Aurum Africa Certified Organic Cosmetics – the Liquid Gold of Africa
[collaboration with Aurum Africa] Aurum Africa's certified natural cosmetics is the encounter with the cradle of humanity. The knowledge of what has been used for thousands of years in the heart of Africa as protection and natural food for the skin and hair lives on in the products of Aurum Africa. "Aurum" in Latin means "gold". Aurum Africa's liquid gold comes from vegetable oils from the nuts of the Marula and Mongongo trees, which are obtained in Namibia according to traditional methods. These precious oils are the basis of fair trade, sustainably produced and certified natural and organic cosmetics.
Interview with Udo Reinhardt from Aurum Africa about Natural & Organic Cosmetics Certification
What was your motivation to get your brand certified as natural cosmetics or organic cosmetics?
There were certainly two main reasons that led to our products being certified as organic cosmetics. The first one is connected with our – meaning my Italian business partner Leandro and myself – conviction that there are far too many products and brands in the field of cosmetics that are not remotely concerned with the quality and the effect (or, one should rather say, the danger for skin and organism). We wanted to counter that with the clear statement "Our products are put through their paces".
The second main reason for organic certification is simply an economic one. If, as a small start-up in this segment, you want to get a foot in the doors of the corresponding retailers, certification is essential. Not to mention, for example, the opportunity to exhibit at the Vivaness in Nuremberg or other natural cosmetics fairs. To be honest, at first I didn’t get this "certification force", especially in relation to our pure, cold-pressed skin oils. I couldn’t imagine what bad could going to be happen to a wild Marula tree in the African savanna. But in the end we had to bow to the dictates of the market.
What values do you associate with the certification?
Trust is basic
The first and certainly most important value is “trust”. We work together with an Italian formulator who has been running his own natural cosmetics company for many years. From the beginning, it was clear that we would only use ingredients that could easily withstand organic cosmetics certification. As a further value, we feel committed to the common good. We want to do something good, in the purest sense of the word of the church. And that means good for both the communities in Namibia and Zimbabwe, from which we get the oils, as well as the community here.
Fairness should be a matter of course
Not directly related to certification, but one of the most important values for us is fairness. Fairness, especially vis-à-vis the local people, is indispensable in a trade and production chain that is not designed to maximize profits, but rather to enjoy adequate coexistence. Directly linked to this are recognition and respect, without which an honest co-operation is not possible.
Knowing the situations in the countries personally is imperative to pay tribute to their work. And last but not least, I'd like to mention the – unfortunately meanwhile incredibly overused term – that comes up in every second sentence of any politician that brings “sustainability” into play. And because I can no longer hear the term, I rename it, and call this value "Ecological Value-Consciousness", because without this we will not get very far in the already tense situation on "our" planet.
Conscious consumption in focus
We all, producers and consumers, need to be more and more aware of what we buy, from whom, where and why. And if I keep in mind that the natural cosmetics market share in the cosmetics market makes up just 9%, I become afraid and anxious. Because that implies that more than 90% of the manufacturers are malevolently negligent of what happens to us or to "our" environment, (or both). And this will not be very different in many other segments … just think of fair trade.
Since when and with whom are you certified?
We have been organic certified by Ecocert Greenlife since May 2018 according to the Cosmos Standard.
Did your expectations come true?
In part, but by no means have all of our expectations been fulfilled. One of our expectations was, of course, that the health food shops of the Republic would run the place, because finally they are able to "buy" our cosmetics, and also the pure oils in organic certified quality. This has not really come true. The fact that our oils, which we sell in larger containers, are now also organic certified, certainly will help to increase the sales volume.
What is your wish for the future of natural cosmetics certification?
I wish that we find a good way to retail. Maybe someone who takes us by the hand and shows us how we can achieve greater coverage with our modest means and without a field service, without losing our entire margin. In general, I wish for the future that at least the most rational part of humanity, will start to speak out loudly – so that we all succeed in handing over "our" planet in a state that will enable future generations to live in harmony with nature.
Udo Reinhardt is Managing Director of Aurum Africa GmbH.
Pure Gold on the Skin: Aurum Africas Valuable Vegetable Oils from Namibia
Aurum Africa Organic Marula Oil – Certified Organic Cosmetics with COSMOS Label
Up to 20 meters high, stately Marula trees have been part of life in southern Africa since time immemorial. Their versatility is reflected in the most diverse areas of life. The Marula tree’s fruit is not only a favorite of elephants, but also symbolizes fertility as a wedding tree. Its pronounced resistance to the dry climate is striking. Marula trees are considered the kings of the African trees.
The oil extracted from its seeds shimmers golden and feels light and tender on the skin. Aurum Africa's cold-pressed organic Marula oil protects skin and hair with its high content of antioxidants, amino acids and flavonoids. Its vitamin E content stimulates collagen and elastin formation. Since the organic Marula oil contains a lot of essential fatty acids, it is very popular as a balancing care oil for irritated skin.
The organic marula oil is a certified organic cosmetic product, protects the skin sustainably and naturally increases its elasticity and resilience. It has a fascinating ability to counterbalance various skin conditions. Thus, the needs of dry skin as well as oily skin or combination skin can be optimally balanced.
