Believed to be the cradle of humanity, South Africa has a wealth of biodiversity and a long history of using indigenous plants in traditional and modern medicines. For native South Africans Craig and Julia Noik, who now live in Los Angeles, their experience and time spent in the country’s rural lands led them to launch African Botanics, their effective, eco-friendly line of skin care that celebrates the couple’s love for their homeland.
“Growing up in South Africa taught us to respect nature and to understand how magnificent the natural world is,” says Julia, who spoke with us about the origins of the brand and how their business empowers people by investing in them and the lands they tend.
Craig and Julia Noik
All production of African Botanics products—their precious oils, creams and toners—takes place in Africa. “The benefit of keeping production in Africa is the contribution it makes to the local economic and social circumstances for everyone involved,” explains Julia. “Uplifting the continent and its people is our main goal as a brand. Using unique African ingredients supports nature conservation—and, after all, South Africa [in particular], its nature and its people are our ultimate inspiration.”
For the Noiks, sustainability is the natural result of their Fair Trade business model. “By sourcing these rare ingredients in small batches, we directly invest in the sustainable futures of communities that are located in the most remote areas of the country, where farming is difficult,” says Julia. Fair Trade is equally important for the health of the environment, Julia adds, by helping rural communities become stewards of their land. She and Craig are committed to using exclusively African ingredients, and every ingredient used in their skin and body care products comes from a sustainable, indigenous source. “Positive luxury is knowing what you are using and where it comes from,” says Julia.
“African Botanics products represent beauty, determination and the strength of the African continent.”
—Julia Noik, Cofounder of African Botanics
The products combine the best technology with time-honored African traditions, creating a state-of-the-art fusion of science, nature and ethical luxury. “African plants are the most dynamic on the planet,” says Julia. “Known for their natural ability to grow and flourish under extreme environmental conditions, they are prized for their superior anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and adaptogenic skin care properties.” Each ingredient is selected for maximum effectiveness and then, together with South African scientists and botanists, the products are conceived and made from scratch.
African Botanics Pure Marula oil
Their hero product and “miracle oil” is the award-winning Pure Marula oil, which is wild harvested from some of the most remote regions in the world and rich in bioavailable antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients. The diverse landscape and very hot, unpredictable climate contribute to the high quality of African Botanics’s marula oil, which contains a large proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids, making the oil very stable compared to other plant, nut and seed oils. “Marula oil comes from drought-resistant and wild growing trees that are native to southern Africa,” Julia says. “The marula tree has become a sacred and intricate part of ancient African culture and was revered by local tribes for many centuries.” Likewise, the facial oil is highly praised for its fast-acting cell regeneration and its ability to soothe inflammation.
In December the couple, with their family, will journey back to South Africa as they do every year to share the successes of their employees’ labors, connect with the land and let their imaginations run wild—what will they make next? On this continent, Julia explains, there are no limits. “Africa is one of the most beautiful places on the planet—where nature is raw and untouched, with endless possibilities for adventure.”
SHOP JULIA NOIK’S SKIN CARE ROUTINE: