By Johanna Ferreira
London-based, Nigerian-born skin-care guru, Ozohu Adoh was struggling with her fair share of skin concerns before she decided to formulate her own products. “I had been suffering from a difficult to diagnose skin disorder and after several experimentations, found something that worked for me,” she tells Thirteen Lune. “But the key driver was that as a user of similar type skincare, I just couldn’t find something created nicely that worked for me. So, I decided to create Epara.”
Epara Skincare is a U.K-based luxury skincare line formulated with African botanical ingredients inspired by the concoctions Adoh was creating out of her kitchen. After noticing results and receiving numerous compliments, she started to notice that a lot of other Black women shared similar skin concerns to hers like hyperpigmentation. It was important for her to not only create products that worked and prioritized melanated skin, but that also provide a sense of luxury and prestige that Black women also deserve.
The word Epara means “to cocoon” in the Nigerian dialect of Ebira, which also serves as the brand’s mission. Adoh wants women who use Epara to take time to “cocoon” or wrap themselves in luxury. The products are designed to provide hydration and improve hyperpigmentation. The brand’s Brightening Night Balm is formulated with moringa oil, argan oil, aloe vera, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and plankton extract to help even skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation, while also providing an ultra-rich and luxurious splash of moisture.
Even the packaging for Epara Skincare is luxe and won the Luxury Packaging Awards in 2017. Adoh wants women to know the days of luxury skincare products not meeting melanted skin needs are long gone. These products are made for women of color by women of color.
Get to Know – Ozohu Adoh
Do You Have a Beauty Philosophy?
Not sure I have one but the closet will be to simplify your process. That way you can identify easily what each product that goes on your skin actually contributes to the well-being of your skin.
Where are you from originally?
I am Nigerian and live in the United Kingdom.
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up? What are some early beauty influences?
My biggest beauty influence was my mum. She instilled in us the need to moisturize our skin thoroughly. So, the care of skin has always been non-negotiable all my life.
What does self-care look like in your life?
The pace of life can be truly frenetic and as such, I am keen to retreat for little slices of time into silence or quiet. So, I am most happy when I can have some moments of peace in the day. My skin and body is healthy and I can dedicate a few hours to reading.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
I am so pleased with the courage and ambition of so many young women these days. And I am most pleased that they are not taking shortcuts but trying to introduce into the market very decent offerings that indicate respect for their customers.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
There have been quite a few but surprisingly, the biggest has been having substantial distribution. But we are overcoming that now.
What has been the biggest win thus far?
Each time I am able to occupy spaces that previously seem out of reach. Not really because it means so much to me but that it shows so many people that all things are possible.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
The ability for smaller brands to scale whilst feeling supported by their partners.