10 South African Cosmetic Brands You Should Know

Calming body balm and bath oil | Courtesy of Lulu & Marula
Calming body balm and bath oil | Courtesy of Lulu & Marula
Photo of Carina Claassens
4 December 2017

South African cosmetic brands have been making a name for themselves on local as well as international turf. Whether you’re shopping online or visiting a local market, these South African cosmetic brands are worth stocking up on.


If you could bottle the essence of Africa this is what the result would be. Africology produces beauty products for both men and women using only the best natural ingredients. From cleansers to masques, each item is enhanced with deliciously scented extracts, such as rosemary and lavender. They also have a therapeutic aromatherapy range made using pure plant essences and distilled oils, and the products are used in spas across the country.

African Extracts

It comes as no surprise that African Extracts is stocked in major outlets around the country, as its main ingredient is the anti-oxidant filled rooibos plant, known for its medicinal properties. Extracts from fresh, green plants, harvested in the Cederberg mountains, are used to set the brand apart from the rest. The products are affordable and they have something on offer for all skin types – from teenagers starting out with their beauty routines to anti-ageing products for more mature skin.

Courtesy of African Extracts


If you’re a South African who visits beauty salons, chances are you’ve walked into a Sorbet. The brand rapidly gained ground with locals as they’re well priced and a one-stop-shop for all things beauty. From skincare products to a wide range of bath products, they also have their own brand of nail polishes.

Bio Oil

This is one item you’re sure to find in pretty much everyone’s bathroom cabinet. Bio Oil is known to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars, but it’s also used as an everyday moisturiser. Plus, it’s well priced compared to similar items on the market.

Charlotte Rhys

Manufactured in Cape Town, Charlotte Rhys has grown from a one-product brand into an internationally recognised beauty giant. Regardless of the company’s growth, the products remain true to the owner’s original ethos, which is all about innovation and exclusivity while being environmentally friendly and organic. Their products are sold around the globe and include luxurious bath and body items as well as perfumes and spa treatments.

Courtesy of Charlotte Rhys


DermaFix is the answer to all your skincare woes. Their range is large and includes products for just about any skin issue, from anti-ageing, acne and scarring to hyper-pigmentation. What we love about them is that they don’t use any ingredients tested on animals and regularly donate to animal welfare groups.


Esse means ‘to be’ in Latin and is another globally recognised brand with award winning products. The brand is all about probiotic skincare and essentially creates an environment on the skin that accommodates the growth of beneficial microbes. The products are organic, vegan, not tested on animals and the company supports fair trade.

Courtesy Esse

Suki Suki Naturals

Suki Suki Naturals started out by focusing on hair care but has expanded to include a body care range as well. The products are produced using natural and essential oils all derived from the abundant flora that South Africa has to offer. Products are paraben, preservative and sulfate free and not tested on animals.

Prickly pear rejuvenating facial oil | Courtesy of Suki Suki Naturals

Lulu & Marula

Lula & Marula‘s beautiful packaging is enough to get anyone excited, and that’s not even mentioning what’s inside. From scented body balms and bath oils to cleansing bars and lip balms, all products are as natural as they come. They don’t test on animals and use recyclable packaging.

Courtesy of Lulu & Marula


Visit any market in the country and you’re bound to find people crowded around Oh-Lief’s stall. The company is all about natural skin care with olive oil as the main ingredient in all products. Products do not contain harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, petroleum, parabens, artificial colours or nut oils and are great for even the most sensitive skin types.

Courtesy of Oh-Lief

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