"Fair Trade" Luxury Skin Care Range First to Target Black Men

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MenEssentials, the first online retailer to specialize in men's prestige skin care products, has unveiled the first comprehensive luxury grooming range for Black men. The range is made in part by members of rural South African Xhosa cooperatives. Sale of the products raises their standard of living and improves their communities’ healthcare and educational resources.

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African Male by MenEssentials represents socially responsible trade at its best

Men's skin care is booming. But African American males, who are well-above-average users of men's products and whose skin care and shaving needs present unique challenges, have been virtually ignored by the industry's top marketers.

Not any more. MenEssentials, the first online retailer to specialize in men's prestige skin care products, has unveiled the first comprehensive luxury grooming range for Black men. The range is made in part by members of rural South African Xhosa cooperatives. Sale of the products raises their standard of living and improves their communities’ healthcare and educational resources.

Called African Male by MenEssentials, the grooming range consists of eight stock-keeping units: shower gel, face wash, facial scrub, shaving gel, moisturizing cream, eye cream, hair gel, and hair gel with protein. Each formula contains high concentrations of organic Aloe Ferox, a species of aloe that grows only in South Africa. The gel it provides is ideally suited to drier skin types. Men of African heritage typically suffer from dry, irritated skin.

African Male by MenEssentials is the result of a joint venture sponsored by Geneva-based International Trade Centre and implemented by African Aloe (South Africa), Eastern Cape Development Corporation, and the Xhosa aloe harvesters, refiners and distributors of the Ikhala Cooperative. The product line is made available through a global co-branding agreement between Ikhala Products (Pty) Ltd. and MenEssentials Corporation.

"African Male by MenEssentials represents socially responsible trade at its best," said James Whittall, founder and President of MenEssentials. "The products are superb and can easily compete against the finest our industry offers, while specifically meeting the needs of African Americans. They serve a market segment that has always made do with one-size-fits-all product ranges. And the people who help manufacture African Male by MenEssentials benefit in ways we can't even begin to tally. We're very, very proud to be a part of this remarkable experience."

African Male by MenEssentials will be sold online exclusively through MenEssentials.com, and also through a North American channel of specialty retailers and upscale department stores. For more information, visit africanmale.menessentials.com.

About MenEssentials

MenEssentials is the first online retailer of prestige grooming products for men. Founded in 2000, years before the worldwide emergence of men's aspirational lifestyle marketing, MenEssentials has successfully positioned itself as a market trailblazer through its massively influential Web site, active online community, globally syndicated content, and an extensive catalog of luxury toiletries.

About Ikhala Products

Ikhala Products was established in 2001, with funding from the Eastern Cape Development Corporation and Geneva-based International Trade Centre, to transform local Aloe Ferox harvesting into sustainable development and economic empowerment opportunities for rural South African Xhosa communities.

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