• NicoleDeRosa

Clean Skincare For Men - January Spotlight

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

Skincare is genderless but the following clean brands have been shared with me from the men in my life and their chosen picks. Below is a list of clean brands spanning grooming, skincare, and wellness. I'd like to introduce to you some small business owned brands that might help you spend thoughtfully the next time you need to refill your medicine cabinet.

Skincare and shaving can present a unique set of challenges for black men. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, up to 60% of black men experience ingrown hairs. Sure, shaving bumps happen to most guys. But, African-American men tend to have courser, tightly curled facial hairs that are more likely to curve and grow back into the skin, leading to painful irritation and inflammation. Since there’s no fool-proof way to prevent them, it’s important that black men have a good shaving and skincare routine that can deliver a clear, smooth complexion.


Exfoliate - At least twice a week with a scrub or mask to lift the layer of dead skin cells.

Wash Your Face Regularly - Use a face wash tailored to your skin type. The right formulation shouldn't leave your face feeling dry and tight. If your skin is slick and oily, use a cleanser that is oil free or oil reducing. Cleansers with salicylic acid help to shrink acne and razor bumps. It cleanses without disrupting the skin's natural PH balance.

Use A Safety Razor - The key to cutting back on razor burn and irritation is to minimize the friction between your blade and skin. A safety razor has a very sharp well-angled blade that requires fewer passes over the skin even when taking down coarse hair.

Apply Post Shave Treatment - Spot treatment and after-shave lotion or oil absorbs instantly into the skin to neutralize the residual bacteria that seeps into pores.

If you're a fan of getting your shave at the local barbershop make sure the barber doesn't use any alcohol-related solutions which can irritate sensitive skin big-time.

Moisturize - Get the right formula for your skin type, apply in the morning and at night before bed and you will balance the amount of oil your skin produces. And YES! The best skincare for black men includes sunscreen. While it's true, black men have more melanin in their skin making them more resilient to the sun (and sunburn), the sun is still damaging. In fact, African-Americans are at a greater risk of skin diseases because it is more difficult to detect abnormalities or they find out too late. Be safe and slather on an SPF 15 or higher if you’re going to be under the sun for a good chunk of time.

I also want to touch on the ingredients in some shaving creams. As far as mass-market shaving creams go, there's a pretty standard recipe that you'll find across the board. These shaving creams consist of about 80 percent water, and the rest of the ingredients do the jobs of lathering up on the face, binding the lathering ingredients to the water and propelling it out of the can. Unfortunately, many of these shaving creams feature more harmful ingredients than beneficial ones. Here's what to keep an eye out for:

Propylene glycol is a humectant like glycerin, but unlike glycerin, it's more frequently found in antifreeze and brake fluid.

Triethanolamine, better known as TEA, is an emulsifying agent, meaning it helps keep the oil and water from separating. It's also a very controversial ingredient in the cosmetic industry because not only is it a skin irritant, but many formulas containing TEA are found to be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are linked to cancer. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) are two more controversial skincare ingredients. These make a great lather, but they also have a number of health implications. Lauryl mimics estrogen, which is especially problematic for women, and laureth often hosts a known carcinogen called dioxane.

On the moisture front, an oil that will frequently pop up on shaving creams is mineral oil. This is something you definitely don't want to put on your face.

Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum. Yes, that's right, gasoline.

It sits on top of the skin, which locks in moisture, but it can also block your pores. You're better off sticking with oils that are derived from nature, so look for plant-based oils. You're also better off avoiding chemicals that contain synthetic colors and fragrance oils. Both of these ingredients have been found to be highly irritating.

And with all that said, let's get to the good clean stuff!

Just click on the product photo and it will bring you to the brand's website. Be sure to join my mailing list and send me a message first, so I can give you a discount code for any of the products you see on my site!

Aba Love Apothecary

Grooming Oil / Men's Facial Serum

A gentleman's facial oil to keep skin toned and give facial hair a healthy glisten. This beard oil calms skin with essential oils including organic Vetiver and Lavender blended in organic Goldenseed Jojoba oil. This blend is a bright woodsy aroma with a pinch spiced floral musk. Expect to be nuzzled a little longer than usual! This can be used as a facial serum, beard oil and a fine shaving oil. Note - it will not clog pores! Learn more about the creator, Aba Gyepi-Garbrah who is the Certified Aromatherapist here .

Beneath Your Mask

Heal Whipped Skin Soufflé

This ultra-luxurious, incredibly nourishing, whipped skin soufflé contains anti-bacterial, anti-aging and antioxidant properties and has been formulated to hydrate and strengthen skin, combat the effects of aging, reduce the appearance of stretch marks, maintain skin’s elasticity, reduce inflammation and protect skin cells from damaging free radicals. Each ingredient has been sourced from around the world for its healing and reparative properties. This blend will leave your skin feeling soothed, deeply hydrated and pampered. Heal: Whipped Skin Soufflé is the hero as it is a customer favorite and the first product Beneath The Mask ever created in 2012. Heal Whipped Skin Soufflé melts upon touch with warm skin. Beneath The Mask leaves out unnecessary waxes, fillers, and stabilizers designed only to maintain texture in favor of keeping in only ingredients that directly feed, nourish and heal your skin! Learn more about Dana Jackson, founder of Beneath Your Mask here .


