Fresh skin for spring

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A local men’s skincare range is rewriting the script for a man’s grooming regime. Lesley Mofokeng finds out more about Michael Mikiala from Tsakani Mashaba, the founder of the beauty products

What does Michael Mikiala Men have to offer?

We have 12 products that offer skincare solutions for black men who suffer from razor bumps, oily skin and pigmentation spots caused by acne, sun damage and incorrect shaving.

What about mature skins and problem skins?

We cater for every skin type and all ages. Our key ingredients include African shea butter, which prevents premature ageing, and aloe, which moisturises and prevents dehydration.

What’s the must-have for spring?

The sensitive moisturiser to restore and rejuvenate skin and bring out your natural glow and complexion without looking greasy.

What’s the story of the brand?

There are two factors that were key drivers behind the creation of Michael Mikiala Men. The first was to fill the gap in the market that was clearly underserved. The second was to create an African brand that could compete with global players. The range is inspired by the ambition for the true realisation of the African agenda.

How long did it take to create the range?

It took about two years of research and development and spending lots of time in the lab with the help of one of the greatest professors in the country. When we launched in 2010, we were only available in salons, now we’re at selected Edgars stores nationwide.

What sets you apart from other products in the market?

We have a clear focus: to create products in Africa for Africans. We take into consideration the local climate and environment, skin concerns, safety and product efficacy.

What do South African men need in terms of grooming products?

The big concern for African men is razor bumps. Although men have been grooming for decades, they’ve always been exposed to aggressive products and have doubts about solutions being available to solve their concerns. Since our launch, we’ve seen African men move away from using superficial and aggressive solutions such as methylated spirits and alcohol aftershaves to a more problem-focused treatment.

Black South African men always complain about ingrown hairs, do you have the magic formula?

Our bump lotion and face scrub are the best products for this. It is by far the best product in the market to help with razor bumps.

Is the malegrooming market growing in SA?

Young, black, male consumers are the biggest drivers of growth. Primary research indicates that black men have become more conscious and discerning about their skincare and grooming products.

This market segment is underserved and there was a need to be fulfilled as about 90% of male skincare brands on retail shelves offer black consumers generic products mostly formulated for Caucasian skins, although the product offering of global brands is starting to be focused towards the black consumer.

At present, in department stores, there are no ‘safe spaces’ for men to enquire, treat and buy skin ranges without feeling intimidated.

Michael Mikiala Men believes educating the market and using its unique position as the first entrant in the sector specifically for black males will drive its future revenue growth.

Who buys your products?

Our client is the modern, Afro-revolutionary (proudly African), edgy and innovative guy who is aware of the importance of grooming and taking care of his skin.

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