Down Under Enterprises grows, produces, exports, and markets traceable
and sustainable native Australian essential oils and botanicals grown on our farm, Buhlambar, and from across Australia offering essential oils and botanicals with unique functional and aromatic properties.
Welcome to our April newsletter for 2023! This month we bring you our “Secret Killer” – Manuka Oil.
Manuka Oil is relatively new in the world of essential oils and aromatherapy. But a British Indi Cosmetics brand is making a splash with Manuka Essential Oil, and winning awards. Read how UpCircle, incorporated Manuka Oil into their winning formulation.
In-Cosmetics Global 2023 was a great place to see what is trending, and it is clear that hair and scalp care is definitely on the rise. Many analysts are now citing scalp as the new skincare, incorporating natural dandruff care, UV protection, and anti-pollution treatments for hair and scalp.
In the News this month, we explore why you should be evaluating Manuka Essential Oil in your hair and scalp care formulas.
Read on to learn more:
Thanks for reading.
The hair care market grew 11% year over year in 2022, according to IRI. In the U.S., prestige hair product sales grew 23% in Q3 2022, driven by targeted treatments. Consumers' interest in adding targeted treatments to their routine — such as hair oil and scalp serums — is rising rapidly.
Meanwhile, this analysis also suggests that medicinal treatments for deep cleaning of the scalp and hair is also on top of consumers’ minds, such as antifungal, antimicrobial, or lice shampoos.
The post-pandemic era has accelerated the move back to the basics – culminating in the common perception that the scalp is the new face. Consumers have become savvier; they are after more than just achieving the luscious appearance of shiny hair. The new concept of “skinification of hair" emphasizes scalp health.
Manuka Oil is an ideal ingredient to address these top trends in hair care, particularly the medicinal treatment for hair and scalp health. Manuka is a traditional medicine used by native New Zealand Māori for centuries. More recently, numerous studies demonstrated the antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial benefits of Manuka Oil – particularly for conditions caused by gram-positive bacteria.
You might be more familiar with the name Manuka Honey. It is from the Mānuka plant (Leptospermum scoparium) that we get both Mānuka Honey and Mānuka Essential Oil. The Honey is from the bees’ work and is known for its antimicrobial activity. Manuka Oil demonstrates its unique therapeutic properties via topical application. Manuka Oil is an essential oil, steam distilled from the leaves of the tree, which is native to both New Zealand and Australia. Read our blog if you still wonder about the difference between Manuka Oil and Manuka Honey.
In New Zealand, the common name for Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is “Tea Tree.” Manuka Oil has almost nothing in common with Australian Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), not in the aroma, not in the appearance, nor in any of the chemical components. Read more in our blog, Tea Tree - a Shared Common Name.
However, maybe it’s the rule of “opposites attract” Manuka Oil and Tea Tree Oil are the perfect couple. Putting Australian Tea Tree Oil and Manuka Oil together boosts efficacy up to 95% against bacteria. Read our Blog to learn more about how this "dynamic duo" works together.
The most common concern of poor scalp health is dandruff. One in two adults is affected by this multifaceted problem. Recent studies found that fungus and bacteria have a big part in the development and progression of dandruff.
Studies demonstrate Manuka Oil is highly effective in haircare formulations:
BENEFIT 1 – Kills bacteria and fungi that cause or worsen dandruff
BENEFIT 2 – Promotes skin healing and collagen III production
BENEFIT 3 – Free of Allergen Statement restrictions
For more details on Manuka Oil's antibacterial and antifungal data, download the White Paper of Manuka Oil for Personal Care.
To request a sample of Manuka Oil
Manuka Oil, Your Hero Ingredient for Scalp Health
Half of the global population suffers from dandruff, but the causes of dandruff vary. Research findings suggest sebum production levels and the microbial presence on the scalp (a fungus called Malasszia spp.) are considered the main culprits of dandruff. Recent findings from Unilever R&D also suggest bacteria play hand in hand with dandruff conditions; neither bacteria nor fungi are solely responsible. Research undertaken in China and France also nominates bacteria, including cutibacterium and staphylococcus species, a key cause of this common affliction (Grimshaw et al., 2019).
Microbes Associated With Dandruff
|Malassezia furfur||Cutibacterium acnes||Staphylococcus spp. bacteria|
Manuka oil has over 80 bioactive constituents, including 20% or more of the naturally active triketones. Triketone actives are responsible for broad spectrum antimicrobial properties (the ability to stop the growth and kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses). The below table summarizes selected MIC data for Manuka Oil against dandruff-related microbes.
Activity of Manuka Oil Against Bacteria & Fungi Associated with Dandruff
Sources: Plant & Food Research, Mathew et al. (2020)
To Learn More, Download our White Paper - Manuka Oil in Personal Care
Google search data from Spate found that scalp serums are enjoying significant growth at present, with consumer interest focused on scalp/skin-friendly natural ingredients. The old shampoo-and-conditioner routines are no longer enough.
