Every day that I work on Melanglow I see the urgency for its existence. The hours and days that it takes to find these black-owned businesses is humbling and evokes more empathy for those who too may feel hopeless in their desire to support black-owned businesses but simply cannot find them. The intentionality and time is takes to stay inspired and keep your hand on the pulse is nothing to be undermined. My hat goes off to all social media managers and content creators who know browsing social media channels is not a waste of time (shout out to Evelyn Ngugi). My appreciation for bloggers has grown tremendously.
Luckily, during one of my Instagram scrolling sessions I stumbled across Astrida Naturals via a hash tag. I immediately fell in love with the brand’s message: “We are a natural skin care company, but we aren’t here to preach to you about toxins, or scare you into thinking everything that isn’t natural is inherently bad. That’s not our vibe.” Yes, girl! No pandering, no fear mongering. This is a brand I can get behind.
Too often, brands use scare tactics to attract consumers when it doesn’t have to be that way. People who prefer natural ingredients and value sustainability will seek you out. No need to send subliminals about other brands and villainize ingredients you choose to exclude from your formulas. You can empower your consumers through education and trust that they will make decisions for themselves. See how excited I am about Astrida Natural? Now, see what Maia has to say about her powerful, plant-based products.
Introduce yourself & why you do what you do.
Hello, I’m Maia. I’m a maker, mom, designer, aspiring minimalist, and founder of Astrida Naturals.
Describe what sets Astrida Naturals apart from other skin care brands.
Astrida is focused on creating multifunctional skin care products using versatile natural ingredients like shea butter for carefree eco lifestyles. Multifunctional is important. If it doesn’t have more than one benefit or use, I don’t release it. I began using shea butter, because it is the ultimate multitasking beauty ingredient and I wanted to simplify my routine. It moisturizers, soothes, fights aging and blemishes, and more. It’s also natural, so naturally it became the powerhouse ingredient in my minimalist inspired line.
Why take the artisanal route vs. mass production?
For the quality and efficacy. Our small batch skin care products are fresher and contain a higher concentration of active botanicals.
What do your skin care products entail and what concerns do they address?
Our skin care products contain shea butter with a variety of botanical extracts and essential oils. They are meant to be balancing and address a wide variety of concerns like dry skin, oily skin, dull skin, hyperpigmentation, and sensitive skin in as simple of a routine as possible.
Getting into the mix
What is the process for purchasing a customized product?
I’m actually in the process of phasing this offering out. It was a great idea at the time, but proved to not be a scalable way to produce.
Mask Concentrates: Why do you recommend not allowing the masks to dry before removing?
I recommend removing a mask while still damp because it’s the best way to ensure you’re pushing nutrients into your skin, which is what our masks are designed to do. A lot of people let masks dry on their faces; it’s not wrong. Letting a clay mask dry is great for pulling impurities out of your skin. It really comes down to what you want to get out of the mask.
White Tea & Cucumber Hydrating Facial Toner: Can this be used as a mist/refresher spray throughout the day?
Yes, absolutely. It’s made with an aloe base, so it can be used as hydrating mist. Here is a tip: pop it in the fridge for a bit and use it as a cool, extra refreshing boost. You can also use it as an activator with any of our face masks.
Mulberry & Licorice Brightening Facial Serum: Do you recommend restricting this to nighttime use?
Yes, I do. Serums are most effective at night because that’s when your skin repairs itself from the stress of the day. Nighttime is a great time to put extra nutrients into your skin. If you do use this during the day, be sure to follow with sun protection as the brightening ingredients can increase your sensitivity to the sun.
Tea Tree & Clary Sage Clarifying Facial Moisturizer: Why is this highly recommended for men?
Originally, I formulated this for acne. It’s still great for blemishes, but after a few men tried it and told me they were using it as an aftershave I tweaked the formula. The product you see now is a more soothing and calming lightweight formula, which is great for men’s thicker, oilier skin without sacrificing the clarifying benefits of the original.
Facial Moisturizer: Do either of your moisturizers contain SPF protection?
No, not at this time.
Lavender Chamomile Calming Salt Soak: Will this make it into the permanent collection?
Yes, very likely. I’m still tweaking and testing, but this is coming soon along with the Rosemary Mint Detox Salt Soak.
Rosemary Mint Detoxing Salt Soak: What are some of the benefits and when will this be available for purchase?
I love salt soaks. Ours will be made with epsom salts, sea salts clay, and a bit of shea oil. They’ll be totally relaxing and purifying but also detoxing and even a bit moisturizing.
I saw that there is a sugar scrub in the mix via Instagram. Will this be available for purchase?
It’s always a possibility! I’ll admit this one has been on the back burner for quite some time and I don’t’ have any plans to release it soon. I think part of the reason I’ve dragged my feet because a sugar scrub is very easy to do at home on your own. Mix a bit of shea oil with sugar and you’re done.
Share your skin care regimen
In the morning I wash my face in the shower with our Lavender Cedarwood Cleansing Lotion. I put it on my face and leave it on for at least 5 min. while I wash up like a cream mask then I rinse it off . After the shower, I spray a cotton ball with the White Tea and Cucumber Toner and wipe my face, then finish with the Carrot Seed & Geranium Moisturizer. I like to keep it simple in the morning and I don’t really wear makeup. Sometimes I’ll swipe on eyeliner and mascara if I’m feeling fancy.
At night I use the konjac sponge with a little dollop of our cleanser then follow with the Mulberry & Licorice Serum and either a moisturizer or pure shea butter depending on the season. I live in Chicago and our winter nights can be dry and brutal. Sometimes the pure shea is a must. Bergamot & Ylang Ylang is my favorite scent. Once or twice a week I’ll use a face mask after applying the serum.
What’s on your vanity and what’s in your purse?
Not too much! I rarely wear makeup or fragrance, so it’s really only what I have for my skin care regimen, our unscented shea lotion, and toothpaste.
If I can get away without carrying a purse, I have a coach wristlet with my Orange Mint Lip Balm tucked in. If a purse is necessary, there will be a book in it. Currently I’m reading The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood.
What are your best sellers and what are your favorites?
My favorite product is the Bergamot Ylang Ylang Shea Butter Stick, because it has so many uses and it’s my favorite essential oil combo. I also love the Mulberry Licorice Serum. My best sellers are the Carrot Seed Geranium Moisturizer and the Unscented Shea Butter Lotion.
Where can we find Astrida Naturals?
AstridaNaturals.com, Amazon, and Etsy. Check out Where to Buy section on our website to see where you can purchase our products locally.
What skin care tip do you live by?
Keep it simple sister. Aim for balance. Everything in moderation.
Anything coming soon?
The salt soaks are next and maybe a body/face oil.
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