In partnership with The Junior Network, Maria-Gold Tongo explores the best black-owned beauty brands that have been formulated with darker skin tones in mind. Combining wisdom passed down through generations with the best of contemporary skincare, discover the new wave of beauty brands that are inclusive, luxurious, and sustainable too.
As a young black girl, I believe it is important for us to all highly prioritise self-care. By this, I mean whatever feels good to you, and is good for the soul; a little bit of escapism that nourishes us both internally and externally. And to me, skincare is the ultimate feel good recipe.
Black owned sustainable skincare isn’t a rarity but a growing commodity. Within the black community we are delving deeper into how our beauty regimes impact both people and planet, aiming to make more responsible choices from start to finish. This includes ensuring ingredients are all naturally sourced, vegan, cruelty free (not tested on animals), as well as using packaging that is, or can be, recyclable or biodegradable.
Building a natural and sustainable beauty routine is a way to preserve, restore and relax our bodies and minds, as well as an opportunity to support brands with a positive social impact. However, melanin enriched skin can sometimes be more complex to deal with when buying from common labels, unless of course, they have the range and make a conscious effort to focus on deeper-coloured skin tones. So, with that being said, below is a selection of great black-owned and black-focused sustainable skincare brands for us all to purchase, understand and retain knowledge from.
Made authentically in Africa, Arami Essentials’ focal point is to remind us that the body is a temple and making the skin beautiful begins from within. Their message reinforces that whatever touches our bodies should be simple yet effective, with the aim to nourish the skin and keep us balanced inside as well. Understanding that less is more, Arami’s simple ingredient beauty approach manifests itself in non-toxic products made from ingredients sourced from the Lushlands of Africa. Alongside its carefully curated range of whipped infused butters for the face and body, fusion oils and masks, Arami provides a ‘blessing’ section for each product to guide and help their customers understand how each product will aid the skin. The brand has also most recently partnered with WARIF, a non-profit organisation in Nigeria that helps to tackle the high rates of gender-based violence among women and girls.
Anita Grant Skincare
After a negative experience with synthetic skincare early on in her life, Anita Grant made it her personal mission to formulate the best naturally and locally sourced skincare around. After sifting through cosmetology manufacturing books and using her lunch breaks to search for the best quality oils and ingredients, her eponymous brand now uses mother nature to cure, amplify and regenerate the skin. Anita Grant’s large range of products caters to all types of skin; from dry to oily, eczema or acne prone, with treatments like toners, masks, specifics oils and many more. All skincare ingredients are naturally sourced, purchased from farming communities in the UK or fair-trade organic suppliers. The brand also re-invests back into the community, with a loan programme for entrepreneurs fighting their way out of poverty.
Blending African roots with an English touch, Líha Beauty combines Nigerian – Yoruba cosmetic traditions with aromatherapy techniques passed down from its co-founders’ English mother. Líha offers a range of oils and butters with individual properties, each lending itself to a wide range of applications – some can even be used for both the skin and hair! Ingredients are locally sourced in the UK and Nigeria, and the packaging uses recyclable material too. Líha’s products take you on a whimsical skincare journey, rich in tradition yet interwoven with contemporary wellbeing philosophy for great skin and even better wellness.
With a ‘glow’ in the name and brightly coloured packaging too, you just know The Glowcery is going to be good. Working to produce ‘superfood skincare,’ The Glowcery provides the very best mineral-rich and nutrients-dense skincare diet you can find. The brand produces its high-performance natural beauty products with cold-pressed oils from fruit, vegetables and nuts – under the philosophy that we should only put on our skin ingredients we would put in our bodies as well. With a small range that is rich in green ingredients, The Glowcery are certainly one to look out for.
Wild Seed Botanicals
Bringing skincare back to nature by cutting out synthetics and harsh chemicals, Wild Seed Botanicals create real products from ‘seed to skin.’ Born in London but rooted in African holistic traditions from the founder’s Ghanaian heritage, it offers skincare products made for the greater good of both our skin and our personal wellness. By using ethically sourced ingredients sought out for their restorative and therapeutic effects, each product harnesses the healing powers of the natural world, helping us escape from the stresses of daily life with a brilliantly bucolic beauty regime.
The Afro Hair And Skin Co.
Leaders in meeting the needs of black beauty, the award-winning Afro Hair and Skin Co. take plant magic to a new level. With clean and green essentials that really help our skin flourish in the best way possible, the Afro Hair and Skin Co.’s dedication to real beauty with pure ingredients can be felt in products like the ‘Flow – Perfectly Balanced Facial Oil.’ Highly recommended for people of colour, it works to provide nutrients to the skin, a glow to the face and ensure reparative measures with carefully picked botanical ingredients.
Founded in 2008, Shimirose is a luxury brand with a sustainable ethos that creates 100% natural skincare products, made by hand to ensure quality across the board. Shimirose uses unrefined Shea butter from the gold coast of northern Ghana as a key ingredient throughout its product line, thanks to its high content of natural fatty acids and nutrients to soften the skin. With a range varying from moisturiser, lip care and (most recently) alcohol cleansing gel, it continues to infiltrate the London market with a family-owned skincare brand whilst also ensuring the female workers of Shimirose in Ghana are fairly paid to actively support their families. Where possible, even the packaging is recycled or recyclable too.
Like It On Top Skin
Finding the right beauty products to protect your skin can sometimes be difficult, but Like It On Top makes it easy. With vegan, handmade skin protection being its focal point, the products are made to compliment the skin we live in by exfoliating, brightening and reducing pores. Their natural range of skincare starts from cleansers, under eye protection and scrubs – each focusing on maintaining a healthy epidermis to help ensure superior skin for years to come.
Deeply rooted in the qualities of the earth and its ingredients, Narloa use a holistic philosophy and botanical extracts to formulate its range of products. Taking a minimalistic approach to combat typical skincare pitfalls, the brand has an honest ethos of uncomplicated ingredients made for sensitive skin. Its aromatherapy-aligned remedies such as aloe and lemon face wash, citrus blend blemish oil and many others are also created to be vegan and cruelty-free for a truly all-round approach.
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