Ghana and its West African neighbours have abundant natural resources suitable for the cosmetics and beauty industry, and a growing middle class and the increasing awareness of the benefits of cosmetics made of natural resources complete the economic argument for this blessing.
Fast growing Ghanaian cosmetics and beauty products maker, Solution Oasis, known for its Beauty Secrets range of black soap, shea and cocoa butter products, is once again blazing the trail in using natural ingredients to create a new range of locally manufactured cosmetics and beauty products.
With support from United Kingdom-based Organic Monitor, Solution Oasis has developed prototypes of beauty and cosmetic products that are currently undergoing testing and fine-tuning for their introduction to the Ghanaian, West African and the international markets later this year.
The Chief Executive of Solution Oasis, Ms Francesca Brenda Opoku, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS at the companys factory premises at Haatso in Accra on April 30 that the new line of products was natural and luxury-ranged with incredible properties that nourished and refreshed the skin, as well as enhanced the outlook of users.
The product range
The products include cocoa-rejuvenating mask, facial serum made with luxury African oils, skin-brightening products which because of their natural ingredients are not harsh to the body, shower gels, shampoos and a mint-body wash which can be used on the body and face.
There is also the orange facial scrub which uses African raw materials and natural pearl powder, as well as lip balms, all made with ingredients sourced locally or from other parts of Africa.
We are focusing on Africa and looking to the local, regional and international markets. We will be looking at the spa market as well. A lot will be used in spas in Ghana, West Africa, East and Southern Africa, she said.
Training and support
The products were developed after a two-week training, Skills Upgrading in Natural Cosmetic Chemistry, facilitated by Organic Monitor, a specialist research, consulting and training firm that focuses on global sustainable product industries.
For the physical delivery of the consulting service, Organic Monitor also engaged Sapphire Natural Beauty, a consulting firm with specialty in natural cosmetics and beauty products.
The training programme, which would be conducted continuously over a medium-term period, took place through the support of the Government of Ghanas Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET) and the Skills Development Fund (SDF).
The initiatives are financed by development partners such as the World Bank and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
These are totally natural products not to whiten but to brighten the skin colour of users, the Technical Consultant of Sapphire Natural Beauty, Mr Joseph Hunwick, said.
A total of 17 factory staff members of Oasis Solutions participated in the training and were guided by the consultant in the development of the new line of products.
According to the consultant, the knowledge transfer will enable Solution Oasis to add value to products it is already making and for them to use the skills in the future to formulate their own products which will be up to international standards.
More importantly, the training is to enable the Ghanaian small business to set up a laboratory, eventually, to train their people and others on the African continent to develop their own products.
This is just the beginning of the programme and the future is very bright. We are hopeful to see the emergence of high quality, luxury, natural African best products coming from Oasis studio and from West African in general, Mr Hunwick said.
He said his company and Organic Monitor were forcefully spreading the word that raw materials and natural treasures from Africa were the way to go.
Building the value chain
For Francesca, whose Beauty Secret creations are instant sellouts in almost every market the products are exhibited, the training opportunity falls in line with her dreams and aspirations.
For the company, it means a lot, as we have a new line coming up.
This is based on feedback from the market.
This also means that we are growing the company and we will hire more people and buy more from the cherished women from the villages where we source our raw materials from, Ms Opoku said.
She expressed the hope that the workshop being a trainer of trainees one, other young people from Ghana and the sub-region who were into something similar could also benefit from the studio and the knowledge and skills from Ghana.
This I will not see as a competition; I will see it from the need to give the industry a good image so that people will be flowing to Ghana to look for high quality natural skin care products, Mrs Francisca said.
Source: Graphic Online
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