Together for tomorrow


5 South African products for a sustainable skincare routine

by | Dec 2, 2020

Founder of Plaiin and graduate in organic skincare formulation, Megan Cozens sums up skincare well: “Ultimately, you want a product with as few ingredients as possible. Simple, yet effective.” She says the more we care about what we put onto our bodies, the more it will be possible to prevent harmful chemicals from entering the environment.

As summer rolls in and the sun gets more intense, a good skincare routine is paramount. We have recommendations for sustainable, locally-sourced and produced skincare products to keep your skin and the planet safe.

CHILL Cape Town

After having enough of battling with skin sensitivity and allergies her whole life, Aiwekhoe Iyahen started wellness and natural skincare brand CHILL Cape Town in 2019. She had moved from Johannesburg wanting a more relaxed pace of life and wanting to be closer to nature.

“I have always made my own body balms and butters so that coupled with the relaxed lifestyle in Cape Town and wonderful botanicals we have here, inspired me to create CHILL Cape Town,” says Aiwekhoe. “In essence, CHILL Cape Town seeks to turn daily self-care routines into moments of calm. It is a pared-down, transparent approach to self-care that places emphasis on pure, gentle, all natural and nourishing ingredients that truly nurture the skin and soul.”

Ingredients and process

CHILL Cape Town offers a 100% vegan range. Plant-based constituent ingredients which have been scientifically-proven to have effective and beneficial properties for skin care. “We make it a point to use only natural ingredients and more often than not, organic, wild foraged ingredients. This ensures not only a superior quality of our final product, but is also less taxing on the environment,” says Aiwekhoe.

CHILL Cape Town’s range is free from any artificial fragrances. Some products are scented with essential oils.

Aiwekhoe says that every ingredient in CHILL Cape Town’s range has been grown and sourced primarily in South Africa and for those ingredients that aren’t grown in South Africa, CHILL Cape Town sources them exclusively from other African countries such as Morocco (for argan oil) or Ghana (for shea butter).

“Our focus on using only African ingredients is beneficial to both our immediate communities here on the continent, but crucially, it also adds value to existing raw materials we already have here,” says Aiwekhoe.

All of the packaging in CHILL Cape Town’s range is glass or recycled paper. Glass containers can be reused and repurposed. As they grow, CHILL Cape Town hopes to offer refill options in the near future.

Top Tips

The great thing about our range is that oftentimes each item can be used in multiple ways. For instance, any one of our face oils can either be used by itself as a moisturiser, or alternatively, one can use a few drops as a booster to an existing moisturiser. In fact, for an instant light weight skin tonic, you can also mix in the palm of your hand, a few drops of our oil with a few drops of water that can then be patted on to the face and will sink into the skin even more quickly and just as beautifully! The possibilities are multiple with each item in our range.


CHILL Cape Town’s best sellers include their pure 100% rosehip face oil. It is rich in vitamins C & A, which helps to prevent oxidative damage, while healing and moisturising.


  • Body butter from R250
  • Body oil from R350
  • Face masks from R250
  • Face oils from R250

For more information on CHILL Cape Town, visit their website.

Give Her Hope Soap


Give Her Hope Soap is a six-year-old Cape Town-based company with a beautiful story. In 2014, Jo Loizides, along with her friend, and retired entrepreneur, Tom Berry, started ‘Hope Soap’ (now Give Her Hope) as a response to a need amongst the women who attend Sunshade, a women’s group at Jubilee Community Church that provide training, income and empowerment to unemployed women in Salt River.

These handmade soaps are made while upskilling and empowering women to create the soaps as well as offer quality customer service. Give Her Hope Soap have employed five women, two of whom have since gone moved into other employment opportunities.

Ingredients and process

Give Her Hope Soap started out by making soap donated to them from hotels, now Give Her Hope Soap makes a wide range of soap bars and liquid soaps which are made purely from coconut oil, essential oils and some clay. To achieve their scents, essential oils are added into the soap base to achieve the final product.

“Initially, it was very easy to set up as we needed little space and equipment. However we soon found our feet and creative edge and desired to hand make our own soaps, with all-natural ingredients. We felt it was important to communicate our desire to love and empower others with a product that loves the environment we live in too,” says co-founder Leanne Charlton.

