Whilst I was on holiday in Cape Town, South Africa, a place that’s known for its climate and rare and exotic plants, it occurred to me that some of the brands that we know and love back home originated here. There’s Bio-Oil (the UK’s biggest selling beauty product) which is used on scars and stretch marks. The company is owned by Capetonian brothers Justin and David Letschert, and rumour has it they are about to launch an exciting new oil. Then there’s the respected cosmeceutical brand Environ, founded by Dr Des Fernandes, a prominent Cape Town plastic surgeon, who pioneered the use of high dose vitamin A in skincare. He’s also the man who introduced skin needling as an alternative to laser treatments and chemical peels. The process uses tiny needles rolled over the skin to induce natural repair mechanisms.
Rooibus tea (redbush tea) is South Africa’s equivalent to PG Tips and the latest way to enjoy its antioxidant benefits is via skincare. Scientists believe that the high level of flavonoids – which encourage the body to destroy unwanted pathogens – along with superoxide dismutase, an excellent anti-ageing enzyme, and hefty dose of the mineral zinc (essential for skin function) are key regenerating ingredients. Out here there are numerous Rooibos skincare brands but the most popular is African Extracts Rooibos.
My favourite essential oil, geranium, grows in abundance in Southern Africa and geranium farms are booming as they export the oil worldwide. The South African geranium (Pelargonium sidoides) was used for centuries by indigenous tribes to treat various respiratory infections and even tonsillitis before it became an essential oil used in fragrance and cosmetics. You can get a wonderful rose geranium mix from SOiL Essential Oils. See you soon Cape Town!