When it comes to luxury beauty brands, far and few are made specifically with women of color in mind – until now. Epara Skincare is a luxury brand founded by Nigerian-born Ozohu Adoh and created for people with melanated skin.
The line consists of 10 high-quality skincare products ranging from eye serums to hydrating masks. All ingredients are organic and sourced from African soil to pamper, hydrate, and repair skin.
We sat down with Epara Skincare founder Ozohu Adoh and discussed how her quest to discover luxury skincare led to her customized brand. Here’s what she had to say:
What inspired the unique name of the brand?
Epara’s literal translation means to wrap around. I wanted the interaction with the brand to evoke the feeling of being wrapped and cocooned in luxury, from looking at the brand, touching the product to its smell and its efficacy.
What were some of the beauty rituals you saw or experienced growing up in Nigeria?
One key ritual that cut across all socio-economic backgrounds was the need to moisturize your whole body to avoid [dry] and ashy skin.
What inspired you to pursue a luxury skincare line?
As a user of [luxury] products, I wanted to create something that I would like to buy. It had to be well-considered and effective. So, with that comes the responsibility to ensure we are using the best materials in every aspect of the product. Invariably, you get a luxury product because of the level of care and attention to detail that has gone into creating it.
How did your studies at Oxford contribute to the creation of Epara?
It certainly opened my eyes to the fact that we can pursue a decent means of livelihood while still acting ethically. My greatest takeaway from Oxford is building a sustainable business.
“I wanted the interaction with the brand to evoke the feeling of being wrapped and cocooned in luxury.” – Ozohu Adoh
What are some of the key ingredients used in your products?
Our products use mostly African botanicals such as Marula, Moringa, Argan, and Neroli, amongst several others.
When did you realize there was a lack of luxury skincare lines curated for women of color?
When I started to invest in luxury skincare, I realized that my needs were not being met, neither in the formulation nor the marketing.
How do the skincare needs and concerns of darker skin tones differ from others?
Generally, we are all affected by the same problems, such as dryness or hyperpigmentation, but the difference is how these issues present in darker skin tones. The best way to describe these issues is by example; the scars or trauma to darker skin take longer to resolve.
Walk us through your skincare routine?
I keep it simple and dial the use of different products up or down depending on the season. A key staple is that I cleanse my face only once [at night] every day. In the morning, I only splash with warm water. I follow with either the Hydrating Mist or Hydrating Serum to correspond with summer/winter. Then I use the Brightening Night Balm or Balancing Face Oil. During the day, I use a moisturizer followed by an SPF in sunnier months/climates. And, I never fail to moisturize daily with our Comforting Body Cream.
If you had to choose one holy grail product from your line, which would it be, and why?
The Brightening Night Balm; due to its simple yet versatile appeal. It leaves my face so smooth and velvety to the touch.
What can we expect from Epara in the future?
A few skincare launches this year and a few ancillary products to extend the brand.