During the past year, one thing became clear: Black and Brown women need to prioritize their mental health, self-care, and wellness overall. It may sound easier said than done, but we've made small strides to finding peace by incorporating healing modalities into our daily routines in the past year. One of the many ways we've found solace during these challenging times is by embracing our ancestors. For many, bathing rituals have been a way for us to experience spiritual reclamation that connects us to our roots and our heritage.
"Before colonization, our ancestors knew of the importance of ritual work," says astrologist Esoteric Esa (né Jasmin Alejandrez-Prasad). "More specifically, the Aztecs nourished their souls by bathing daily and prioritizing cleanliness. We are, quite literally, reclaiming cultural spirituality through the implementation of bath rituals." Not only are baths great for the skin, soothing muscles, and calming the mind, Esa also believes they're a great way to heal and bring in abundance. "Bath rituals are transformative when we approach them from the perspective of honoring and appreciating the act of doing it," she says. "They are less about us and more unlocking universal love within ourselves."
Ahead, we've rounded up 10 WOC-owned beauty brands to help you reclaim and incorporate bath time into your self-care routine.
Herbalist Tiffany Brown launched Bathe Brand to ease your mind, heal your body, and nourish your spirit. For Brown, honoring her origin through her brand was significant. "As a Black woman and descendent of slaves, hoodoo and herbal magic are part of my lineage. Taking ritual or spirit baths are necessary to cleanse the body and soul, 'uncross' or block harm, and protect oneself." Brown explains that spirit baths are also a practice to bring good luck, guidance, and blessings into your life. "Today, there are many ways to practice ritual bathing, but the core of the ritual remains the same. Come to the waters with pure intentions and an open heart, and you will find what you need," Brown says.
The Mood Mylk Soak is formulated with warming coconut, vanilla, aloe, and burdock to hydrate and repair skin while also working to soften your mood. Brown recommends adding a generous amount of it to warm bath water, deeply inhaling and exhaling, and soaking for at least 20 minutes to reap all the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits.
Around The World Beauty
After launching her travel brand Around The World Beauty, Stephanie Flor decided to expand her business with beauty products sourced from various parts of the world. One of her curated beauty offerings is the Baños de Flores box, which sources its flowers, herbs, and salts from Costa Rica. The box is curated with products to relax tense muscles, open pores, purify skin and help you release any built-up negativity, and restore calmness.
"I wanted to launch a product that shared bathing rituals because when I first learned about them, I was stunned by the powers of the water," Flor says. "Globally, not just in Latinx culture, water is a tool for purification. It removes energy, loss, negativity, and allows for another moment to enter." For Flor, bringing various colors and scents to your bath routine is what makes it unique to you. "A bath can be as simple as listening to the bathwater splash on your body, or just sitting in the calmness of water and embracing the presence of your body."
Honey Dipped Essentials
After her first two pregnancies, Ashlo Goudelock found herself struggling with high anxiety and low self-esteem. To incorporate more self-care into her routine, she started creating DIY personal care products and hair products. Eventually, she realized that her calling was crafting bath products that served the mind, body, and soul. "Making products brought me out of one of the darkest times of my life, and I wanted to share that newfound wisdom and joy with others," Goudelock says.
That revelation inspired Goudelock to start Honey Dipped Essentials in 2018. "Prioritizing self-care and overall wellness is the basis of the brand," she explains. "Black and other women of color face a multitude of societal pressures that constantly berate them at home, in the workplace, and as they move through the world," Goudelock says. "Still, modern women of color have decided to break this generational curse and embrace self-care and positive practices to build themselves up in the ways they have long deserved."
The Honey Dipped Essential Body Care Collection comes with an herbal bath soak, body oil bar, roll-on oil, body cream, and white sage smudge stick. The set will motivate you to carve out intentional bath time and spend sacred time with yourself.
Wave of Healing
Reiki energy worker, spiritual practitioner, and founder of Wave of Healing, Yaqui Rodriguez, recently started creating products as an additional way to support people. Rodriguez's goal is to help clients reconnect with themselves and their energies. Her Wave Of Healing Herbal Bath Soak was crafted to help you reconnect with the power of water as a means to purify the mind and channel restoration.
"Baths helped connect deeply to me," Rodriguez says. "I practiced dedicating up to 40 minutes every evening to meditate in the bathtub, and it is such a powerful cleanser," Rodriguez explains that water assists in cleaning energy after a long day or being around people. "It's been a conduit of connection with my intuition. It takes me to the space within myself that is always connected to the power of creation."
Brosily Bath and Body
Brosily Bath and Body founder Navine Acevedo was inspired to launch her brand after her daughter developed eczema. "I needed safe and effective skincare for her, but I soon realized that my bathroom was a perfect place to squeeze in a little me time," Acevedo says. "I started creating our essential oil aromatherapy-based soaps and body butter for busy people who need to unwind after a long day."
For Acevedo, bath rituals are essential to affirm who we are and feel comfortable in our skin. "Bathing, whether in rivers or lakes, has been used historically by our ancestors as a way of purifying themselves, cleansing themselves before special occasions like a wedding or festival and beautifying themselves, and that still serves us today," she says. Brosily Bath and Body features natural and carefully formulated bath and body products, including body butters, balms, and vegan soaps.
Jazmin Guerrero, the founder and owner of Becalia Botanicals, launched the brand to encourage women of color to incorporate bath rituals into their wellness routines. "As a first-generation Mexican-American, my goal is to merge beauty and culture to inspire people to find comfort and a deeper connection with their roots," she says. "I incorporated bath products to share my childhood memories and help people feel strongly connected to themselves."
The Becalia Botanicals Coco Leche Milk Bath Soak is made with coconut milk powder, Himalayan salt, Epsom salt, colloidal oats, baking soda, vanilla, chamomile, and lavender oil. A few minutes of soaking in the mixture will soothe your skin, mind, and—of course— your soul.
"My determination to be my own healer during a time of turmoil in my life led me to launch Homebody," says Rebecca Grammar-Ybarra. "I always loved baths, but it wasn't until I started paying attention to the vast benefits within me and around me that I knew I couldn't keep them to myself." As a result, Homebody offers carefully handcrafted and formulated bath soaks made with zero compromise, short-cuts, or toxins.
Sandra Velasquez, the founder of Nopalera, intentionally set out to create a brand that showcased Mexico's beauty and traditions. "I noticed a lack of high-end products that spoke to Latinas in the bath and body space," Velasquez says. "I created Nopalera to fight racism and celebrate my culture." Velasquez explains that her brand name is inspired by the nopal, an ancient Mexican symbol and one of the world's most versatile, sustainable crops.
Velasquez says that her products are a form of self-care and a tool of resistance. "There is a reason various religions use water as a tool to signify transformation," she says. "Water allows us to become new. We get to wash away the past and begin again." For Velasquez, a bathtub is a place of refuge at home, which we should cherish. "It's one of the few places we are allowed to sit undisturbed in our homes," she says. "Naturally, bathing allows us time alone with our thoughts so we can activate our future selves."
Maude CEO and founder Éva Goicochea wanted to transform the wellness industry with the launch of her brand. "Before we launched Maude, the sexual wellness industry could be defined by the confusing assortment of products, the opaque pricing and quality, and the loud, gendered marketing," she says. "For years, the market has been dominated by legacy brands that focused so heavily on how to sell 'sex' to one single-gender and age group." But, according to Goicochea, this trend overlooked two important things: intimacy and the authentic customer. Since launching intimacy essentials, Maude released a bath collection to advocate for intimacy beyond the bedroom. The current lineup includes a variety of bath soaks, body wash, and oils.