Award-winning actor and best-selling author, Hill Harper has developed baobab oil–infused skin and hair products for men and women: JUA Essentials for women and H2L for men. He talked about introducing the line at an event on Chicago’s South Side earlier this week.

The thought came to Harper about seven years ago when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer while serving on President Obama’s President’s Cancer Panel. Harper’s father died of the same cancer in 2000.

“I started learning so much,” Harper told at the Renaissance club in the historically Black neighborhood of Bronzeville. “Everything we put on our skin is absorbed and has to be processed through our liver, the same way as if we ate it or drank it. What I began to realize is I wanted to use all natural oils on my skin to protect my health.”

Hill Harpeer

But in his quest to use natural oils, he was spending a lot on one product and knew it was time to step up and help those who wanted the same but couldn’t afford to. “I was buying a lotion that was $100. The shampoos and conditioners were $40. There had to be a way to have affordable premium care products,” Harper said.

His preferred oil? Baobab. He was introduced to it while in Africa and knew it would be essential to the line.

“The oil itself has vitamins C, D and A. I think in the future, baobab oil will be as popular as coconut oil is now. It has more health-based properties than coconut oil,” Harper said.

The collections – H2L Natural Men’s Care Premium Hair & Body; H2L Natural Men’s Care Shave Set; and JUA Natural Hair & Body Care – range from $38 to $65, and are also available by subscription.

Hill Harper

“With these two lines, I set out to provide premium healthy and natural products to enhance the skin and hair for both men and women in once convenient monthly kit. It’s also about the creation of a movement that promotes awareness and access to health and wellness,” Harper said.

Learn more at, and follow Hill Harper on Twitter and Instagram: @hillharper.