Kakadu plum is the hero skincare ingredient popping up more and more in your favourite serums. Here’s exactly how it works.
What is Kakadu Plum?
Kakadu plum — or to use its scientific name, Terminalia ferdinandiana — is a small stone fruit found in the Eucalypt woodlands across the northern Australian states.
Known as ‘gubinge’ by the Bardi people and ‘garbiny’ by the Yawuru people (among others), Kakadu plum has been a part of Aboriginal food and medicine for tens of thousands of years and was used to treat everything from sores to mosquito bites.
It contains a phenomenally high concentration of Vitamin C, as well as containing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties — earning it superfood status.
What are the skincare benefits of Kakadu Plum?
Vitamin C has long been part of any good skincare routine — and Kakadu plum has more Vitamin C than any other fruit.
It’s a “supercharged ingredient,” says natural skincare line founder Saya McDermott, with the power to plump, hydrate, and protest.
“The Vitamin C in the Kakadu plum acts as a powerful skin protective antioxidant,” she told marie claire Australia.
“It promotes new collagen in the skin, which is important for skin rehydration, it enhances the skin barrier function, helps reduce water loss, and helps maintain a strong immune system.”
It also contains Gallic acid, a natural anti-inflammatory, so it’s deeply soothing for sensitive skin and can help reduce redness, inflammation irritation caused by sensitivity, overexposure to the sun of inflammatory skin.
McDermott, who founded the Noosa-based skincare line Saya Skin, says it’s only in recent years that we’ve been able to extract the active ingredients from Kakadu plum without degrading them.
“Twenty years ago, it was very basic,” she said. “But now it’s super advanced, and it basically guarantees that all the compounds and everything that we’re wanting to extract and use in skincare products are active and available.”
Kakadu plum extract is found in everything from moisturisers to haircare, but is most commonly found in serums. If you’re using it as a serum, then it would go on your skin after cleansing but before heavier products — combine it with niacinamide for a radiant glow.
And don’t forget: if you’re using active ingredients in your skin, it’s definitely a good idea to whack some SPF 50+ on there, too.
Our favourite Kakadu plum skincare ingredients
Saya renew serum, $90, from THE ICONIC
Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Glow Booster Illuminating Serum, $170, from Sephora
Dr Dennis Gross Stress Repair Face Cream, $108, from Mecca
Transformazing Face Masks, $55 for a set of six, from Go-To
Minenssey Nutritious Face & Neck Cream, $79, from Adore Beauty