A Kenyan Breaks Into Global Beauty Market With Natural Oils


With the hectic life of a biochemist, Evelyne Nyairo just wanted skincare products that did not involve many application steps.

In addition, she says, she was tired of spending a lot of money on beauty products that did not leave up to expectations.

“I travel a lot and I am always busy, I wanted something that takes a short time to apply,” she says.

When she was in Chad, she came up with an idea of starting a skincare brand that is 100 per cent natural.

In 2015, she launched Ellie Bianca skin care line in Canada. She started with lip balms because she wanted something that would help her and other women who have a problem of dry or cracked lips.


“Many lip balms have petroleum based ingredients and mineral oils so I wanted something natural,’’ says the 38-year-old.

She came up with a naked lip balm that has no scent and one in peppermint. She then started producing body oils which she says are doing ‘‘extremely well’’ in Canada. Kenyans and other buyers globally can purchase them online or through a local distributor.

She has grown the product line and now has naked, lavender, rose, citrus, and their limited edition frankincense and myrrh body oils.

She also makes bath salts and a luxe spa exclusive collection that includes night serum and day cream, which are her best-sellers.

‘‘They contain 12 essential oils and vitamins that help with wrinkles and breakouts,” she says. She sources the unrefined raw butter and oils from different African countries.

The beauty entrepreneur adds that the products soak right inside the skin, making them ideal for people with oily skin. ‘‘Cell renewal does not happen on the top layer of the skin but on the second layer which is the dermis layer. So whatever you apply on your skin has to be something that can penetrate to the dermis,’’ she says, adding that young skin rejuvenates faster in about 28 days but as one ages, new cells are produced about 60 to 100 days.

Should women use creams or oils on the face?

“For me oils is a must-have,” says the Master of Science graduate, adding that when making creams, one needs about 60 per cent water. When water is introduced in skincare products, then preservatives, which are not 100 per cent natural, have to be added.

Creams also have emulsifiers which are not organic, to give them a creamy feel. “If the cream is not thick enough, a thickener, a stabiliser, citric acid must be added,” she says, adding that that is why most creams have a big paper attached to explain the many ingredients used to make them.

When she is making oils, she says, the only thing she has to worry about is oxidising.