Shiseido. Tony Moly. Mizon. If these Japanese and Korean skincare brands sound familiar, you probably have tried a few of these amazing lines. Last year, I got into the Korean skincare craze from snail serum to a mountain of face masks. I liked Mizon’s snail serum, the Face Shop had cheap foam face washes and scrubs while Holika Holika had a store 20 minutes away on Queen Street.
But, as great as Korean skincare is, it wasn’t the right skincare for my skin type. Korean and Japanese skincare is formulated for delicate Asian skin. Also, I found that a lot of products had way too many chemicals and skin-lightening (also called “brightening”) ingredients. Like my natural hair, I prefer my skincare products to be natural too.
My Rastafarian friend uses the African brand Alaffia, which I tried and is affordable and effective, as well as natural. More than that, the fair trade African brand tries to alleviate poverty and improve gender equality in Togo. They have distributed over 7,000 bikes, and have clinics for pregnant women plus they’ve opened 10 schools. I’d rather give them my money than to Sephora for another bottle of Boscia moisturizer.
There is also Akoma, who works with Ghana; and the Canadian company is Fable that works with Mexico. I just want to be sure that I am using nothing but organic, natural products on my body. There’s no reason to use chemicals to wash and beautify when African women for centuries have resorted to simple ingredients from nature to achieve the same, if not better, results. African black soap, Shea butter, Cocoa butter, jojoba and coconut oil are ingredients I want to see.
Our radiant, beautiful skin is unique and special. Neutrogena just won’t cut it! The mainstream media may not care to take the time to understand the dynamics of Black beauty, but our people can do that ourselves. We can decipher of create our own beauty and skincare products derived from nature and fit for the children of the sun. A lot of us are melanin-obsessed, we just can’t get enough of our beauty Blackness. And I do love Black skin. Let’s pamper it and treat it good.