Although you might not be aware, many of the skincare products you use are formulated with African ingredients. African beauty, also known as A-beauty, is filled with centuries of stories, remedies, and raw ingredients sourced from the “shea belt” that runs from the African Savannah (West to East Africa), like shea butter, argan oil, coconut oil, and more.
The ingredients are known to help with a radiant complexion. Not only does it create an ideal glow from within, but it also doesn’t require excessive layering, and helps soothe skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Below are some of the most popular African ingredients. The next time you purchase an item, you can have a look on the label and give Africa its flowers.
Only sourced from Africa, shea butter can be found in some of the most lustrous formulations. It brilliantly soothes the skin with healing properties while preserving the ingredient itself.
Now typically formulated into a great butter, the leaves and bark from Mafura trees were traditionally used to help stomach pain. The oil from the tree is known for anti-inflammatory capabilities, and can be seen in many moisturizers and hair conditioners.
Found in South Africa, the oil from a watermelon seed is used to protect the skin from the sun and repair skin after UV-ray exposure.
Cold-pressed oil from mongongo nut has loads of anti-aging benefits thanks to the Vitamin E. The antioxidant regenerates skin and promotes a youthful appearance. You will see this oil in lip balms, shampoos, and conditioners.
Derived from the African marula tree, the oil is great for moisturizing skin, due to its 75% oleic acid content and palmitic acid. This small but mighty oil will lock in moisture and create a protective barrier on skin.
Next time you purchase a skincare or grooming product with one of these ingredients, don’t forget to give Africa its flowers, and pour back into the culture. Even better, attempt to find the community who sourced and created the product and thank them with a donation. Like the saying goes, give credit where credit is due.
In other news, the Smithsonian is now giving back looted African art.
Photos via FairWild Foundation, Facebook, Getty Images