In this digital age, when an image of a stranger located on the other side of the planet is transportive, we fall for a prismatic array of international products and brands every single day. And so to Cape Town, a hotbed of innovation and imagination, especially in beauty. Maybe it's because the socio-economic climate forces people to think creatively on very limited resources, or maybe it's because the southern tip of Africa is home to such a diverse floral and mineral kingdom that products are infused with interesting and unusual ingredients. Either way, one of the world’s most beautiful cities where mountains and ocean converge is not sitting pretty on the merits of its natural bounties alone — it's trailblazing the way for natural beauty.
I've discovered a lot of these finds at Health Matters, an amazing health shop in Sea Point, Cape Town. A favorite is Fragrant Garden's Mustard Bath, a mix of Cape desert mineral salts and mustard powder that warms aching muscles and stimulates the immune system and even soothed a nasty bout of heat rash and sunburn.
eCS by Phuza Health
Colloidal silver products are sold in abundance out here; there’s an almost vampire-esque attitude to colloidal silver (electromagnetically charged minute silver particles suspended in deionized water), which has long been recognized as one of the most potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory ingredients. The most interesting brand is eCS by Phuza Health, which makes Electro Colloidal Silver nasal sprays, great for colds or on planes to protect against cabin germs. The company also manufactures a silver-based gel for insect bites, burns, and razor nicks.
Gaia Organics has a pigment regulating day lotion with silver, copper, zinc, and manganese, a veritable mineral fest for the skin, and is the first brand formulated to protect the skin and its microbiome. The philosophy of the company is to feed the skin the same balanced nutrition as you should feed your body, combining omegas, minerals, probiotics and antioxidants.
Another interesting brand is Moya, made with Fynbos, a rare South African plant species, mixed with other indigenous finds such as Cape Snowbush, Buchu, Mountain sage, and Cape chamomile. I think you better all get yourself to the southernmost tip of Africa; it's just good for the soul.