Malée: Africa’s Best-Kept Beauty Secrets
Yesterday I had one of the most amazing discoveries about natural skincare I really wanted to share with you about.
[P.S. This post was supposed to be live since last night, but my internet was down most of the evening due to technical work in the area, so here it is finally!]
Most of you already know how important healthy lifestyle is to me, since I have all kinds of sensitivities both with food and skincare regimes, so I tend to stick to organic natural products as much as possible, or raid the kitchen cupboard to make my own 100% organic fresh natural skincare whenever possible to avoid aggravating my eczema condition and other allergies. One might say, I am quite familiar with most traditional natural beauty recipes, especially from Asia and Europe.
However, Malée’s scented soy candles launch party that took place at Tafeta Art Gallery yesterday was the first time I experienced African traditional beauty rituals… as well as food and culture… Naturally, it was very intriguing and inspiring, all at the same time because there were several points of interests to the whole experience.
First of all, let me introduce you to Malée, a healthy luxury fragrance and skincare brand founded by Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao in 2010 when she moved to South Africa from Nigeria. She created her natural skincare range from traditional ingredients local to African plains, and have been used over generations to heal, soothe, nourish and protect skin, such as shea butter, cacao seed butter, avocado oil etc. These ingredients are used in Malée products the same natural way ancient African ancestors would have done as an at home everyday skincare routine.
For the first time in the UK, Zeze is launching 3 of Malée beautiful naturally scented skincare range, all inspired from the breathtaking landcapes, wildlife, culture and history of Africa, available at Harvey Nichol’s Beauty Lounge from today onwards. Each scent has a completely different personality:
Verdure [my favourite] has a fresh citrusy uplifting note from Mint, Citrus and Patchouli, inspired by Africa’s wetlands
Peppersage [another of my favourite] is inspired by centuries of African philosophy and local traditions. Made from 65% spicy peppercorn and 35% woody clary sage, it has earthly, masculine and calming quality to its fragrance.
Polyanthes is the most feminine of all with its soft floral, provocative notes, made from tuberose, gardenia and lotus flower. It captures the essence of African night flowers as they bloom in the moonlight and release their enchanting scent into the cool night air perfectly.
While I was attending the event, I had an opportunity to try their conditioning body scrub made from salt, sugar and natural essential oils such as sunflower oil, cocoa seed butter, shea butter, avocado oil and grapeseed oil. The scrub is massaged into my dry skin, then it emulsified when water was applied to wash off the scrub. Surprisingly to me, they were very effective exfoliator, that were quick absorbing and soothing as well.
The highlight of this home spa ritual, which I completely fell in love with though, was definitely the multi-functional use of Malée scented soy candles.
Soy candles are more environmentally friendly than a normal paraffin candle because they are made from vegetable oil rather than petroleum oil, so they do not increase CO2 level in the atmosphere when burn. This means that they also do not produce black soot, so they are cleaner as they do not discolour your walls, furnitures, carpets etc. not to mention your lungs when you inhale the scented air.
What is so special about these Malée candles is that they are blended with natural essential oils so when you burn the candles, the melted oil can be used as warm body moisturiser, which is something I really love.
Usually I use 100% virgin coconut oil for my hair and skin. The problem with having these pure coconut oil in the UK is that they solidify all the time due to the low temperature, and I end up having to steam warm them before I can use them, which can be quite annoying sometimes. So a warm soy oil candle rich in natural oils such as avocado oil, shea butter, sunflower oil, is a very good alternative for bedtime skin routine, especially for dry skin such as hands and feet. Every time you burn the candle before going to bed, you can easily scoop a little bit of the melted oil, to rub them on your body, hands and feet. The warmth will help the oil to quickly absorb into the skin, leaving you feeling pampered and soothing before falling to sleep. You don’t really have to worry that the heat will burn your skin because soy candles burn at a much lower temperature than paraffin candles. Besides, all you have to do is use a teaspoon to scoop a bit of the melted oil out, so that you don’t accidentally touch the candle flame and burn yourself… or blow the candle out altogether before touching the melted candle. The oil itself is actually just a little warm, and perfect for applying onto your skin.
For me, these scented soy candles are very practical and good value for money because of their dual functionality. Although I have come across many soy candles in the past, this is the first time for me to experience an all-natural soy candle that doubles up as natural body moisturising oil.
Another interesting part about the event for me was definitely to learn more about African culture, especially their food. Africa is a continent that I have not visited yet, and know very little about, but it is definitely on my list. I actually wanted to go to South Africa later this year, so it was a great opportunity to try out African food and talked to Zeze more about African culture. We tried some traditional African breakfast dishes such as Koko Maize Meal Porridge, Ghana cocoa Chocolate Cups with Pear and Vanilla, and Sweet Ghana Bread, which were all very delicious, healthy and uplifting. Needless to say that I think I will be fine, foodwise, when I finally visit Africa for sure.
If you are interested in finding out more about African Traditional Skincare Rituals, it might be worth visiting Harvey Nichol’s Beauty Lounge between today until 26th March 2017 to experience this unique natural skincare regime that is very easy to do at home. Malée’s skincare experts and its founder Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao will also be there, so answer all your questions and show you how to use the products properly. Since Mother’s Day is already this Sunday 26th March 2017, this might just be the perfect place to bring your mom for a little pampering and discovering the beauty of African culture as well…
Don’t forget to let me know what you think about their scrubs and soy candles though. I would be interested to hear if you find it as easy to use as I did.