The African continent has always been known for its rich bounty of natural resources and is often in the spotlight for natural cosmetics’ formulators on account of its incredible, beneficial raw ingredients such as baobab, moringa oils and shea butter. These indigenous ingredients form the backbone of organic skincare products in the global beauty industry.

Gabriela Durdus the founder of Treasures of West Africa, a natural body care brand that combines traditional African beauty ingredients with a touch of modern times is a natural cosmetics’ formulator with a fascinating backstory for whom Africa’s indigenous ingredients have a deep cultural resonance and significance.

During my chat with her, she shared with me what motivated her to choose the path of a female, organic skincare entrepreneur and formulate her highly sought-after products from the indigenous treasures of West Africa. She told me;

“As a self-proclaimed chief explorer,  I have enjoyed extended travel throughout my life. I have visited over 30 countries across the globe. Whether I was in a country for a short visit or a longer stay, I always gravitated toward the cultural aspects of the country and its people. The idea for my business was born during a visit to Nairobi, Kenya. My friends who were based in Nairobi, knowing I lived in Ghana, inquired about shea butter as it was rare and difficult to source in East Africa. Prior to this trip, I believed incorrectly that shea butter was an “African beauty product”, oblivious of the fact that it was mainly indigenous to West Africa. When I returned to Ghana, I started sending my friend in Kenya different brands of shea butter products.

I, however, realized none of the products I sent to Kenya matched my standards. I remember being dissatisfied by either the smell, the packaging or the added ingredients.  That’s when I decided to create my own products; products that will embody the perfect combination of luxury and nature. I took some time off, spent about 4 months in the UK, where I started educating myself in cosmetic formulations and plant-based beauty. That’s how Treasures of West Africa was born. The humble beginnings of my brand will forever hold a special place in my heart: I am grateful for the many nights spent “experimenting” in my kitchen with my best friend serving as a guinea pig for testing products.”

Treasures of West Africa has since then grown to become a natural body care brand that combines traditional African beauty ingredients with a touch of modern times, boasting of products that enhance beauty in a natural, yet luxurious manner without including any harsh chemicals or ‘hidden’ ingredients. All brand products are formulated with 100% authentic shea butter and other ingredients directly sourced from Ghana.

According to Gabriela, her products were created with “the essence of every woman I have ever met in my life” in mind. As an avid traveller and having seen a lot of what Africa has to offer, she created a brand suitable for people, particularly women, of all backgrounds, ethnicities and ages, united in the pursuit of the best natural beauty products.

With an expansive product range, we hold no doubt that Treasures of West Africa will have something your skincare routine needs. To help you get started, here’s all you need to know about these products;

  • Whipped Shea Butter: This luscious body butter is full of natural treasures! Shea butter is the main ingredient, whipped with coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil and Vitamin E. The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for skin. Coconut oil is a great skin softener and helps you deal with dry and hard skin, while the sweet almond oil is full of vitamin E, vitamin A, monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, potassium, and zinc. Olive oil was finally added to this incredible butter because it can prevent signs of photoaging and sun damage.

  • Cocoa Body Butter: Cocoa butter is a plant-based fat taken from the cocoa bean. It’s extracted from roasted cacao beans. This must-have body butter is a rich moisturizing cream that creates a barrier to protect your skin from moisture loss. Asides always being well absorbed without leaving the skin greasy, this butter also helps the skin maintain its elasticity and tone giving a supple youthful skin. Yummy scented, this butter is enriched with Baobab oil and vitamin E.

  • Cuticle Oil: This skin treasure is a true wonder elixir! Made out of 100% pure carrier and essential oils, this oil will make you want to look at your manicure all day…polish or no polish! It contains olive oil, jojoba and avocado oils, sweet almond, geranium, lavender and a drop of tea tree. Two drops are enough for both hands. Just try it!
  • Shea & Turmeric Soap: This is a gentle soap suitable for face & body, containing over 70% shea butter and other essential oils. Turmeric has been used as a natural beauty product for centuries. It is a natural way of treating several skin problems and getting a flawless, glowing skin. You will not want to use any other soap after trying this!

Treasures of West Africa is definitely a brand to look out for as they plan on expanding the product range from mainstream skincare to bath and body plus male skincare products in the near future. Gabriela says her aim is to become a prominent lifestyle brand that shares a taste of West Africa’s beauty across all continents.

Get your hands on these must-have products on and get exclusive deals and stay up to date with the brand on Instagram @treasures_of_west_africa_uk  @treasures_of_west_africa