In the midst of J Beauty and K Beauty, African Beauty (A Beauty) is on the rise and so it should be!
Housing over a billion people, the continent of Africa is not only larger than the United States, China and Brazil combined, it also houses a significant proportion of the world's natural resources.
It is therefore safe to say that Africa has earned its place on the pedestal to be celebrated as a ‘Botanical-Rich’ continent without which the world of beauty would be a completely different and unrecognisable landscape.
The use of unadulterated natural products can be attributed to the need for protection from the elements, particularly hot weather conditions curtesy of the sun. Travelling back in time to ancient Egypt, recalling timeless beauties Cleopatra and Nefertiti known for their use of ointments, creams, and oils to nourish, protect and enhance their skin. Not so different from today, in the pursuit of that closeness to immortality, these ancient beauties used nature to cleanse, heal and preserve youth. These ingredients possess healing properties evident in Nubian queens of old and modern queens in the most rural villages in Africa.
African Ingredients used in skincare formulations today are more often than not, foods that contain natural oils. When extracted, these oils, are usually rich in antioxidants (protect skin from free radicals and environmental stresses), have fatty acids (skin repair), reduce inflammation, improve skin elasticity, possess anti-ageing properties, reduce scarring, increase blood circulation, have high levels of triglyceride which help boost collagen production and offer natural skin protection from UV rays.
There are the renowned ingredients such as Shea Butter, Baobab, Manketti, Marula, Neem, Argan, to name a few which are jewels in the crown of the African super ingredients. These ingredients have proven their ability to provide relief and comfort, plus the power in managing numerous skin ailments and conditions, doing so naturally through their results-driven superpowers.
The triple action (humectant, occlusive and emollient) jewel that is Shea Butter is made from shea nuts which are found only within the shea belt in Africa. This superfood moisturises, protects, strengthens, supports skin regeneration, UV protects, possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and skin enhancing properties.
Today, even after over three thousand years, the Berber women of Southern Morocco are still known for their exotic beauty. Their secret? The liquid gold that is Argan oil! An oil that eventually caught the attention of scientists who discovered its richness in antioxidants, Vitamin E and other agents that rejuvenate the skin.
Secrets are still held within less known indigenous ingredients, and this has triggered the rise in the discovery, rebirth of ancient remedies and further research into amazing everyday ingredients used locally. The African Kola Nut for example when applied topically (on the skin) stimulates blood flow which facilitates an invigorating and revitalising effect to the skin hence its use in anti-cellulite treatments.
And the beauty of it all? As home to the most genetically diverse people on earth, African ingredients are therefore the perfect recipes for all skin types and tones.