I’ll be first to admit that I was pretty quiet on the blog since fall. But I’ve been very busy testing some of the latest and greatest skin care products. Because I’m very thoughtful in what I introduce into my daily regimen and am sure to use for at least 4 weeks (unless I have a negative reaction), I can report that I’ve discovered and rediscovered some skin care products that I can’t wait to gush about.
So without further ado — because you’ve been waiting long enough — here are the skin care products that I’ve added to my routine this winter.
If there’s one thing that I know, it’s that you can bet on Black women to steer you in the right direction in the beauty industry. Finding a cleanser that works for your skin type and needs from season to season can be quite a feat. This gentle, yet effective face wash by this Black women-built brand Bolden USA removes dirt, sweat and lingering makeup. It boasts a light lather, which works for the common 60-second rule to allow cleanser to sit before removing, and leaves my skin feeling incredibly smooth. Maskne is no longer an issue thanks to this product, and I also use it as a second step when double-cleansing.
Just because I’m wearing more layers during the cold-weather months doesn’t mean I can afford to neglect my body care. And this cult favorite body wash by Nécessaire is worth the hype! Coined a “multi-vitamin cleanser for skin health,” the formula backs that up with its combination of vitamins B3, C, E and Omega-6 and 9. A little goes a long way when I smooth on with my LuvScrub mesh body exfoliator. And the smell… the smell is clean and fresh thanks to the eucalyptus. Talk about a mini spa in your shower!
All things Glow Recipe
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Truthfully, it’s hard for me to choose just one Glow Recipe skin care product that I’ve enjoyed most this winter. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the co-founders Christine and Sarah for my Yahoo Life video series My Beauty, My Way, and my love for the brand only intensified. These two friends formulate K-beauty products built on science and tradition that work for everyone. My current favorite fruit-powered picks from Glow Recipe include: the Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm (this works wonders for removing makeup); Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum (a must-have for pre-makeup skincare that’ll give you a gorgeous glow); and Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner. This toner changed everything I thought I knew about toners because I’ve seen a dramatic transformation in the texture of my skin, as it’s much plumper and not dry and dull; the PHA makes it less irritant than most toners on the market, as it exfoliates on the surface and makes it ideal for people with oily or sensitive skin).
When the fellas behind Youth to the People put me on to their latest under-eye cream, I was intrigued. It contains the usual moisturizing ingredients such as vitamin C, ceramides and hyaluronic acid. The addition of goji (the bright red berry that’s booming with anti-aging benefits) stem cells really caught my attention. The instructions call for applying before bedtime and wearing overnight — the prime time for skin cell turnover. Unlike other eye creams on the market, this one is “very rich, honey” as Nene Leakes would say. I tend to lightly dab my ring finger to pick up just enough product to tap on. I’ve been using for a few months and I must say that my under-eye area is definitely smoother and the appearance of fine lines are virtually undetectable.
I was introduced to Redoux via Facebook’s #BuyBlack Friday campaign, and I’m so glad the social platform spotlighted this Black-owned beauty business. Founder Asia Grant has curated a line of products that include powerful antioxidants, vitamins and aromatic herbs that help to create a beautiful sensorial experience. What I appreciate most about this serum is that it’s lightweight but very hydrating. The fresh citrus scent is quite the wake-up call motivating me to slow down and relish in the moment of patting and massaging the product into my skin. Not to mention, it’s poured into an understated, yet stunning glass bottle.
Add this sunscreen to the short list of brown-girl friendly SPFs. Created by Frank Ocean’s beautiful mother Katonya Breaux, this product made me a believer in mineral tinted face sunscreens. Formulated with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this SPF 30 has a remarkably creamy texture that makes it an optimal moisturizer. I find that the Medium/Dark tone also works as a great makeup primer, as it buffs the skin and blurs out imperfections, or can be worn alone on a daily basis. Word of caution: a little goes a long way. So stick to the derm-suggested amount of 1/2 teaspoon for the face and neck area.
You better believe my love for Hanahana shea butter is strong 365 days a year. And this shea butter has a sexy blend of warm and musky notes that makes it optimal for wintertime instead of my usual Vanilla Lavender pick. Whipped to perfection, I like to use my body heat to warm up this head-to-toe moisturizer before applying on damp skin. Or, you can give yourself a full body massage before bedtime and wake up softer.
You can’t forget about your scalp when it comes to skin care… because it is skin! This hair care combo from stylist Mika English has been a godsend to not only me, but my son JP. I reach for the shampoo to clarify our thick, curly strands and the charcoal detoxes our locks and removes buildup and sweat that comes with keeping our hair covered with knit hats. The conditioner contains apple cider vinegar but isn’t too pungent. It is also amazing for detangling and leaves behind a lust-worthy shine.
Hey Beauties: Which skin care products are part of your winter must-haves? Let’s discuss! Sound off in the comments section below.