Beauty Needs Me is a weekly podcast hosted by Taleah Griffin, a previous publicist and writer turned model/actress/host, and Dunni Odumosu, a previous L'Oréal cosmetic chemist and now global biopharma professional. By combining their unique perspectives and experiences, Taleah and Dunni have candidly insightful discussions that extend across color, culture and country lines. Ahead, they share the five products that are getting them through.
There are so many beauty products out there that it can feel overwhelming. It only becomes more complicated when you add in overarching categories, like clean beauty and natural beauty, not to mention cultural categories such as Black-owned and K-beauty. We created the Beauty Needs Me podcast because we wanted to simplify a lot of the language around beauty, create a space where beauty was attainable and approachable, and foster a community where everyone felt a part of the conversation.
On the podcast, we frequently discuss our own journeys with beauty. As two Black women from different cultural backgrounds, we’ve been open about how our experiences with beauty as children and young adults have shaped us into the women we are today. Though our relationship with beauty may differ at times, there’s one thing that reigns true for both of us: our love of skincare. We both believe that since your skin is your first line of defense from pollutants and as your largest organ, it deserves a great deal of care from head to toe. Ahead, we've each rounded up five of our favorite skincare and beauty products from Black-owned and Black-supporting brands.
Taleah’s Favorite Beauty Products
"Being Black-American, my family has a range of different skin tones and features. I was able to really understand the vastness of what’s deemed beautiful. I was raised believing that less is more when it comes to beauty, and I still live by that." -Taleah Griffin
I’ve tried retinol before and found that most are too harsh for my skin. Shani created this product for people like me who want the benefits of retinol, but need a gentler formula. I love it because it has a mild retinoid that assists in cell turnover, improves my skin's texture without going overboard, and contains aloe vera to soothe the skin. I tell everyone afraid to try retinol to start with this product. If you find you can handle more, she has a stronger one as well.
This was one of my more recent beauty splurges. Before purchasing, I had a cheap body brush from Amazon that started to shed—I’m talking bristles everywhere. So I decided to upgrade, and I don’t regret it at all. There are countless benefits to dry brushing; it provides lymphatic support, tightens the skin, and helps clean pores. I really enjoy this practice as part of my wellness routine, and using this tool adds to the experience. It reminds me that this is my time to just focus on taking care of myself.
This cream saved my face this winter. It’s perfect as a nighttime face cream. It’s thick, so you only need a little. It provides a lot of moisture since it contains cocoa butter, shea butter, and sunflower seed oil, which is a great source of vitamin E.
As someone with both body hyperpigmentation and body acne, I’m constantly leaning into the best body care products. The skin on the body is tougher than the skin on the face, so I’m more likely to experiment. I had been using wash gloves for years before I discovered the Luv Scrub. I switched for a few reasons. The lather of the Luv Scrub is unmatched. You can easily wash your back, and it lasts for a year before needing to replace it. The founder is Ghanian, and as a culture, they have some of the softest, glow-radiating skin I’ve ever witnessed.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include this. It’s one of my favorite products of all time. This is literally the reason I love to detangle my hair. I have been using it for years! The formula has green tea to prevent hair loss, flaxseed for maintaining moisture, and coconut water to soften hair. I buy multiple bottles at once.
Dunni’s Favorite Beauty Products
"Growing up Nigerian-American, my early experiences with beauty centered around skin and hair. I was proactively taught to love my skin and hair, yet I struggled with my kinks and coils. Now, I’ve grown to cherish both, and my main priority is preserving what I naturally have so I look my best with minimal effort.” -Dunni Odumosu
This is one of beauty’s best-kept secrets. Yes, there are many shea butter options out there, but none like R&R’s Shea Oil. I love that I don’t have to spend energy rubbing it in like raw shea butter. And R&R is founded & based out of Ghana, so it’s coming straight from the source.
This serum is the best vitamin C product I’ve ever had, hands down. It not only feels good as it glides onto my face, but it’s also effective. Consistent use goes a long way.
I’m a lipstick girl. I especially love a colored lip, but I recently found the perfect nude lip: Coloured Raine in Huntress. The formula is one of the most luxurious I’ve ever come across. I initially didn’t hop on the “wearing lipstick while working from home” train. But since trying this, I wear it almost daily.
By now, we all know Black people (anyone with melanin really) need sunscreen. Black Girl Sunscreen provides the right amount of SPF coverage without leaving a white cast or a greasy residue.
It’s revolutionary. Yes, revolutionary. I was skeptical at first because I feel like there hasn't been much innovation with shampoos. But this one focuses on the scalp, is effective, and is 98 percent naturally derived. I love giving my scalp the exfoliation it needs with this product.