Meet Catarina de Avillez, Founder of The Natural Africa

In honour of International Women's Day this month, we met with Catarina de Avillez, the founder of pioneering clean beauty brand, The Natural Africa. Let's delve into the story of how this innovative brand was created and the importance of botanical ingredients...

Why was it important to you to create The Natural Africa?

Creating The Natural Africa was deeply personal for me. My mother is South African, and I've spent countless moments in Cape Town and Hermanus, a coastal gem in the Western Cape. This area, with its unparalleled natural beauty and the unique fynbos biome, represents a level of wilderness and beauty, that's simply unmatched worldwide. Its landscape, flanked by mountains and the ocean, offers a profound sense of grounding, making every visit feel like a homecoming to me.

My journey through this landscape over the years allowed me to connect with its natural beauty, understand its history, and discover the significant uses and healing benefits of its plants, from teas and home remedies to skincare. After leaving a previous role in skincare, I felt a strong desire to embark on a venture that was purpose-driven and meaningful. Meeting my business partner, who shared a similar vision, was the catalyst for us to embark on this botanical skincare venture.

What is your view on beauty?

My perspective on beauty is deeply rooted in the belief, that true beauty is a reflection of a harmonious balance between the inner and outer self. It's this equilibrium where the health of the skin mirrors the body's overall well-being. This philosophy is perfectly aligned with our commitment to utilising botanical ingredients that are not only effective, but ethically sourced and respectful of the environment. At the core of my approach to beauty is the advocacy for simplicity, purity, and authenticity. We celebrate the natural beauty inherent in each individual and the natural world, emphasising, that beauty should be as much about the wellness of the planet as it is about personal aesthetics. 

What are the essential steps to your skincare routine?

My skincare routine is centered around the belief that less is more, emphasising the importance of not stripping the skin of its natural barrier while providing it with nourishment. I start with a double-cleanse in the evening using our Rooibos Cleansing Cream, which is rich in antioxidants to purify the skin gently. Then I apply our Cape Aloe Serum to hydrate and calm the skin, providing extra nourishment. During the colder months, I focus on layering moisture, starting with our lightweight yet intensely hydrating Resurrection Moisturiser and sealing it with our Rosehip Oil to lock in hydration and benefits.

What is your favourite The Natural Africa product?

My absolute favourite product has to be our Cape Aloe Serum. Its soothing effects on dry, irritated, or sensitive skin are remarkable, and it serves as an excellent primer for foundation, creating a natural, glowing look. The serum's texture is wonderful, absorbing quickly into the skin, and is complemented by the natural and refreshing scents of Rose Geranium and Grapefruit. This product encapsulates the essence of The Natural Africa, combining efficacy with the sensory pleasure of its natural ingredients.