Recently someone inquired about whether Melanglow produces content exclusively for black-owned natural and organic skin care brands. Although many of the featured entrepreneurial brands align with the green beauty movement, my desire is to provide a platform for all black-owned skin care brands, entrepreneurial and commercial, artisanal and mass-produced.
Over the past few years, I’ve been enjoying my fair share of black-owned beauty brands that focus on natural ingredients:
- Facial Masks: The Play Cousins of Skin Care
- Astrida Naturals Mulberry & Licorice Brightening Facial Serum
- SheaMoisture African Black Soap Lotion
- Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Body Wash (review coming soon)
For the women interested in creating artisanal products for personal use or others, I reached out to esthetician and skin care expert, Kimo Bentley, to learn how to incorporate natural ingredients in your skin care regimen.
Cleanser: Is it true that cleansers with lather/suds are too harsh? Is bar soap too harsh for the face?
Typically a soap that has lots of lather may contain coconut oil, palm oil, castor oil, or kernel oil. Natural soaps and cleansers are created with these essential ingredients. We combine them with shea butter, olive oil, and other moisturizing agents to condition the skin, so that question can be answered with a yes and no depending on who you ask and also what ingredients are used. Sulfates produce lather and bubbles as well, however, sulfates strip the skin of its natural oils and increases penetration of the surface of the skin. Some products contain this ingredient instead of natural ones.
Products that contain a higher alkaline can irritate the facial skin. Soap or cleansing bars can be used on the face providing it is not formulated with detergents or deodorants. Some cleansing bars may generally have a low pH, which is more acidic for skin. This is important because that avoids upsetting the acid mantle. Some cleansing bars are gentle enough to use on the face.
Exfoliants and Masks: How often should you exfoliate with a physical exfoliant? What makes for a great mask?
The term exfoliate means to remove dead skin cells on the skin. The skin naturally sheds 40,000 dead cells per minute; however, as we age we need a little help. The skin constantly changes, and it actually regenerates every 27 days. Proper skincare is essential to maintaining the skin’s health. Age, stress, and environmental factors also affect the skin’s ability to turn over. Some great natural exfoliants can be sugar, salt, and crushed walnuts.
A great mask will help remove excess oils, pull out impurities, and aid in improving the tone and texture of the skin. Some of them will even exfoliate. Some ingredients I love in a mask contain kaolin clay, Dead Sea mud, honey, yogurt, and pureed pumpkin.
Toner: What is the harm in skipping your toner and applying your moisturizer? Which ingredients are more effective for oily skin, dry, and combination skin?
Skipping a toner all depends on where your skin is. Are you oily, acne prone, dehydrated, or have a dull tone and texture? Toners are beneficial for all of the above and they also shrink pores. I enjoy a toner that contains orange blossom, rose water, aloe vera, and other essential oils.
Essences, serums, and treatments: Can a serum work as a dual moisturizer? Are treatments applied before or after your moisturizer?
A serum is specifically designed with smaller molecules to easily penetrate the skin and deliver potent active ingredients. A cream/moisturizer is a complex mixture of chemical agents specifically designed to make external layers of the skin softer and more pliable. It also increases hydration by reducing evaporation. Serums and treatment are applied before moisturizer.
Can you make your own serum?
Yes, you can. Serums are relatively easy to create at home but the shelf life may be short lived.
Moisturizers: What is the difference between a day cream and night cream?
The difference between a day cream and a night cream is that night creams have heavier emollients in them for treating specific conditions, whereas a daytime cream is lightweight and has SPF (sun protection factor) in it.
SPF: It is a struggle for brown-skinned women to find sunscreens or moisturizers with SPF that do not leave a white cast. Which ingredients can we look for that will not cause this white, blueish cast?
SPF protects the skin from the UVA (Ultraviolet A) and UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays, which are both harmful to all skin types. UVA rays are responsible for aging and UVB rays are responsible for burning. The white cast from UV filters comes from the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide ingredients. An alternative can be photostable broad-spectrum sunscreens. It should not irritate the skin or cause a white cast when applied correctly, not too much or too little.
Are there natural ingredients with UVA & UVB/broad-spectrum protection?
Currently, yes there are pure mineral non-nano zinc oxide sunscreens on the market.
What is the most essential step in a skin care regimen?
My prescription for beauty is cleanse, treat, hydrate, and protect. 4 simple steps.
Follow Kimo Bentley here:
Do you have any DIY recipes you incorporate in your skin care regimen?