Skin and self-care: Inga Sibiya

South Africa’s fast and strict lockdown was touted as one of the best responses to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it severely affected many vital industries. As a result, so many people had to pivot and realign their business in order to survive.

Inga Sibiya, a food writer and content creator, felt the full effects of the level 5 lockdown, which saw the restaurant industry slow down to a halt. She started her own skincare line with low-waste packaging (reusable and recyclable) during the height of the pandemic. I spoke to her about her skincare principles and what to expect next from her small business.

Disclaimer: your skin journey is a personal experience. Natural skincare products might work for your body and not for your facial skin. Please be careful about what you put on your body and do your research.

Your background is in food media and content creation – what prompted the shift to eco-friendly skincare products?

I’ve always been of the belief that food has the capacity to heal the body. From homeopathy, we know that certain fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices have healing properties. My skincare products are just an extension of that knowledge – citrus fruits are great for reviving the skin, ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory etc. A few years ago, I vowed to never put anything on my face or hair that I wouldn’t put into my body, and the products I’ve been making at home have done wonderful things for my skin.

The pandemic has changed a lot of plans for so many people. How has it impacted your business?

As a food and travel writer, I have been greatly affected by the lockdown initiated to curb the spread of COVID-19. Our borders closed, so my blog exploring Africa through food grinded to a halt. Restaurants were closed for a while, so I couldn’t even focus my energy on reviews. It really became an adapt or die situation, so to speak. Thankfully, the reception to my handmade skincare products has been so embracing.

The African way was zero-waste and compassionate.

Inga Sibiya

The low impact community is definitely thriving around the world, how did you get started with your interest in this lifestyle?

Africans have been sustainable for generations. If you track our behaviour as far back as the Khoisan, our people were nomads – living off what the land naturally provided. We only took what we needed and moved on, allowing the environment an opportunity to replenish itself. I write extensively about this in my blog and for Faithful to Nature, as I have done for years.
I’ve always had a deep connection to earth as a living, breathing organism. My food writing, and now skincare line has afforded me the opportunity to share my passion with more people.

How can people get hold of you and order your products?

At the moment, I am available via Instagram @SootheSkincareSA or twitter @SootheSkincare
The instructions about how to order my products are available via those platforms.

Any future plans for Soothe Skincare? 

Yes! Ideally, I’d like to have a whole range of handmade natural skincare products available before the festive season so that people can purchase beauty boxes for their loved ones. It’s important to me that I provide for my clientele, so I’m working on serums and scents because that seems to be what a lot of people have been asking for. There’s definitely more to come!

x A

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