Nubian Body Secrets
By Gigi Anders
As the weather gets colder, many of us become The Sensitive Type. Body products full of synthetic fragrances and weird chemicals can really set us off. Itchy, uncomfortably dry skin ensues. Here in Beauty Land, we know It’s Always Something.
Africans who lived in 2000 B.C. may not have faced chilly climes. But they understood combining natural ingredients to promote physical wellness. Nubia, the region stretching down the Nile to what became in the 1500s Egypt and Sudan, was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa. Cross-cultural goods, ideas, and customs from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Mediterranean commingled there and spread across the rest of the world.
In 1992, Nubian Heritage was formed. Liberia-born co-founders Richelieu Dennis, Nyema Tubman, and Mary Dennis created an ethically sourced, grass-roots, word-of-mouth brand that brought the healing traditions of African black soap and shea butter to Harlem, the community they loved. Their first products -- handcrafted soaps and salves made authentically with natural, indigenous ingredients – were a hit that soon became a vibrant national skin and hair care company.
Which brings us back to my two new fave products that my body and I suddenly cannot live without: Nubian Heritage Shea Butter & Aloe Body Wash ($9.95) and the matching Body Lotion ($9.99). Both are fragrance-, paraben-, phthalate-, and cruelty-free, with certified organic and fair trade ingredients -- like shea and cocoa butters, aloe vera, Vitamin E, jasmine and oat bran extracts, and almond oil -- designed for sensitive skin. The body wash is super-lathery yet my skin felt great after the shower with no lotion. I tried the lotion – because that’s what I do – and it too was lovely. Rich yet slidey and not sticky. If that’s being Nubian, I’m in for life.