More than likely, it was my blessed career as an associate beauty and style editor for EBONY.com that opened my black girl beauty world to premium or prestige skincare. The access to the Le Prairie, La Mer, Naturopahtica, SK-II and many more, made me squint at the current drugstore led skincare routine I had been following. I’ve always been a skincare snob. Every Friday in high school, I’d let my friends leave me while I stayed home and applied my face masks and watched Sister Sister or Lifetime movies. I’ll holla at y’all tomorrow when my skin is basically liquid gold.
Yet, premium skincare was never a world I inquired about, even with my makeup and beauty obsession beginning around 6 years old. I don’t think I knew it existed. It could have been because mummy had, and still has great skin. Her routine was extremely minimal; cocoa butter or vitamin-e cream and a mild cleanser. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mother use a cleanser. However, the idea of fabulous skincare never made it across my mind, even though I’ve always loved beautifully packaged makeup.
Luxury makeup? Sure, I would obsess over the famed brands while eyeing them at the Selfridge beauty counters in the Bull Ring mall. But skincare, not so much. So when I arrived at EBONY.com circa 2012, my first real job in beauty and media, I was schooled by the opportunities to attend press events and receive samples from brands I’d never heard of before. Testing and learning what worked, what was for us, and eventually what was missing for us, too. I began to notice this world of premium skincare bubbling, but of course no advertisement of it to women like myself. Shocker.
At this point, socially, we’ve witnessed Black and brown women diligently make it clear to the beauty and makeup industry that we want inclusivity. Nuanced, well-thought-out and honest inclusivity. While we’ve been seeing a major shift of that representation in makeup, skincare has been a market that I’ve been keeping on my radar, because that demand in this particular market hasn’t seemed to occur as intently as it has for makeup. I can understand this from a point-of-view that many Black women may not feel as though they need the most extravagant skincare routine, because, well “Black don’t crack” (it does, sometimes, though). So I wouldn’t expect marketers to move the needle in regards to advertising to us. But, they should. Brands like Epara, BaseButter, CLEANSE by Lauren Napier and others are proving that there is a market for premium skincare that hasn’t fully been tapped.
Skincare sometimes equals self-care
The self-care/self-love movement has now become a hailed lifestyle. Black women, in particular, have been creating our own social media and in-real-life tribes where we share our tips, videos, quotes, etc, on how we are self-loving on the daily. From our morning meditative routines to our beauty routines, we’re crafting new ways to live fully and to internally feel beautiful.
Skincare has been apart of that conversation, with more Black women interested in products and treatments that will safely care for their skin. I’ve also witnessed, in a few skin and health-focused Facebook groups, people hailing their skincare regimen as therapeutic methods to cope or heal from depression.
All of that to say, skincare is not just another ignored step in our beauty routine. Now, it’s deeper and more connected to how we’re actually loving and taking care of ourselves, and not just externally.
Beautifully upgrading my products
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more interested in the ingredients being put in the products I use on my face and body. One of the things I’ve been learning is that at times, paying a bit more will afford you better, premium ingredients. Other times, you’re just paying for a name or impeccable marketing. As a working young woman, I like to treat myself from time to time. Lately, my obsession has been premium skincare products that really work on my skin texture. As a Black woman with dark skin, I know that many products aren’t usually created for me. But, I’ve been serious about researching some of the best premium brands that have been effective and blend in beautifully with my beauty arsenal.