Nicole Sherwin’s journey into skincare was a journey of healing and achieving balance. After overcoming heavy metal poisoning that caused skin problems, she is finally living in the light with her Eco Diva Natural skincare line.
“I come from a very unconventional background. My father was a very well-known homeopath, naturopath and acupuncturist, and advocated for natural plant-based living.
“And on my mother’s side, [they dealt with] pharmaceuticals. You know Ingram’s Camphor Cream? That was my grandfather who started that in his chemist shop. So, I have a very interesting understanding [of] balance,” Sherwin says.
The concept of balance is one that Sherwin refers to often. She explains that it is a lack of balance that pushed her to start the skincare range, and it is through balancing her health and well-being that she was able to bring the Eco Diva Natural concept to life.
“I was living in [Los Angeles] for about six years and got very, very sick. Part of that sickness [was that] I also developed hyperpigmentation, acne, and bursts of eczema and psoriasis. It was like my entire microbiome and my whole system was completely out of balance.”
After extensive testing, Sherwin discovered that she suffered from heavy metal poisoning, a condition that could have led to her death. “I was very, very ill and had to bring myself back to health and back into balance. I did it 100% naturally.”
Creating a brand
Sherwin explains that her journey back to health is really what the Eco Diva Natural brand is based on. After she returned to South Africa, she worked as a media personality, writing for multiple printed and online magazines. She also had a segment on the Expresso show, where she was a natural cosmetic chef. The name of her segment? Eco Diva.
“I demonstrated all sorts of different natural products. We made over 85 products on the show, and the viewers would often tweet and say ‘I’d love to try that body butter, but I don’t have time to make all the ingredients. Can I buy yours?’ I took the ten favourite recipes that I’d created to two different biochemists and the rest is history.”
Eco Diva Natural is a vegan brand, and Sherwin emphasises that the products are clean. For her, the definition of a “clean” brand is very important.
“When one says clean, it should mean vegan, cruelty-free, 100% natural, organic, kind to the environment, and containing absolutely 0 toxins or adverse toxic [elements] that many, many skincare and personal care products contain – which is how I got sick and got the heavy metal poisoning.”
All the products in the Eco Diva Natural range are made up of 100% natural ingredients and are all plant-based. Even the packaging is environmentally friendly.
“All our products are manufactured in an eco-certified and Soil Association best practices laboratory, and it’s all locally made in Cape Town. From the packaging to the ingredients to the boxes, [everything is] either glass or biodegradable or recycled plastic that can be upcycled.”
“I’ve also launched a new range under Eco Diva called [pH]RESH!, and [it] is spelled with a ‘pH’ because it’s all about balancing the skin pH.” [pH]RESH! was launched at Mr Price, one of the largest retailers in the country, as well as online, with TakeAlot and Superbalist.
Living naturally is hard to sell
One of Sherwin’s biggest challenges is getting the average South African to understand why they should choose natural products over the biggest, conventional brands.
“We’ve been running for seven years. The challenge is just getting people to understand how natural products work and [that] they work so much better than big conventional products that contain preservatives or sulfates or parabens or chemicals that don’t align with the skin’s molecular structure.”
Sherwin’s personal experience in healing her own skin and her own body is a testament to the power of natural living. She says she healed her own skin by fixing the pH balance and by consuming superfoods
“I take supplements and vitamins and minerals because I got so sick with the toxic poisoning that I had to support my immune system. And it works so incredibly well. I have energy. I’m back to vibrant health and I truly believe it’s because of the supplements I take, all plant-based and all-natural.”
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and it is an intelligent organ, says Sherwin. With the right nutrition, it heals itself every day. This is why, she says, they do not believe in skin types at Eco Diva. Their approach is more holistic, providing gut health suggestions, emotional health suggestions, and suggestions for mental health.
“Ensuring one’s stress levels are always kept to a minimum and you are being kind to yourself and others, that is what brings on health and a happier environment. That’s really what the ethos is about in so many different ways.”
Sherwin’s advice to aspiring agriprenuers is pretty simple:
Believe in yourself and your product
Plants are medicine, plants heal, and [when you use plants], you are doing the right thing. You are living in the light and you’re creating happiness, health and a kindness revolution.
Question everything because we’re being fed lots of misinformation. Find your own proofs and step into your own power.
Just go for it
Just go for it. We all have that capability. You just have to step into it and you just have to believe in yourself.
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