For Us, By Us: 4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020

4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020

Happy Black History Month, y'all!

Well, it's more like Black History 365/6 around these parts, but I wanted to do something extra special in 2020, dedicated to the beautiful shades and undertones that make us unique and proud of our ancestry.

Since November of 2019, I've been quietly playing around in skincare products from four amazing brands. I incorporated them all into my regimen for an extended period of time because I wanted to be 100% certain they were straight fire.

As someone who's battled psoriasis all my adult life (and since high school, tbh), skincare has always been a sensitive subject for me. In the 20+ years that I've been dealing with psoriasis, I've had to tread lightly. I can't use all of the products that everyone can — heavy artificial fragrances and colorants are a nonstarter. Extra drying sulfates are a hard pass. That's why I had to be so particular and take extra care with this compilation — I couldn't risk exacerbating an already sensitive skin ailment by going all willy nilly with the products.

I'm happy to report that for my tricky, sensitive, and sometimes dry skin, these products have been a blessing.

Keep reading (or watching) to discover why.




4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020

ASE Naturals with Shannon Cann

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www.asenaturals.bm

Perks
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty free
  • Handcrafted/handmade
  • Paraben and sulfate/harsh cleanser-free
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Organic
  • Free of artificial fragrance and colorants
  • Made with raw ingredients
  • Preservative free
  • Shea butter-free
  • Gluten free
  • Safe for sensitive/troubled skin
Product Price Range
$15-60

About
ASE Naturals was founded by Shannon Cann — a true renaissance woman building a beauty empire on the principles of self-care, mindfulness, and the power of nature. Shannon is a layer, herbalist, certified reiki practitioner, and the formulated behind all of ASE Naturals' offerings.

After a life-threatening medical emergency landed her in the ICU immobile and intubated, Shannon committed to a complete lifestyle overhaul after her recovery. She became vegan, committed to clean beauty products, and connected with herbalism as a means of guarding her physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

From her own rituals of self-care, ASE Naturals was born — a skincare line that promotes mindfulness and nourishment while harnessing the healing power of plants.

My Favorites
Every time someone comes into the she-shed, their eyes are immediately drawn to the bottles of ASE Naturals oils. They're simple, yet sophisticated and stunning. I had the absolute pleasure of experiencing the Lavender + Amethyst and Hibiscus + Rose Lunar Body Oils infused with crystalst. Formulated with jojoba, kukui, sweet almond, and more, these oils are equal parts elegant and effective. They soak immediately into the skin, making it feel supple and smooth without making me look like I hugged a tray of Popeye's Chicken Sandwiches.

4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020

Read More: My She-Shed Transformation

I've become obsessed with the Lavender + Amethyst Lunar Body Oil — it's the part of my morning routine where I'm forced to slow down. I apply it fresh out of the shower, and the gentle lavender fragrance adds a sense of tranquility to an otherwise hectic morning rush home from the gym to get ready for work. 

The Lavender + Amethyst Lunar Body Oil also makes a wonderful massage oil. I've paired it with my Hypervolt (and human hands) with amazing results. The amethyst crystals in the oil are believed to promote positive thinking and aid in cell regeneration. I'm not an expert in crystals (or even a beginner, tbh), but I'm here for all the positive affirmations and speaking life into myself and others. 

4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020

Be Kekoa Apothecary

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Perks
  • Plant-based
  • Cruelty free
  • Handcrafted/handmade
  • Paraben and sulfate/harsh cleanser-free
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Made with raw ingredients
  • Gluten free
  • Safe for sensitive/troubled skin
Product Price Range
$3 - $45

About
Y'all should be WELL versed in all things Brandie Kekoa by now! But just in case you're new around these parts, here's the rundown. Be Kekoa, Inc. is a woman and minority-owned Healthy Hair Studio and Apothecary in Temecula, California uniquely positioned at the intersection of textured hair and natural skincare. Since 2011, Brandie and the Be Kekoa team have been saving naturalists of all types and textures from bad hair cuts and toxic beauty products.

Read More: My Be Kekoa Curly Cut Experience
How a Curly Cut Fixed My Damaged Hair
Be Kekoa Be Clean Review
I Used the Same Be Kekoa Products for 3 Months

While I came to Brandie by way of hair, I have come to have a profound appreciation for how the skincare side of the Be Kekoa brand has grown. Since re-locating to Old Town Temecula, Be Kekoa has expanded its services to include an in-house apothecary where fresh hair, face, and body, and bath products are made on-site. On any given day, you can mosey into Be Kekoa and experience everything that made me fall in love. From laughing and good times on the salon floor to seeing Patricia (Be Kekoa's own on-site herbalist, product chemist, and aromatherapy specialist) in her full element mixing fresh batches of product — it's impossible to not leave with a tote bag full of goodies. 

With signature services, powerful products, and pioneering endeavors in natural skincare and beauty, Brandie and her team have truly carved out a gem in the heart of Temecula.

4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020

My Favorites
With so many goodies offered at the Be Kekoa Apothecary, it was hard to narrow down my favorites. But when I went back to look at containers and what I had seriously made a dent in, the winners were obvious. 

First things first, I've seen a lot of scrubs in my day — and nothing has come close to the texture, feel, and performance of Be Well Heeled. My feet take a lot of abuse in the gym, and Be Well Heeled is a nourishing treat that soothes, invigorates, and helps ward off dryness and cracking. It's not goopy and oily like most scrubs. In fact, it looks and behaves more like a body butter that melts upon contact. It scrubs gently without being too abrasive, and leaves my feet and skin feeling soft and moisturized, yet non-greasy. 

