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For as long as I can remember, keeping my skin clear, clean, and blemish-free took minimal effort. I slept with makeup on one too many times (eek!) and used whatever drugstore product fit my budget. Then, I got my first big job post-college and proceeded to buy every glamorous skincare product at Sephora known to woman.
Now, with a cabinet full of trendy once-used products and that oh-so-random adult acne my mother warned me about, it took a few too many inopportune post-thirty breakouts for me to realize my questionable skincare “routine” really sucked. I grew up, but my skincare didn’t—and that became obvious (thanks to that zit in the middle of my face at a company-wide presentation).
After taking a deeper look at the products I was using, I did some research (thanks to Reddit’s SkincareAddiction) and decided to bring it back to basics, reinventing my skincare routine from start to finish. Serums, face masks and exfoliants aside, here’s my battle-tested baseline for simplified skincare—plus a few go-to products that are helping me save face, every day.
It’s not a revolutionary concept: washing your face removes dirt, grime, and excess oil, while minimizing shine and keeping your pores clog-free. But are you cleansing your face in the morning and at night? I wasn’t. I thought going to bed with a fresh face meant waking up with one. Remember to start your day with a clean canvas because your skin can accumulate a disturbing amount of bacteria while you sleep.
My Pick: Stratia Velvet Cleansing Milk
This Indie cult-favorite brand is rocking the mainstream skincare world, and I am obsessed with their gentle cleanser. It keeps my sensitive skin soft and smooth, without stripping my face of moisture like many foaming cleansers.
I am a full face makeup kind of gal. While I love experimenting with new products (especially eyeshadow), not all makeup removes the same, and not every cleanser can get that liquid cat-eye off. Instead of opting for wipes, I’ve gone the micellar water and cotton ball route. My skin has never been so happy.
My Pick: L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water
Just call this liquid magic. My waterproof mascara has nothing on this cleansing water. With moisturizing properties you don’t have to wash off, your skin will always be extra hydrated and 100% makeup-free.
The hunt for the *perfect* face moisturizer is a never-ending quest. But after trying almost every product on the beauty store shelf, I’ve finally found two that are helping me fight wrinkles while hydrating my skin without a sign of greasy residue.
My Picks: Stratia Liquid Gold
Yes, I have already pledged allegiance to one of their other products, but what can I say? I’m all about Stratia. I mean this brand sold out in three hours for good reason. Just a pump of this lightweight moisturizer, and my skin feels instantly extra luminous, even under my foundation.
L'Oréal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream
Ok, now that I’ve accepted I’m in the over 30 club, I am doing everything “natural” to fight wrinkles and reverse the sun damage done in my teenage years. This cream is rich in natural collagen and, after a few weeks, I already started to feel a healing difference. Though it’s for day and night, I prefer this cream before bed.
With work (and life) comes stress. With the strain of a busy schedule, my skin tends to get dehydrated and tight throughout the day. Since I can’t go home when the going gets tough and slap on a watermelon face mask, thanks to my friend and coworker, Keana, I’ve adopted a new habit—carrying a little skin refreshing spray with me, no matter where I go.
My Pick: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater
Made with herbal extracts and rosewater, misting your face with this spray is just like an insta-spa. Giving you a dewy luminosity that makeup artists swear by, one spritz will hydrate and illuminate your skin.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!