August 30 2014

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A Skincare Line Grows In The Desert


The Amazon is constantly in the spotlight as the source of a never-ending supply of super fruits that help you look younger and feel better, but Sub-Saharan Africa is home to a similar treasure trove of natural ingredients. After working with indigenous communities in South Africa, Harvard-trained anthropologist Jennifer Peters learned about a slew of them. So when she crossed paths with Stephan Helary, a Madagascar-born Frenchman who specializes in conservation, agriculture, and veterinary medicine—rhino nutrition, specifically—the two pooled their knowledge and started a skincare brand. “It’s French for Savanna,” Helary says of Savane, the duo’s three-month-old line that is just now launching in the States after an online debut on in April. The six-piece range, which includes a Soothing Cleanser, Purifying Toner, Gentle Exfoliant, Protective Moisturizer, Anti-Aging Lift Serum, and Balancing Face Oil, boasts reparative and revitalizing extracts like marula oil to hydrate and nourish parched complexions; kigelia, a fruit that, in addition to tightening and purifying skin, also kills pre-cancerous cells; and rooibos, the region’s famed “red tea,” which is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory abilities.

Savane isn’t just another green-leaning company out to jump on the “all-natural” bandwagon—with an extra touch of exoticism—either. The 98 percent organic collection makes a point to avoid superfluous packaging (all of the products come bottled in recyclable aluminum), its relevant press information is printed on paper made from sugar pulp, and even its Web site uses a special light frequency that requires less energy output. “Anything we can do to reduce our footprint,” Helary explains, which includes sourcing only African ingredients that have been sustainably and wildly harvested. “It’s theirs,” he says of the farmers’ land that he and Peters cull from. “We don’t destroy the biodiversity or claim intellectual property rights; we just help them protect it and share it with the world.”

Savane will be available August 2011 at Shen Beauty, 315 Court St., Brooklyn, N.Y., (718) 576-2679.

Photo: Courtesy of Savane

Natural Beauty