Founder and CEO of Skin Gourmet
Look on the back of any skincare product, and you will likely find a label showing dozens of ingredients that most people don’t know and can’t pronounce. Most are not edible. One Ghanaian entrepreneur wants to change that: she’s developed a line of products from traditional West African ingredients – think shea butter and baobab oil – that are literally ‘good enough to eat’.
Violet Amobeng is the founder and CEO of skincare company Skin Gourmet, which prides itself on its social and environmental ethos. “Our philosophy is ‘people over profit’,” she says, “because without people there would be no profit, so preserving their environment and health is the best way to sustain profitability.”
The USD 278 billion beauty industry can leave an ugly environmental impact. Chemicals used commonly in sunscreens can harm corals; ingredients such as palm oil are often linked to land degradation. Billions of cosmetic products sold each year are packaged in plastic, much of which ends up discarded as waste.
Amoabeng says that Skin Gourmet aims to boost African economic growth and create decent jobs, and that its ingredients are sourced sustainably. The handmade products are sold in recyclable packaging, and customers are given discounts for returning containers for refills. In 2021, Amoabeng was among the top ten finalists of the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa’s Business Heroes competition.
“Beauty is not just about you. When something is beautiful, it is because it impacts others in a way that is positive and enjoyable,” says Amoabeng. “The beauty industry must reflect that – beauty must go beyond the product.”