Tuesday 16 June 2020

Review: African Extracts


The world of skincare is constantly evolving. It is hard to keep up sometimes because there are so many brands and so many products are being released every single week. What I have found in my skincare journey though is that you really get to know your own skin, what works and more importantly what does not work. Now this is different for each individual, let's be clear on that. What does not work for me, might still work for you and vice versa. I have never been one to follow trends to be honest, but one thing I have been intrigued by is the incorporation of Rooibos into skincare products. I have seen this pop up quite a few times recently so when I was contacted by African Extracts, a brand that uses Bio-Active Rooibos extract as their main ingredient, I was eager to learn more. I have been using a range of products from African Extracts for over a month now, so time to share some thoughts!

About African Extracts

African Extracts is a South African skincare brand that uses Rooibos as an antioxidant in their products. Their philosophy:

To create "authentic, effective, affordable products that combine the science of contemporary skin care with the proven efficacy of Rooibos and natural plant extracts."

Rooibos something I only know from tea (Rooibos tea is very common in the Netherlands), but what I did not know, is that Rooibos only grows naturally in one place on earth - the Cederberg mountains of Western Cape, and like champagne, it has its own protected geographic status. African Extract's hero ingredient is called Bio-Active Rooibos extract which is a powerful antioxidant that also has soothing and calming properties.

My thoughts on the products

For the past month I have been using six products by African Extracts in both my morning and evening routine. Some products are from the Classic range (suitable to all skin types but mostly aimed at normal and combination skin) and some are from the Advantage range (specifically designed for more mature skin). I will run through them in the order I have been using them.

First up the Hydrating Creamy Cleanser (£10.99 / 125ml) from the Advantage range. 

Key Ingredients:
  • Bio-Active Rooibos – organic extract with antioxidants
  • Antioxidant Vitamin C and Vitamin E
  • Aloe Vera extract to leave skin feeling calm and fresh

A lovely rich, milky cleanser that leaves the skin feeling nourished and clean without any tightness. I love using this cleanser in the evening so that my skin feels super soft when I wake up in the morning. The cleanser does not foam up, so perfect if foam is not your thing. Because it is so nourishing, this cleanser is perfect for dry and mature skin, but also during the winter months when the weather and central heating cause dehydration. 
Next up is the Exfoliating Face Scrub (£7.99 / 250ml) from the Classic range.

Key Ingredients:
  • Bio-Active Rooibos - organic extract with antioxidants
  • Apricot seed and Rooibos leaves

A gentle physical scrub that contains Rooibos leaves and Apricot kernels and removes dead skin cells effectively. When I first saw this I was a little sceptical because physical scrubs do not go well with my sensitive skin and rosacea. However, I can confirm that this one is actually really lovely. It is very mild and feels more like a second cleanse than a harsh scrub but with the exfoliating effect. I love using this once a week to give my skin a deep clean and keep it feeling soft. Redness caused by this scrub is minimal so it really is suitable for all skin types.
The next step in my routine is the Misting Toner (£10.99 / 125ml) from the Advantage range.

Key Ingredients:
  • Bio-Active Rooibos – organic extract with antioxidants
  • Witch-hazel extract to tone
  • Aloe Vera to calm skin
  • Floral extracts of chamomile, Everlasting and Daisy flower to help revive radiance, even skin tone and counter the ageing effects of pollutants. 

A beautiful, fine mist that instantly refreshes and hydrates. We have had some hot weather during the time I tested this product and it has been amazing for that. I love spraying this in the morning to wake up my skin and throughout the day to refresh and calm down any redness. A gorgeous product and perfect if you prefer a mist toner rather than a regular one that needs to be patted onto the skin. It is part of the Advantage range which is aimed at dry/more mature skin however I find that it is not limited to that and can be used on other types of skin as well.

Followed by the toner is the Rejuvinating Eye Cream (£12.99 / 20ml) from the Advantage range.

Key Ingredients:

  • Bio-Active Rooibos – organic extract with antioxidants
  • With extracts of Sea Fennel (Crithmum Maritimum), Green Algae (Chlorella Vulgaris) and Buckwheat (Polygonum)
  • Light deflectors help brighten the eye area and soften the appearance of fine lines 

Now this has to be my favourite! It is a super lightweight cream that can be used in both AM and PM routines. It is absorbed quickly and I love how it gives the under eye area that instant hydration boost and brighter appearance. It is super gentle so perfect for the sensitive eye area and on dehydrated skin. I have not seen a massive difference when it comes to softening the appearance of fine lines, however this is because I do not have a lot of fine lines and it would require a longer testing period to really see improvement.

Key Ingredients:

Day Cream
  • Bio-Active Rooibos - organic extract with antioxidants 
  • With Vitamin E 
  • UVA/UVB protection 
  • Contains Chamomile 

Night Cream
  • Bio-Active Rooibos - organic extract with antioxidants 
  • With Vitamin A and Vitamin E
  • Jojoba seed oil (Simmondsia Chinensis) 

Both of these are beautiful creams but unfortunately a little too heavy for me and I'll explain why. I am very picky when it comes to moisturisers. I prefer them gel based and ones that don't leave a layer on the skin. Both these creams contain Dimethicone and are therefore silicone based. Silicone forms a thin film on the skin which acts as a barrier to lock in hydration and protect the skin. It smoothes out pores, mattifies and regulates the production of sebum. This makes both these creams amazing makeup primers, but I'm just not a fan of that film. I also think SPF15 in a day cream is not sufficient, so when using the day cream I would always recommend wearing a separate sunscreen.

Product textures - from left to right: Scrub, Cleanser, Day Cream, Night Cream, Eye Cream

So overall African Extracts offer a great selection of affordable skincare that works really well. The products are also cruelty free, organic and vegan. It's definitely a brand I would recommend and would want to explore more of in the future.

Have you tried African Extracts?

Thank you so much for reading!



  1. I try to use either completely natural skin care products or those that contain the maximum amount of natural extracts of healthy plants, descriptive words as this is very beneficial for the skin.

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    I have severe eczemza, rosacea, and lupus and it has helped me very much.

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  7. African extracts products are the best with great value. Proven results within 3 weeks of using it. Removed all my dark marks and black heads. Very impressed with this product!