SUPERFOOD FOR SKIN
Ethically harvested African botanicals and a crafted approach is the beauty of Terres d’Afrique.
The product range is designed for a progressive customer who will appreciate the crafted approach that is the common denominator between the product formulations, the packaging, the store and the people involved in making it.
French botanist and product developer Stephan Helary is the man behind the Terres d’Afrique idea, which combines traditional African botanical ingredients in powerful combinations and concentrations.
‘To wrap up the idea in a few words, Terres d’Afrique is sustainably developed organic skincare that harnesses the potency of Africa’s legendary botanical heritage in a collection of laboratory-crafted formulations,’ explains Stephane.
The range incorporates botanical ingredients that have traditionally been used for centuries for their extraordinary skin care properties. These are combined in highly effective formulations; the culmination of years of exploration, field research and laboratory development.
The brand’s retail space in Maboneng Precinct speaks of its alignment to a new consciousness and a mind set that steers to the left of mainstream.
‘Whatever we do, we do with an awareness of our environmental, social and economic impact,’ says Helary, who has spent most of his life in Madagascar and on the African continent, traveling and exploring aspects of life in Africa, which is his passion.
‘We source ingredients harvested mainly by African women, many of whose lives have changed radically for the better, since we play strictly by Fairtrade rules. Our products are certified organic and our packaging has been designed using materials and processes with a footprint that is as light as possible. We are also Phytotrade and Beauty Without Cruelty approved,’ says Stephane.
One of the speciality products exclusive to Terres d’Afrique spa bodycare range is a limited edition Shea Body Butter, with its distinctly handmade feel.
‘We will produce a limited number of certain products if there is a scarcity of the correct ingredients. This philosophy – of behaving responsibly, observing biodiversity issues and doing what we can to make a difference in big and small ways. Even our website will be hosted by a company that audits its carbon footprint. We have sourced everything from small local producers and the end result is a product that feels not only more luxurious but is also more personal, more crafted.’
Even so, this doesn’t mean sacrificing on skincare benefits. To the contrary, in finessing its products, Terres d’Afrique has identified certain powerful African botanicals and combined them in concentrations to ramp up their skin care benefits. The approach is as scientific as it is ethical and personal. No colour additives, synthetic fragrances or any other potentially harmful chemicals have been used. Synthetic preservatives are used in miniscule quantities, and only in instances where their exclusion could potentially reduce the efficacy of the product, or compromise its safety. Animal ingredients are completely excluded.
Terres d’Afrique chose to craft its signature fragrances in collaboration with bespoke local parfumier Tammy Frazer. Included are ingredients harvested in Namibia that have never had any commercial outlet.
‘We used omumbiri, omutati and opoponax resins. The smell is reminiscent of the biome of the Kaokoveld – golden and honeyed, with a nutty, caramel toffee and base notes of earthy resins and warm amber. These are quintessentially African fragrances. Tammy and I are really proud to have come across the combinations and set up commercial arrangements with the Himba tribal women who harvest most of the raw ingredients, and who have mostly never been engaged in the concept of paid work,’ explains Stephane.
‘The result is a completely new and unexpected fragrance, with an earthiness that feels African. If you live on this continent and have travelled in the bush, you’ll find it perhaps evokes a familiar smell – but not one that you’ll have noticed at any duty free fragrance counter. It’s quite complex and sophisticated – it grows on you,’ says Stephane.
‘A crafted feel is an important part of what we want the brand to convey. Our packaging includes collectible ceramic vessels hand made by South African ceramic artist, Karen Kotze. It looks beautiful, feels beautiful.’
The products retail from R 370 for a cleanser to R 750 for a facial hydrating cream to R 900 for a limited edition shea body butter. You’ll find the store at cnr Main Street and Kruger Street in the Maboneng Precinct in Downtwon Johannesburg.
Contact Stephane Helary: 078 9355051