25 June 2011 by Denise Slabbert

Discover South Africa’s green zone

Tourists all over the world are familiar with South Africa’s wildlife but what many people don’t know is that the country also has a diverse plant landscape, too. The highlight is fynbos which is found in the Cape. This remarkable plant family is the smallest of the world’s floral kingdoms and it is thought that 70% of its 9 000 plant species are found nowhere else on earth.

Over hundreds of years, local inhabitants developed a rich knowledge of the health and well-being benefits of fynbos and other indigenous plants. As more scientific research is being done into these benefits, a number of local skincare ranges like Esse Organic Skincare, Rain Africa and Moya have incorporated these into their formulations:

  • Rooibos (red bush) is a species of fynbos has potent antioxitant properties. For centuries locals have drunk a delicious tea brewed from the leaves and bark. Today, rooibos extract can be found in numerous skincare products around the world.
  • The fruit pulp of the baobab is rich in vitamin C which brightens the skin and the oil extracted from the seeds contains essential fats that nourish.
  • Cape chamomile is an indigenous essential oil that has calming and rejuvenating properties.
  • Extract from the kigelia tree has anti-ageing and skin-lifting benefits and has been used by local women to protect their skins from the harsh sun.
  • The marula tree is probably most famous for a delicious local liqueur that’s loved around the world. However, the seed oil is high in antioxidants and also nourishes the skin.
  • Buchu, which is another plant from the fynbos family, has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
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