A gentle, soothing skincare routine that’s both cruelty-free and vegan-friendly!

A gentle, soothing skincare routine that’s both cruelty-free and vegan-friendly!

* Sponsored by African Extracts

I’ve really been struggling with my skin lately, mostly thanks to pesky hormones – but probably also because of my diet! I’ve long battled with dark spots and pigmentation, but it seems as though breakouts are on the rise lately and it’s really been getting me down.

As a result, I’ve started watching my diet really closely (a diet that’s high in inflammatory foods – like refined carbs and sugar – often result in inflammed skin) and I’ve switched to using skincare products that are gentle, free from parabens, and rich in antioxidants to help counteract inflammation. You may expect to pay hundreds – even thousands – for skincare products that tick all those boxes, but what if I told you that you don’t have to fork out more than R500 for a full set of skincare products that fit the bill? Oh, and did I mention that the products are all cruelty-free too?

I’ve been using the African Extracts Classic range for about four weeks now and I’ve already noticed a vast improvement in the appearance of my skin. The products are incredibly gentle and nourishing, and they’ve worked wonders on my blemish-prone skin. The Classic range is formulated to meet a number of skin needs, so although it isn’t designed specifically for those with breakouts or dark spots, I find that the soothing, gentle formulations are ideal for ensuring that my skin is thoroughly cleansed and hydrated – without stripping my skin of vital moisture or compromising my skin’s barrier function.

The hero ingredient found in every African Extracts product is an advanced Bio-Active Rooibos extract from fresh, green Rooibos plants that are indigenous to the Western Cape. Green rooibos is incredibly rich in antioxidants (more so than regular Rooibos) and is said to be up to 200 times more powerful than Vitamin E, which is great news for inflammed, stressed-out skin that’s in desperate need of some extra hydration.

Something that I really love about African Extracts (apart from the world-class ingredients found in every product) is the fact that all of their products are cruelty-free, and the majority of the Classic range – bar the Cleansing Facial Wipes and the Nourishing Night Cream – are vegan-friendly too. This is a huge plus for those of us who are trying to transition to a vegan lifestyle! (NOTE: Although not all of African Extracts’ products are vegan-friendly, they are all vegetarian-friendly).

In fact, as well as being incredibly kind and gentle on your skin, African Extracts goes one step further and is endorsed by Beauty Without Cruelty. This means that African Extracts is committed to creating skincare products that are not only kind to your skin, but also kind to animals. They do not test any of their products (or ingredients, for that matter) on animals, so you can rest assured that no animals are being harmed at any point during the manufacturing of any African Extracts products. Even better? If you buy any African Extracts Classic products during the month of April, African Extracts will donate R1 to the Beauty Without Cruelty Foundation to support their campaign against animal testing.

Looking for a few recommendations for products to try? Here are the African Extracts Classic products I’ve been loving lately…

African Extracts Classic Care Deep Cleansing Face Wash (R62,99)

When it comes to choosing a cleanser, my only requirement is that it must remove every last trace of dirt, makeup, and excess sebum – without stripping my skin or leaving it feeling tight or dry. Easier said than done, as I find that most cleansers are simply too harsh for my skin. This means that I’m usually very weary when it comes to testing out new cleansers, and I’ll admit that I was worried that this one might strip my skin, resulting in even more breakouts (I find that most affordable cleansers on the market do this to my skin, most likely because they contain cheaper ingredients – and that usually includes alcohol!) This couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to African Extracts’ Classic Care Deep Cleansing Face Wash, though. It contains Vitamin B5 and Green Rooibos (and not a single drop of alcohol), and leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth, and thoroughly cleansed. I also love that it removed my makeup, so there was no need for an additional makeup remover – huge win for busy mamas!

(That said, African Extracts does offer an Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover for those times when your waterproof mascara or heavy eye makeup refuses to budge).

African Extracts Classic Care Facial Scrub (R62,99)

There’s nothing I love more than a good exfoliation, but given that my normal-to-combination skin is prone to breakouts, I often find that I need to resist the temptation to exfoliate my skin too often (using a facial scrub too frequently might stimulate excess sebum production, so if you love a good scrub but have an oily or combination skin type, go easy!)

