Sabrina Elba On Her New Okra-Infused S’Able Labs Retinol


Photo: Courtesy of S’Able Labs.

We can’t blame you if Sabrina Elba is your current beauty muse. Her effortless hair and makeup moments are endless, including her recent pixie cut, certainly makes us here at ESSENCE want to chop off our mane and pair it with a bold lip. She’s constantly staying ahead of the curve, drawing her beauty inspo from, “the Black beauty girlies on TikTok,” Elba says with a bright smile via Zoom. “I’m also lucky to be inspired by the people around me like my sisters and cousins, as well as people back home,” in Somalia, “as well as people in Idris’ family, too.”

However, not only does she understand the art of pulling a chic beauty look, she also knows a thing or two about game-changing skincare. This led Elba to create her own brand, filled with East African-inspired ingredients, S’able Labs, in 2022 with her (and, sorry girl, our) hubby, Idris. “I was just frustrated that I couldn’t find products that worked for my skin concerns. This gave me a passion for trying to understand my skin better,” she says. 

And after launching with products like the Qasil Cleanser and Black Seed Toner, Elba is finally back with a new product: The Okra Face Serum. And no, she didn’t predict that drinking Okra water would be trending on TikTok, but the timing couldn’t be better. “I couldn’t find a retinol that really worked for my hyperpigmentation, so I decided to create one,” she shares. “It took us a long time to create because we wanted to make sure we got the formulation down. This is a gentle enough retinoid for those who are new to using retinol and great for those with melanin-rich skin.”

Sabrina Elba On Her New Okra-Infused S’Able Labs Retinol
Photo: Courtesy of S’Able Labs.

This is all thanks to the SymRenew HPR – a bio-available retinol that slows down the formation of fine lines and doesn’t stress out the skin. Meanwhile, the okra, which Elba refers to as “nature’s botox,” increases the skin’s collagen and the SK-INFLUX® technology keeps the skin nourished and protected due to its ceramides. Theretinol is gentle enough to use morning and night, and as an added plus,  Elba loves using it underneath her makeup, right after applying the toner. 

When it comes to her self-care routines, a relaxing one comes in handy for Elba, who is busy running her own business, modeling, and more. For her, that comes in the form of slathering herself in Josie Maran body care products, testing out new hair care products (naturally, she’s most excited to try Cécred right now), and spending time with her community. “Community to me is my wellness. When I have down time, I always want to see my friends, call my family, etc.,” she says. “Being with people I love helps me get into a good head space where I’m motivated to even take care of myself.”

Community was a huge inspiration of the brand as well. “When I moved to London with Idris I was super lonely at first. Starting this brand as a podcast was a reminder that I can trust myself and follow my dreams,” Elba says. “I want others to feel like they can be the best version of themselves and to take care of themselves and their health.”

 Elba is excited to share that she’s working on launching a sunscreen. “We’re putting so much work into thinking and formulating because this can be a tricky egg to crack,” she says with a laugh. “But S’able Labs was always meant to be a wellness space and lifestyle brand, too. So venturing into different categories eventually will be really nice, too,” she says before adding that she’s potentially interested in launching body care or a fragrance down the road. “But watch this space. We’re obsessed with skin at the moment. That’s our passion. But I’m excited to see where we go from here.”





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