Meet obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Karabo Tlale, who developed a unisex skincare range

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Dr Karabo Tlale
Dr Karabo Tlale
  • Dr Karabo Tlale, a practising obstetrician and gynaecologist, has recently launched a skincare business.
  • The idea came to her when she started noticing that her own skin was losing elasticity and becoming dry.
  • About three years ago, she took the plunge and started developing the unisex skincare range, using plant-based formula. 

The 10-step Korean skincare routine captivated many beauty enthusiasts but, not a lot of people will go through as many steps for body care which is actually just as important. 

Many of us have heard of dry brushing and hopefully have a regular exfoliating schedule, but a good body care routine goes beyond just a good scrub in the shower. 

If you have dry skin, the average body cream from the local store could still leave your skin dry and ashy. People who have mature skin may need to introduce extra nourishment to maintain how their skin holds up.

But, how do you know what ingredients to look for to serve your needs? Well, you don't need to search for the answer on Google because there's a doctor who knows just what your skin needs.

READ MORE | Do we still hate the word 'moist'? The meteoric rise of dewy-dumpling skin says 'no' 

Dr Karabo Tlale has the answers to skincare and tested her products herself as she developed them, after she started noticing changes in her own skin.

"My skin started showing signs of losing elasticity and, especially during winter, I struggle a lot with dryness. So, it was about trying to get something I felt would be designed for myself to try and care for my skin in a better way," she says. 

She soon realised that while helping herself, other people could benefit too.

The key ingredients in her products are cocoa butter, shea butter, avocado, capsicum (bell peppers) and collagen –"we're looking [at] using ingredients that are going to be good for moisturising the skin and also with anti-ageing properties". Other ingredients include sesame seed oil and rice bran oil, which help with hyper-pigmentation and toning.

READ MORE | Hyper-pigmentation still a leading skin concern among black women - but experts say it can be treated 

Capsicum, she says, helps with blood circulation and heat production.

"Especially for the winter season. You want heat-generating properties, you want blood circulation warming the body, warming the skin throughout."

Her body care line features a body butter, a body scrub, which will be followed by a firming gel to manage cellulite, a tissue oil and conditioning cream.

You may be wondering where gynaecology meets dermatology.

As a trained and practising gynaecologist, her interest in the dermis peaked in her 40s when she started noticing changes in her skin.

Although she didn't specialise in dermatology while pursuing her studies (the fact that she wouldn't be doing operations or going to theatre put her off the specialisation) her medical background bore some significance in her business because of her prior knowledge of human physiology 

On the business front, she empowered herself by doing some short courses.

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While managing the business, she is still practising as a gynaecologist.

"I've been in practice for the past 12 years and I'm still continuing," she says. "Once you've been trained as a doctor you get to be very active. You go on holiday. If it's two weeks long, by the second week you are jittery and you want to work. I sometimes say, even when you're on holiday, you feel like going to the nearest hospital to go and ask if you can assist in any way [laughs]."

However, she adds: "At my age, one would have to tone down. By age 55 I shouldn't be as active as I presently am."

READ MORE| Are concealer and foundation a man's new best friend? The rise of men wearing makeup as self-care

Her products are based on natural ingredients. "There's a lot of scare about cancers, chemicals … from what we are eating, what we are using on our bodies to try and make sure that we are not using any form of carcinogenic [substances], which are materials that would predispose you to getting cancers … We want to generate something everybody is going to be comfortable with and not get any problems or any scares about what they are using it, whether it's healthy for them or not," she says. 

In addition to having a plant-based formula, Dr Karabo says she and her team ensure that no animals are compromised during the development of the products.

And she is clear with her mission: "I'm looking at empowering and helping other people, not only ladies, because the products are unisex. So I'm [looking] at longevity, I'm looking at everyone being able to say they still have their confidence in themselves as they age."

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