Omosefe is the creator of Noshaba Apothecary, a botanical-heavy natural skincare line that offers farm-to-face serums & toners. The brand is rooted in traditional African herbalism, leaning into intuition and ancient lineages to formulate potent & powerful products. We sat down with Omosefe to talk a bit about her work, her experience as a woman of colour in the natural skincare space, and how sustainability plays a role in her formulation.
Tell us about yourself and your brand, Noshaba Apothecary.
Hi! I’m Omosefe, creative hands behind Noshaba Apothecary. I’ve spent over 10 years experimenting, testing, developing, failing and spending an immense amount of time expressing gratitude for all the blessings in my life. I had the most incredible opportunity to travel all over the globe and wanted to tell my experience through herbal skincare. Traveling to Marrakech, Morocco was what truly inspired the creation of Noshaba along with adventuring, sourcing, studying, and spending time with the most incredible nomad. I believe beauty grows from within and more focus needs to be on skin health and overall wellness rather than illusion; this is why I created handcrafted & hand harvested herbal skin remedies that are created to work for YOU.
What does Noshaba mean?
Water of Life, in Arabic.
Noshaba boasts farm to face skincare. Can you tell us a bit about what that means and what that looks like?
Farm to face skincare represents the relationship between plants and natural skincare and brings awareness to the difficult work farmers and harvesters do all over the world in order for me to create products that carry some of the most potent botanicals there is. It represents the hours I spend in my garden trying to grow African marigolds, herbs and other florals that I incorporate into my formulations. There’s also an aspect of awareness that takes place with farm to face skincare because just as with crops, we tend to select the best producer, harvest those seeds, and then re-plant to receive the same plant in abundance. With curating botanical-heavy remedies, I put an immense effort in getting the best quality because that’s what my clients deserve. I have to be aware of that and aware of where these herbs, oils, extracts, spices, florals, honeys are coming from.
Natural skincare is picking up steam as the preferred beauty alternative among many folks. What led you to natural skincare? What has your experience been as a woman of colour in the natural beauty space?
From a very young age, I was drawn towards natural skincare, not as heavily as now but, I remember days when I would sip on vanilla chai tea with a friend after school while we sat in our honey masks. It’s always been apart of my life and especially being Nigerian, black soap, cacao butter and shea butter were essentials in the household.
My experience as an African in the natural beauty space has honestly been a mixture of excitement since I feel as though that I have so much to offer but also exhausting because the exploitation of Africa’s natural resources is such a regular thing. I mean, yes, let’s share these incredible gifts from nature, the hard-working village women, and the men climbing dangerously high to harvest fruit from Açai trees, but would it hurt to highlight that? There needs to be appreciation and celebration of nature as well as the people that play a huge part for creators like myself, to provide natural skincare.
Herbal medicine and working with plants is deeply embedded in African culture. Has working with plants through Noshaba allowed you to connect deeper to your ancestry & honour your lineages?
Definitely. There is this calmness that I get whenever I’m planting or foraging. Maybe it’s just my body responding to what it is naturally inclined to. I am definitely more vigorous with sourcing and making sure that I am supporting direct sources as much as possible. I now realize that herbals are beyond just healing myself or a study — community is the center of herbalism and its of that Cacao Butter or those Bitter Leaves.
On harvest days, when cultivating the plants for your products, are there any rituals you abide by?
There’s nothing in particular that I do, other than just taking it slowly and harvesting quality. If I plant sage or basil, and it doesn’t preform well, I simply don’t harvest it for skincare. Of course I would love to grow everything that goes into my products but I also know that nature is in control so, if I can’t grow that particular plant, I’ll find a source that I can support and include their abundance. It’s a very super connected cycle.
How does sustainability play a role in your business? How do you honour the planet through your formulations?
Creating formulations using solely what comes from nature is how I am able to honor both the earth and sustainability. I feel that people are excluded from sustainability and what I mean by that is when we talk about plastic bottles, we never think about that the man or woman in Nigeria that owns a water bottle company. We also never think about economic cycles being a form of sustainability which is also something that can create or take away a persons livelihood. With Noshaba, my goal was to exemplify sustainability in an uncommon way to express how it could actually benefit people economically thus creating less waste and leaning in towards nature. I am also pairing up with Sable of Beautyscapes to create this economical, sustainable ecosystem that will directly impact African and Indigenous artisans all over the globe. I believe that this also another way to honor the earth, starting with its people.
What does living earthy mean for you?
Living earthy is living with less, because nature has so much more.