“We’re all artists. Just like us, our products are fearlessly and wonderfully made. Handmaking our products requires an intimate involvement in knowing each ingredient and how best to use it to create the end product,” adds Leanne.

No animal products are used, only oils that Give Her Hope Soap have ensured are environmentally kind. This means products do not contain palm oil, are not tested on animals and do not contaminate water. Plastic packaging is avoided and research into suppliers and delivery processes that support small, local, businesses and that care about sustainability are currently being researched.

Top Tips

“When choosing a product to use in any product range or brand one needs to remember to be a conscious buyer, one that knows, or seeks to know, what the ingredients in each product does and whether it is beneficial for their skin’s biome,” says Leanne.

Giver Her Hope Soap’s top tip is to love the products you buy, love how they are made, and to invest in the story. “We suggest choosing a morning soap with a scent to uplift, getting you ready to do what you do well for the rest of the day, and an evening soap with a scent to help you get some much needed RnR after being awesome for the whole day,” adds Leanne.


Leanne says Giver Her Hope Soap’s best sellers depend on the client. Maturer clients enjoy the traditional scents like lavender, rooibos and lemon while younger clients enjoy scents like moringa and lemongrass, charcoal and vanilla. However she says their all-round best-seller is their liquid soap which is moisturising and gentle on the hands.


  • Square soaps from R49
  • Round soaps from R33
  • Liquid soaps from R68

Give Her Hope Soap’s workshop is based in Observatory, Cape Town, however due to COVID they are not taking walk-ins at this stage. They have an online store and ship nationwide.

For more information on Give Her Hope Soap, visit their website.


Khween Shebar is a cold-process, all-natural soap studio which came to life a few years ago when founder Mosa Skosana stepped out of the corporate world as a group marketing communications manager to learn about the history and science of soap ingredients. Now operating from Harrismith in the Free State and in Sandton, Johannesburg, the thirty-three year old’s goal is to create a business with a focus on conscious, ethical and natural skincare, and the well-being of the customer. Learning about natural skincare made her realise the importance of scrutinising daily skincare products and their ingredients.

Ingredients and process

Khween Shebar uses shea butter, hempseed oil and olive oils. The process Khween Shebar uses to make soaps is called a “cold process” because no cooking or melting is involved. Soaps are pressed and left to cure and naturally solidify for 3 to 6 weeks. Cold process soaps are beneficial because raw ingredients are better preserved this way and will directly benefit the skin and hair. “Our high-quality organic soaps provide deep moisturisation, penetrate deeply into the skin and will give you that luxurious lather despite whether you are using them for eczema, acne or to beautify yourself,” says Mosa.

All Khween Shebar’s products are chemical, artificial fragrance and preservative free. For instance, the turmeric bar is made from GMO-free turmeric root powder, raw, unrefined shea butter from West Africa, organic coconut oil, carrot oil and water. It is a skin calmer, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, holistic healing and beauty soap and is good for sensitive, inflamed and acne-prone skin , reducing unwanted pigmentation , irritable and tired-looking skin.

Khween Shebar practices and encourages conscious consumerism. Intentionally, Khween Shebar uses zero palm Oil and packages their soaps and products sustainably in biodegradable paper and reusable jars. “I don’t want to grow a business that exploits an already exploited ecosystem. I want us to continue making high quality products that equally respect life and the environment,” says Mosa.

Top Tips

For natural exfoliation Khween Shebar recommends the felaqt activated charcoal soap which has bits of charcoal that effectively exfoliates and deep cleans the pores. Koosh Kream can be used for a multitude of skin situations. From dry feet to eczema. Khween Shebar’s top Koosh Kream tip is to use it as a hair mask treatment to improve texture and shine. Apply a generous amount of Koosh Kream to wet hair and let it dry naturally once a month.


Khween Shebar’s best sellers include their Koosh Kream and Turmeric Soap for their anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and moisturising properties. Mosa says their Bento Face and Shampoo bar is a “hot second” as it is popular with sensitive skin and hair growth.


