- Media personality, actress, and Greenpeace Ocean Ambassador, Amanda du-Pont recently announced the launch of her new business venture - lelive - a South African produced skincare range.
- Made of 95% natural ingredients, this product range comes at a time when sustainable, clean beauty continues to gain momentum.
- The skincare range is vegan, cruelty-free and dermatologist-approved, and is designed to be inclusive of all skin types and genders.
- We caught up with Amanda du-Pont to chat about the process, the ingredients, and her top picks from the range.
Suki Suki Naturals, Corium Skincare, SKOON., Chick Cosmetics, and Swiitch Beauty are now joined by lelive in the category of 'made in Africa' cosmetics lines.
Pronounced "leh-lee-veh", lelive’s name was inspired by Amanda's unofficial Swazi name meaning 'of the nation or world'.
“In the development of this range, we worked hard to produce a product that is top-quality at an affordable price - because everyone deserves to have great skin. We were looking for a brand and product that was clean, simple and effective, whilst staying true to what makes Africa truly unique,” says Amanda du-Pont, lelive CEO.
READ MORE: The A-Beauty genre can't credit a single African culture or brand, but we can thank its foremothers
The actress enlisted the help of her substantial social media following in 2020 during the development of the product; “I invited feedback from South Africans of all backgrounds on everything to do with the range, from the packaging to what type of ingredients they would like to see in the products,” says Amanda.
Image supplied by Republic PR
All ingredients for the lelive range are locally sourced and sustainably packaged with recyclable aluminium.
The full range consists of:
• Cleaner Colada: Coconut and pineapple African Oil Cleanser
• Jelly Splash: Rooibos and Aloe Jelly Cleanser
• All Glow’d Up: Vitamin C, Tumeric and HA Brightening serum
READ MORE: Revealing 7 truths about hyaluronic acid - plus, 3 must-have skin products containing this magic ingredient
• SOS: Peach and Aloe AHA/BHA Exfoliator
• Creme de la cream: African Mahogany Everyday Moisturiser
• The du-Pont: Shea Butter Lush Moisturizer
• All The Shade: Marula Tinted Spf 30 Moisturiser The range is available to purchase as www.leliveafrica.com or via Superbalist. Prices range from R259 to R329.
Image supplied by Republic PR
When lelive launched, we caught up with Amanda du-Pont to chat about the process, the ingredients, and her top picks from the range:
You’re a multi-skilled person who’s also done fashion before. Was it always a natural progression for you to venture into skincare as well?
It's my first time creating a skincare range, but my journey into natural products started with my hair and slowly infiltrated into [interrogating] everything I put into my body, including what I eat. So yes, skincare was a natural progression and is something I'm really passionate about because when we started, there wasn't a brand out there that was giving me - and the community that we built on social media - were wanting, so the only option was to do it ourselves.
Why is it important to you that the range is sustainable and locally produced?
As a Greenpeace Ocean Ambassador, creating a brand that was kind to the planet was a non-negotiable. We did a lot of research and found that aluminum packaging was a lot better than plastic (which is mostly used by other skincare brands), but before we made this decision we put it to a vote with our audience and they agreed that this was the material that we needed to use.
For our SPF, we were committed to making a mineral SPF that wouldn’t harm the oceans and after a lot of trial and error we finally found a formula that was not only kind to the planet but also felt and looked great on the skin. When it came to our ingredients, we’re are proudly African so having those local heroes shine through in every single product in our range was really important to us and is a major point of differentiation from a lot of our competitors.
What are your favourite natural ingredients used in the products?
Aloe is an ingredient that I personally have been using since I was a child when my mom used it to stop breastfeeding – so it’s really close to my heart. It has so many uses and is one of the ingredients that we used across multiple products in the range.
READ MORE: Ingestible beauty is the guilt-free, grocery-saving way of eating your face off to good skin
How collaborative was the process of product inception?
We used social media to survey our community and get feedback; a lot of which was done on Instagram using my audience and lelive’s audience which received hundreds of responses of every questions we asked. We also did smaller, more targeted and in-depth surveys with people who knew about skincare and were willing to share their thoughts.
