Finds, Faves and Fails: African Extracts Hand Cream SPF15

I’m outraged that South Africans live under a giant hole in the ozone, we wash our hands a lot but it's almost impossible to find an affordable, high-quality hand cream that contains sunscreen?

I’ve set myself a challenge to find one for you and I’ll share with you what I’ve found.

African Extracts Hand and Nail Cream


Rating (out of five)



  • Rash
  • Ingredients are meh
  • Didn’t feel great

Claim And Performance

Rating (out of five) ⭐️

To nourish hands and promote strong, healthy nails while leaving my hands feeling silky, smooth, protected and hydrated.

Nourished? No

Strong Healthy Nails: No Change

Silky, Smooth, Protected and Hydrated: No

Other: Slight Rash

Ingredients and Science

Rating (out of five) ⭐️⭐️

The ingredients are mostly antioxidants with an anti-inflammatory ingredient and a UVB filter (not UVA).

You can see the full breakdown here


Rating (out of five) ⭐️⭐️

The packaging is indisputably pretty. BUT…

The tube comes inside a box – more junk to dispose of.

The ingredients are on the box, not the tube so it’s difficult to establish the contents after disposing of the box.

How To Use / How I Used It

Rating (out of five) ⭐️

African Extracts recommend applying this cream daily. With an SPF of 15 and frequent hand washing, this is a non-starter.

Sun is the biggest concern for skin damage, so I recommend reapplying it after every hand wash.


Rating (out of five) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s highly fragranced. I quite liked the smell but I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive skin.


Rating (out of five) ⭐️

+/- R60


Rating (out of five) ⭐️

I bought mine at Dischem but it seems to have disappeared from their website.


Rating (out of five) ⭐️⭐️

This was a big fail for me.

  • Gave me a rash
  • Ingredients are meh
  • Didn’t feel great

Ingredients and Science Details

Bio-Active Rooibos

Ingredient: Bio-Active Rooibos

Claim: Anti-oxidant

Science: The primary bioactive constituents of bio-active rooibos are aspalathin and nothofagin. There are limited studies on the efficacy of these ingredients and their ability to scavenge free-radicals on the skin.

A 1997 study compared aspalathin and other antioxidants. The results were that these ingredients are better than some other anti-oxidant and worse than others.

Milk Thistle

Ingredient: Milk Thistle

Claim: Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory

Science: The anti-inflammatory properties were demonstrated in a 2015 study of mice.

 The anti-oxidant properties were demonstrated in a 2013 lab test.

A lab test means that human cells were used in a lab setting (i.e. a petri-dish), not on actual people

Vitamin A

Ingredient: Vitamin A

Claim: Increases skin cell turn over beneficial in both anti-ageing and acne treatments.


Vitamin A aka Retinol, Retinoic Acid is one of the proven superstars in the skincare world.

Unfortunately, the African Extracts website doesn’t list this product so it’s difficult to determine how much Vitamin A is actually present.

Vitamin E

Ingredient: Vitamin E

Claim: Antioxidant

Science: Vitamin E is often touted as a skin superstar and there’s good evidence that it has antioxidant properties.

It’s also a preservative used in many skin care products so a pinch of salt is required.



Claim: Sun Screen

Science: Shields primarily against UV-B so it will stop burning but no signs of ageing.


Ingredient: Keratin

Claim: Strong Nails

Science: I couldn’t find any literature on the topic use of keratin for nail growth

Vitamin C

Ingredient: Vitamin C

Claim: Antioxidant, Protection from brittle nails

The literature I found refer to oral, not topical Vitamin C.