Best of the Best is a series showcasing my favorite, tried-and-true, go-back-again-and-again beauty brands. Being a beauty blogger, I’m in a constant state of flux with skincare, as I’m always trying new products. However, these brands are always in my rotation and are worthy of my highest recommendation.
Many of you know that my #1 favorite treatment serum that I use day in and day out is the Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum by African Botanics. This incredible retinol treatment has changed my skin completely and I won’t bore you with the details today because they are already all here. (Cliff Notes – IT IS THE BEST THING EVER.)
Well, once I witnessed the incredible results of using the Cell Recovery Serum a few years ago, I dove into the brand and products, thus creating a beautiful relationship. Between my skin and the products, that is. My wallet, not so much.
Yes, this is the epitome of a luxury skincare line, and yes, I am going to help you navigate through the line so you can get the most bang for your buck. Also, I write about many products in this post because I want to share my thoughts on everything I’ve tried in the line, but keep in mind that my personal skincare routine involves 4 steps: cleanse, mist, serum, and moisturize. Less is more.
What is African Botanics?
African Botanics is an eco-luxury skincare collection driven by ancient African phytochemistry and rich botanical pharmacology – the brand honors and respects thousands of years of traditional African medicinal knowledge which was created from the need to survive and protect the skin from the harsh African environment. Incorporating molecular science, capturing antioxidants, omegas, intelligent nutrients, and far beyond, African Botanics’ selection of ultra-powerful actives starts with in-depth research and analysis via close collaborations with university labs and research teams in South Africa, France, Austria, and Switzerland. They then select highly effective phyto-actives and South African plant species for their heightened antioxidant concentration, molecular structure, natural peptides, and omega content.
The products’ ingredients come from every part of Southern Africa: the desert, the sea, and the land. The majority are wild-harvested from very unique hot spots called eco-zones where they grow in their natural, bio-dynamic environment free from farming, pollution, pesticides, and human interference. Plus, they make sure that the plants they use are sustainable and are harvested with the utmost respect to nature and future generations.
Okay, okay. What does this all mean? Well, they are effective, potent, and clinically proven. I’m super impressed.
My Favorite African Botanics Products
Due to the pricing of this luxury brand, I think the best products to purchase are the ones with the most bang for your buck.
Silver Rescue Cream
A newer addition to the African Botanics line, this makes my skin barrier-enthusiast heart burst. The Silver Rescue Cream is super skin-soothing and moisturizing, it hydrates and restores comfort, calms irritation and redness, decreases excessive sebum production, and protects and defends the skin barrier. ( Yay!)
Full-spectrum CBD (Cannabis Sativa Leaf extract) plus Colloidal Silver work together to help reduce redness, inflammation, and scarring while improving skin barrier function and relieving the signs of skin stress.
Formulated for sensitive skin and all skin types temporarily irritated by modern environmental conditions including pollution, stress, extreme weather patterns, and non-invasive procedures. Free from essential oils, fragrance, parabens, silicones, and mineral oil.
Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum
My holy grail, like I mentioned above. My in-depth review here.
Retinal Night Cream
Although called a “night cream,” please consider this a serum. After learning one-on-one from the founders themselves, the Retinal Night Cream should be applied to clean and dry skin (like a treatment cream/serum) and can be layered together with a moisturizer, like the Intensive Recovery Oil.
So you don’t need both the Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum and the Retinal Night Cream. It’s either/or.
How do you decide?
The Retinal Night Cream is an ultra-strength Vitamin A and is perfect for those who are wanting to upgrade their high-strength retinol results and for advanced Retinoid users. If you are new to Retinol, I would start with the Cell Recovery Serum.
Retinal Night Cream targets fine lines and wrinkles, blemishes, pigmentation, and uneven texture for healthy, smooth, and visibly youthful skin. This particular product is powered by Retinaldehyde – an encapsulated and ultra stabilized bio-active form of Vitamin A that gradually and effectively converts to Retinoic Acid in the skin. Retinaldehyde is far less irritating compared to other Retinoids and is known to have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Retinaldehyde boosts and protects collagen, increases cell turnover, and enhances barrier function.
This night cream is unscented and EO-free but has a slight scent due to its active ingredients. For normal / combination, Retinal Night Cream can be used alone as your serum and moisturizer, but drier types might want to follow with an oil or cream.
Pure Marula Cleansing Oil
I LOVE THIS OIL. The Pure Marula Cleansing Oil has a silky gel-to-oil texture which my dry, sensitive skin loves. This antioxidant and omega-rich cleansing oil is designed for all skin types (including thirsty, problematic, inflamed, and sensitive). It dissolves make-up, pollution, surface impurities, skin congestion and SPF without causing irritation or skin dehydration…all while maintaining the skin’s natural protective barrier. Bonus – it gently exfoliates with AHA Fruit Acids.
Vita C Corrector
Vitamin C, y’all! Get on it. Vitamin C and a retinoid are the two best ingredients you can use in terms of slowing down the aging process of your skin.
Now, I used the African Botanics Nutritive Molecule Serum for years, but the Vita C Corrector has taken its spot. (Which is fantastic, considering it is much less expensive.) This Vitamin C formulation is NEXT-LEVEL. 20% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate! You guys. That’s some legit Vitamin C action going on. I wasn’t sure if my skin would be able to tolerate 20% Vitamin C, but my face loves it. Once again, African Botanics’ formulations FTW. They just can do no wrong in terms of my skin.
And if you are a Vitamin C nerd like me, you know that Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is incredible. It’s stable, it’s lipophilic, it does everything that Ascorbic Acid does (photoprotective, boosts collagen, evens out pigmentation), but it’s so much more stable. If you are into learning about the different forms of Vitamin C, Dr. Shereene Idriss has a great video.
