REVIEW: Afari Skincare

I’ve tested out many cleansers over the years but Afari Skincare‘s Priming Cleanser is an outstanding one, made even more so as I know how much love, time and passion has gone into creating this luxe local brand. Margaux Knuppe  is the founder of Afari Skincare (you can read an interview I wrote earlier in the year here). I tried out their Priming Cleanser and Protecting Day Cream SPF30:

In a continent recognised for its rich heritage of traditional healers, and its wealth of naturally restorative elements and biodiversity, we embarked on a journey to find an indigenous botanical with regenerative skin benefits

I’m always looking for multi-purpose products to both save me time but also (and more importantly) address my skin concerns like collagen production, hydration, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. The key ingredient in all Afari Skincare products is an indigenous shrub that grows naturally in the Limpopo region. The sap contains soothing and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for generations by traditional healers for skin ailments.

A great synthesis between female harvesters in rural Limpopo and ground-breaking scientific research led to the discovery of Bulbine frutescens, a small shrub indigenous to the dry valleys of Southern Africa

‘Decadently lush’ are words that spring to mind when using this cleanser. My skin feels pampered after using the gel formula that lathers up easily and smells pretty damn fine too!

The day cream sinks in easily, contains a protecting high SPF and is safe to use around the sensitive eye area.

My approach to applying products can be a bit heavy-handed, which means I go through my creams and serums way too quickly. We actually don’t need gallons of product on our faces, so I love Afari‘s airless pump bottles, which dispense just the right amount. An airless pump reduces the amount of oxygen entering the bottle which makes your product last longer, plus it means less preservatives are needed. And there’s no need to grab scissors to squeeze out your last drops!


Because the 100% recyclable, earth-friendly containers don’t need gravity to dispense the product, there is no chance of spillage from the nozzle. So one day when we’re allowed to travel again and/or head to the gym, they’re perfect for popping in your bag!

Afari Skincare products are available online here

PS I have a feeling Bulbine frutescens is going to be the next beauty must-have ingredient…watch this space!

Happy Thursday


Faithful to Nature Red Clay Konjac sponge



Everyone is dealing with their lockdown cabin fever in their own way, and for me, it’s involved going into a cleaning frenzy! While tidying my beauty cupboard I found a konjac sponge I had received from Faithful to Nature. I had heard great things about these sponges for yonks and I decided it was time to ditch my faithful super-clean-foreo-luna-mini-2and try something new.

When I say ‘new’, I mean ‘new to me’, as konjac sponges have been used in Japan for centuries, both for beauty and medicinal purposes. My sponge contains Japanese potato fibre and red clay, but there are a variety of different infusions, from bamboo to aloe (see Faithful to Nature’s site for all the options). Red clay is particularly good for sensitive and dry skin as it’s high in iron oxide and revitalising minerals. It is also pH neutral, meaning your complexion will be protected by balancing the acidity of your skin.

Cleansing properly is not an option but a necessity in my beauty routine and using an organic and naturally biodegradable item like a konjac sponge ticks the boxes for all the right reasons...
Not only does a konjac sponge give a super-duper deep cleanse, but is organic, vegan and totally biodegradable…

A konjac sponge deep cleanses pores, has a soothing effect on sensitive and sunburnt skin, eliminates dryness and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and broken capillaries. It can be used with your fave cleanser or on its own to stimulate blood flow and promote new cell growth.

It’s best to soak your sponge completely first to make it pliable and soft to use on your face. The thread attached makes it easy to hang out and dry, which is great as there’s nothing worse than a manky smelling sponge – it is made of natural vegetables after all!

Konjac sponges are not only great for your skin but the earth too: they are environmentally friendly, vegan and the packaging is 100% plastic-free. Because they’re totally biodegradable, after a few weeks of use you can toss them into some soil. Not too shabby, hey!

Have you used a Konjac sponge before – your thoughts?

Happy Tuesday and hope it’s a sunshiny day up ahead!





Not only is AFRICAN EXTRACTS a brand endorsed by BEAUTY WITHOUT CRUELTY, but super effective, amazingly affordable, contains zero plastic microbeads or parabens, is organic and suitable for vegetarians and majority vegan too; here’s why I keep returning to this SA brand:
Key ingredient to all AFRICAN EXTRACT products is Bio-active Rooibos, indigenous to SA and full of antioxidants and mineral goodness. These products carry a gentle whiff of Rooibos mixed with delish cocoa butter and sweet almond scent; (I’m feeling melancholy this morning, with hydrangeas on my desk and the smell of rooibos, both reminders of time spent with my granny where milky sweet rooibos tea was consumed in copious amounts!

