Julia Noik, Founder of African Botanics
Category: Clean Luxury
African Botanics is an LA based luxury skincare brand. They fuse the power of active plant extracts and botanicals (notably the extraordinary healing and moisturizing power of marula oil) with sustainable and fair trade sourcing. We sat down with founder Julia Noik to talk about the intersection of luxury and ethics, and the future of the green beauty space at large.
YOU’VE MANAGED TO FUSE LUXURY AND ETHICS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOU DID THIS AND YOUR ORIGINAL VISION FOR THE BRAND?
In today’s world of over industrialization, we are slowly losing the organic identities, traditions, nature’s biodiversity and ethical aspects that make us unique. Therefore, our vision for the brand was to redefine what positive luxury means. We also wanted to showcase what Africa has to offer on a luxury level. South Africa has an abundance of the unique oils, heirloom bush and desert plants, minerals and other natural resources.
By traveling, discovering and learning, we were able to incorporate many indigenous botanical actives into our products. The majority of our ingredients are Fair Trade, wild-harvested and sustainable. This creates a positive impact for the environment and for the local rural African communities who harvest them. Everything is entirely produced in South Africa in a lab that incorporates the latest in bio-technology. This, together with our 20 years of living in Los Angeles at the forefront of creativity and innovation, has helped us develop a unique point of view.
WHAT IS YOUR MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE?
My morning routine is very minimal. I normally start with yoga which results in an amazing post-workout glow that you usually get from a great facial. I cleanse my skin by massaging my face for at least 1 minute with either our Baobab Clay Oxygenating cleanser, or our Pure Marula Cleansing Oil. (It depends on the time of the year). I then rinse with cold water and apply a few drops of our antioxidant-rich Neroli infused Marula Oil while my skin is still moist. This perfectly balances and hydrates for the day. I follow with an SPF, and a touch of RMS concealer and mascara.
“Ubuntu – “I am what I am because of who we all are” – is a way of life for us. We are all inter-connected some way or another. Your success is our success and ours is going to carry on to the next person – and round the circle it goes. This is what we’ve learned from working with our communities in South Africa.”
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF THE GREEN BEAUTY SPACE EVOLVING?
The green beauty space is experiencing a massive change and evolving in a positive way. Consumers are shifting their perception and noticing the difference in the quality of ingredients, and the way formulations feel to them. The notion that “Natural” means less sophisticated or effective will soon no longer apply. There is a shift in awareness, despite the fact that there is still a lot of work to be done.
A QUOTE FROM DESMOND TUTU AROUND ‘UBUNTU’ SEEMS KEY TO YOUR APPROACH. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MEANING OF THIS TO YOU PERSONALLY?
Ubuntu – “I am what I am because of who we all are” – is a way of life for us. We are all inter-connected some way or another. Your success is our success and ours is going to carry on to the next person – and round the circle it goes. This is what we’ve learned from working with our communities in South Africa. The coffee or tea you had for breakfast connects you with a producer on the other side of the world in a matter of seconds. It all comes from somewhere and was touched, harvested and produced by someone. We are all affected by the choices we make or don’t make.