Indulge in some self-care with these luxury local skincare brands


Every day, our skin is exposed to harsh elements, and it should be treated with the respect it deserves. Here are three local skincare brands perfect for spoiling yourself with some deserved self-care in 2023.

Also read: Celebrate: 5 Women-owned brands dominating the skincare scene

Afari Luxury Clean Skincare

As a beauty editor for Glamour magazine, Margaux Knuppe dedicated much of her time to understanding the science behind the active ingredients in the formulations she tested and wrote about. She would go on to co-found Rubybox, the beauty e-commerce and content platform, and in 2019, she launched a luxury South African skincare brand called Afari.

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The effective, multi-tasking skincare range offers a complete routine with just four products, and South Africans fell in love. Afari has generated 100% year-on-year growth for the last two years and is on track to achieve that again at the end of this year. Afari’s customer retention is more than double the industry average, and its reviews average 4.8 out of 5 stars with more than 200 positive reviews from skincare enthusiasts.

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“Being South African and surrounded by the diverse flora and fauna in our country, coupled with our rich heritage of healing, I wanted to share this knowledge with the rest of the world and showcase the incredible benefits of Bulbine, Afari’s active ingredient, on a global scale, thus bringing recognition to South Africa,” says Margaux. “My grandfather was born in Apeldoorn, a city in the centre of The Netherlands, and The Netherlands is known as a good testing ground for entry into the rest of Europe, so I started there.”

It proved to be a good entry point. Afari is being shipped all over Europe, and the site is available in French, German, Dutch and English. The UK and US markets are next in Margaux’s sights.

The Afari collection consists of four products:

  1. Priming Cleansing | 100 ml
  2. Brightening Elixir | 50 ml
  3. Protecting Day Cream SPF30 | 50 ml
  4. Overnight Regenerating Cream | 50 ml

The three-step, twice-daily regimen targets the most visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, uneven texture, and pigmentation. Each product is cruelty-free, vegan, and PETA-approved. Afari only uses skin-friendly ingredients and does not contain parabens, mineral oils, sulphates, silicones, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, or PEGs.

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The range is also listed in ARC stores nationwide, as well as in selected luxury boutiques and online skincare destinations.

Goodleaf Anti-Stress Skincare

The notion of “clean” beauty has been around for some time, but it has undoubtedly now become somewhat of a revolution, thanks to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop, etc. But what exactly is “clean beauty”? And is it the same as green beauty? And where does it fit in with the likes of natural, all-natural, plant-based, vegan and organic skincare and cosmetics?

It’s not surprising that even the most conscious beauty consumer may find the choices a little confusing.

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The recently launched Goodleaf anti-stress range is South Africa’s first fully internationally certified skincare range. All the products are cleanly formulated without sulphates, parabens, silicone, formaldehyde, dyes, fragrances or toxins.

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In addition to the ethical and sustainable sourcing of organic and biodegradable ingredients as required and certified by the international regulatory body COSMOS Organic, the packaging has received a complete overhaul, with an 85% reduction in plastic and the incorporation of more sustainable materials. These changes won approval from international skincare bodies.

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“We believe beauty should be both clean and green,” says Wynn, “and Goodleaf is proud to be able to reduce the impact of stress on your skin without adding stress to the planet.”

The products combine well-known natural anti-inflammatories like CBD and devil’s claw with hydrating ingredients such as hemp seed and African botanicals and functional scents including patchouli and rose geranium. Many of the African botanicals are sourced from a community on the banks of the Thuleka River in KwaZulu-Natal. The sustainable harvesting of botanicals creates jobs for women in the community and income that can be ploughed back into community development projects such as clean drinking water, food, gardens, and creches.

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  •  The Goodleaf Anti-Stress Skincare range is available online or in select stores.

FACE for Him

Face for Him is a new premium skincare range designed for South African men who are looking for a simple yet effective everyday solution. It was born out of one man’s desire for a well-crafted yet simple skincare regimen, and he quickly realised that many other men were looking for the same thing.

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When Stuart Berry met Camilla, his skincare routine consisted of a bar of soap and a splash of water. Hers was more advanced, so she got him onto a basic routine, and within a few short weeks, his skin was looking and feeling better than it had in years. It got them thinking: The men’s skincare market is still largely ignored. Why are so many men still relying on their partners for skincare advice, and why are there no locally made products specifically formulated to care for men’s skin? As Stuart’s skincare journey evolved, it led to the obvious decision: to create an accessible, simple skincare offering for men like him.

And so, in 2021, FACE for Him was born.

The brand is based on the original principles of speaking the truth, educating, and simplifying skincare lingo while delivering quality ingredients and real results at an affordable price in packaging that looks right at home next to a man’s razor and cologne.

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“While it isn’t an ‘around the braai’ type of conversation, countless men do want to know what they should be using,” says Stuart Berry, Co-Founder of FACE for Him. “Men are less likely to research skincare the way women do and want to be provided with an effective solution that requires minimal effort on their part.”

“The men who do have basic skincare knowledge are those who have consulted with a dermatologist over the course of their lives, usually to treat serious skin conditions such as acne,” adds Camilla Berry, co-founder of FACE for Him. “Seeking medical advice for ‘non-medical’ topical skincare seems a rather extreme solution for most men, and hence this option is also not one many men explore.”

This leaves a massive void for men in finding a trusted adviser for everyday skincare advice, and that’s exactly where FACE For Him comes into play.

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FACE for Him is available online with direct delivery to your door. This is a huge convenience at any time, but especially now with the holiday season about to kick off – gifts for dads and husbands can be sorted at the click of a button or two! The products also all have a QR code on the back of the pack, which, once scanned, takes the customer directly to the online store to reorder more products.

Also read: 

Goodleaf launches a first-of-its-kind anti-stress skincare range

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