A personal pursuit to find moisturising and anti-ageing products that work led a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist into the skincare space, and she’s just launched a wonderfully natural range.
We’re at the tail-end of another dry Joburg winter. And, if you’re anything like us, then it’s been another cold season spent getting hot and bothered hunting for products to soothe dry skin and give an ageless glow. For Midrand’s Karabo Tlale, it was different.
What started as a passion project to create moisturising products that work on her skin has resulted in the specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist at Netcare Waterfall City Hospital launching a 100 per cent natural range that’s mainly plant-based called, Sensual You.
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A body butter and a body scrub are on the market at the moment, and soon we can look forward to a skin firming gel, tissue oil and a skin conditioning cream that’s lighter than the body butter – so it’s handy for the summer months. The products are unisex – although largely targeted at women – and they’re moisturising and anti-ageing while they also maintain skin’s elasticity.
Karabo explains the idea for the range was sparked by the love of good-looking and glowing skin. ‘As age seemed to be catching up with me – starting to show signs of ageing, especially loss of tone, plus dry skin in the winter season – I realised I had to find products that would assist in improving my skin,’ she says.
‘These had to be natural products and plant based in trying to avoid involvement in cruelty against animals and also avoiding the use of chemicals on the skin because they can be harsh.’
Natural and plant-based products are trending, and Karabo believes Joburgers – and, in fact, people around the world – are moving towards using these products in a bid to avoid putting chemicals on their bodies, adding, ‘Especially with the high rate of cancer scares.’
In line with this, among the ingredients in the Sensual You range are capsicum, and active and collagen-stimulating factors that are plant based, as well as avocado oil, mineral oil, seed oil and cupana seed extract.
Karabo has poured her heart into these products, especially given that when she set out on this skincare quest, she aimed to find products that worked for her. ‘With the amount of product that would need to be manufactured at a go, then came the idea of getting the products out to the public, which meant business.’
It’s a savvy idea and one that demonstrates that Karabo is somewhat of a wonder woman. This doctor has been practising as a specialist for 12 years and, with a keenness to stay informed of the latest developments in obstetrics and gynaecology, she is a member of a number of societies in her field. Her research work and presentation on symphysis fundal height measurement in predicting the birth weight of a newborn earned her the Elise Boes prize in 2007. With these feathers in her cap, it doesn’t shock us that Karabo says she loves her job.
About two years ago, she founded Planned Adulthood and the Confident Teen – an organisation to help girls navigate the transition into teens and womanhood.
Amid all these commitments, Karabo tried and tested her skincare products, and there’s a real sense of comfort in knowing she’s given her very own stamp of approval before putting them out on the market. ‘The process of research and development started in 2016 and took close to four years. This, including almost a year when I was trying the products on myself, actually going beyond the then-proposed launch date because I was enjoying them.’
When she met with the manufacturing team, Karabo put forward her requirements and, in turn, she was guided on what would work. ‘This, together with some research I had already conducted, helped. The aim was to get a product with the main properties of anti-ageing, toning, firming, anti-pigmentation and moisturising. It was a lengthy process of research and development, increasing and decreasing components to suit the consistency, colour and texture.’
So, after spending time using the products, how does her skin feel? ‘Silky,’ she says, adding that the tone has improved too.
Karabo’s precision and care in ensuring she was creating high-quality products are not the only marks of distinction on her range. ‘The inclusion of collagen stimulators as actives makes the products unique. They can be used by the young to avoid early development of skin problems and also by older people to assist in improving or correcting existing problems.’
Karabo says she has received much support and positive feedback on her products and so to say she feels ‘proud’ is an understatement. And, best of all, ‘Winters are no longer a nightmare trying different products to find the best to moisturise my skin.’
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