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South Africans Go Natural: Demand For Rooibos Beauty Products Continues To Grow

  • 5 min read

A growing preference for natural products free from chemicals, along with a concern for the environment is driving the demand for herbal beauty products, which includes Rooibos.

Beauty guru, Adele du Toit and spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) says that not so long-ago natural products were sold primarily in health food stores and farmers markets. “It was very niche and not taken seriously by the beauty industry, but now sleek new natural alternatives to mainstream beauty products are exploding onto the scene.”

She says there has been a universal shift towards ‘clean beauty’ across all cosmetic categories, with half of consumers seeking out organic, herbal brands, which in turn, is driving a growing preference for products containing Rooibos.

“Consumers, mostly women, are on a journey of exploration. They are enjoying new products and experimenting with new brands. This is part of a larger generational shift of younger consumers seeking out locally made, artisanal, natural products in all consumer categories.

“Beauty products made from botanical and/or herbal extracts offer environmentally-conscious consumers a choice of natural ingredients that are considered the best form of skincare by dermatologists,” she says.

Post COVID-19, the boom in home beauty treatments is likely to continue as consumers look for more affordable options, such as DIY pampering vs expensive salon treatments.

“South African cosmetic companies are also benefiting as consumers are encouraged to buy locally-manufactured products,” notes du Toit. “Farm-to-face beauty is another category to watch and one which will certainly gain in popularity as more consumers are inspired by local ingredients.”

Our indigenous herb, Rooibos, has also caught the eye of many local and international beauty houses that have incorporated Rooibos extracts in skin, hair and nailcare products, as well as make-up and even fragrances. Rooibos extracts contain concentrated plant ingredients that are packed with antioxidants and helps to prevent wrinkles, ageing and acne.

Du Toit explains how Rooibos, in its purest form, can take your beauty regime to the next level:

1.     The high concentration of polyphenolic compounds (micronutrients) in Rooibos tea is what makes it so sought-after as a health and beauty enhancer. Polyphenols act as antioxidants that protect the body against inflammation. It neutralises harmful free radicals that would otherwise damage cells and cause premature ageing. Drinking Rooibos tea should form part of your daily beauty routine to ensure healthy and hydrated skin.

2.     It also contains an abundance of the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is an effective anti-ageing substance. As such, Rooibos reduces wrinkles and boosts the production of healthy skin cells.

3.     The high flavonoid levels in Rooibos also helps to improve skin disorders like eczema. Its natural anti-inflammatory properties will help to soothe and relieve inflamed skin. Rooibos tea bags can be applied directly onto the affected skin for a few minutes. Bathing regularly or rinsing inflamed areas with the tea will provide a healing effect. Or, add cold Rooibos to a spray bottle and apply throughout the day or when discomfort is experienced.

4.     Inflammation is a major cause of acne and when your skin is damaged, it’s more vulnerable to bacteria which can aggravate acne. In addition to the tea’s anti-inflammatory response it also contains antibacterial properties that will help fight acne. Drink it regularly and/or use it as a face rinse instead of water.

5.     The polyphenols or antioxidants in Rooibos tea also strengthens hair follicles and promotes shiny and soft hair. Rinse your hair at least once a week with a strong brew of cooled down Rooibos tea for glowing locks. This is also good for treating a dry, itchy, or irritated scalp.

6.     Tired and sensitive eyes can also be treated with lukewarm Rooibos. Place tea bags on eye lids or rinse the eyes gently with the tea.

7.     Rooibos is also hypoallergenic and is therefore ideal for people with sensitive skin.

Rooibos also counts among beauty queen turned TV presenter, Mishka Loesch’s beauty essentials.

“I’ve tested many organic skincare products, but Rooibos remains a favourite. It’s affordable, natural, gentle on the skin, eco-friendly and packed with antioxidants, which our skin craves.

“So often we get stuck in a skincare routine without giving any thought to the research that has been done to prove its beneficial effects. When it comes to Rooibos, there’s no question. More than 30 years of scientific evidence backs up its healing benefits.

“Your skincare routine should also not break the bank. When last did you pick up a plant produce and get the beauty benefit it naturally brings? There are so many plants that nature has gifted us with, but very few know how to incorporate it into their beauty regime,” says Loesch.

During the course of the month, Loesch will show consumers exactly how it’s done. Follow the DIY videos on as she shares several home-made Rooibos beauty recipes that will give your skin a much-needed beauty boost, and won’t cost you the price of a salon treatment.

Du Toit reminds us that our skin is one of the main gauges which tells us whether we are healthy on the inside too. “The truth is that plants and herbs can nourish and heal from the inside out. Using Rooibos is one of the best ways to keep our bodies glowing and vibrant.”