Aurum Africa Natural Mongongo Oil
The precious, slightly richer Mongongo oil has only recently been added to the oil range at Aurum Africa. The Mongongo oil will soon be certified as natural cosmetics. This COSMOS certification is in progress. The Mongongo tree is an endemic representative of the savannas and arid areas between Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. It too will grow up to 20 meters tall. It bears fruit only from the age of 25 years. Its nuts are a popular specialty in the Kalahari. The oil extracted from them is a nutrient-rich food. To care for and protect the skin from the arid desert climate, the Mongongo oil, also called Manketti oil, is a classic with a very long tradition.
The strength of Mongongo oil lies in its ability to protect skin and hair from external adversity. Despite its pronounced protective effect, the Mongongo oil has a pleasantly light consistency. It literally melts into the skin. Its complex of alpha-linolenic acid, oleic acid, vitamins and minerals makes it a valued anti-aging skin care oil.
Aurum Africa Natural Baobab Oil
The natural, cold-pressed Baobab oil from Aurum Africa comes with a particularly high content of omega 9, 6 and 3 fatty acids. Because it also contains lots of linoleic acid, it is often used to strengthen the skin and restore elasticity, such as in lessening stretch marks. Baobab oil has an intensive regenerating effect on the skin and hair. Its certification as a natural cosmetic
s is still in progress.
"The Big Five" – the Synergy of Five Luxury Care Products in a Natural Cosmetics Line
The two "The Big Five" natural cosmetics products from Aurum Africa pay homage to the "Big Five of Africa", the five best known representatives of African big game. Aurum Africa creates its "Big Five" of the most important skincare ingredients in the natural cosmetics of the same name: organic marula, baobab, shea butter, aloe vera and avocado. They are supported by almond and olive oil, as well as moringa.
The COSMOS Organic Certified Natural Cosmetics "Big Five" face cream is a fast-absorbing, anti-aging, all-round face care. It can be used as needed, day and / or night, and can be well complemented with the Aurum Africa oils. The "Big Five" body lotion complements the certified natural cosmetic face cream as a light lotion for the whole body. Its natural cosmetics certification is still in process.
Fair Trade + Fair Economy = Aurum Africa
Aurum Africa stands for fair trade and fair prices. In doing so, Aurum Africa goes one step beyond the usual "fair trade". Aurum Africa pursues fair business in the overarching sense. This means that in addition to fair prices, the creation of a healthy local economy is also supported. Fundamental here is the face-to-face exchange.
Aurum Africa has carefully selected its partners in Namibia, knows all involved people personally and regularly visits the harvest region. About 5,000 women from rural communities make the production of the marula oil possible. Qualified and fairly paid staff is a matter of course for Aurum Africa. Fair cooperation means helping smallholder farmers improve their standard of living. To ensure that as much of the profits as possible remain in the country, Aurum Africa waives middlemen.
Aurum Africa Certified Natural Cosmetics: a Combination of the Hearts of Africa and Europe
Aurum Africa GmbH is the joint project of two companies that have many years of experience in fair trade with African countries: Cetacea Service srl from Italy and GAFPRO from Germany. Both are deeply attached to the people, traditions and culture of southern Africa, Namibia in particular. GAFPRO is a founding member of the "Fair-Band" (Federal Association for Fair Import and Distribution eV). The natural cosmetics brand Aurum Africa embodies in the current way the traditional knowledge of the southern Africa and the sense for our original affiliation to the nature. At the same time, Aurum Africa shows what it can look like to actively take responsibility for us and our environment.
Aurum Africa Certified Natural Cosmetics: DIY Tips for Organic Marula Oil
The organic marula oil is an all-around-cosmetic for face and body care as well as hair care:
- For the care of the face and décolleté in the morning and/or evening, heat a few drops of marula oil in your hands and massage gently into the skin, while it is still slightly moist.
- As body oil, massage directly onto damp skin after showering.
- For beautiful, shiny hair, massage the organic marula oil into the scalp before going to bed and then leave on overnight with the head wrapped in a towel.
- As a care for the ends of hair, knead very sparingly into the ends as needed: in the wet ends after hair-washing or in the dry ends in between washings.
AURUM Africa GmbH
72336 Balingen D
Website and shop: www.aurumafrica.eu
For B2B, the vegetable oils can also be requested in bulk sizes.
Here you can download the guide to the best known natural & organic cosmetics standards and sign up to stay up to date with my Authentic Eco News: ”Natural & Organic Cosmetics Label Guide”
Please find an overview of the requirements of the different levels of the individual labels here: ”Organic Cosmetics Labels – How To Easily Recognise Certified Natural Cosmetics”
Do you have any questions? Could you use some support in preparing for certification or setting up your certification process? Please feel free to book an appointment here and let's talk about it.
In addition to images from Aurum Africa, photos were used by: Alexander Krivitskiy, Sam Burriss, Peinge Nakale, Alan J. Hendry, Johnny Chen, Christian Weiss on Unsplash