By Alexa Santory
To end our celebration of Black History Month, we want to honor the ladies. The women both inside and outside of our lives who are some of our biggest beauty inspirations — who better to look to for beauty secrets than them? We’re gonna share the best of the best beauty secrets passed down by Black women and how their wisdom has inspired us to feel more comfortable in our skin.
Beauty secrets by: Annette, Tianna and Solange’s mom
The Master Mixologist behind Belle Bar, Annette was kind enough to share some of her best beauty secrets from when she was a teen to now. When she was younger, she barely washed her face and indulged in a lot of junk food, but was lucky not to suffer from breakouts and acne because she “inherited good skin” from her mom.
Her favorite beauty tip is to always take a shower before bed because it keeps your “pores, skin, and mind clean and sane.” She’s also a big advocate for face masks, especially honey masks and potato masks because of their amazing anti aging benefits. She also swears by face and body scrubs, toning with apple cider vinegar, and moisturizing with oils. When it comes to what makes her feel beautiful though, it’s less about beauty products and more about good company, “happiness, kindness, loyalty, and humbleness.”
Beauty secrets by: Sandy, Alexa’s mom
My mama has been the single greatest beauty inspiration throughout my life. Since I entered this crazy world of beauty headfirst, we swap beauty secrets almost daily, spilling the details on new products we’ve tried, loved, and want to keep around.
Since I was a kid, my mom always emphasized the importance of keeping your hands and feet clean and groomed at all times. “Your hands are one of the first things people notice about you, especially if you talk with your hands like I do. There’s nothing less attractive to me on a woman than chipped nail polish or unkempt hands and feet.”
She lotions her body from head to toe twice a day and paints her hands and toes at least once a week. While I have been blessed to have pretty okay skin (mom only had adult acne after she had me and dad has never had a pimple a day in his life), Sandy bought me my first skin care regimen when I started puberty — to which I owe everything. To her, routine and consistency are key. “Always wash off your makeup before bed, always keep your nails groomed even if you don’t like nail polish, and try not to pick at your face too much because it will always leave a scar.”
When it comes to what makes her feel beautiful, it’s “being surrounded by the people I love, laughing, and enjoying life. Also, being on any beach. That’s when I feel the most beautiful.”
Beauty Secrets by: Lois Hines, founder of Tropic Isle Living
Entrepreneur and founder of Tropical Isle Living, a brand that makes castor oil based hair and skin products, Lois Hines is no stranger to the magic of JBCO. If you’re a part of the curly hair community, you know how important this ingredient is too, for stimulating hair growth and adding moisture to kinky, curly hair. Hines makes products with this in mind, but she also knows that Jamaican black castor oil is something every woman of color should have in her beauty arsenal, especially during the summer months. Why? JBCO is apparently one of the best sunburn remedies!
Hines says to keep it on hand if you experience sunburn (because even people with melanin get sunburnt sometimes!), along with some aloe vera. Hines says it’s “perfect to help remedy sun damage on skin.”
Beauty Secrets by: Dr. Cheryl Burgess, celeb dermatologist
As a celebrity dermatologist and a consultant for Black Opal beauty, Cheryl Burgess knows a thing or two about taking care melanated skin. Her first tip (and one we swear by, tbh) is to always, always, always use sunscreen. Sun protection is the best way to prevent early signs of aging, while also building a barrier against harmful UV rays.
Another tip of Cheryl’s is to stop taking scalding hot showers. A tough one, I know because hot showers are truly where it’s at, but Cheryl says it’s the best way to prevent dry skin. If you do suffer from dry skin, or if you just experience ashiness, shea butter is queen! And for taking care of your skin overall, from acne to hyperpigmentation, “try and find a dermatologist who specializes in ethnic skin.”
Beauty Secrets by: Tonya, Ari’s mom
When it comes to beauty, our content marketing manager’s mama, Tonya is never one to follow trends. A natural beauty in her own right, she believes that “what looks good on another person might not look good on me.” That’s some major beauty advice to live by, tbh. Don’t do what everyone else is doing just because it’s cool--like rainbow hair or squiggle brows.
Tonya revealed that her secret to aging gracefully is no drama— “stress can’t be avoided, but drama can.” She also swears by lots of beauty sleep, drinking lots of water, and eating a balanced diet. When it comes to skincare, Tonya swears by monthly facials, as well as religiously washing and moisturizing her face every night. She says that she feels beautiful when her “skin is flawless” but also when’s all made up for a night out. To Tonya, confidence is beauty!