This range was launched to take the amazing plants of Africa to the rest of the world. When it comes to plants, South Africa is in the top three most biodiverse countries on our planet and these plants produce some of the most powerful ingredients known. The plants are harvested from the wild because they are more active that way – Africa doesn’t tame well.
While the range was coming together, it was realized that it had to be considered very carefully where the plants came from and how they were harvested.
It turned out that harvesting a wild tree’s fruit could be a good thing for everyone – including the tree. The rural villagers could earn some much-needed income by harvesting and they would then attach value to the tree; so they would be less likely to use it for firewood or use the bark for weaving.
It was also discovered that there are a lot of these trees out there. Africa is big and there is a lot of open bushveld. At present, these species are being utilized at a tiny percentage of what would be sustainable.
The Choice of Ingredients
The surfactants – they chose not to use sulphated surfactants even though they would have kept the price down. They are really bad for skin and switching from Sodium Lauryl Sulphate to Sodium Coco Sulphate does not make much difference. They’ve used glucosides and amino acid-based surfactants that are far milder on skin and are rapidly biodegradable.
Preservatives – they investigated loads of options that would keep it 100% natural, but beyond that, they strongly subscribe to the findings of the Human Microbiome Project. The microbes on our skin are very important for skin health, so these products do not disturb the natural balance.
They opted for ethanol as a preservative – it’s volatile (so doesn’t stick around on the skin), it’s natural and it’s a perfect choice for sensitive skin. The perception in the past has been that ethanol is drying and strips the skin. This is true if it is at 50% in a toner, but doesn’t apply when it is used at relatively low concentrations, with oils included to offset any possible stripping effect.
Hair care actives – a big challenge. They were trying to match the instant feel of the silicones and quaterniums with purely natural ingredients, and the feedback from test groups wasn’t good. After six months they stopped and stepped back from the problem. What do people want? They figured they’d want healthy hair. The best way to deliver on that is not to focus on instant feel. Normal brands strip the hair and then replace the natural oils with synthetics.
They worked with very mild foaming agents that don’t strip away as much and used plant oils to replace the natural oils on the hair. In short, they minimized the disturbance to the natural cycle. So, if you’re prepared to give the products a try for two weeks you should see great results; but don’t expect “thicker, fuller, smoother” hair instantly. Quick fixes can lead to bigger problems down the line, and Africa Organics value their clients’ long-term health.
Emulsifiers – over the last ten years, They’ve honed their ability to generate stable, low pH emulsions that are rapidly biodegradable and 100% natural. Africa Organics body lotions and conditioners are stabilized at pH 5 (the natural pH of skin) and are great for keeping the microbes on your skin and scalp in balance.
Fragrance – whole essential oils are used and the number of oils is kept to a minimum so that the risk of allergic reactions is reduced. Only two or three oils are used per product.
By using Africa Organics, you will experience the effectiveness of natural African ingredients without added preservatives, and the awareness that what helps you can also help heal Africa.
All the products are rapidly biodegradable; by using them you will be contributing to the health of your watercourses. We are also endorsed by Beauty Without Cruelty and the Vegan Society.