Skincare brand founder Nicole O’Sullivan grew up on the Gold Coast, where she “sunbaked for hours”. No surprise, then, that decades later she found herself dealing with the signs of premature ageing which her time in the sun caused – a loss of elasticity, increased fine lines and pigmentation, and dry, dehydrated skin. Training as a herbalist and nutritionist made her deeply aware of the healing properties of plants, and eventually she incorporated those into a luxurious, efficacious, science-first skincare range, Wildcrafted Organics. As she tells us, “I'm 52, and I want it all. I want a skincare ritual that I look forward to using, I want to smell something gorgeous like neroli as I apply my products, and I want it to be uncomplicated… but I also need all the help I can get! I want to wake up in the morning and love the skin I'm in.” Here, Nicole shares with us why she creates products that include pure botanicals as well as lab-created actives, what her favourite products are for sensitive skin, and why the nutritional value both of what you put inside your body and on your face is key to achieving a healthy, radiant complexion.

WILDCRAFTED ORGANICS FOUNDER NICOLE O’SULLIVAN

How to feed your face

“A fundamental understanding of nutrition’s vital role in skin health has helped me create products that literally feed the skin. Our bodies prioritise where its nutrients go – you can eat a lot of vitamin C-rich foods, but it doesn’t mean the vitamin C is going to make it into the dermal layer of the skin, where we would like it to be hard at work creating collagen and elastin to keep our faces looking plump and lifted. That’s just not the body’s priority. And so we provide nutritionally-rich skincare products to supplement the skin with active vitamins. That way it gets the nutrients it needs to be in a state of optimum health, and to look beautiful.”

Plant-based potency

“I saw first-hand the incredible healing power of plants while working as a herbalist. Plants contain all the nutrients our body and our skin needs to be truly healthy and radiant – vitamins , essential fatty acids, ceramides and antioxidants.

There is something particularly special about Australia’s unique native species. These wild plants have grown without any interference, and develop in such a way as to survive in our harshest environments. And not just survive, but thrive, producing incredibly high amounts of antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. This makes these plants extremely beneficial to our skincare, as these skin-loving nutrients feed and protect our skin.”

Growing wild… or grown in a lab?

“Kakadu plum contains the highest source of natural vitamin C of any fruit in the world, but it also contains other compounds that are beneficial to the skin (such as gallic acid, ellagic acid, amino acids, tryptophan and flavone C-glycoside). Vitamin C is a notoriously unstable molecule, so there are only a few companies that provide Kakadu plum extract with viable vitamin C. On the other hand, you have synthetic versions of vitamin C that are stable and chemically identical to that which occurs naturally, and so in some cases using that version is more appropriate. Clinical trials have shown some amazing results using high concentrations of pure vitamin C, and in practical terms you would need a lot of Kakadu plum extract to provide that same level and those same results. So I have no problem using synthetically made vitamins when it makes the most sense. I often use a blend of these with pure botanicals to ensure skin has everything it needs.”

Nicole’s favourite products for sensitive skin

“All of my products are tested on my own quite sensitive skin, before being added to the collection. Remember, plants have been used for centuries for their antioxidant, protective and healing properties, as well as their aromatherapy benefits. They are extremely safe and beneficial for the skin, particularly sun damaged skin.

Start with our Neroli Cleansing Oil, because using an oil cleanser can transform your skin. If you are naturally oily, this cleanser will help balance your skin’s oil production, and if it’s dry or dehydrated, it will nourish it. And that is all while effortlessly removing every trace of makeup. The base oils are camellia oil and rice bran oil which is full of plumping, soothing ceramides. The scent is a blend of neroli, ylang ylang and pink grapefruit essential oil, so it’s a true spa experience every time you wash your face.

To hydrate, you can’t go past the Wild Rose Botanical Mist. It is more like a serum then your average face mist, as it combines the highest quality organic Bulgarian rose hydrosol with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide (which helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier). It also has a high concentration of a wild plum extract made up of three different Australian plums, which is clinically proven to increase collagen and hyaluronic acid levels in the skin.”

Already accustomed to strong actives?

“Opting for plant-based skincare doesn’t mean you have to compromise on results you might be used to from more traditional products. With the products in our Age Less Beauty range you get the best of both nature and science. We include actives at levels which have been clinically proven to get the best outcomes for the skin. For example, our Bakuchiol Cell Regenerating Serum contains a new generation vitamin C ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate at 10%; this active has been shown to lighten pigmentation at 3%. It also contains the Bakuchiol Extract Sytenol A which has been shown to give the same results as retinol without any skin irritation.

For those dealing with premature ageing of the skin, I recommend beginning with the Neroli Cleansing Oil, hydrating and plumping the skin with the Wild Plum Illuminating C Serum and then applying the Bakuchiol Cell Regenerating Serum and our Bio Active Eye Serum. Using our Gold Dermal Roller 0.5 once a week to increase collagen is a must. In choosing Wildcrafted Organics, we want you to have a skincare ritual that is as addictive to use as it is effective.”

Story by Zoe Briggs. Imagery supplied by Wildcrafted Organics.

This article was produced in partnership with Wildcrafted Organics.

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