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We have gone through a cold snap of late, the icy winter winds contrasted with the drying effects of central heating leaving skin feeling skin a bit distressed. Whether you are in a cold or hot climate, it is important to protect your skin as each season comes with its own set of challenges that can be harmful to exposed skin if you go not care for it properly. And with more of us shunning chemical laden products in favour of natural skin care ones it can be tricky to find natural products that are what they say they are. So had to share when I came across LIHA, a natural beauty brand made in Cheltenham and Hackney. The brand focuses on producing small batches of natural skin care products, inspired by the age old West African skin care tradition of making beautifying oils, soaps and lotions from the local nuts, tree bark and plants that grew in abundance; a skill that was traditionally learned by all young women.


[Main credit:  LIHA Skin Care collection]

LIHA was founded by friends Abi Oyepitan, a former Olympic athlete and Liha Okunniwa, who has an art publishing business. The duo became friends at university and as self confessed beauty junkies both had an interest in creating their own natural beauty skin care treatments using ingredients sourced from their kitchen cupboards, and over the years every time they met up would inevitably share the results with each other. Drawing on their Nigerian heritages they began working on a skin care product together sending it back forth between Cheltenham, where Liha lives and Hackney, where Abi lives and soon their overnight guests began to ask for the product that they would find in the bathroom cabinets. This gave the friends the push needed to start their own beauty skin care line, which comprises nourishing shea butter, soaps and oils.






[Image credit: Top, LIHA Collection; Bottom, Shea Butter – LIHA]

In keeping with Abi and Liha’s kitchen beauty philosophy LIHA’s beauty products are handmade. Raw wildcrafted shea butter a multi-purpose moisturiser for all skin types, which Abi and Liha refer to as ‘the ultimate African beauty secret’ for its protective and regenerative properties; and cold-pressed coconut oil, used for everything from facial oil to leave in hair conditioner, are sourced from Ghana and Nigeria and form the two key base ingredients used in LIHA’s natural formulations. In addition to shea butter and coconut oil, LIHA also offers a luxurious handmade black soap called Ose Gidi, which features Moringa powder, know to revitalise skin and roasted plantain skins.



[Image credit: This, That & The Third Gift Bag – LIHA]


LIHA is all about caring for your skin naturally, and we adore the gift set beautifully packaged in a woven pouch by luxury Ghanaian accessories brand, A A K S.


Additional details:

For further information about LIHA visit:


[Image credit: The images shown belong to LIHA. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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