Beauty products from Namibian soil

Kiyomi means pure beauty in Japanese, perfectly reflecting the gentle command to “love thyself”.

25 September 2018 | Health

“I create products to help others feel and look good.” - Sandra Mwiihangele ( cosmetic chemist)

Henriette Lamprecht – Winning the Namibia National Expo Young Scientist competition at the tender age of 11 for developing lipstick using natural resources proved to be the spark to one day own her own cosmetic manufacturing business.

Years later cosmetic chemist Sandra Mwiihangele is the proud owner of Kiyomisandz, a cosmetic manufacturing company in Namibia with products ranging from exfoliating face and body scrubs, body lotions and butter, shower gels, and shampoos and conditioners.

Kiyomi, pronounced “kee-yo-mee”, means pure beauty in Japanese, perfectly reflecting the gentle command to “love thyself”. With the richly fragrant beauty products, drenched in moisture, the smells and anti-oxidants of heavenly fruits and native Namibian marula seed oil, it already found its well-deserved place among other beauty products around the world.

As a cosmetic chemist, Sandra explains her role in developing skincare and cosmetic products for topical use, assisting in maintaining good hygiene practices and effective beauty regimens.

Her cosmetic manufacturing company and profession is the culmination of a lifelong dream, she says proudly.

“It’s been a childhood dream to pursue my career in this profession and to build my company centered around this type of manufacturing industry.”

Sandra enrolled for a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, of which she still has to complete one final module.

While studying, Sandra began working at a cosmetic manufacturing laboratory in Cape Town, gaining analytical experience and knowledge in the art of cosmetic formulations, along with research and product development.

Her motto is to simply “love thyself”, which is also the slogan of her brand of products called the Summer Rain Collection.

“I create products to help others feel and look good, not just on the inside but on the outside – especially with regards to taking care of their skin.

“Our skin is our largest organ and it’s important to maintain and take care of this ‘natural human body suit’.”

The process of developing a product starts with research, Sandra explains. This is followed by stability testing.

“When the formulation is stable and ready, then we move on to manufacturing the product.”

Established in 2015 Sandra has huge dreams for Kiyomisandz.

“My hope and desire is for it to become an international cosmetic brand promoting Namibian innovation in the field of cosmetic chemistry and exporting products across all continents.”

The very first products she developed for Kiyomisandz were the exfoliating face and body scrubs, “soap-free and designed to effectively moisturize and smooth any dry skin”.

“I now have a wider range of products in the Summer Rain Collection consisting of shower gels, hand washes, body butters, body lotions and bubble baths.

“This collection is heavily rained with nutritious fruit extracts rich in anti-oxidants and native Namibian marula seed oil.”

With Namibia’s harsh climate and dry winters, shea butter, cocoa butter and sweet almond oil are just a few of the ingredients formulated into Sandra’s product range especially for dry skin.

She feels men are definitely more inclined to use beauty products today than before.

“Some of the consumers who buy the Summer Rain Collection are men who simply enjoy grooming. Men now take the time to exfoliate and moisturise using our scrubs and body butters.”

Sandra explains the products earmarked for men differ from those aimed at women.

“The scent and packaging of a product usually differ and I’m looking forward to releasing the Men’s Collection in a few months’ time.”

The ingredients sourced for her heavenly products are all from Africa, Sandra says.

“Our marula oil is sourced from the North and the rest of our various ingredients come from South Africa and West Africa.”

Only three years down the line, Kiyomisandz already has various accolades sharing and showcasing its products.

This includes the Namibian National Commission on Research, Science and Technology’s Grant Award under the Youth Innovation Call; the prestigious business Innovation Award from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) as well as becoming the first Namibian to be listed on Forbes Africa 30’s under 30 Class of 2017.

([email protected]; Facebook: Kiyomisandz Summer Rain)

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