There’s a new Ghanaian brand which combines both ultra-luxurious indigenous ingredients and ethical and clean credentials. R&R Luxury is the brainchild of dynamic Ghanaian entrepreneur Valerie Obaze and named after her daughter Rebecca Rose. Its boasts the most incredible 100% natural Shea Butter Oil formulations which are super indulgent and nourishing for the skin, it is also a clean, vegan and ethical brand. I talked to Valerie about her experience of creating the brand.
What has been your proudest moment with making and launching the range?
I would say that it is not so much a moment but more the journey and growth that the R&R Luxury brand has had. We’ve seen our team grow from 2 to 25, creating employment in a continent that has a booming youth population along with high unemployment rates. We’re very proud to be able to give back and provide support to the community around us.On a personal note, my brand has a really strong family connection as it is named after my daughter, Rebecca Rose, so it makes me very proud to be able to teach my daughters that they can be whoever they want to be: they too can also be entrepreneurs, there is no glass ceiling and that there is no need for limiting beliefs – they can do anything they wish to accomplish.
How have the communities thrived since you have been helping and supporting them?
Our main ingredient is shea butter which is processed by a women’s co-operative in Ghana. Our manufacturer provides the co-operative societies with loans, credit facilities and quality control expertise. This initiative has, in the medium term, alleviated poverty amongst rural women in Ghana and in the long term provided employment opportunities for rural women and young people.
This year we began construction on our own processing centre that will employ 50 rural women, where we will be paying them above the national average, meaning they can get out of the poverty trap and begin to have savings, enabling them to empower the next generation. We will be implementing quality and health & safety training so that the women can earn more for their produce and keep themselves safe whilst carrying out their duties.
What products do you love to use yourself?
For daily cleansing I use R&R Luxury Liquid Black Soap followed by the R&R Luxury Baobab Oil, as my daily moisturiser, and then I layer the Neostrata Skin Active Matrix Support SPF 30 on top. In the evening I prefer to remove my make up with a micellar water followed by the Pixie Glow Tonic which is amazing for removing any last bits of make-up. I like to follow this with the Retinol Serum from The Inkey List which is my go-to for plumping and smoothing my skin – I’m a firm believer in retinols! For all over body moisture I use the R&R Shea Oil – I grab whichever scent is available in the bathroom – it’s super popular in my household.
Before you started your own range what did you use as skincare?
I’ve always been interested in products with simple ingredients, but in my 20s I didn’t have a skincare favourite, it was whichever product was on offer at my local supermarket. It was following the birth of my first child that I started to pay more attention to the products that I used on myself and my daughter, so I started looking into more clean beauty products as I wanted only natural goodness for us both.
What are the most nourishing ingredients you can feed your skin through diet that can complement using your skincare?
It’s an oldie but a goodie – hydration! You really can’t underestimate the importance of hydration when it comes to your skin, so start from the inside out and drink a lot of water – I’m constantly drinking water throughout the day.
Are you working on new products?
We are indeed but we’re keeping them top secret for now – watch this space!
What do you love most about creating a range of skincare, best perks?
Skincare products on tap! But seriously, it’s amazing to be able to give back to the local community, empowering women and providing them with better lives. It’s also great to be able to help people improve their skin – we always love to hear how our products have helped someone and boosted their self-confidence.
Personal items that you love to travel with and can’t leave home without.
Beauty wise, I always have my travel size Shea Oil, Liquid Black Soap – I love the one in the men’s collection as it has lemongrass essential oil, and my Lip Butter but I also travel everywhere with my iPad – it’s my work, it’s my books and my music all in one place.