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Hilary Says: #NaijaBrandsRock Products Review – A Few Nigerian Skincare Brands Hilary Loves!

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#NaijaBrandsRock is “an initiative to raise the profile of Nigerian based and owned brands with the intention to promote a more inward-thinking approach to our beauty, fashion & lifestyle spending habits.”

The truth is, we actually have incredible products made by Nigerian owned brands, we just need to look in and begin to appreciate what we have here. Following this fantastic movement by Lola Maja, I decided to review some products from Nigerian skincare brands that I am particularly proud of and love.

R&R Luxury Serenity Shea Oil


Ingredients: Shea Oil, Lavender Oil, Bergamot Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil

This oil is a fantastic moisturiser for both skin and hair; I absolutely love it. Shea Oil is very rich in Vitamin A (great for collagen production), Vitamin E (antioxidant) and Vitamin F (great for skin and hair regeneration). It is very moisturizing and hydrating. Due to the presence of cinnamic acid in it, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps with skin irritation.

Lavender Oil is high in antioxidants. It helps inhibit bacteria that cause skin infections and can also help reduce the signs of scarring after skin inflammatory conditions. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts and burns as it improves the formation of scar tissues.

Bergamot Oil is disinfectant in nature; it inhibits the growth of germs and bacteria. It helps minimize the look of scars. Ylang Ylang Oil is beneficial in reducing skin irritation and redness. It helps maintain moisture and oil balance of the skin, keeping in hydrated and smooth. It is very helpful for preventing dandruff and hair loss.

R&R Luxury Baobab Oil


Ingredients: 100% Pure Baobab Oil

Baobab Oil has high levels of Vitamin C in it. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant; it fights free radicals that cause skin damage. Free radical damage is one of the main causes of premature skin aging. Vitamin C plays a very vital role in collagen synthesis, which we need for the repair and growth of skin cells, retaining the skin’s firmness and elasticity.

As the skin gets older, it produces less collagen so Vitamin C helps boost its production; therefore this oil is fantastic for mature skin. It is known for clearing age spots, blemishes and uneven skin tone over time. Baobab Oil is great for oily skin, as it does not leave a greasy residue (absorbs quickly).

Cookie Skin Tri-Active Brighten & Protect Day Fluid


Ingredients: Water, Vitamin C Glycosphere, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lecithin, Orange Oil, Carbomer, Methyl Paraben, Diazolidinyl Urea

I love that this formulation is very simple, not too many unnecessary ingredients making it difficult for the active ingredients to work properly. It is clearly packed with Vitamin C.

Vitamin C Glycosphere is basically vitamin C that has been encapsulated into a submicron (nano) delivery system, protecting them from degradation in the product. This way you can be assured that the Vitamin C molecules are protected and well preserved till they get to your skin to do the work.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) like I stated earlier, is a great antioxidant and a key ingredient in collagen synthesis. It is also very good for clearing dark spots, hyper pigmentation and uneven skin tone. Sodium Hyaluronate and Glycerin are very good humectants; they draw water molecules to your skin to keep it hydrated and plump. Your skin needs to be well hydrated all the time for it to function properly.

Lecithin acts as an emulsifier in most products but it also helps hydrate, replenish and repair the skin due to its essential fatty acid content. It also helps other ingredients penetrate the skin barrier. Orange Oil is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory; it also increases the ability of the skin to absorb Vitamin C and heal the skin.

 Oriki Revitalizing Q10 Day Moisturizer with Avocado


Ingredients: Sunflower Seed Oil, Extra Virgin Avocado Oil, Shea Butter, Organic Jojoba oil, Carrot Root Extract, Raspberry Oil, Basil Oil, Plum Seed oil, Organic Rosehip Extract, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Parsley Seed Oil.

This moisturizer is packed with botanical oils that are great for the skin. I think it is absolutely fantastic; every ingredient in it is beneficial to the skin. Sunflower Oil is rich in vitamin E, free-radical-fighting antioxidant, protecting the skin cells from damage; it also helps with skin cell regeneration, quicker wound healing and a healthier natural glow.