Another recovery favorite of mine is the CBD Soothing Cream (and Salve). With dosages ranging from 250-400mg of CBD, this rich formula is exactly what I reach for to help soothe and relax sore muscles, and aid in recovery from minor aches and owwies. I get a number of comments/DMs about strong knees with heavy squats and other gym moves — and rubbing them down with the CBD Soothing Cream is a part of my recovery process.

Lastly, the Be Clear Aloe Honey Blemish Fighter is a staple for those moments where my skin gets real disrespectful. It's perfect for someone like me who loves natural ingredients, but is not a fan of DIYs and wasting perfectly good groceries. This tiny vial is packed with organic aloe, witch hazel, probiotics, honey, and more — and a few drops goes a long way in fighting breakouts without making your face feel sticky. 

4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020

Bolden USA

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Perks
  • Cruelty free
  • Paraben and sulfate/harsh cleanser-free
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Safe for sensitive/troubled skin
Product Price Range
$16.50-29.50 for individual products (bundles are more)

About
Bolden USA was founded in 2012 by Chinelo Chidozie and Ndidi Obidoa, and is headquartered in Calabasas, California (#CaliforniaLove). Chinelo and Ndidi pride themselves on building a brand by Black women, for Black women. Each Bolden product is expertly crafted, responsibly sourced, and formulated specifically for women with darker skin.

In building Bolden, Chinelo and Ndidi have committed to steering a global conversation about inclusive standards of beauty — taking the road rarely (if at all) traveled by mainstream brands. Each product in the Bolden skincare line was created to address specific needs and concerns of Black women — from hyperpigmentation to SPF moisturizer that doesn't leave us looking casket-ready.

My Favorites
You guys know that I'm a whole fool when it comes to Black owned brands that come out the gates swingin'. In many ways, the clean packaging and clear branding of Bolden reminds me of how tgin started strong. But beyond pretty packaging, Bolden products are phenomenal. I love them all — and picking my favorites was hard. But if I have to make the call about what I'm for sure going to re-up on — then it's the Glycolic Acid Nighttime Repair Serum, Skin Brightening Toner, and Glow Hydrating Mask.

Here's why.

4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020

Glycolic Acid is one of those things I didn't realize I needed until I had it. And now that I have it, I never want to be without it. Formulated with 10% glycolic acid, aloe, safflower, and more, this formula gently exfoliates dead and damaged skin while helping to fade dark spots and aid in collagen production. Translation: everything you need to start aging backwards (in addition to sleep, drinking water, eating decently, and minding your business, of course). The Nighttime Repair Serum is a part of my daily routine, and has been since December.

The same can be said for the Skin Brightening Toner, which is hands down one of the best toners I've ever used. For me, toners can be a bit tricky. I want them to have their secondary cleansing and astringent properties, but also not dry my skin out. Bolden hit the holy grail with their Skin Brightening Toner — formulated with witch hazel, lavender, and our star player glycolic acid. It's gentle, helps control breakouts, but still works well at removing things my cleanser may have left behind. I use it every day, and will continue to do so!

Another regimen game-changer has been the Glow Hydrating Mask. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, aloe, algae, and ginseng, this lightweight mask packs a moisturizing and soothing punch. I use it about 3-4 times a week, leaving it on during my shower. I've even tried it as a soothing, moisturizing follow-up to the drying (but powerful) bentonite clay mask. A little goes a long way, and Glow leaves my skin feeling refreshed and super soft after each use. The re-up IS coming.

4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020

Pydana Skincare

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Perks
  • Plant-based
  • Cruelty free
  • Paraben and sulfate/harsh cleanser-free
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Free of artificial fragrance and colorants
  • Made with raw ingredients
  • Gluten-free
  • Safe for sensitive/troubled skin
Product Price Range
$38 - 45

About
A budding beauty brand carving a lane of their own, Pydana Collection was founded by Rochelle Pydana in spring of 2017. After finding that her "9 to 5" as a scientist left her unfulfilled, Rochelle decided to lean into her calling. Standing on years of Guyanese tradition and her professional degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, Rochelle found her passion for crafting beauty solutions while journeying through the chapters of motherhood.

Read More: Pydana Collection for Dry, Frizzy Low-Porosity Hair
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She found herself reeling in excitement at the possibility of creating safe, healthy, natural products for women of color. In 2016, Rochelle took a giant leap of faith, and went all in developing Pydana Collection, a luxe beauty brand dedicated simplifying the transition to natural, while promoting healthy hair and skin. Although still young, Pydana Collection is an ambitious brand, and Rochelle is 100% committed to customer satisfaction and creating products that become holy grails for Black women seeking cleaner beauty alternatives.

My Favorites
The Pydana Skincare bottles may be tiny, but they pack an amazing punch. I got hooked on the Facial Moisturizer and the Kalahari Facial Oil.

The Facial Moisturizer is thick and creamy, yet light weight and not at all greasy. Packed with good-for-skin goodies like rosehip, Vitamin C, and silk amino acids, it helps to balance and even out my skin without causing breakouts or any adverse reactions. A little bit goes a long way with the Facial Moisturizer, and it plays quite nicely with plenty of my faves on this list.

4 Black Owned Skincare Brands to Bless Your Melanin in 2020But let's get into this Kalahari Facial Oil tho! I've heard wonderful things about kalahari, and I couldn't wait to get this into my regimen. What's so special about kalahari oil? This wild melon seed is packed with linoleic acid — helping to unclog pores and make skin look firmer. It's also full of antioxidants and vitamins that fight free radical damage and soothe inflammation. All in all it's supposed to be a miracle worker — and I've fallen in love. Two drops of the Kalahari Facial Oil is all it takes to make my skin feel soft, supple, and smooth while promoting a natural and non-greasy glow.


Well y'all, that's the list! Let me know in the comments or on Instagram which products and brands you're excited to try. And if there's a brand you think I NEED in my life, let me know, too! This is a two-way street, sis!

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