I was born in southern Nigeria.Throughout my growing up, in Ibadan, one of the things I noticed was the multi-use of food ingredients, medicinally and therapeutically across the culture.
One of my lasting memories was the multi-use of shea butter, coconut oil, and palm kernel oil. We cooked and fried with these. In the harmattan (very dry) season, we rubbed these on our skins and into our hair individually or as blends, for moisturizers. Most of us grew up in “houses” with gardens versus apartment living which is more the norm in the western world. As a result, families had a variety of fruit trees in our yard including mango, papaya (paw-paw), guava, orange, pineapple, banana, plantain, coconut, palm tree….and a whole list of other delicious fruit. We hardly ever needed to go out to buy fruit. We ate them in season and moved on. I was shocked when I came to the US and had to pay a dollar for a mango and other fruit.
When I finished college, I worked in the food industry as a food product developer during which time I noticed how much “processed” food is consumed. Not only does processing strip the food of its natural nutrients but so many additives are added to artificially replace the stripped nutrients and to unnaturally preserve the food. After so many years of seeing this food industry practice from the inside, I decided to set out to make a change.
Looking at where I could best initiate my vision, I decided that the cosmetic industry would be the place, being the least regulated of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act in the U.S. I decided to develop a line of skin care/hair care and beauty care products that came from minimally/unprocessed ingredients. Ingredients that were edible. Ingredients that could impart natural nutrients into the skin and hair instead of those made by the conglomerates. I also decided to go beyond just the ingredients from West Africa, and create simple yet effective blends from ingredients around the world that align with my vision.
The result has been the creation of the D’AYO brand. That is my yoruba name and means Di Ayo or Be(come) Happy. These products should have a name reflective of its old world vision.
I created products that I hope will reflect positive old world values around taking care of oneself, keeping things simple, enjoying simple pleasures and understanding that “feeding” oneself does not end with feeding the mouth. The skin is our largest organ and absorbs much of what it is exposed to. What we put on our skin can impact our well being as much as what we eat.
The vision in composition of ingredients is to create a delicious “salad” for the skin and so, in addition to shea butter and water, you will notice ingredients like coconut oil, grapeseed oil, aloe vera juice, vinegar, salt, glycerine, capsicum(hot pepper), tumeric, bromelain (pineapple extract), sunflower oil, avocado oil and chlorophyll. Fragrances are essential oils derived from natural base oils and essences of natural plants or fruits. Colors, if necessary, will be derived from their natural source like red from hibiscus juice, orange/yellow from beta carotene(carrots) or green from chlorophyll in plants otherwise, there should be no need for artificial coloring of any products.
In the end, my goal is to provide a line of skin care products that while people use them, they envision happiness from feeling their skin being nourished naturally and wholesomely…from the outside in.
— Dayo Doherty