CONVERSATIONS with AFARI Skincare Founder Margaux Knuppe

I’ve adored using AFARI, a luxe local skincare brand containing incredible anti-ageing properties thanks to a breakthrough ingredient; I caught up with Margaux Knuppe founder of AFARI skincare on her luxury brand:

Margaux Knuppe founder of AFARI skincare

Founder of AFARI skincare collection,Margaux Knuppe

The inspiration behind your brand
As a time-poor, working mum, I was looking for an anti-ageing range that addressed all the major ageing concerns, (fine lines, wrinkles, dehydration, enlarged pores, pigmentation and dullness) in as few products as possible. Plus, I wanted to support the local industry and empower women while doing so.


Female harvesters in rural Limpopo

In 2014, I was invited on Sean Privett’s Fynbos Trail in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Learning that there are 8000+ species of plants in South Africa, of which 6000 are endemic meant one thing to me: opportunity! How can we only know about the skin repairing properties of Rooibos and Buchu? Surely there had to be another species indigenous to South Africa, with incredible skincare benefits? I was on a mission to find this unknown botanical as I wanted to showcase it to the rest of the world.


AFARI Skincare range

Key ingredient Bulbine frutescens – the next big buzzword in beauty?

If the clinical trials and AFARI customer reviews are anything to go by, absolutely! The fact that Bulbine is indigenous to South Africa further spotlights SA as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. And, in the plant-based, raw ingredient industry, which is so crucial to the skincare industry, this translates as a LOT of opportunity. Now that I have the ingredient, with the clinical results to back it up, as well as the fact that it’s being sustainably farmed by female harvesters who directly benefit from the sales, it’s a matter of showcasing AFARI to the rest of the world.

bulbine frutescens

Four products in your collection-any more in the pipeline

I wanted to create a skincare regime that tackled the signs of ageing in as few products as possible: three steps in the morning (Priming Cleanser, Brightening Elixir, Day Cream SPF30) and three in the evening (Priming Cleanser, Brightening Elixir and Overnight Regenerating Cream). If I were to add another product I’d look at an enzymatic exfoliator and a line-plumping mask.


A personal favourite
I’m with the 5-star review rating on this one (and the fact that it has the highest amount of Bulbine in it) ,I’m never without the AFARI Brightening Elixir.

Was there a time during your research you wanted to give up
After two years of trying to source indigenous ingredients that ‘didn’t exist” and being told on countless occasions I was looking for a needle in a haystack, the cosmetic chemist and I decided to rather focus on a luxury anti-ageing range under my name. This wasn’t the first prize for me, but luckily time was on my side – I had a corporate day job and was building AFARI at night.

A few months later I heard from the cosmetic chemist again who had just returned from an annual raws ingredients expo in Paris. He had met a farmer from Limpopo who had just finished clinical trials on a brand new, indigenous raw ingredient called Bulbine frutescens. I think if AFARI hadn’t been my side hustle for so long, I would have given up after a few months or been able to finance this venture without my day job!

harvesters for afari skincare range

Each Afari product sold directly benefits the women harvesting the plants in rural Limpopo, South Africa.As an Afari customer, you keep this circle of upliftment flowing.

You’re empowering a group of women in Limpopo – tell us more

Our key ingredient is Bulbine frutescens sourced from an organic farm in rural Limpopo, where it is sustainably cultivated by female harvesters from the local community. Each AFARI product sold directly benefits these women harvesters, their families and the greater community. As an AFARI customer, you keep this circle of upliftment flowing.

Tell us about the packaging?

Another thing that was important to me was to find airless pumps for the packaging. Even though jars are perceived as premium, oxygen and bacteria get in each time you open the jar which degrades active ingredients. I wanted to ensure the AFARI skincare collection is as effective from the first pump right down to the last pump in the bottle.

I desperately want to use recyclable plastic pump bottles or glass would be first prize. Sadly they don’t make airless pump bottles in glass and recyclable plastic is prohibitively expensive, but as soon as I can produce in volume I can afford to look at more recycle friendly packing options – crazy isn’t it?

Where can one purchase

AFARI is only available online for now shop here and from mid-2020 we’ll be shipping internationally too. I’m headed to the US and UK so hopefully we’ll start seeing AFARI in some international retailers in the not too distant future.

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I’ll be doing another post shortlywhere I’ll talk about the AFARI products I’ve used and loved!

Until then, happy Monday…all day!!


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