Black Girl Skincare: A Natural Beauty Guide w/ BLK + GRN

Nobody has time to put a bunch of chemicals that we can’t pronounce on our precious, brown skin. So we’re taking it back to the way our ancestors did it by using toxic-free, plant-based, and cruelty-free beauty products, made FOR US, BY US, to keep our melanin popping.

When it comes to discovering the very best in all-natural black-owned skincare, there’s no better plug than BLK + GRN: an online marketplace that curates beauty products made by black artisans so that we can consume consciously while cultivating our community. From natural aluminum-free deodorants to casket-free sunscreens and feminine hygiene,  BLK + GRN is making natural black beauty more accessible than it’s ever been before. The beauty and brains behind BLK + GRN is Dr. Kristian Henderson, a Black Women’s Health expert who believes that a life free of toxins and all things artificial is a life worth cultivating -- and we consign on that. 

Photo Source: BLK + GRN

Photo Source: BLK + GRN

In celebration of Dr. Kristian H.’s steady return to good health,  we chatted with the BLK + GRN team to get the tea on the 5 essential steps we need to keep our skincare game strong, and what all-natural, black owned products we should be using to do it. Grab some green tea and get ready to be schooled by THE experts of black beauty on how to upgrade your daily skin routine. 

Step 1: Face Cleanser 

Why It's Important:
To cleanse your skin of built-up oil, cosmetics and impurities from free radicals (dirt) floating in the air.

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It: 
Jojoboa infused Marla Rene’s Raw Honey Cleanser. A jojoba-based cleanser is great for daily use to rejuvenate and tone even the most sensitive skin. Marla Rene’s cleanser does this and more by adding calming calendula extract and humectant raw honey to reduce inflammation and the appearance of blemishes. 

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Expert Tip:
Jojoba oil closely matches our skin’s natural oil. Using it in our skincare routine can help reduce excess oil, balance moisture, and banish breakouts. 

Step 2: Face Moisturizer 

Why It's Important:
A toxic-free moisturizer with at least SPF 15 helps to protect your skin from the unavoidable yet harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays (yes even on cloudy days!). Using an SPF moisturizer daily also prevents the darkening of any skin blemishes you may have acquired over time. This helps to heal your skin naturally, sometimes even removing acne spots completely. 

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It:
Black Girl Sunscreen is one of our absolute favorite moisturizers! This weightless, melanin-protecting SPF 30 Sunscreen won’t leave behind sticky residue or white cast on your skin. Plus, the cocoa butter and carrot seed oil keep your skin moisturized as you work, lounge or play throughout your day. 

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Expert Tip:
For more than 1-2 hour direct sun exposure (workout, beach, pool, etc.), we recommend applying your SPF moisturizer twice. 

Step 3: Toner

Why It's Important:
To cleanse the dirt that enters deeply into your pores while minimizing the appearance of your pore size. 

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It:
Organic Hibiscus Face Toner made with refreshing floral water, and apple cider vinegar to cleanse your pores. It also contains Aloe vera juice to leave your skin feeling and looking fresh! 

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Expert Tip:
Apply toner prior to and after your face cleanser for the ultimate cleanse.

Step 4: Exfoliator

Why It's Important:
To scrub off dead skin cells to reveal rejuvenated, youthful looking skin.

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It
Moringa, Tumeric, and Neem Exfoliating Body Scrub. Rinsable but still effective! This scrub is packed with vitamin C, shea butter, and organic sea salt to remove dead skin and toxins while still adding a natural, healthy glow. 

Inua Moringa, Tumeric, and Neem Exfoliating Body Scrub.png

Expert Tip:
Use a plant based exfoliating pad to remove more dirt on and beneath the surface of your skin.

Step 5: Facial Oils

Why It's Important:
Facial oils restore and hydrate skin cells to improve the health and appearance of your skin. With skin being the largest organ on your body, it’s important to nourish your face with products that resemble the natural oils your body produces. Oils that are lightweight and chemical free. 

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It:
FLOW Perfectly Balanced Facial Oil is a 5-star review favorite on! FLOW is luxurious and lightweight. With a potent blend of florals that help to stop the overproduction of oils that can leave your skin with pimples and breakouts.