I apply one pump of the Corrector into my palm, rub my palms together and then apply to my face, neck, and chest. This step is just after cleansing, toning, and applying my beloved True Botanicals Chebula Active Immunity Serum. It’s important to wait a few minutes to really let this product sink into your skin before applying your moisturizer and/or sunscreen.
Fleurs D’Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil
This is actually the first product from African Botanics that I ever used. I received the oil in a Boxwalla box and was taken aback by the scent and potency of this oil almost immediately. Described as a “restorative oil with retinol and powerful anti-aging actives,” Fleurs D’Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil is super concentrated and super active.
Harnessing the healing potency of Africa’s night-blooming Baobab flowers, alongside ‘The Queen of the Night’ – Jasmine Grandiflorum – hand-picked at dusk, this oil-serum is ideal for hormonal, mature or confused complexions; neutralizing the harmful effects of everyday exposure to pollutants and UV, while fortifying the skin barrier to boost resilience.
The distinct African oil complex forms a powerful essential fatty acid matrix to prevent and ‘undo’ existing signs of stress – from fine lines and wrinkles to blemishes, dark spots, redness, and loss of firmness. Skin is left luminous, with improved clarity, vitality, and strength. Extracts of Damask Rose, African Immortelle flower, and Rosehip seed oil possess cell regenerating properties while rejuvenating the skin.
Personally, this oil is next-level when used in conjunction with the Cell Recovery Serum OR the Retinal Night Cream. (Cell Recovery Serum or Retinal Night Cream first followed by the Recovery Oil.) The scent is very unique – very earthy with hints of Jasmine and it absorbs very well while still leaving the skin very supple. If I had to pick one, I’d go with my beloved Cell Recovery Serum, but if you can pony up for both products, you will not be disappointed. Worth every penny!
Nutritive Molecule Serum
I’ll be 100% honest here. I did NOT want to love this serum. At $250 a pop, I was sure I could find something just as effective for much less. But I had a bottle to try and…you know where this is going, right? I loved it.
It is an incredibly rejuvenating serum that makes my skin’s texture so clear and bright. My pores’ appearance was much improved after a week of using this every morning. The serum has 3 types of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, Tannic Acid, Niacinamide, Superoxide Dismutase, Resveratrol, Green Coffee, and Yeast. It’s non-toxic and lightweight and is incomparable at helping to combat damage due to age, urban pollution, and dryness.
The Vita C Corrector has taken this serum’s place for the time being, but it’s still a top serum in my book.
Le Masque Hydralift Intense
This is another product I learned about through Boxwalla and I love how firming this serum is! Here’s my special little face-firming routine using the serum that I do once a week or so.
Le Masque Hydralift Intense is an anti-aging hydro mask that improves skin firmness and facial contours with micro and mini Hyaluronic Acids, Aloe Ferox, Yeast beta-glucan, Saccharides, Resurrection Plant, and Mallow. Together with adaptogenic plants, this mask draws multi-level hydration, and helps fortify the skin’s barrier while feeding the skin at a deeper level. Can be used every day or occasionally to help lift, plump, soothe and revitalize.
Mineral Cleansing Mask
One of my top 5 masks across all brands, the Mineral Cleansing Mask is packed with cutting-edge plant stem cell biotechnology, niacinamide, lactic acid, essential minerals, and unique botanicals. This clay-based treatment has a light mousse-like texture and completely revitalizes dull, congested skin without irritation or dehydration. (No over-drying with this mask! My face feels comfortable throughout the entire process.) Specifically designed to help with pollution, skin congestion, redness, and uneven skin tone.
But wait! There’s more!
Pure Marula Oil
If you are looking for a powerful Antioxidant oil (and/or the Fleurs D’Afrique is too high of a price point), the Pure Marula Oil is fantastic. Now, I’ve used several Marula oils in the past (Drunk Elephant Marula Oil comes to mind immediately), but there is a reason this one is award-winning. It feels and smells so luxurious on the skin.
Ultra-lightweight yet very plumping and smoothing, it’s incredibly potent, antioxidant-rich, and neutralizes free radicals. Love that it’s super stable as well with the lightest molecular weight and the richest plant source of Oleic Acid (Omega 9).
So so good for reactive and/or sensitive skin. I don’t know any skin type that wouldn’t benefit from this oil. And the scent…don’t even get me started. It smells so good, I’m begging African Botanics to make a fragrance with the same notes. I may or may not use this as a hair oil as well. #multitasking
Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish
The Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish is a clarifying facial exfoliant that deeply exfoliates, lifts off dead skin cells, and purifies the epidermis to leave skin clean, soft, and radiant without causing irritation.
A unique combination of sun-dried aromatic Buchu plant and crushed Baobab fruit sourced from the southern tip of Africa are merged with healing Micro-Algae and fine granules of ancient volcanic minerals to visibly refine texture and soften the look of fine lines and dark spots by buffing away dull skin.
My skin always feels supple, smooth, and refreshed after using this exfoliant. Smells fruity which is great for a morning perk-up.
Firming Botanical Body Oil
Are you a body oil aficionado? This intensive rejuvenating skin treatment is completely delightful. Did you know that Marula oil is also incredible at firming the skin? Yep, the wild-harvested African Marula and Pinotage Grape Seed Oils in the Firming Botanical Body Oil are alllllll about firming and toning.
Light in texture, this cold-pressed oil provides corrective and preventative action against the main causes of loss of firmness: lack of elasticity, dryness, and sun damage. (Hello, I just described my legs.)
This oil is simply beautiful, absorbs quickly, and makes my gams look pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. And I realize scent is definitely a theme today, but once again, this smells amazing. Herbal, fresh, and a little sexy. *wink wink*