Would you like to know how the idea of Africana Skincare came to life and what was that moment where everything just “clicked” as they say?
Read on to discover…
11th of July 2020 was the day when everything started to make sense. That was the day we took a trip to a sustainably managed forest Estate in the Central Region of Ghana. We were lucky enough to have established a connection with the owner of this forest Estate who kindly invited us on a day trip with him (he was going on one of his weekly trips from Accra to run some errands). With no expectations whatsoever (just a bit of excitement and curiosity) we accepted with no hesitation!
Who would have told us that this would be the trip of all source of inspiration for Africana Skincare?
The visit to this Forest Estate ended up being more than just “a day out”. It was a whole educational experience on circular economy, deforestation in Ghana, learning about the process of essential oil making AND the most interesting part for us, learning WHERE our food comes from. This may sound as very basic, but unfortunately many people still do not know where most of the food we eat on a daily basis comes from. Like for example, many chocolate lovers do not even know where chocolate comes (they just indulge in the pleasure of what chocolate eating brings to them). Thinking about this last comment a little deeper, we currently live in a society where we do not care how things are made, or where they come from, we just want those things as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible.
Through all this diverse education we acquired just in a few hours, and simply being surrounded by nature – observing it, taking in the different smells, colours, sounds, we came to the very simple conclusion of not needing to look further than nature to find what we need and want.
We do not need to break our heads on super complicated and innovative formulas, or providing 10-step skincare routines to achieve perfect, flawless skin (because again, perfection doesn’t exist and there is no charm in perfection), we just need something simple, that is multifunctional and has stood the test of time.
Yes, as simple as that! With these thoughts in mind, and always guided by Mother Nature, we started to explore what Ghanaian mother nature had to offer and again, we were introduced into a whole new world. A world of wisdom, beauty and richness. And do you what was the first thought that came to mind? How come all of this is not spoken about or used in abundance in other parts of the world?
All the negative stereotypes and barriers attached to the African continent didn’t seem to make sense. Of course they where there. We do not want to say it doesn’t exist, but how come more emphasis was placed on the negative rather than the positive? Of course we could write a whole book on this topic but we are far from experts or nobody to educate or speak about that.
We started to delve deeper into the uses and benefits of shea butter as well as the African black soap (and of course use it on our own skin!). With time, the simplicity and the fact that it was all 100% natural, just grew stronger and stronger on us. Not only was it great for our skin and friendly with the environment, but the production of these two products was a way of empowerment for many Ghanain women across rural communities.
Parallel to this, we started to learn about traditional African materials and techniques. Things that where already there since centuries ago, and coming directly from nature – referring to our packaging materials specifically, the calabash, and all the materials we use for our covers (elephant grass, raffia and cane). These where all materials that reflected very well Ghanian culture + they where 100% sustainable?! At this point another thought came to mind – whilst we are trying to recreate a more sustainable and conscious life, Africa is already living it by nature and by tradition!
Sustainability, culture, social economy, people and ancestral wisdom all in one!
At this point, our mind was blown and things just started to come into place and make sense. The rest is history!