AFRO HAIR & SKIN CO FLOW Perfectly Balanced Facial Oil.png

Expert Tip:
Apply facial oil to damp skin for a moisturized natural glow. The wetter your skin the dewier the look depending on your preference. A little bit goes a long way!

Bonus Step

What's is the #1 step & product that is essential to your skincare routine, and why do you love it? 

3 words: African Black Soap! It’s gentle on the skin yet tough on blemishes. Shea Radiance is a great pick for this!!

Get Glowed Up: Why These 7 All Natural Face Oils Are Summer's Secret Skin Miracle

So can we have a seriously REAL conversation about our skin health? Ok, show of hands—who has tried ALL the OTC and prescribed medications known to man to heal acne, dark spots and blackheads with no success? What makes matters even worse is when these medications don’t solve the problem and cause even MORE skin inflammation than before. If this sounds like your story, it may be time to ditch those harsh chemicals for a natural approach. Have you tried the oil cleansing method? Yes -- you read that correctly. But before you completely side-eye our suggestion, check out the facts.

While it may sound counterintuitive to the girls with oily or problem-prone skin, oil cleansing is super beneficial for a few reasons. It helps gently cleanse the skin by removing makeup, dirt and environmental toxins, maintains the skin’s natural lipid layer for moisture retention, and soothes sensitive skin. So believe it or not sis, oil cleansing might just be the key to getting your skin glowed up before Summer ‘19 is over.

Still skeptical? Not for long! We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite black-owned face oils for you to test out the oil cleansing method for yourself -- and they’re are ALL under $50!

For Dry and Tired Skin

Plant Apothecary Ground Control Organic Body and Face Oil, $36
When your life is busy from work to school and side hustles, sometimes caring for your skin can take a backseat. Luckily brands like Plant Apothecary are here to provide us #bossbabes with skincare that makes it easy to squeeze into our hectic lives. This oil contains scented essential oils for relaxation while organic sunflower seeds and Vitamin E work to nourish and cleanse your skin from the inside out. It’s self-care and skincare, all wrapped into one.

Buttercup Essentials Hydrating Herbal Body Oil, $25
Wrinkles? We don’t know her! Rewind the hands of time with Buttercup Essentials Hydrating Herbal Body Oil. It harnesses the power of Apricot Oil, delivering a powerful dose of anti-age elixir that slows down signs of skin maturation, such as wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes.

For that Natural Glow

Aya’De Health & Beauty Goddess Glow Face Serum, $23.50
This skin-loving cocktail is the perfect combination of some of Mother Nature’s signature oils. While Argan Oil adds moisture to the skin’s deepest layers, Sandalwood Oil works to rejuvenate skin to reveal a youthful brightened glow! Not even your favorite highlighter can ever compare to this natural glow.

Pure Tropix Pearl Face Elixir $42
Uncover a luminous complexion when you try Pure Tropix’s Pearl Face Elixir. This facial oil is a multi-purpose concoction that deeply penetrates your skin’s layers with oils like Pomegranate Seed Oil, which works to hydrate and moisturize even the driest and flakiest skin-type.

For Inflammation

Brown & Coconut Hydrating Face Oil, $28
Brown & Coconut’s Hydrating Face Oil is historically known to calm inflammation and soothe irritation. This power ingredients fades blemishes and encourages skin regeneration so you can have healthy, glowed up skin again in no time.

GLAM BOMB Power Detoxifying Face Oil, $18
If you thought Black Pepper was only for food, think again! This ancient essential oil is sweet and spicy, but offers magnificent antioxidant properties that work to repair and improve laugh lines and wrinkles, clear blemishes, and combats bacteria under the skin’s surface that leads to inflammation.

Mother of Earth Beauty Care Goddess Glow Face Oil, $20
This powerful face oil is packed with Juniper Berry, which works great to protect pores from bacteria  that cause acne. It’s also great for UV protection, and purifies blood cells for skin rejuvenation -- A.K.A., it’s the secret to making sure that black don’t crack.