Back to Basics: Clean Eating - Part I – Violet Botanical Skincare

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Victory For Two African Communities Recognized As The Rightful Knowledge Bearers Of Rooibos Tea

After nearly 200 years, the Khoi-Khoi and San communities are recognized as the rightful knowledge bearers of rooibos (roy-boss) tea. This recognition also comes with a signatory that requires industries that trade in all aspects of rooibos to share benefits with the traditional knowledge holders in a fair and equitable manner. It also presents an opportunity for small farmers to become big players in a global market, preserves the biodiversity, and addresses poverty relief. The Khoi-Khoi and San are the indigenous peoples who originally inhabited South Africa’s Cape region. This is where rooibos tea grows naturally. They were the first to inform on the usage of the rooibos plant. The negotiations, which took four years, is part of a growing...

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Is UV Exposure Really Linked To Skin Cancer?

Photo credit: Hust Wilson Is UV exposure really linked to skin cancer? I recently read the New York Times article, Should Black People Wear Sunscreen? A dermatologist speculates that UV sun exposure is not related to skin cancer. He postulates that if it were the case, there’d be a skin cancer epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. He says sunscreen is not promoted there as it is in America.   I use my SPF 30 mineral sunscreen everyday—rain or shine. When it comes to my skin and health, I don’t want to take any chances. People of color are usually left out of clinical trials regarding sunscreen protection. Therefore, precise recommendations are scarce and/or not specifically tailored to us. Hence, I err on the...

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White Gold: East Africa Holds The Key To The Next Beauty Superfood

Photo credit: Konevi   Cleopatra is renowned for her beauty. She bathed in camel’s milk, honey and roses daily for soft, supple skin. Her famed milk baths are a beauty ritual still practiced today. Today, East Africa holds the key ingredient – camel’s milk – for beautiful skin. Camels are abundant in East Africa. Somalia boasts one of the largest populations of camels in the world. Kenya, its neighbor to the south, holds the fifth largest camel population in the world. Camels provide a direct livelihood to Kenyan camel farmers, causing new entrepreneurs to call it, “white gold.” And as the Beyoncé lyrics asks and answers, “Who run the world? Girls!” That’s right. Female pastoralists in Kenya are the frontrunners...

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Unlocking the Mystery to Exotic African Beauty

Photo credit: Ian Kiragu   Iman. Waris Dirie. Liya Kebede. Alek Wek. Agbani Darego. Fatima Siad. African women have been revered for their exotic beauty for hundreds of years. What are their secrets for caring for their skin while living on a continent that gets the hottest summer climates and the highest sunshine duration (translation: extreme UV exposure)? Throughout history, African women have cared for their skin with natural ingredients, like plants and fruits, provided by the environment. For centuries, radiant skin was a sign of health, so moisturizing was a vital factor in African women’s skincare. That belief still holds true today. Although the women of the various regions (north, south, east, and west) of Africa rely on different...

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