South African Beauty Brands



South Africa has a good history of beauty products. The weather (relentless sun exposure, wind, dry air, biting cold, lots of swimming in the salty sea and chlorinated pools) means we need it, the flora (aloe vera, aloe ferox, jojoba, African potato, rooibos) means we have it. A South African even created Oil of Olay! Or should I say a lovely man created it for his wife in the garage of his Durban home!

Some good brands are

  • Environ – the best brand in the world in my opinion. Sold as a premium brand at premium prices abroad, the price is kept very low for the local market so stock up when you are there. As a guide – a moisturiser costing £40 in the UK will be £9 or £10 in South Africa and a facial will be about £10
  • Placecol – really good. They also sell value packs which means you get (for example) a cleanser, toner and moisturiser for the price of a moisturizer. Look out for their Shea Butter Moisturiser
  • Nimue – a salon brand which is becoming a big name abroad.
  • Justine – direct sales but most big cities have shops and salons all over the place. Look out for their Tissue Oil products – particularly for your hair. You will notice that tissue oils are big in South Africa – not sure why.
  • Avroy Shlain – also direct sales but look out at big malls for salons and shops
  • Aloe Ferox products – look out for them in health stores. My absolute favourite is in maroon and white packaging. Their Mature moisturiser is the best I have ever used and costs about £5 per pot
  • Rooibos products – the best in my opinion is the African Extracts range which is widely available everywhere. It works wonders!
  • African Potato Cream – in green and white packaging, this is something of a miracle product. It is especially good for psoriasis.
  • Elizabeth Anne’s Baby Shampoo – something of a cult product, it can be used for everything…as a shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, facial moisturiser, body lotion, hair product. It costs about £2 for 500ml
  • Zambuk – all-purpose balm for everything
  • Sheen shampoo and conditioner – the best for thick and curly hair. Love it!
  • Protein Feed shampoo and conditioner – the best in the world ever. I used to stockpile this stuff in case it was ever discontinued


Also in South Africa you will notice brands which are very hard to find in other countries these days – Cetaphil,  the complete beauty ranges from Yardley, Revlon and Innoxa. Also products like Ponds Vanishing Creams and Cold Cream. There are also wide colour ranges for all skin tones so if you have difficulty finding makeup for dark skin, this is the place for you.




Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

8 thoughts

  1. Dear Janet
    I enjoyed reading your comments about the different brands available in South Africa.
    I am a 36 year old Indian female.
    I recently broke out into such bad acne which could be the onset of adult acne:( which I never battled with before . I am currenlty using Dermalogica an array of their products, however it doesnt seem to help.
    What local brand would you recommend which is just as good or even better than Dermalogica as same is quite expensive.
    Kind regards

    1. I would definitely recommend Environ. It is much cheaper locally than it is outside of South Africa. And it is specially designed for acne-prone skin. Their facials are also very very good for sorting out acne problems. Good luck and let me know how you get on!

      1. Many thanks Janet. I will definitely try Environ and will keep you posted.

        Kind regards

  2. Hi. Good info in your article, Thanks. Do you have any idea why One and All cream from Innoxa was discontinued in South Africa. I would kill for a pot of that stuff. ☺

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