Avocado Oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D and E. It enhances the skin’s ability to generate collagen, which helps the skin stay firm, smooth and rejuvenated. It is a superb moisturiser and it is very soothing for dry and itchy skin. Jojoba Oil is very hydrating and helps seal in moisture; it is also rich in antioxidants and iodine, which fights harmful bacteria growth that leads to breakouts.

Carrot Root Extract is rich in beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A to help stimulate skin cell regeneration and Vitamin E. Raspberry Oil is rich is Vitamin A and E, it also has some natural sun protection. Rosehip Extract is rich in Vitamin C and E (both antioxidants), which gives it strong anti-aging and skin repairing benefits. It is known to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration caused by sun damage and scarring.

Sea Buckthorn Oil is known for its healing and rejuvenating effects on the skin; it is rich in Vitamin A, C and E. Just like Rosehip Extract, it has strong anti-aging benefits. Parsley Seed Oil has antibacterial properties, which is useful in treating acne and skin infection. It is also rich in beta-carotene (converts to Vitamin A) and Vitamin C.

Milagro Organic Essence of Aphrodite


Ingredients: Dried Rose Petals, Sweet Almond Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Neroli Oil, Vetiver Oil and a special blend of 7 more Essential Oils

I love love love this oil! It is not your regular everyday body oil, it is more of a massage/sensual oil but the smell is absolutely divine; it is musky, oudy, earthy and sweet. The formulator calls it the “Essence Of Aphrodite”; it is packed with many well-known aphrodisiac oils. The base is Sweet Almond Oil, which is a great moisturizer, skin softener and is fast absorbing; it leaves your skin nourished, silky and kissably soft.

Rose is widely considered the most romantic flower so it is not surprising that there are dried rose petals in this oil. It also contains 10 different essential oils including Sandalwood (tension reliever and relaxes), Neroli (uplifts the mind and calms the senses) and Vetiver (known as the “Oil of tranquility).

Lift your spirits, relax your muscles and awaken your desire. It may seem quite pricey, but believe me, it is worth it!

 Sleek Studio Brightening Skin Illume Serum (A Dab of Lightening)


Ingredients: Purified Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Diglycerin, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Kojic Acid, 3-0-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Witch Hazel Extract, Chamomile, Cucumis Sativus, Lactic Acid, Methylisothiazolinone

I know the name “A Dab of Lightening” makes it sound like a bleaching product but it actually will not bleach you. As people of colour, we constantly deal with uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation and scarring issues. This product contains some pretty good ingredients.

Sodium Hyaluronate and Glycerin are great humectants; they draw water molecules to your skin to keep it hydrated and plump. Kojic Acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice for use in the production of Sake (Japanese Rice Wine). It helps inhibit the production of melanin to give you an even skin tone. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, Kojic acid may irritate the skin but it much safer than hydroquinone.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) is a great antioxidant which helps fight free radical that cause damage to the skin cells. It also enhances the production of collagen and helps clear blemishes and uneven skin tone. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is a very effective skin-restoring agent; it has the ability to visibly improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin dullness. It stimulates the production of collagen, which strengthens skin cellular bods, tightens the skin and gives it a youthful firmness. It also helps reduce blotchiness and evens out skin tone while improving skin texture.

Brands Mentioned
R&R Luxury: @randrluxury
Cookie Skin: @cookieskin
Oriki: @orikigroup
Milagro Organic: @milagroorganic
Sleek Studio: @sleekstudiong

I am a Cosmetic Scientist and I’m extremely passionate about anything that involves cosmetics. I have a BSc in Cosmetic Science from London College of Fashion (University of the Arts), which is basically the chemistry behind cosmetics, which includes colour cosmetics (makeup), skin care, hair care and perfumery. I have worked as a product formulator in Procter and Gamble under Maxfactor, Cover Girl and Dolce & Gabbana Cosmetics; I have also worked as a beauty consultant with brands like Lancôme, YSL Beauty, Nars, Chanel Beauty, L’Occitane, Aesop, Eve Lom (to name a few). Instagram: @hilary.saysTwitter: @hilarysays__

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