I just returned from one of the most incredibly indulgent weekends of my life at Gwinganna, a world-leading health retreat on Australia’s east coast. While I can’t take every aspect of the two-day wellness-experience home with me to New York (sadly), I do plan on integrating many of the products used by the retreat’s natural beauty and health professionals into my every day life.
While there I met and spoke with some of the most knowledgable and well-informed natural health experts in the industry, and each of them shared with me some incredible products used at Gwinganna that you (and I!) can buy and use at home. Kind of like a spa-like experience ever single day.
Because they’re approved by the ultra-natural health retreat, you know that everyone one of these skin care, hair care, cosmetics, aromatherapy, and apparel brands are organic, all-natural, and free of nasty ingredients that should never appear in your bathroom vanity or wardrobe. Whip out your credit card – we guarantee you’re going to want everyone one of these.
Great for: Aromatherapy.
Based in Sydney, Australia, the aromatherapy skin and body brand is based on Ayurveda principles with the intention of healing both body and mind. It’s also launching in the U.S. right now, so get excited. This brand’s stocked in some of the world’s most premium resorts and spas, including; Six Senses spas, Peninsula Hong Kong and Taj Hotels. Fancy, eh?
Great for: Skin and hair care.
This plant-based skin, hair and body product line is based on Indigenous Australian plants and the principles of modern and Indigenous herbalism, aromatherapy, and touch therapy. Every single product is made using sustainably wild-harvested, pure Australian botanicals and organic ingredients. It’s also certified cruelty-free with responsible packaging. Tick, tick, and tick.
Great for: Skin care.
This certified organic skin care line is used in professional facials and spa treatments, but there’s no reason why you can’t replicate the experience at home. With ingredients like acerola fruit to exfoliate and brighten the complexion, argan kernel oil to heal and regenerate your skin, and aloe for hydration, Gwinganna staffers told me it’s one of the “best performing” beauty brands on the market. Sold!
Great for: Faux tanning.
Remembering your skin is your largest organ, and one that absorbs everything you apply to it, it’s really crazy that we’ve gone this long without using an all-organic faux tanning product. EcoTan was the first certified organic tan range in the world and offers both slow-building and single-application products, as well as a non-comodengenic formula just for your face that promises not to cause an acne outbreak.
Great for: Makeup.
This beauty brand has just about every certification you could dream of: Certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free, halal — and that’s just the start of it! While some natural makeup brands fail to deliver the same results as their chemical-filled counterparts, Inika’s known in the industry for giving a weightless and flawless finish.
Great for: Nails.
Amid growing concern that the chemicals in many mainstream nail-polishes are messing with the body’s hormones, non-toxic alternatives, like Zoya, and becoming hugely popular. Products are free from the most common nasties, including; toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP (dibutyl phthalate) – plus, the color range is super cute, which always helps.
Great for: Tampons and other women’s hygiene products.
You eat organic food and use organic skin care, so why would you allow pesticides in your tampons? All TOM Organic pads and tampons are made with certified organic cotton, grown free from nasty synthetic chemicals, and are also hypoallergenic and biodegradable. Together this equals less irritation in the most sensitive and absorbent part of your body. Products are also PETA certified vegan and cruelty-free – so you can use ’em sans guilt.
Great for: Holistic, aromatherapy-focused skin care.
Here you’ll find holistic natural aromatherapy products and skin care comprised of certified organic essential oils and plant extracts.
Great for: Organic beauty products.
Suvana ticks off all the natural beauty buzzwords you’re looking for – it’s certified organic, 100 percent natural, and cruelty-free. The brand began with a paw paw and honey balm made from coconut oil, vanilla bean oil, cocoa butter and vitamin E and that is 100 percent petrochemical free. It’s a true multi-tasker, and is great used on your cuticles, lips, and anywhere else that needs a little hydration and nourishment.
Great for: Skin care and baby products.
She might not be as well known as her daughter Miranda, but Therese Kerr is a total natural beauty nut. She created The Divine Company to offer natural and organic beauty, skin, baby and personal care products.
Look here for underwear, socks, and other basics made entirely from organic, absurdly-comfortable bamboo. In addition to being ridiculously soft, Boody discovered that their bamboo-derived fabrics are also incredibly eco-friendly: Bamboo plantations produce 30 percent more oxygen than an equivalent area of trees and absorb more carbon dioxide and greenhouse gasses. Add to that the fact that commercial harvests of bamboo requires only rainwater – and that all the water water used in Boody’s production process is recycled and re-used – and you’ve got a pretty convincing argument in favor of trying out the brand.
Many drug store and salon hair care brands contain sulphates that help the solution lather up in your hair, but can also be super-damaging, stripping your locks of essential oils. Not only are Pure Earth shampoo and conditioners free from sulphates, but they’re also made with delicious, natural herb extracts and are certified organic.