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The Science Behind Ghana’s Premium Organic Beauty Brand

Peini, the family run socially conscious cosmetic brand based in Ghana is the brainchild of chemical engineer and social entrepreneur, Yaw Adu Gyamfi Poku. Poku’s background as an engineer, experience working in Oil & Fats manufacturing, extraction and refining as well as his personal research and development of naturally sourced oils from agro products indigenous to Ghana and West Africa including shea butter, coconut, palm kernel, groundnut, and baobab led to the founding of Peini in 2012.

The 100% organic, paraben and toxin-free Peini collection consists of products for skin and hair including Shea Butter Hand Cream, Shea Butter Body Conditioner, Shea Butter Black Soap Shower Gel, Hair & Scalp Conditioning Spray, Insect Repellant, Face Wash, Anti-Bacterial Hand Wash, and Raw Shea Butter formulated with essential oils and natural edible vitamin A, E, F, and K rich ingredients. Peini’s high standards for both product and functional packaging are a key brand differentiator in the local and international market for a “Made in Ghana” brand.

“Because of the quality of our products and especially our packaging, many people simply can’t believe that Peini is made in Africa, by a Ghanaian owned company. My goal is to truly represent the richness of Africa-- our products, traditions and culture with Peini and make Africans proud,” says Poku who works with a design team to produce the Peini packaging that is inspired by the colors of shea at various stages of processing and adorned with gold accents and “Adinkra” symbols (traditional visual symbols similar to hieroglyphics, originally created by the Ashanti people that represent concepts or aphorisms).

“There are several aspects of processing that must be adjusted when manufacturing cosmetics for a tropical climate. In the early stages of the company, I set up a small pilot plant where I conducted research on local products using technology to formulate and improve traditional methods of oil and fat extraction to increase yield and improve quality. I also focused on developing a preservative system and the appropriate olein to fat content necessary to improve stability of products used for cosmetic use,” adds Poku who was encouraged to launch Peini as an alternative to attending business school, by his father, Kwasi Poku also a chemical engineer with extensive international experience working with organizations such as Proctor & Gamble, Tyson Foods, The World Bank , The Liberian Ministry of Agriculture, and former Ghanaian President Kufuor’s Special Initiative on Oil Palm.

“We believe the cosmetic industry is just beginning to see the full efficacy of shea. “Peini”, means gift in Dagbani the language of the Dagomba tribe in Northern Ghana where shea is cultivated. The people there consider shea a gift due to its multiple healing purposes. It is used as relief from the severe Harmattan weather which leaves the skin, cold, dry, and chapped, as well as for burn and scar therapy, as a liniment, sinus relief, and mixed with herbs to repel insects. We will continue to explore advancing the processing and usage and ultimately the economic value of shea and other agro-products indigenous to Ghana,” says Yaa Safoa Ayisi, Yaw’s sister and former corporate attorney who co-runs Peini and handles managing the marketing and distribution for the brand which also provides bespoke white label production for local medical, dermatology and beauty companies.

Peini’s commitment to community, income improvements and social inclusion in Ghana include partnering with farmers in the Western and Northern Regions of Ghana, procuring and sourcing ingredients from socially conscious sources and working with widows, orphans and subsistence women farmers to extend the local value chain and provide sustainable markets for local output. 

Peini is currently sold in major retail outlets in Ghana as well as in the US, Canada and UK.

For more info visit:
Twitter & Instagram: @peiniskincare

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Comment by LeShelle, host of MinorityReport on March 9, 2017 at 4:31pm

I blog about Black owned businesses in the US. I would love to review products from Africa.

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