaming Collection, Charcoal Classics, The Himalayan Touch, Raw Ingredients and Extras. Within those categories you can find an ochre face mask, ochre sugar body scrub, cleanser, toning mist, face serum, shampoo, conditioner, salt muscle recovery and relaxant, soap, bush balm, charcoal teeth and body products, clay masks, bath salts, and various raw oils, butters and powders. Some products, like the bush balm, contain beeswax, but there are no other animal by-products in the range.
Instagram: @willowcoorganics https://www.instagram.com/willowcoorganics/
Wunyun Indigenous Healing
The Brand: Wunyun Indigenous Healing is run by Peta, who has Indigenous and Indian ancestral blood lines. She strongly believes in the “powers of ancient traditional healing”. She says her mission in life is to “revive ancient traditional medicinal and healing practices passed down” to her by her ancestors. I found this company through Instagram, but there is a brand new website where you can find all the details about this company. On the website you will find workshops, traditional healing sessions and a select range of products. All products on the website are Indigenous, medicinal, seasonal plant based products that are non-toxic, organic and have multiple uses. Wunyun donates a portion of profits from purchases to selected Indigenous programs.
Products: The website is brand new so to begin with there will only be gift packs being sold that contain 4 products – a Traditional Winter Balm, antiseptic balm, calming balm and an Indigenous essential oil roller (like a perfume roller). There are plans to include more products on the website in the near future. Some products contain emu oil but others will be vegan friendly.
I have run my body into the ground by trying to get this post finished, but I’m really happy to finally have it up for you. Please share this post with everyone you know, so that we can get more people buying from these cruelty free Indigenous beauty and wellness brands. Please do not recreate this list, as I have express permission from every brand to include them in this post. Also, please do not make a list of your own if you haven’t contacted all brands first, some brands do not want to be posted about, and others must have permission from their elder’s first.
I had to spend a huge amount of time looking for brands to make this post, and in doing so I found a lot of other Indigenous brands that don’t fit into this category. If you want me to make a post about those brands so you can support them too, let me know. It will have to be without all the brand bios, so that I can get it up, but that could still be helpful for a lot of you. Just remember that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brands have had an increase in sales recently, and are trying to keep up with demand, so be mindful of that. Also, please continue to support these brands in the months and years to come when sales might start to slow down, and they will therefore need your support even more. If you are the owner of an Indigenous owned brand in Australia and you want some feedback on your social media pages or website, then please contact me and I will be happy to help. I spend a huge amount of time on brand pages and websites, so I usually notice when something can be changed to make it easier for the consumer to buy from you.
Which cruelty free Indigenous beauty and wellness brand are you going to purchase from first? Have you tried anything from these brands already? If so, leave a comment letting everyone know what you think of the products. Also, let me know if you want to see a review on something in particular from one of the Indigenous beauty and wellness brands, let me know and I will try to do that for you. In the mean time, you can read some of my general beauty reviews if that interests you and if you want my new blog posts sent to your inbox, then you can sign up to email updates. You can also find me on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.