Small-batch, wild-crafted cosmetics are sprouting up globally, creating quite a stir in the beauty industry. Our latest find comes from Cheltenham & Hackney-based brand Liha, which draws its inspiration from the grooming traditions of the Yoruba, a people based in southwestern Nigeria and southern Benin.
The label was born bubbling on the kitchen stoves of its founders, Liha Okunniwa and Abi Oyepitan. The friends who met at university 15 years ago, embarked on divergent careers; Abi as a professional athlete and Liha setting up an art publishing business. Now they have joined forces to make a series of products based around cold-pressed coconut oil and shea butter.
The shea is ethically sourced from Ghana and Nigeria, and the choice of other ingredients stays true to the local tradition of using the best nature offers for beauty preparations, from nuts to tree bark and flowers. The Idan Oil (which translates as 'magic' oil) is an addictive fix-all preparation coconut oil infused with tuberose by a process called enfleurage. It melts into skin and hair shafts, leaving an exotically scented trail. We're hooked.