Product Spotlight: Ilera Apothecary With Founder, Chinonye Akunne

Jul 6th 2020

Ilera Apothecary Bloom Body Butter

ILERA Apothecary's skin and body care line incorporates deeply restorative ingredients like raw shea butter, cocoa butter and jojoba oil into their formulas to bring balance and vitality back to all skin types. 

When we discovered ILERA Apothecary, we were impressed by their focus on ingredient quality and purity, paired with a passion for ethical sourcing and production.  Made with some of nature's powerhouse ingredients (we love the clarifying and replenishing formulas), this is one small-batch brand that is becoming a staple in our routines. We caught up with Chinonye Akunne, the founder of the line.

Q: What was the impetus for ILERA? Did you ever expect to launch a skin and body care line?

Chinonye: ILERA Apothecary was launched in 2015 with the values of creating plant-based skincare products with the highest quality and ethically sourced ingredients. I have a background in Chemistry and Biology and received my Master's in Public Health which helps tremendously in the design of the product line.

Chinonye Akunne, Founder Ilera Apothecary

I always knew I wanted to go into healthcare. I actually planned on going to medical school or following my dad's footsteps into pharmacy. I never thought I would create a skincare company. However, looking back, it makes sense that I launched a skincare company because I always experimented with it making products growing up and went more in-depth with it in graduate school.

Q: Tell us about your ingredient philosophy.

Chinonye: When selecting ingredients to use, I started with common ingredients found in Nigeria, my home country. As a first-generation American, it is very important for me to incorporate the traditional ingredients used to heal skin within my family for generations. Each ingredient serves a purpose from hydrating, moisturizing, cleansing, and healing. Before a product is made, the ingredients are heavily researched to see their benefits. We also rely on our customers to let us know what they want in products. By asking our customers directly, we have been able to improve our products by either adding or removing ingredients.

Ilera Apothecary Detoxifying Clay Deep Cleanser

The Detoxifying Clay Deep Cleanser is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and pore-clearing clays and charcoal. Shop ILERA

Q: What do you think is important for consumers to know about ethical sourcing?

Chinonye: Ethical sourcing is much deeper than the country of origin. We have to look at the working conditions, safety, and the environment of the facility. Are the employees receiving a fair wage? Does the company do any outreach in the community it is in? We look at all of those questions and more when reaching suppliers. Unfortunately, every single requirement cannot be met. To help offset that, we continuously donate a portion of our sales to various communities.

        Ilera Apothecary Ethical Sourcing

Q: Do you have any tips for multi-purposing your products?

Chinonye: I use the body butter on my entire body. From head to toe. since it is made with rich ingredients such as Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, and Cocoa Butter, it has the ability to moisturize all parts of the body. To make my pedicures last longer, I rub the body butter on my feet and focus on the common dry areas, rub it in and put socks on my feet to lock in the moisturize overnight. It's also great to moisture the hair and scalp (primarily those with coarse curly hair). The Detoxifying Deep Clay Cleanser is great as a face wash and full body wash. Because the ingredients are gentle, it can be used every day. 


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