So, everything from the ingredients to the concerns we’re targeting, the our values and packaging was all vetted by them.
Any challenges faced before product launch?
The biggest challenge was being uncompromising on quality and having the end product be truly the best product any of us had ever used – and we’ve used a lot of skincare! We didn’t settle for anything less than perfection.
Image supplied by Republic PR
Beyond individual skincare concerns, what kind of South Africans/Africans are you hoping to attract to your skincare range?
While the entire range has been created with the help of an African community on social media, we worked hard to make it work for everyone. We also worked hard to make sure that we gave people the quality they deserve at prices they can afford, because great skincare shouldn't only be for people who have lots of money.
Our typical customer is one that is clued up on the latest ingredients, what’s good for their skin, and who wants the same things as us – clean, cruelty-free, vegan, dermatologist-approved skincare that works, and that also looks great!
Image supplied by Republic PR
What’s your favourite product in the range?
My favourite products have to be the moisturisers – that’s why I even named one of them after me!
From the jump, I completely fell in love with them and knew that they would become bestsellers because they were truly on par with some of the most expensive and well-known brands internationally that I’ve also used over the years.
What’s does your self-care routine entail? And how will you be incorporating lelive into it?
Pray, rest, eat healthy.
I only use lelive for all my skincare needs – but in particular, I use the du-pont from lelive. It’s the perfect overnight hydration mask.
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the 4 ingredients your skincare routine can't do without
Our first impressions
I'm particularly impressed by the aluminium packaging and its minimalist, fuss-free, understated design elements. Similar to Rihanna's Fenty Skin, lelive is aboard the 'less is more' train with the likes of The Ordinary, Glossier, Byredo, Dermalogica and Alex Carro. The product packaging steers clear of visual clutter, while also managing to prioritise awareness of key ingredients, product purpose, and how to use each one.
The outer box casing offers more information, including what Amanda loves about each product and the lelive brand story. My only critique is that these boxes are not durable enough to hold the weight of the aluminium-packaged cleansers. Of course, this would only be a grievance if you're part of the small circle of people who like to keep their cosmetics in their boxes.
From this range, I've been using the Creme de la cream: African Mahogany Everyday Moisturiser for about a month. The consistency is creamy and massages well into my face.
Shop it for R259 here
As someone whose skin is relatively unproblematic, I haven't noticed any drastic improvements or adverse reactions, so I'll continue using it.
However, if you're someone with sensitive skin, it may concern you that the products are fragranced.
Should I worry about fragrance in my skincare products?
Leading international professional skincare brand, Paula's Choice explains best as follows;
"The way most fragrance ingredients impart scent is through a volatile reaction. Unfortunately, this natural reaction almost always causes a sensitising reaction on skin. In fact, research has established that fragrances in skincare products are among the most common cause of sensitising and other negative skin reactions. And this is true for all skin types, not just those with sensitive or redness-prone skin."
"You might very well be thinking that because your skin doesn't show signs of being bothered or aggravated by the fragranced products you’re using, then it must not be a problem that applies to you. We wish that were true but it’s still a serious concern because skin is very good at hiding when it’s being aggravated. You might not see the damage on skin’s surface, but it can be silently occurring every day, causing minor problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term."
Paula's Choice further notes that it's not always possible to decipher with your naked nose when a product has been artificially scented, saying "the product may have no aroma because the fragrance is included to mask the odour of the real skincare ingredients which don’t smell agreeable. Ironically, the fragrance is added so the product has no discernable scent."
They also add that "many beneficial skincare ingredients (antioxidants, for example) have a natural fragrance, and some of them even smell great."
Distinguishing potent antioxidants that defend skin from the environment from those that are simply added to make you "shop with your nose" is therefore not easy.
Shop our lelive top picks
All Glow’d Up: Vitamin C, Tumeric and HA Brightening serum, R299
Jelly Splash: Rooibos and Aloe Jelly Cleanser, R329
Alternatively, you can just shop the entire range:
7-piece set, currently R1642.40
Additional information and images supplied by Republic PR
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