Hair slugging is one of the fastest growing trends, starting from Tiktok and Reddit last year. The concept comes from Korea, and the technique involves the application of hair oil and then covering it with a bonnet or sock before bed to seal in moisture while you sleep.
Watch this trending Tiktok video on hairslugging → → →
Download our Manuka Oil scalp care formulations, designed for leave-in and rinse-off hair care applications, providing balance and conditioning for the scalp.
Sourcing from Traditional Land Owners
Our Manuka is sourced under a fair share partnership model with first nations people, the Māori Kaitiaki in New Zealand who work the land of their ancestors. This partnership model provides shares and a fair and open return of the revenue gained from the Manuka Oil sourced from their land (whenua).
Before the arrival of European settlers, the Māori people of New Zealand had collective kaitiakitanga (guardianship) for the whenua (land) in their territory. No one person had ownership rights – everyone worked together to make the most of the whenua while ensuring its protection and sustainability for the future.
NZ Mānuka growers are revitalizing traditional (Māori) farming practices and reclaiming the traditional way of Māori land ownership. New plantings are now being established to meet global demand for Mānuka Oil. Just before COVID locked us all down, we spent a week with our Manuka grower, visiting their farms in New Zealand. We learned from traditional Maori about their caring for the land, their long-term and intrinsic relationship with the Manuka plant, what their close relationship with the land means for them and their families. We also were lucky to observe the significant plantings underway, by traditional Maori landowners themselves, to provide more pure Manuka Oil to Down Under's customers around the world.
Working with traditional owners and appreciating their deep connections with the land upon which our essential oils and botanicals are produced is very important to us. At the end of 2022, Down Under took the first step of our Aboriginal Reconciliation Journey at our farm Buhlambar. Local Bundjalung aboriginal Elders Paula and Aunty Gwen spoke with us about their local connections to the land where our farm is located. We will continue our learnings and engagement during the initial 12 months of Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) journey.
Subscribe to our newsletters to follow our RAP journey.
Our B Corp “Crawl” and Farm Day
In December last year, Down Under staff from around the world gathered for our annual farm day at Buhlambar. It was filled with adventure and purpose. Our team looks forward to this event each year.
The event started with a scavenger hunt on a beautiful hike at Byron Bay Lighthouse. We then embarked on a “B Corp Crawl” to meet other B Corps around the region. The following day we were out the door at 6am to get our farm work done before the heat of the day caught up to us. Watch the video to see some of the highlights.
We are pursuing a more natural approach to our farming techniques - and our team is loving being a part of this journey. To learn more about our environmental practices at our essential oil farm, Buhlambar, in Australia, Download our Regenerative Farming Practices Statement.
The Trends Barometer published during the recent In-Cosmetics Global in Barcelona is filled by sustainability initiatives, which is in accord with our 10 Global Cosmetic Trends. At Down Under, we are committed to sustainability and reducing waste in the personal care industry.
Our Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil is upcycled from the waste of the (drinking) tea industry. The undesired leaves and branches of this native Australian rainforest tree are "cooked" to distill the essential oil. This process creates a sustainable, eco-friendly solution that reduces waste and supports the circular economy.
Lemon Myrtle Essential oil is known for its “more-lemon-than-lemon” aroma and outstanding antimicrobial properties.
Manuka - the Secret of an Indi Cosmetic Rising Star
A rising star in upcycled beauty is the British company UpCircle Beauty. Founded in 2016 through a crowdfunding event, the company has become a leader in the upcyled beauty movement globally. Their expansion has taken them to North America (Whole Foods, Credo Beauty), throughout Europe, and even the Philippines. They set out to change the perception of waste, making products with a focus on reducing waste and using upcycled ingredients.
Manuka Oil (Leptospermum Scoparium Leaf Oil) is a key ingredient in one of Upcircle’s best selling products, a multi award-wining face cleansing balm. The cleansing balm is gentle on skin and formulated to remove makeup and prevent breakouts.
This cleansing face balm was awarded winner of the CEW Responsibility Award 2022, “Best Value” product in the Women’s Running 2020 Awards, and bronze for Best Oil Cleanser in the Global Makeup Awards 2022.
The UpCircle team had a very busy 2022, they also became a B Corp. Congratulations to the UpCircle team!
Rayssa - Our Quality and Regulatory Affairs Officer
Rayssa joined us back in 2020 as our esteemed do-everything Operations Assistant. She has recently been promoted as our Quality and Regulatory Affairs Officer. This promotion comes as no surprise, as Rayssa displays exceptional work ethic, possesses an innate penchant for our technical documentation, and has always applied her detail-focused and sharp-eyed skills throughout her tenure with us.
Since Rayssa has taken on the new role, she has worked on our quality management system, helped to renew our ATTIA Tea Tree Code of Practice certification, submit our 2023 Ecovadis review, and publish our new Code of Conduct with suppliers and clients. She also leads Change Management activities, most recently across our organization and our global representatives to manage the deprecation of UN1169 and consolidation with UN1197.
At Down Under, we strive to cultivate personal growth and development of our employees to unlock their full potential. Congratulations, Rayssa!
Talk with us to Learn More about our integrated supply and quality management system.