1 x 200 ml Koosh Kream – R100
1x 380 ml Koosh Kream – R190
Turmeric bar – R170
Bento Face and Shampoo bar – R190

For more information on Khween Shebar, click here. Or follow them on Instagram at khweenshebarsoap.



“If you can’t eat it, your skin shouldn’t either.” This is the philosophy upon which Megan Cozens built her all-natural, plastic-free, vegan, Cape Town-based skincare business, Plaiin. Plaiin was launched in 2019, however, the concept was conceived five years ago after discovering the zero-waste movement through Bea Johnson (Franco-American author and minimalist). “I couldn’t find any beauty products that were plastic-free after adopting the lifestyle and thought that I’d just make my own, and from there it just became a passion of mine. When I was teaching in Korea (to build capital for Plaiin) I got a Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation to further educate myself on how to produce quality products to sell,” says Megan.

Ingredients and process

All Plaiin’s ingredients are natural, meaning they occur naturally on Earth, however, some are raw ingredients like the butters, and some have undergone a small process like cold-pressed oils or ground ginger powder. Most of Plaiin’s products are built on a base of either cocoa butter, coconut oil, soy wax, shea butter, beeswax, and various carrier oils. All added ingredients are food-grade, meaning they are all edible. Megan only makes use of essential oils for their fragrance and therapeutic qualities. Supplies are sourced from a local wholesaler who sources locally, within Africa, and internationally.

Megan says, “My process is done completely by hand. All of my equipment is plastic-free and I try to source ingredients without plastic or else I recycle the containers/send back to suppliers once finished. I prepare and disinfect the working area and moulds, measure out all ingredients, melt all butters, add oils and other ingredients, then pour into moulds. There is a lot more science involved, especially with regards to temperature and the temperament of each ingredient, especially essential oils.”

Top Tips

To get the best out of your Plaiin product, Plaiin suggests using the body scrub balms not only as an exfoliator, but also as a therapeutic product. “Because the exfoliant is so dense, you should be using short brush strokes towards your heart in order to help lymphatic drainage and increase blood circulation, then jump in the shower or bath and wash off all the scrub bits and you will be left feeling silky smooth and moisturised,” says Megan.

For the body oil bars, Plaiin suggests gliding the bar across clean, dry skin and massage by gliding down the outer side of the limb and up the inside. “This increases blood flow and is also great for general health. Make it a full self-care experience, by putting in a little more effort in, you can really start to see the changes in your skin and general health,” adds Megan.


Plaiin’s best sellers include the Body Oil Bars, Drizzle Cake and By The Hearth.


Body Oil Bars – R250
Body Scrub Balms – R120

For more information, visit Plaiin’s website.


Cape Town-based skincare business, SKOON believe in the holy matrimony of science and nature. The business started over eight years ago by Stella Ciolli on the basis of good formulating practices and good manufacturing practices and is now a 13 women-strong company. “In making skincare effective, practice really does make perfect. Although perfection isn’t top of our list at SKOON, we aim for something much better: feeling healthy and happy in the skin you’re in,” says SKOON’s credo.

Ingredients and process

The Cape Floral Kingdom is SKOON’s pantry. SKOON uses rooibos, honeybush and buchu for heightened antioxidant concentration. They combine these indigenous ingredients with Swiss and French phyto-compounds (compounds that are produced by plants (“phyto” means “plant”) which are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and other plants), to make the unique SKOON product.

SKOON’s products are void of parabens, microbeads, synthetic colours and fragrances, formaldehyde and silicones.

SKOON operates from a Cape farm laboratory and are EWG verified (Environmental Working Group) which means they take a hard-line approach to waste. SKOON hopes to phase out plastic and introduce 100% glass by 2022.

Top Tips

From oily to dry skin, breakouts to ageing skin, use SKOON’s filter on the left-hand side of their website to filter their products according to your skin type and situation.


SKOON’s best seller is their WOW-WOW WONDER – a triple blend of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to boost moisture and brighten skin tone.


From R69.95

For more information, visit SKOON’s website.


  • Feature image: Supplied by SKOON.
  • Body copy images: Supplied
Share this article:

Related Posts

Our work is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 12, which aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production. Read More