Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Black-Owned Skincare Guide: Morning Routine

It is always a good time to support Black owned businesses. Economic downturn, the coronavirus pandemic, and Black Lives Matter movement all present us with great reason to be intentional about how and where we spend our money. But, let's be clear, buying from black owned businesses does not solve for Black death, nor does it dismantle the systems that are harming and killing Black people. We've still got work to do and buying from a Black-owned businesses is pretty much the least of it. 

As I've mentioned over on my Instagram and Youtube channel, I have gotten super into skincare while staying at home, so I thought it would be fitting for me to curate some skincare routines using only products from Black-owned businesses. This post will focus specifically on products to build a morning skincare routine. I've also tried my best to explain why the ingredients in the products are oh so good for the skin. I have featured two different items in each category simply to showcase more brands and give you options.

A quick note before we jump in: I do not think it is necessary to cleanse your face in the morning if you cleanse your face at night (simply rinsing with water and patting dry will do the trick for the morning), so we will jump right into this with toners. 


I don't know if I've ever come across a skincare product with so few ingredients! I'm amazed! This toner features honeysuckle and rose to create a balancing, cleansing, and soothing tincture for the skin. This brand seems awesome and crafts small-batches of vegan skincare products in-house. You can check out this page for more information on the ingredients commonly used in their products. 

Founder: Jamika Martin
This is another toner with an incredibly small ingredient list, except this one includes two active ingredients, hyaluronic acid and kojic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means it draws moisture to your skin, so it is an ingredient that makes products incredibly hydrating. Kojic acid is actually a by-product of the process used to make sake (Japanese rice wine) and is good for lightening dark spots, sun damage, and healing acne scars.

Vitamin C Serums

Founder: Desiree Verdejo
For a 15% vitamin C serum, this is at a great price point. 3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid is the active ingredient in this product and it is a derivative of vitamin C. As a derivative, it is more stable than L-ascorbic acid, the pure form of vitamin C, so this product won't turn bad as quickly while sitting in your skincare cabinet. Even though it is a derivative, 3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid provides all of the same amazing brightening benefits of it's more pure parent compound. Vitamin C is great for lightening dark spots and protecting the skin from free radical damage caused by UV exposure. (What's a free radical? In short: An unstable, highly reactive molecule that can cause damage to your cells; antioxidants, like vitamin c, help neutralize free radicals.) This serum also has turmeric root extract which has anti-inflammatory properties and salicylic acid which helps fight acne. 

Founder: Ron Robinson
This vitamin C serum is coming in at a higher price point and for seemingly good reason. This product has gone through independent clinical tests and the results showed its efficacy. The active ingredient is L-ascorbic acid, but this product is made using technology to stabilize the ingredient. The ability to stabilize L-ascorbic acid is huge freaking breakthrough which explains why this serum won spots of several top magazine's best-of lists. Also, the founder of the brand is a comestics chemist, so you can trust that this formulation is top notch. 


The founder of this brand is an actual, factual medical doctor -- a dermatologist, in fact! So, she brings her knowledge to the formulation of each product. This moisturizer is packed with all of the ingredients you'd want to see in a top tier products -- vitamin C, niacinamide, peptides, and ceramides. We've already covered vitamin C, so let's move onto why niacinamide, aka a form of vitamin B3, is so great. Niacinamide is one of the do-it-all skincare ingredients out there; it helps with inflammation, hyperpigmentation, reducing pore size, regulating oil production, and building up the skin barrier which will help your skin retain moisture. Peptides aid in the production of collagen and collagen is what gives our skin that youthful, plump appearance. Ceramides are lipids (fats) that help to maintain and repair the skin barrier. Bonus ingredients: hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, vitamin E. Whew! That was a lot and it all says that this a moisturizer you need! 

Founder: Nubian Flunder
This moisturizer is waterless, so it does not need a strong preservative to maintain its shelf life. This is a simple formulation with vitamin E, which helps boost collagen production, and organic green tea extract and matcha, which both contain strong antioxidant properties that help soothe your skin and improve the appearance of sun damage (and fight free radicals!). It also has avocado butter in it which is full of vitamin A, C, and E, and is hydrating. 


Founder: Katonya Breaux
Okay, so you need to be wearing sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. If you are not already on the sunscreen train, take this blog post as your wake-up call. Unsun's tinted face sunscreen is SPF 30 and can be used as a make-up primer or worn alone. Though putting products on top of mineral sunscreens could dilute them, so use your best judgement. This product is also reef-safe, so you can know you're doing right by the reefs on your next vacation (whenever that will be...). Win-win! 

Founder: Shontay Lundy
I *had* to put Black Girl Sunscreen in the sunscreen category. Arguably the darling of the suncare made for Black women and women of color world. Like Unsun, Black Girl Sunscreen leaves no annoying whitecast (the thin layer of white residue that you just can't seem to rub in, so you're left looking shiny and ashy at the same time, smh). This is also SPF 30 and full of ingredients meant to combat common sun-related skin concerns like aging and lack of hydration. This product is vegan, cruelty free, and reef safe. It also comes in an SPF 50 formulation for kids. 

I'll be putting together a night routine featuring products from black owned businesses next, then a few more on fun things like lip products, body products, and serums, so bookmark my blog and follow me on Instagram and be among the first to know when it's posted. 

A post shared by Stephanie Greene (@realstephaniegreene) on

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