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. 

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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 blkgrn.com! 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!!




















































Tracy Reese's New Clothing Line 'Hope for Flowers' is Stylish, Sustainable, and For the Culture

To many of us, Tracy Reese is the black aunty of high fashion. For over 21 years she’s been out here shining, achieving every accolade that a designer could dream of from dressing First Lady Michelle Obama and THE Oprah Winfrey, to continually staying relevant in a highly competitive, ever-changing industry. All the while, she’s used her platform to celebrate ‘real women’ by advocating for diversity and inclusion long before the rest of the industry caught on to the game. Now, Tracy Reese is out here innovating once again as she leads the wave of fashion designers who are making the switch to sustainable fashion, while creating the blueprint for other black designers to do the same.

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

During a recent conversation with Vogue, Tracy Reese shared about why it was important for her to return to her roots in Michigan to create Hope for Flowers; her newest brand that is focused just as much on helping the planet as it is on helping stimulate her home state’s local economy. Not only is her brand’s reinvention a testimony to defining your own path, but every flirty silhouette and handcrafted pattern in her newest collection is a vibe.

Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Pascaline Silk Midi Dress

“This many years into my career, I needed the challenge. I needed to shake things up and to recommit to my work in a fresh way and in a way that I felt good about. Not just the routine of designing collection after collection, but a slower, more thoughtful model where everything has intent. I’m getting back to all the things I love about design.”

Hope for Flowers is everything that we’ve come to love about Tracy Reese’s bold yet sophisticated designs, but created with natural textiles and produced 100% domestically. Not only did Reese draw every print for the collection by hand,  but she trained and employed local women who work in her newly opened factory located in Flint. The pieces they make at this factory are exclusively sold at a black owned boutique in Michigan, Detroit is the New Black. There’s levels to Hope for Flowers’ ethical approach, which prioritizes ethical use of natural materials and human labor while keeping the black dollar circulating in our community longer.

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Cleo Striped Midi Skirt

The more I learned about fast fashion and cheap production in general, I just knew that was the antithesis to everything I was thinking about...If you’re selling a garment for $10, let’s just do the math and understand what that means for all the people along that supply chain. It’s like slavery. I knew I didn’t want anything to do with that, so it made me get really serious about what I did want.”

Tracy Reese’s switch to sustainable fashion also signals an opportunity for small black designers to gain a competitive edge over fast fashion brands as ethical production becomes more important to customers. While fast fashion brands like Forever 21 and Zara are busy releasing ‘green collections’ for clout, black designers like Aurora James of Brother Vellies and Sindiso Khumalo have managed to sustain truly ethical brands with far less resources. Their small production runs are already a great first step, and as more black designers venture into sustainability and even open up their own small factories, they’ll be more knowledge and resources accessible to pass around. 

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Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Michelle Floral Midi Dress

“Everyone can do a little bit, and then you can do a little bit more, and a little more. People are mystified about where to begin, but there are a lot of ways to approach it.”

We stan for Aunty Tracy for using her platform to create real change for the environment AND for the culture! Hope for Flowers is now available at Anthropologie and at Detroit is the New Black. Shop the collection now.