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Clean Skincare For Men - January Spotlight

Updated: Sep 14




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.

Do's


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 & tight. If your skin is slick & oily, use a cleanser that is oil free or oil reducing. Cleansers with salicylic acid help to shrink acne & razor bumps. It cleanses without disrupting the skin's natural PH balance.

Use A Safety Razor - The key to cutting back on razor burn & irritation is to minimize the friction between your blade & 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 & 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 & at night before bed & 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 & 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 & the rest of the ingredients do the jobs of lathering up on the face, binding the lathering ingredients to the water & 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! WTF!!!!!

Triethanolamine, better known as TEA, is an emulsifying agent, meaning it helps keep the oil & 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 & 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! Seriously.....WTF!!!!

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 & 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 & it will bring you to the brand's official 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 & give facial hair a healthy glisten. This beard oil calms skin with essential oils including organic Vetiver & 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 & 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 & antioxidant properties & has been formulated to hydrate & strengthen skin, combat the effects of aging, reduce the appearance of stretch marks, maintain skin’s elasticity, reduce inflammation & protect skin cells from damaging free radicals. Each ingredient has been sourced from around the world for its healing & reparative properties. This blend will leave your skin feeling soothed, deeply hydrated & pampered.

Heal: Whipped Skin Soufflé is the hero as it is a customer favorite & 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 & stabilizers designed only to maintain texture in favor of keeping in only ingredients that directly feed, nourish & heal your skin! Learn more about Dana Jackson, founder of Beneath Your Mask here.






BEVEL:
Skin Essential Bundles

Get started with these skincare favorites. Best for clogged pores, skin irritation & uneven complexion.

The Skin Care Set - Includes: Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil, Exfoliating Pads & Face Moisturizer which is clinically tested to treat blemishes bumps and discoloration. To purchase, click here.

Beard Grooming Kit - Includes: Beard Softener, Beard Balm & Beard Oil to soften, hydrate & soothe. To purchase, click here.

Mens Grooming Kit - Includes: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash (Dark Cassis) & Body Lotion. To purchase, click here.

Face Wash - made with aloe vera, coconut water, witch hazel, Vitamin B3 & tea tree oil to cleanse, hydrate & brighten skin. To purchase, click here.

Moisturizing Face Gel - the tea tree oil & Vitamin C cleanses & hydrates skin for an even complexion. This lightweight moisturizing face gel improves dry, oily & sensitive skin. To purchase the Moisturizing Face Gel on Amazon by itself, click here. To purchase the Face Gel & Face Wash Bundle click here.

10% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Toner - made with green tea & lavender, helps remove dead skin, evens skin tone, helps avoid ingrown hairs & razor bumps. To purchase the toner as PADS (45 count), click here. To purchase the toner in a BOTTLE, click here.

Single Blade Razor - safety razor with brass weighted handle. Includes: 10 double edge safety razor blade refills. Designed for coarse hair to prevent razor bumps. To purchase, click here.

Safety Razor Shaving Kit - Includes: double edge razor, vegan shaving brush, and safety razor stand. To purchase, click here.

6 Hour Rechargeable Battery Life Beard Trimmer - cordless, tool free, adjustable, zero gapped blade, barber supplies, mustache trimmer. color: silver. To purchase, click here. To purchase the Limited Edition Black 8 Hour Rechargeable Battery Life Beard Trimmer, click here.

Moisturizing Shave Cream - made with aloe vera & Vitamin E to soothe skin & prevent razor bumps. To purchase, click here. To purchase the Shaving Brush & Shaving Cream Bundle, click here.


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 & mitigates the problems he experienced with other razors. It also includes a traditional shaving brush, shaving cream & other skin care products.

Source of quote provided by: CNN




Epi.logic Skincare:
Clean Reveal Brightening Glycolic Gel

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




Epara:
Cleansing Lotion

Epara means “to cocoon oneself” in the Nigerian dialect of Ebira.

Reduces hyperpigmentation, moistures & removes impurities.

Female founded, vegan & cruelty free, 100% plant-based or organic ingredients, ethically sourced ingredients, free of harmful & toxic chemicals.

No added fragrance or color, eco-friendly or sustainable packaging.


To purchase the Epara:
Cleansing Lotion, click here.






Badger:
Shaving Soap

Good grooming for adventurous gents & the smoothest shave you ever had! Enriched with soothing Aloe Vera, moisturizing Coconut Oil, and a hefty dose of glycerin for good “slip” & a smooth, non-irritating shave.

All natural ingredients means Badger's soap produces a lighter lather than conventional shaving soaps
& will leave your skin soft & clean without residue & dryness. Works best when used with Badger's Pre-Shave Oil & 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 & still end up looking & feeling good!



To purchase the Badger: Shaving Soap, click here. To purchase Badger's Pre-Shave Oil, click here.




Dr. Bronner's:
Organic Shaving Soap

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

To purchase Unscented click here

To purchase Peppermint click here

To purchase Lavender click here

To purchase Lemongrass Lime click here

To purchase Tea Tree click here



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






Sources:

Brain, Marshall. "How Shaving Works."https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/beauty-hygiene/shaving9.htm

"Guide to Less Toxic Products." http://lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp?fetch=personal#shavi

"Harmful Ingredients List."http://www.nontoxicalternatives.com/harmful-ingredients-list.html

"Men's Grooming Products Guide." http://www.goodguide.com/categories/152784-mensgrooming & http://www.answers.com/topic/shaving-cream-2

"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). The Killers in your bathroom?" http://www.natural-health-information-centre.com/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.html

"Triethanolamine." http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=706639

"What is Mineral Oil?" http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-mineral-oil.htm


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