Skin is the human body's largest organ, and it's important to care for yours with rich and thoughtful ingredients that are deeply nourishing. But being conscious of ingredients is only part of the equation. By supporting special brands that work tirelessly (usually from their own kitchens) to create products with melanin-rich skin in mind, you can help spur change.
In an overly saturated world of skincare—in which some traditional brands are releasing advertisements that shame black beauty—it's time to dig deeper and discover the black-owned skincare brands that need to be pushed to the forefront. If you're unfamiliar, I'm proud to introduce the below brands that promote the magic of blackness in all of its glory.
Handmade by State Management model Tatiana Price, skin BUTTR is carefully crafted to keep your glow at an all-time high with natural, moisturizing products like whipped shea body butter and exfoliating scrubs. It's important to know that the ingredients you're putting on your body are of the highest caliber. Rest assured that these handmade batches are. Products come in scents like strawberry coconut and rose that work to fade scars, cellulite, and stretch marks.
BLK + GRN
Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins and have a role in virtually all the biological processes that occur in our bodies, including the reparation of skin.
The best part about Blk + Grn is that it's a marketplace showcasing the work of women of color who create non-toxic, ethical product lines. An amazing example is Jacq's Organics. The line features a creamy cleanser infused with amino acids and papaya extract to shed dead skin cells and debris while bringing forth a fresh glow.
Dreamed up by Nikisha Riley, one of my favorite women to follow on Instagram (who feels like a sister in my head), Folie Apothecary is a 100% natural skincare line made of the most thoughtful ingredients. Riley is a health-and-wellness guru who constantly keeps her social media audience up on the absolute best things we should be doing for our mind, body, and soul. Her handcrafted, small-batch serums and hair oils are so gorgeous that they can double as décor.
Marula oil is a naturally-occurring oil derived from the marula tree. It's lightweight and non-comedogenic—the specific profile of fatty acids in marula oil is very similar to the oils naturally found in the skin.
This line, founded by entrepreneur and single mom Cashmere Nicole in 2011, counts legions of celebrities and makeup artists among its followers, thanks to a wide range of foundation shades to match nearly any skin tone. In addition to makeup, Beauty Bakerie's products include hypoallergenic skincare. The brand's Wake & Bake Hydrating Face Oil, for instance, blends marula oil with omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, making it deeply nourishing.
Aloe vera is a naturally derived ingredient known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. The aloe plant's inner gel mucilage (the part that's used in skincare products) is made up of 99.5% water.
Temple Zen doesn't only have your skin in mind—the brand wants to heal, restore, and rejuvenate you. These products are holistic in every sense of the word and were created by professional dancer Jashiro Dean, who needed a product that would serve his skincare needs and calm his nervous system. So he created it himself, mixing potions of aloe vera, shea butter, essential oils, and more, which eventually became Temple Zen.
Jade & Fox Co.
Jade & Fox Co. believes in the power of Mother Earth and all the beauty that grows within her. So the company creates simple products formulated with honey from Georgia bees. Its line has since expanded (and changed names—it used to be known as BeeLux) and now includes moisturizers, oils, and fragrances infused with mango butter, rose petals, and coconut. Sold yet?
Plant Apothecary is a black-owned apothecary based in Brooklyn, created by Holly McWhorter and her husband. Their plant-filled products will encourage you to steer away from harsh chemicals and toxins and focus more on homegrown ingredients. In turn, you'll find that these gentle yet hardworking products will save your skin by doing less harm and more good. Bonus: The cheekily named body washes ("Get It On," "Start Happy") look great on a bathtub ledge.
Austin, TX native and punk musician Kayla Phillips handcrafts this line of vividly-hued bath bombs, soaps, shower gels, and more. Bonus: All of Foxie Cosmetics' products are vegan and sustainable, so you can feel even better when indulging. Most items are named after a musician or song, which means you might just discover a new track while settling in for a soak.
Oye Shea Butter
The incredible story behind Oye Shea Butter is reason enough to hit "add to cart." When she was younger, founder Tolu Oye's mother would travel to remote parts of Nigeria to collect nuts from shea trees. Then, she'd use pure shea to nourish Oye's skin, which suffered from eczema and burns. She also discovered the magical hair-lengthening powers of natural shea. These experiences inspired the birth of the brand to provide the masses with the same healing and restorative hair, skin, and body benefits of raw and organic shea butter.
Kaike is the fun line of back-owned skincare products the natural-beauty industry's been missing. These vegan products are handmade in small batches by founder Keli Smith in Chicago. The brand offers everything from an oil-based cleanser that leaves behind a silky-smooth veil on your skin to the brand's hero product, Frosting (my personal favorite). Frosting is a multipurpose product with a faint and delicious smell of cake that's worth calling out. What's even better is that it works to penetrate and deeply moisturize skin, hair, and lips.