November | Beauty Brand We Love

The nature-focused skincare brand with a global impact

Expect honesty and efficacy

Anna-Marie Solowij

Back in 1987, when Australian hairdresser Dennis Paphitis added natural plant oils to the products he used in his Melbourne hair salon, he inadvertently anticipated one of the biggest shifts in the beauty industry that continues to resonate strongly today. Now, Aesop’s vast product range retains its founding principles, featuring natural ingredients, effective formulations and reductive packaging and is sold online and via a global network of creatively inspired stores that international architects and interior designers clamour to work on, setting the tone for modern eco retail.


Most people will know Aesop from its Resurrection Hand Wash, a feature of hipster restaurant bathrooms, which has since migrated into design-savvy homes across the world and, more recently, Covid-era handbags in the form of hand sanitiser. Though the hand-care products are brand staples – those scrunched up, utilitarian aluminium tubes of Aromatique Hand Balm in their off-shade colour packs have a cult following – it is Aesop’s skincare that is striking a chord with consumers looking for honesty and efficacy from their products. In a market that is increasingly saturated with pious (and, at times, pompous) messaging, Aesop’s verbal and visual clarity of purpose continues to cut through; no wonder it’s on every wannabe green brand’s inspo’ mood board.