Two of the things we’ve learned in the past few years are 1) how important it is to support minority-owned businesses, and 2) and establishing a good self-care routine. Here’s a list of some excellent Black owned beauty brands that can help you do both!

Belle Bar Organic: This brand is part of what I want the future of beauty brands to look like. Not only do they have transparent ingredient lists, update how they work based on consumer feedback, and constantly ask “how can we make this better,” they actually have educational courses in beauty. Yes, you read that right. You can take courses with them to better understand beauty products and issues! Having issues balancing moisture and protein with your curly hair? For $5, they can help you better understand what’s happening and how to get your hair the best it’s ever been. Having issues building a good regimen for your curl pattern? There’s a course for that, too. Trying to decide what protective style is best for your strands? Have no fear, there’s an entire course dedicated to protective styles. As an esthetician, I LOVE when brands want to educate and help clients become knowledgeable. My recommendation: In addition to a course or two, pick up the Golden Sea Buckthorne Shine & Moisture Hair Butter. It has dozens of reviews from ardent fans saying how much softer and shinier it’s made their hair – one even commented how she used it before a flight & while traveling abroad and had gorgeous, soft hair the whole time!

Briogeo: If you know me in person, you know I freakin’ adore this brand. Their packaging is clean but cute, their formulas are effective, and a little goes a long way. There are no harsh sulfates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, DEA, and other funky stuff that aren’t that stellar for hair & skin – just good, clean, effective formulations that really do the job well. My recommendation: the Scalp Revival Scalp Care Solutions Set and Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating & Defining Mask are so, so, SO awesome. I’m white and Māori and live in the southern US, so I have a constant battle of keeping my scalp clean, hydrating my hair, and defining my curls. This gives me a whole reset. I use the scalp scrub to really get my scalp squeaky clean, use the two masks to soothe my dandruff-prone scalp and wavy/curly lengths, then seal in my scalp treatment with the charcoal & mint oil before finishing with my haircare. It gives my hair the pick-me-up it needs.

Dehiya Beauty: Based entirely on ancient beauty secrets from Morocco, this indulgent, sophisticated, luxurious brand is hoping to re-define how you use cosmetics into a true ritual. They emphasize mindfulness and intention while using the products (not in an off-putting Gwenyth Paltrow way), and with packaging this pretty and scents this lovely, there’s no way using these wouldn’t become a transcendent experience. My recommendation: Queen Amina African Superfruit Multi-Use Oil conquers basically every issue you could possibly think of, head to toe. Scalp soothing? Check. Dry ends? Got it. Cuticles? Soft and smooth. Facial oil? Love it. Body oil? Luscious. After-shave balm? Perfect. It’s a Swiss Army knife in a bottle, and worth every penny. Plus it smells like oud, rose, geranium, and cedarwood.

Soultanicals: This fun-loving brand specializes in “hair, body, and soul care” and promises to richly hydrate even the driest of skin and curls. With colorful packaging, natural yet effective ingredient lists, and specialized products for every issue you could think of, you’re in for a treat with this brand. My recommendation: the Monoi Moisture Slip, an excellent solution for dry and damaged hair that also increases circulation for future healthy hair growth. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of monoi flowers‽

Sunday II Sunday: Maintaining Black hair frankly just takes more time and effort than most other types of hair. Wash day can take LITERALLY all day! So what happens when you go work out? Dry shampoo in black hair isn’t exactly a stellar combo, and few things are more annoying than feeling your scalp sweat. In comes the brilliant brand Sunday II Sunday, made specifically for active Black women to help maintain their hair between wash days and also keep it fresh. My recommendation: the Spray & Go Bundle, a two part bundle that consists of a delightfully refreshing micellar water scalp spray and a lightweight but powerful curl hydrating refresh spray, so your curls can be shiny, clean, and hydrated without getting weighed down.

Thirteen Lune: There are more and more curators coming forward who want to curate different brands in their own storefronts. Sephora and Ulta may be the best known but many more are coming forward as powerhouses in curating independent and small brands. Thirteen Lune is in these ranks with a brilliant focus: “an e-commerce destination designed to inspire the discovery of beauty brands created by Black and Brown founders that resonate with people of all colors.” They do have some brands owned by non-Black and Brown brands, but only those who are determined to show they are inclusive and strong allies. Brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm, who has brightening products specifically for Black skin so that only hyperpigmentation is targeted instead of the entire face being lightened. They do have a 90/10 rule: 90% of their brands will always be BIPOC founded, and the other 10% “are brands that exemplify allyship to incite meaningful change beyond beauty.” In all, it’s definitely going in my bookmarks folder to browse for future purchases. My recommendation: Gloryscent Beauty Urban Detox Masque. Chocolate and roses – need I say more‽ Actually, I can – with actives like Moroccan clay, rice powder, and pineapple powder, this mask goes a long way to brighten, clarify, and exfoliate all at once. It says to mix with water, but I bet mixing with rosewater would be even more delightful.

Unsun Cosmetics: Getting a sunscreen you like is hard enough when you’re pale. Add in any degree of melanin and it’s that much harder – between needing GOOD sun protection due to increased chance in hyper and hypopigmentation, and the oh so beautiful white cast that comes with sunscreens, trying to find a good one is just hard. Unsun Cosmetics has tinted mineral sunscreen that’s so good that Allure editors have named it hands down the best sunscreen for darker skin tones. My recommendation: the Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen in Medium/Dark is out of this world. It not only protects with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, it also helps improve skin with cucumber extract, aloe, Shea butter, and citrus extracts. It can be worn alone or as a primer, too!

Charlotte Smith is an esthetician licensed in Tennessee and Georgia. She’s married to a lumberjack version of Deadpool, is obsessed with huskies, is straight up in quarter-life crisis mode, and loves pretty much anything that could be considered creepy.

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