Welcome to Skin by SOGO

African traditional healing practices are beliefs that existed long before the development and spread of modern medicine. These practices vary widely between different African countries, which essentially became a part of African country’s social and cultural heritage and traditions. Our African ancestors were healers and their approach was simple and straightforward. They understood and utilized the power of nature, plants, and foods. This is not to invalidate modern medicine but to say African traditional healing serves a purpose and has been doing so for centuries. 

As a child of Guinean immigrants, I have grown to appreciate and celebrate the culture, traditions, and history. My dad constantly spoke of the simplicity of life in Africa. The ability to climb the tees when hungry. Collecting rain for household purposes. He spoke of our family history as religious leaders while my mom cooked African meals, incorporating African spices and herbs. Until I became  a young adult did I understand how my ancestors were embedded in the food I ate, the traditional clothes I wore for holidays, the Guinea-dialect I spoke, and the habits I acquired. 

For years, shea butter was the constant, physical ingredient from Africa that would make its way into our home every December. A constant piece of the motherland. And every year, we utilized shea butter in our food, hair, and most importantly on our skin. You had a cold, eat some pepper soup and rub your feet and chest with shea butter. You had dry hair, use shea butter as a conditioner. You had a rash, blend shea butter with herbs and rub it into your skin. Knowing the importance of shea butter now and understanding how a single ingredient has been used for centuries, not only by my grandparents but by our African ancestors. I feel it’s crucial to share its benefits and healing powers with others. 

The birth of Skin by SOGO is embedded in three major philosophies- empowering women in all of our process, embodying our ancestor’s simplistic approach to beauty, and celebrating one’s individuality. When we talk about healing, we’re also referring to one taking the time to heal themselves, not only through herbs, plants, and traditional medicines, but self-healing. Taking out the time to love on yourself, finding your center, and celebrating your individuality. Our products are a representation of our ancestors, our cultures and traditions, and most importantly our individualism.  

Shea butter encompasses many things for me. It represents one’s healing process through skincare. It represents economic freedom for women shea butter producers. Shea butter is known in Africa as the women’s gold. And for that reason, shea butter provides those women a financial freedom and autonomy. Shea butter encapsulates an experience of evolution and celebration.. Shea butter- a simple ingredient with an abundant amount of value.