Skin Essentials Bundle

Get started with this online exclusive of skincare favorites. Best for clogged pores, skin irritation, and uneven complexion. This set includes: 4 oz. Face Wash, 4 oz. Moisturizing Face Gel, and 4 o.z 10% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Toner. The Face Wash cleanses and brightens skin for a fresh, healthy glow. Made with: Aloe vera, coconut water, witch hazel, Vitamin B3, tea tree oil. The Exfoliating Toner with 10% glycolic acid helps remove dead skin and evens skin tone. The Moisturizing Face Gel cleanses and hydrates skin for an even complexion. Creator of Bevel, Tristan Walker used to dread walking into a drugstore to shop for his shaving needs.

Shaving irritation and razor bumps [are] issues some 80% of black men and women have globally,” said Walker. “If you have curly hair, this is an issue that you’re likely to face.”

The first product line from his Palo Alto-based firm was Bevel, which includes a single-blade razor that Walker says works best for skin like his and mitigates the problems he experienced with other razors. It also includes a traditional shaving brush, shaving cream and other skin care products. You can find Bevel online (click on photo above) as well as Target.

Source of quote provided by: CNN

Epi.logic Skincare

Clean Reveal Brightening Glycolic Gel

Improve skin clarity, tone and texture with this deeply clarifying cleanser infused with 10% glycolic acid. Formulated to exfoliate and brighten your complexion while diminishing signs of aging, it is also packed with vitamins A, C, E and fatty acids found in rosehip seed oil. Renowned for their biocompatible antioxidant properties, these rejuvenating ingredients nourish and restore the skin barrier.


Balancing Face Oil

A luxurious and nourishing oil with a light consistency that targets imperfections and evens skin tone including a reduction in hyper-pigmentation. This nourishing oil evens skin tone, brightens and softens the skin. This oil is great for both women and men. Available in two sizes: 30 ml and 10 ml which is Epara's deluxe travel size. Read more about Epara's Founder and CEO, Ozohu Adoh here .


North Woods Shave Cream

An invigorating shave cream rich in organic botanicals for a smooth, close shave and cooled, conditioned skin.

This sulfate-free shave cream is packed with organic botanicals that combine to deliver a clean, comfortable shave without harsh synthetics. An organic coconut, jojoba, and olive oil soap base creates a light, gentle lather for super smooth glide and an ultra-close shave. Moisture-rich organic avocado and wheat germ oils soothe, condition, and protect against razor bumps while cooling camphor, organic menthol, and eucalyptus refresh and invigorate your skin. All of this culminates with a woodsy classic pine fragrance from essential oils.


Shaving Soap

Good grooming for adventurous gents and the smoothest shave you ever had! Enriched with soothing Aloe Vera, moisturizing Coconut Oil, and a hefty dose of glycerin for good “slip” and a smooth, non-irritating shave. All natural ingredients means Badger's soap produces a lighter lather than conventional shaving soaps, and will leave your skin soft and clean without residue and dryness. Works best when used with Badger's Pre-Shave Oil and applied with a quality shave brush. But, if lost in some vast uncharted wilderness, you can lather with cold water from a nearby stream or spring, apply by hand, and still end up looking and feeling good!

Dr. Bronner's

Organic Shaving Soap

Get a close, comfortable shave with organic ingredients that nourish and cleanse the skin! Like organic shikakai powder from India, used there for centuries on hair and body. And fair trade & organic sugar from Paraguay, giving these Shaving Soaps a delightful caramel color and aroma, moisturizing and soothing naturally. These are blended carefully with coconut-olive-hemp castile soap base, Dr. Bronner's soap making tradition! Comes in 5 different scents: Unscented, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemongrass Lime and Tea Tree.


Moisturizing Shave Cream - Sensitive

Look forward to your shave. Soothe your skin. Indulge your day. Infused with a delicate blend of moisturizing Aloe Vera and smoothing Jojoba, this rich cream works on even the most sensitive skin to minimize nicks and cuts while softening, hydrating and protecting. Rich Argan Oil, Rose Hips and Shea Butter moisturize to glide the razor’s path for touchably soft skin. Super-antioxidants Acai and Goji Berry leave strength and nourishment in their wake. For silky, smooth skin that’s delightfully nourished. Fragrance-free. Also available for All Skin types in "Invigorating" with the scent of tea tree and mint.


Men "Sensitiv" Gentle Shaving Foam

The ph-value of the Lavera Shaving Foam is such that stubble positions itself well for shaving. The special care formula ensures a thorough and gentle shave thanks to the mild foam containing organic aloe vera juice and nourishing organic jojoba oil. At the same time, skin-soothing organic extracts prevent redness and skin irritation.

*Always check the product ingredient list and consult a medical professional for any specific concerns for your skin.


Brain, Marshall. "How Shaving Works.", 2010.

"Guide to Less Toxic Products.", 2010.

"Harmful Ingredients List.", 2010.

"Men's Grooming Products Guide.", 2010.

"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). The Killers in your bathroom?", 2010.

"Triethanolamine.", 2010.

"What is Mineral Oil?", 2010.

Leave me a message in the comments section below and let me know what clean products and brands you have been using and enjoying!
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