Isn’t amazing to think that, to date, we have discovered around 400,000 plant species on this Earth – adding around 2,000 new species to the list every year. And yet, of those that we’ve already discovered, we’re still constantly surprised by their variety, uniqueness and their benefits.
Here at KIATA, we scour the world for the most exclusive, powerful raw materials to incorporate into our skincare. With the vast knowledge of our team of experts, each ingredient is carefully formulated to create a luxurious range with the most high-performing actives, capturing the best that nature has to offer.
Sometimes, these powerful ingredients are found right here in our own back yard, like the Australian Illawarra Plum which we source on a small family farm in Queensland, Australia. This superfruit definitely deserves a place in your skincare regime, and we want to share with you why.
A little different
With its strange appearance and compact size, the Illawarra Plum probably doesn’t look like the plums you see in your local supermarket. Like most plums, this small fruit consists of a large inedible seed surrounded by delicious edible flesh, but you might be surprised to hear that there’s a lot more to the Illawarra Plum beneath the surface.
This sweet, juicy plum tastes much like a grape with a just hint of pine (not what you’d expect in a rainforest!) and since its full of sticky sugars, eating these tiny plums has a whole range of benefits for your digestive system. Packed full of antioxidants, the Illawarra Plum not only nourishes the inside of the body but can also give your skin that superstar treatment on the outside. Find out more below!
Life in the tropics
The Illawarra Plum trees are native to the Eastern reaches of the Australian island continent. A rainforest species, the trees grow in the sub-tropical climates of Queensland and New South Wales – not the usual place you think of finding plums or pine trees! The trees are able to thrive in an array of harsh conditions, making them not only ideal for farming but also suitable as an ornamental shrub in gardens and public spaces.
Also known as the Daalgall, Brown Pine or Plum Pine, these plum trees are both evergreen and salt-spray resistant, meaning you’ll often find them swaying in the sea breeze along the Eastern coastlines or lining the suburban streets of Australian towns and cities.
A rich history
For thousands of years the Illawarra Plum has been eaten by native Australians for its energy-boosting and medicinal properties and was considered to be one of the best bush foods available in the growing regions (or “bush tucker” as it’s locally known!) It’s sweet, sugary flesh provided a quick source of energy whilst it’s high antioxidant levels helped kickstart the immune system in times of need – not all sweet things are bad for you!
More antioxidants than blueberries!
So, the Illawarra Plum seems great for eating, but what about your skin? With over 7 times the number of antioxidants than blueberries, you could say that the Illawarra Plum is a pretty powerful superfruit.
Illawarra Plum extracts are a miracle ingredient when it comes to skincare because of something called “anthocyanins”. Sounds like a chemical, right? Well, these anthocyanins are actually a natural type of flavonoid which can act as a powerful antioxidant. In plants, they’re the pigments that gives flowers, stems, fruits and berries their bright colours. Although most fruits contain a small amount of these anthocyanins, Illawarra Plums contain a much higher quantity, giving them their “superfruit” status.
As the Illawarra Plum trees grow in such harsh conditions, they’ve adapted to produce high levels of antioxidants to better protect themselves from the environment surrounding them. Just as these high levels of antioxidants protect the plant, they can do the same for our body and our skin.
What it means for your skin
Antioxidants help to fight off free radicals both on the surface and underneath the skin. When eaten, antioxidants aid the immune system by reducing the number of free radicals in the body. On the outside, free radicals are often caused by a range of harsh environmental factors such as pollution and sun exposure – so applying antioxidants to your skin not only helps to fight free radicals but also protects against them throughout the day.
Fruit of youth
Remember all those free radicals that we talked about earlier? Well, they’re making you age quicker. You heard us! Damage caused by free radicals due to sun exposure (remember your sunscreen!) and pollution makes your skin age more rapidly, meaning you need to keep your skin protected whenever possible.
The antioxidants found in the Illawarra Plum not only fight the free radicals on the skin but also protect against them. By protecting your skin’s natural barrier, antioxidants help to retain your skin’s natural elasticity and firmness by retaining your skin’s hydration levels – locking in the moisture and keeping your skin cells plumped and healthy. By fighting the free radicals, antioxidants can also prevent wrinkles, sun spots and pigmentation – all associated with the ageing process. You’d wish you found it sooner!
The benefits don’t stop there! The Illawarra Plum’s high levels of anthocyanins also provide anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties which have been proven to reduce blemishes whilst calming the redness and inflammation associated with breakouts. By soothing irritation and fighting the free radicals that can cause blemishes, your skin will be left looking smoother and brighter – what more could you ask for?!
Taking care of nature
Here at KIATA, sustainability and ethical practices are part of our nature. That’s why our Illawarra Plums are grown on a small, family-owned plantation in Queensland, Australia where the climate provides the ideal conditions for the plum trees to flourish. Fruits are carefully selected using hand-harvesting techniques meaning that only the finest fruits are picked for our products and minimal damage is caused to the fruits and the plum trees in the process.
KIATA also uses sustainable practices to extract the essential oils from the Illawarra Plum fruits – combining these essential plum oils with other unique ingredients, formulated to provide the most actives and therefore the greatest benefits for your skin.
We love this little superfruit so much, which is why Illawarra Plum oil extracts can be found in all of the KIATA skincare range, capturing the best that nature has to offer.
Image credit: http://www.wariapendi.com.au/hints-tips/bush-food