I tend to prefer grittier scrubs, so I didn’t expect to enjoy the African Extracts Classic Care Facial Scrub as much as I do, but I think the fact that it’s a really mild scrub has worked wonders for my skin. It contains green Rooibos to rid your skin of any impurities, while apricot seed kernels gently – yet effectively – slough away dead skin cells. It’s a really fine, gentle scrub so it might take some getting used to if you prefer an exfoliator with grittier particles, but it’s the perfect option for those with sensitive skin (or if you’re addicted to exfoliating your skin, like I am). Now I can happily buff and polish my skin on a daily basis, without stressing about causing a breakout…

Pssst! Did you know? Exfoliating your skin regularly helps to remove dead skin cells, which helps your moisturiser (and other skincare products) to penetrate the skin. It will also help your makeup last longer!

African Extracts Classic Care Refreshing Toner (R62,99)

Am I the only one who never uses a toner? For years, I’ve skipped the second step in my skincare routine, thinking that it’s completely redundant (and just another way to sell yet another skin care product)… until I did some research for an article I wrote for a client, which explained all the ins and outs of breakout-prone skin types. As it turns out, using a toner is a vital step that ensures that every last trace of dirt, bacteria, and other impurities are removed from the surface of your skin, preventing congestion and blocked pores (which lead to breakouts). I immediately added ‘toner’ to my shopping list, so you can imagine how excited I was when I spotted this baby in the parcel of skincare products that African Extracts sent me to try. I immediately checked the ingredients list for alcohol (an ingredient that’s often used in toners, but is incredibly detrimental for your skin and will only lead to more breakouts), and was happy to note that it’s completely alcohol-free and happens to contain Witch Hazel, an astringent that’s great for minimising pores, soothing the skin, and preventing breakouts.

I can’t quite say whether incorporating a toner into my skincare routine has resulted in fewer breakouts (as it may well be the entire range at work), but I’ve noticed that there are fewer blackheads on my nose and chin since I started using this range so I’m doing something right!

African Extracts Classic Care Moisturising Day Cream SPF15 (R62,99)

If you’re looking for a lightweight, easily absorbed moisturiser that’s packed with antioxidants and protects your skin against the sun’s damaging UV rays at the same time, you’re in luck. African Extracts Classic Care Moisturising Day Cream SPF15 not only moisturises your skin, but it also contains Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and green Rooibos to nourish your skin and help curb the effects of damaging free radicals caused by the sun, stress, and other environmental factors. (Vitamin C also helps to brighten your skin and helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots, so it’s perfect for those with an uneven skin tone, like mine).

I love that this moisturiser is so simple and fuss-free – I simply slap it on in the mornings before applying my makeup, and I know that my skin is well looked after. It sinks into my skin in a flash, and it sits really well underneath my foundation – no pilling, smudging, or streaking in sight! The fact that it’s so gentle means that I also often find myself smearing it onto Beanie’s face when I’m in a rush, and I know that it won’t result in any reactions. It also boasts a really pleasant, delicate scent that’s incredibly soothing to the senses. My only complaint? That it doesn’t come in a bigger tube – I want to smear it all over my body!

All of the products listed above are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and contain absolutely no parabens, and they make up my current morning skincare routine. I filmed a quick little video that gives you a little more insight into my mornings, so grab a cup of something warm, take three minutes out of your busy day, and hit ‘play’ on the video, below.


Would you like to try the African Extracts Classic range for yourself? I’ve partnered with African Extracts to give one lucky reader the chance to discover the beauty of the Classic Care range for herself. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling me which African Extracts Classic Care product (or products!) you’d most like to try and you’re entered into the draw. (And please don’t forget to share this post with your friends! You can use the easy social share icons below to make it even easier to do so). Closing date for entries is Thursday, 19 April 2018. The winner will be announced on my Facebook page on Friday, 20 April 2018 – follow along here to stay updated!

You can shop African Extracts range of Rooibos-infused and cruelty-free products at your nearest Dis-Chem, as well as at selected Clicks, Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers, and Spar. Don’t forget that African Extracts will donate R1 to the Beauty Without Cruelty Foundation for every product from the African Extracts Classic range sold in store during the month of April 2018.