I’ve been using AFRICAN EXTRACTS Rooibos Exfoliating Body Scrub, Ultra Moisturising Shea Butter Body Moisturiser and 3-in-1 Facial Wipes Classic Care:


Now that shower time is shortened to a bucketful, time is of the essence, so one wants to hop in, scrub to feel clean and good to go. AFRICAN EXTRACTS Rooibos Exfoliating Body Scrub makes my skin feel tingly and amazing, thanks to perfect size apricot kernel granules and Rooibos leaves to buff and polish skin.



I apply AFRICAN EXTRACTS Ultra Moisturising Shea Butter Body Moisturiser immediately to damp skin ensuring it sinks in quickly. It contains cocoa seed butter, Shea butter, Sweet Almond oil and Rooibos to nourish and moisture winter skin. LOVE!



As I travel on public transport I like to keep wipes on me at all times and these AFRICAN EXTRACTS 3-in-1 Facial Wipes have ingredients like Vitamin E , Pro Vitamin B5 and of course Rooibos, which make them really moisturising, are non-greasy and seriously great for removing makeup and waterproof mascara.

R49,95 for a pack of 25

A quick synopsis:




*contains no microbeads PS: for a fascinating read on microbead nasties, head over to Richard Goller’s awesome blog : read here

*contains no parabens

*suitable for vegetarians (and majority for vegans too – just look for the “V” on products on website here )

* price point I mean seriaaasly, good prices for every day essentials!

Have you tried out this brand, your thoughts?

Happy day and weekend



baocare radiance from ecoproducts

With growing concerns on what we put into our bodies, it was only a matter of time before superfoods filtered from the kitchen into our beauty routine. Besides algae, moringa and kale, Baobab is claimed as a superfood, containing more anti-oxidants than any other fruit on earth. Sounds good? I thought so too, so was excited to try out BaoCare’s RADIANCE Baobab oil; here’s what I thought:

baobab trees

A landscape broken up intermittently with huge baobabs is a fond memory of mine whilst travelling through Kenya’s East coast many moons ago. For a couple of days we journeyed on a train through broad plains and I remember staring out at the stark terrain and marvelling at the humungous trees, wondering at their mystery and survival in an intense African climate. There are countless legends and stories I’ve since read regarding the tree but have only recently stumbled across products containing Baobab oil.

Often referred to as the ‘upside-down tree’, or ‘tree of life’ due to it’s high nutritional content, baobab is rich in omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids, vitamins A, D,E and K as well as malvalic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid and palmitic acid. These ingredients help with soothing skin, a sensitive scalp, nourishing and healing damaged hair and skin and help reduce redness and inflammation. A high content of Vitamin C stimulates and promotes restoration of collagen in aging skin. This is especially great for 40+ with age-related concerns but can be used by all ages and skin types. Radiance is a luxurious blend of oils like Baobab oil for regenerating skin cells and moisture, Jojoba to increase elasticity and soften skin and Pomegranate extract to protect against harmful UV light and promote collagen synthesis and skin repair. The fragrance is a delicate fusion of essential oils.

baocare radiance from ecoproducts

I’ve been using BaoCare Radiance with baobab, Jojoba & Pomegranate on my face and neck mornings and evenings for the past fortnight, needing only two to three drops whilst patting into my face, (also fab for nourishing chapped dry lips). I find it’s enough to use on its own, but out of habit I like to layer, so follow with a night cream or in the mornings under an SPF cream. One of the big pluses is that the oil doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes, is non-greasy and free from parabens, synthetic chemical ingredients and mineral oils.

baocare radiance from ecoproducts & tsonga textiles

BaoCare has partnered with Tsonga Textiles, based in the Northern Limpopo, designing and printing a make-up bag using traditional methods of flatbed and panel screen printing. The bags are then hand-made by local people as a special gift to complement BaoCare Radiance. Pretty indeed!

BaoCare oils

Four other skin healing products are part of the BaoCare range currently available, including 100% Pure Baobab Oil, Tissue Oil, Eczema Skin Care and Acne Skin Care.

50ml R180 and 10ml R46

Available at Wellness Warehouse, independent health stores countrywide and online here

Have you tried any of these yet? Let me know your thoughts and on that note, happy Wednesday!