Growing up in the early aughts, I quickly learned that the beauty industry — and more specifically, the skin-care industry — ostracized and neglected Blackness. It was clear in the media: Thumbing through my favorite magazines, I’d rarely see a face that looked like mine in skin-care campaigns for mainstream brands. And it was evident in the market, too: Walking down the beauty aisle at my local drugstore, you can probably guess how many Black-owned products I stumbled upon (hint: none).
So, like many Black folks, I turned to natural, family-approved remedies to treat my skin. Aloe vera was a staple, as was shea butter and other moisturizing ingredients heavily used by my ancestors who, like me, had to find a way to feel beautiful in a world that didn’t recognize their beauty. Those ingredients are still major players in my routine, but now, I reap their benefits by using Black-owned skin-care brands, which often include those ingredients in their products.
Not only are Black-owned brands finally getting a seat at the table, they’re transforming the beauty landscape by changing archaic standards and promoting diversity and inclusivity in the industry. And what makes Black-owned skin-care brands really special is that they’re innovative but still rooted in those centuries-old concoctions, making them beneficial for all skin types and melanin concentrations — not just Black skin.
This month marks the 19th National Black Business Month, and while it’s a great time to buy Black for a certain period of time, you should support Black-owned beauty brands year-round, and you can do so easily at Ulta Beauty. Remember: A dollar spent on a Black-owned skin-care brand is a dollar going directly to the Black community, combating the institutional racial embedded in American capitalism. It’s really a win-win.
If you need a primer on where to start when it comes to shopping Black-owned skin care, hear directly from some of our favorite founders, including Nude Sugar’s Toni Braxton, Keys SoulCare’s Alicia Keys, Urban Hydration’s Psyche Terry, and BeautyStat’s Ron Robinson. Read on as they share their favorite product picks (which you can shop directly to help support them) and learn why it’s so important to shop Black throughout the year.