"Doug, I loved your Ayurvedic Skin Care article, it felt like you took me to a spa, very relaxing!!! However, what advice would you give to women who don't have time to make their own skin care products as your article suggested? I want to go with natural cosmetics, but for African American women, finding regular cosmetics is enough of a challenge, to find natural cosmetics that work for our skin has got to be three times as hard. I don't even know where to start. Help a sister out!!!" –Kassandra J.
Don't worry Kassandra, you know immo' take care of my sistas
My response started out as a simple reply to an email, but due to the suprising wealth of options I found, turned out to be my next full blown, and hopefully, super-stylish segment of "Girl Talk".
As a quick note, I am technically an "Ad Free Blog", however I do list certain products, companies and websites below because I find it necessary since people depend on me to do the research and make a suggestion of who to purchase from.
I have no affiliation with any company I list on this page, and I don't make any money off this page, they are just companies that seem to be doing positive work as pertains to natural cosmetics and beauty products. That being said, shall we begin?
Our bodies basically eat what we put on our skin as easily as what we put in our mouths. Seems to be very simple point that is very easy to go through your whole life and never think about.
When researching this article, I found it pretty interesting that many women freely admitted that they never look at the labels to their cosmetics and skin care products. Actually I would call it "scary", after I took a "deep dive" into the subject matter, walking over to the mall in downtown Seattle and just started casually reading some of the ingredient labels on some of the cosmetics.
From my knowledge of ingredients lists, the standard ingredient list of your standard commercial cosmetics would get a grade of F.
What the heck is Hexytryceratolisotopechloride-3? Uh….I just made that name up, but that is the kind of wording I saw on the cosmetic labels. For all I know, that could the the scientific name for powdered Nuclear Waste.
The list of toxins in Cosmetics is VERY SCARY. I don't want to clutter the stylish "quick read" feel of my blog post with a cumbersome list, but a quick list of toxins in makeup can be found here.
Even more scary, as the "health nut" that I am, as I am full aware that the face, scalp, and all the skin absorbs everything the body puts on it like a sponge.
Some studies have shown that more toxins enter the body from water when taking a shower than from water that we drink.
A woman's skin can get progressively worse from years and years of "feeding it" products with toxic chemicals, the response over time, as one gets older, is to hide imperfections with more and more toxic products, it becomes and endless cycle. I'm not sure if the price of looking good at a younger age is worth looking like a corpse when we get older.
As I understand it, women of color, namely African American women have it twice as bad. I remember my mother saying when growing up that where was absolutely no makeup on the market available for her skin type. She said she had to make due with whatever she could find, but she hated Cover Girl, and all the commercial products out there.
It seems however, things are getting a little better.
So, as I promised Kassandra J. who wrote me the email, looking for suggestions for healthier, more natural cosmetic and skin care products, especially cosmetics created [at least in part] to accommodate women of color, I was suprised at what I found out. A fair number of companies seemed to be doing some very progressive work as pertains to this subject matter. I want to feature a few of my fav's.
Terre d' Oc has 5 "culturally inspired" lines listed below:
Morocco (products include argan oil based products such as an anti aging face cream with oils of argan and prickly pear, and an exfoliating "black soap" with olive oil, enriched with argan oil and orange blossom )
India (products are mostly pomegranate based products, as example, a facial scrub blend of pomegranate, curcuma and chick pea powders, and pomegranate and pistachio oils with vegetable gum to remove make-up and cleanse the face)
Bali (products are coconut based products such as a soothing Day Face Cream with moisturizing coconut, antioxidant rice extract and soothing sandalwood extract, and a body scrub that combines gentle spices with coconut flesh, sugar and yoghurt powder to soften, scrub and beautify)
Japan (products are traditional Japanese beauty secret products such as a Day Face Cream from a brown seaweed called "Wakame", recognized for its antipollution properties and also a natural Anti Pollution Foundation, as well as a Traditional Face Scrub Mask based on rice bran)
Burkina Faso in Africa (Products are Shea Butter based products including an anti-aging Facial Elixr made with precious African oils enriched with regenerating Shea Butter, and a nourishing facial mask with Shea Butter, enriched in baobab and cocoa butter)
Terre d' Oc product ingredients are almost all of natural origin and a big chunk of those ingredients from organic farming.
