Image courtesy of @sayaskin

Despite the industry obsession with active cosmeceutical ingredients, we are blessed with so many local Australian native botanical ingredients that also promise skin benefits.

From bush berries to super fruits, one authority who knows their power all too well is Saya McDermitt, the founder of Noosa-based skincare brand Saya Skin. “We use a wide range of certified organic botanicals and Australian native extracts with high quality actives, and all are clinically proven to give the skin results.”

From hydration to brightening, the benefits run across a spectrum of skin issues, and often come from smaller, local brands like Saya who are building their business with integrity.

If you’re looking to incorporate some into your own product lineup, read on for Saya’s favourites, what they do, and where to find them.


Kakadu Plum

“Kakadu Plum has always been the celebrity when it comes to Australian ingredients and for good reason – it is an incredibly efficacious ingredient,” explains Saya. It’s rich in vitamin C, so boasts excellent antioxidant protection, and assists with collagen production for firm, bright skin.

kit:No. 1 Concentrate Kakadu Plum, $34. SHOP NOW

This just-launched formula p[acks a punch in the antioxidant department, thanks to kakadu plum, benkoang and ascorbic acid. If you’re looking to brighten and firm without breaking the bank, it’s a top pick.

Emu Apple

Known as a “super berry” of the Australian outback, Saya loves Emu Apple for its antioxidants, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Emu Berry also contains a natural wax, so is great for retaining moisture within the skin.

Saya Skin Super Serum, $90. SHOP NOW

Perfect for almost every skin type, this hydrating serum is formulated to plump, smooth and illuminate dull or tired skin.

Tasmanian Pepperberry

“These berries have a highly effective function in nourishing the skin and providing a barrier against moisture loss,” notes Saya. Her suggestion is to pair them with powerful humectants like hyaluronic acid or pentavitin – that way, you’ll be able to boost skin moisture, and keep it there.

go-to skincare transformazing sheet mask, $55 for 6. SHOP NOW

Packed with kakadu plum, finger lime and niacinamide, this juicy sheet mask promises brighter, bouncier skin in minutes.

Macadamia Oil

If you want to nourish and soften the skin without triggering congestion, this natural nut oil might be what you’re searching for. “Macadamia oil is an incredibly nourishing, low comedogenic oil that absorbs quickly – it helps to balance oil production, firm and rejuvenate dry, tired skin.”

Saya Skin Cleansing Balm, $56. SHOP NOW

This velvety cleansing balm emulsifies upon contact with water, dissolving makeup, sunscreen and skincare with ease. It’s rich in macadamia oil to restore depleted skin, too.

Lilli Pilli

Lilli pilli is also high in vitamin C as well as anthocyanins, meaning it protects the skin against oxidative stress (fitting here in Australia). It’s also thought to have some anti-viral properties, which is why it’s often called on to calm and soothe breakouts.

Frank Body Brightening Eye Serum, $20. SHOP NOW

Formulated with lilli pilli and caffeine, this lightweight eye treatment is great to soften those first signs of fine lines around the delicate area.