When Santa Monica–based Julia and Craig Noik began conceptualizing their inaugural skincare line, African Botanics, three years ago, the husband-and-wife team turned to their native South Africa for their all-star ingredient, marula seed oil.
Derived from sun-dried marula nuts, which are cracked open and cold-pressed by women in Fair Trade co-ops, the unrefined oil is loaded with antioxidants, minerals, nutrients and fatty acids—ideal for combating dehydration and premature aging, as well as repairing skin. “Our inspiration is to create products that capture South Africa’s beauty, textures and earth elements combined in potent formulations for maximum skin benefits,” explains Julia. “We wanted to offer the sensory experience of being somewhere exotic.” The line does just that, with best-sellers including neroli-infused marula oil, botanical body cream, shimmering gold oil and, just in time for winter, a nourishing intense skin-repair balm. Available at SpaceNK, 225 26th St., S.M., 310-451-7284; africanbotanics.com.
Written by Lesley McKenzie.