Terre d' Oc doesn't stop there, they have the traditional array of eye liners, mascara, foundation, eyeshadow, and the rest, from naturally source ingredients, such an natural pigmentations from red ochre clay from Mali in Africa.
Terre d' Oc has a New York Store, that webstite is still under construction but it contains an address, and phone number for placing orders. The main Terre d' Oc 'Paris website is great read, showing and explaining all their products.
Cosmetiques Laudun has decided to go the "organic" way, and I find their products extremely high quality for those who seek natural skin care solutions to purchase. Upon my analysis, I can see that someone made the decision to put VERY high quality ingredients into their products, many of which are food ingredients I have written about in my blog.
You know the old mantra, "Don't put on your skin what you can't eat!!!!"
A couple of Cosmetiques Laudun's products are:
Natural Bamboo Extract Body Scrubcontains Natural Italian volcanic pumice, Aloe Vera leaf extract, Organic Bamboo powder, Organic Seaweed extract, Jojoba beads, Organic Bee Pollen extract
MITSY Day & Night Anti-Ageing Moisturizera USDA Certified moisturizer, containing Organic Grape Seed Oil infused with Organic Evening Primrose Flower & Calendula, Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Cornstarch (non modified-GMO), Cucumber fragrance
Full disclosure and description of all ingredients can be found at their website
"I created this company from a vision I had to produce pure natural cosmetics for women of color that I was not able to find that worked well with my skin type and complexion. I wanted to create high quality makeup made from the best ingredients. I saw a need for a product that was healthy, natural and not limited to just foundation, but included all the elements that would allow women to create a variety of looks".
Merced also says, "Many companies advertise the use of 100% all natural makeup but if you take a closer look, you will find unnecessary chemicals and fillers. By using our makeup, you will not be putting any unnatural chemicals on your skin".
Drummond had found a way to eliminate the “ashy” effect of most mineral makeup for African American women.
“We do not have any known potential carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, sensitizers, mutagens, reproductive toxicants, developmental toxicants and neurotoxicants in our products…The cosmetics industry sells products filled with toxic chemicals – many of which are banned from food. The simple fact is that our skin is the largest organ of the human body and what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put into it.”
I love when people are like myself in that they have so much passion for Health and Wellness, that have to start a website and say all they have to say. Enter Sherrell Dorsey, she's up here with me (somewhere) in Seattle, and describes herself as:
"a black girl from Seattle making my way as a beauty writer, speaker, environmental activist and over-all organic product junkie".
This is now one of my favorite sites, as much as I think I know, I love it when someone takes me "to school" on wellness topics. She has many recommendations for products for African American women such as Shea Radiance.
Love the passion Sherrell, and awesome website!!! When it comes to talking about health and wellness, it's so hard for us "Organic Junkies" to shut up……isn't it
Actually, in this research, I hit the "Motherload" reference to organic cosmetics and skin care.
It's a directory of all Organic Skin Care listings from the Organic Consumers Association, and list hundreds of organic cosmetics, skincare, and makeup corporations. Listed by state. Well worth bookmarking and keeping on file.
Thanks to Fex Ex and UPS, ladies can have many of these healthy, natural options that they want right at your doorstep in a few days. So, if you feel that time has come to "go natural" with makeup and cosmetics, this is a great time for it……natural cosmetics and skin care especially for women of color, is definitely "In Vogue"!!!!
…..Oh, and to all my black sisters, I know it's perhaps the "In Vogue" and "latest craze" thing for men to say, but I have been saying it all my life, that you all are so beautiful to me