Oh, to be young again.
When I used a wet washcloth to wash my face, cleansed my body with a bar of Dove, knocked out ashiness with that big yellow bottle of Vaseline lotion, and Mom got my hair clean with Cream of Nature shampoo. I feel a Lauryn Hill song coming on. LOL
I didn’t think about a beauty care routine until I hit high school. Puberty hit, pimples attacked, and it was all over but the crying. My older sister (by two years and two days) took her beauty cues from Seventeen Magazine (remember that magazine?). And I, wanting to emulate her in most things, took my cues from both her and my Mom. She has sensitive skin, so she stuck with mostly unscented products, went natural with her makeup (just mascara and lipstick) and used Almay nail polish.
A few days ago, I came across the Dimple and Dot Homemade site and the above quote from them sums up my WHY. There was no defining moment, just an awareness that what I had been using was no longer working for me. I was getting older, my body chemistry was changing, and I needed to do something different.
I get that some people have to use chemical-laden shit to combat acne and/or some other harsh skin condition. You gotta do what you gotta do. And it’s so easy to fall down that rabbit hole of whatever some celebrity is promoting: ”24 karat gold flakes in your moisturizer give you the skin of a baby’s ass, says Kim Kardashian” or “bat shit is the new Botox says JLo”. Plot twist: you’re not going to look like that celebrity no matter how how many bottles you buy because 1) all bodies are not made the same and 2) those celebs have a team of people making them look that good. There’s only an “I” in your team.
To be honest, I was never the type of person to follow trends. My Mom used Oil of Olay on her face, so I used it to moisturize mine for years.
Until I didn’t.
I used facial products from Avon for years.
Until I didn’t.
So, I started searching for natural.
My search delved further into beauty care for WOC, then even deeper into beauty care FOR WOC By WOC.
I started reading labels and the Environmental Work Group (EWG) soon became my favorite site.
I’ve learned that if I can’t pronounce it, then it probably shouldn’t putting it on my skin.
I’ve learned that “all natural” may still not be natural enough. Some companies like to use essential oils in their products and you can still get negative reactions.
I’ve learned to appreciate the companies who list both the basic and scientific versions of their ingredients on their product: Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
I’ve learned to appreciate the companies who can create their products with only the minimum amount of ingredients, of which I can pronounce.
I’ve learned that I tend to gravitate towards companies whose About page stories are more personable rather than business-y, because their story might be my story as well.
I’ve learned that my skin prefers body butters over lotion. And not all body butters are created equal.
I’ve learned that even though coconut oil provides hella good moisture for most POC with my hair type, it doesn’t work like that for me.
I’ve learned that, on the rarest of occasions when I wear makeup (I’m talking near-unicorn level of rare), I probably should’ve tossed it months ago. Even if is natural.
Oh, to be young again.
When I used a wet washcloth to wash my face, cleansed my body with a bar of Dove, knocked out ashiness with that big yellow bottle of Vaseline lotion, and Mom got my hair clean with Cream of Nature shampoo.
I didn’t think about a beauty routine until I hit high school. Back then, my sister and I took some sort of Family class where we learned how to care for a “baby” (read: egg). And we took Home Ec classes where we learned how to cook and sew.
Imagine if they had taught girls about natural beauty care.
Related Entries: Entry #6: Why I Went Awww Natural with Alternative Healthcare
Black goddess musings on life and becoming a sustainably-conscious human being.