Because local really is lekker, we’ve put together a list of brilliant proudly South African beauty brands that we love, and know you will too. Add some of these amazing products to your cosmetic stocks for beautiful skin using natural ingredients, sustainable products and local flavour.
Top South African skincare brands
These are some of the best local skincare brands that are producing incredible South African skincare products that focus on sustainability and natural ingredients.
This proudly South African skincare brand has become popular enough to reach the shores of the UK. Their products are made using sustainably-sourced botanical ingredients, they’re natural, organic and vegan.
There’s a substantial number of products available on the site so, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, simply send them an email and they’ll help find the perfect product to meet your skin’s needs – and you’ll usually get a sample or two packed in with your online order.
Why we love it: Here’s the really smart part: they’re happy to customise an order for you. So, for example, if you like the Hey Gorgeous Happily Ever After Anti-Ageing Serum but also need a bit of the Banish & Repair to keep breakouts in check, they’ll combine the two for you. Genius!
Optiphi is backed up by years of scientific research – they believe that skin is skin so you won’t find a specific range for oily or dry skin here.
Their multi-skin-condition-friendly products work for all skin types, no matter your concern, to return it to optimal health. And, of course, the fact that they recently introduced the Optiphi Elements Baby & Kids range means they have the stamp of approval from everyone here at BabyYumYum.
Why we love it: Obviously we love the South African skin products. But we also think it’s brilliant that this proudly local brand has actively been lowering its carbon footprint over the last few years by converting to more environmentally-friendly packaging – we approve!
Lulu & Marula
Lulu & Marula ticks all the ‘eco’ boxes you could ask for: it’s natural, sulphate- and paraben-free, not tested on animals, and free from palm and mineral oils. It is without a doubt one of the most sustainable skincare brands in South Africa.
The company was founded by beauty enthusiast Jesslyn Sheperd who was later joined by skincare scientist Monique Spaltman. They use only plant-based ingredients, glass and cardboard packaging that can be either reused or recycled.
Where possible everything is made and sourced in South Africa and their business practices support local enterprises.
Why we love it: One of the company’s core principles is that ‘simplicity is the new awesome’, and that’s a concept we can really get behind. It explains why they’ve created a limited range with fewer products that are hardworking multitaskers. You really are getting more by using fewer products.
African Extracts Rooibos Skincare
Rooibos is a South African export that’s had success worldwide. The plant is a potent antioxidant and is well known for its health-giving benefits, so it’s no surprise that an entire skincare range has been designed around it.
Started in 2002 as a family business, African Extracts has expanded from a single range into four ranges spanning cleansers, moisturisers, wipes and even hair care. The green rooibos extract they use is certified organic and Fair Trade and most of the products are vegan, too.
Why we love it: African Extracts refuses to test on animals, calling the practice both ‘cruel and unnecessary.’ And did we mention the incredible price point? With prices this competitive there’s no reason not to splurge on these amazing South African beauty products.
At last, a sunscreen specially formulated for people with darker skin tones. The brainchild of dermatologist Dr Leslie Nteta, who was also the country’s first black Dermatologist, Dermopal is a proudly local company and black-owned beauty brand in South Africa.
Why we love it: Aside from the suncare products, the Dermopal range includes a scar and stretch mark cream and products for acne and shaving bumps. What more could you possibly need?
Best South African makeup brands
You should know about these local makeup brands in South Africa. You’ll have an excuse to stock up on new products while supporting local businesses – a win-win situation!
Not many cosmetics brands are started by an ambitious 14-year-old in their bedroom. Yes, founder Rabia Ghoor really was in her teens when she started conceptualising Switch Beauty.
When make-up junkie Rabia started following international beauty YouTubers (because there weren’t many South Africans doing it at the time) she noticed the local make-up market was lagging behind what was going on internationally.
That’s when she set her sights on making an affordable local product that its buyers would feel proud to use.
Rabia started out with two products and an Instagram page and it’s safe to say she has more than surpassed her initial expectations. The range now has more than 20 cosmetic products and you can buy them directly from her online shop.
Why we love it: If you’re not sure what shade to choose, send in a selfie and tell the team which product you want to buy and they’ll make sure to find your perfect match.
Launched by Nomfundo Njibe (who said that everything behind setting up her company was set in motion when she lost her make-up bag while travelling overseas) in 2018, CHICK.cosmetics is a relative newcomer to the local beauty scene.
But that doesn’t mean the brand hasn’t already had a big impact on the local market. The product range includes skincare, make-up and tools like brushes and sponges.
Why we love it: Of course, this isn’t the only reason we love CHICK.cosmetics, but we’re crazy about the fact that we can keep all our beauty loot in a gorgeous pink mini fridge that’s also available for purchase on their website (click here to buy it).
Fantastic South African cosmetic brands
From skincare products to hair care and toiletries, these cosmetic brands in South Africa are bringing the heat!
The company was started with the purpose of creating beauty products that combine traditional herb botanicals with some of South Africa’s most powerful plant ingredients – while making sure the products are good for you, for your baby and the environment.
The range of products includes everything from bum cream and chest rub, to deodorant, toothpaste, insect repellent and shaving cream.
Why we love it: Pure Beginnings also ticks all the ‘green’ boxes. Beauty Without Cruelty endorse them, the products are vegan, and their packaging is recyclable.
Sisters Christine and Louiza started Oh Lief in 2010 when Christine was pregnant with her first child. When she found herself questioning the ingredients in commercially available baby products, the sisters decided to make their own.
And the result is a range of natural and organic adult and suncare products, as well as a range of baby products designed for a baba’s delicate skin.
Why we love it: Organic olive oil and beeswax are the main ingredients found in most of their products and everything is 100% natural, organic, locally sourced and made from raw ingredients. Plus, there’s no alcohol, artificial fragrances or sulphates, making it perfect for babies (and grown-ups!) with sensitive skin or eczema.
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The Perfect Hair
While The Perfect Hair company is proudly South African, they also describe themselves as proudly African. The company’s expertise lies in delivering hair care products tailored for all types of African hair, whether it’s wavy, curly or coily.
They use essential African oil and potent conditioning polymers to create exactly what’s needed for optimal natural curl care.
Why we love it: We love their tag line, ‘At the end of the day, we all want the same thing… happy healthy hair, naturally!’ Well said, The Perfect Hair company, we couldn’t agree more.
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