What are essential skin care check-offs for people of color?

Portrait of Gerilyn M. Hayes by Brio Photography
Photo by Brio Photography

One can assume regular sunscreen application, drinking plenty of water, beauty sleep, and a daily healthy skin care regimen. In addition to these essentials, products that are specially formulated to cleanse and moisturize my dark brown skin are imperative to my overall well-being. There have been many products introduced to my skincare regimen, but none have earned my complete, on-bended-knee fealty like Eben Naturals.

Yes, this 3-product line is my melanin's new best friend, and if you lend me about 5 minutes of your time, I'll tell you why you need this new skincare brand in your life.

Before we get started, you need to know that I am an advocate for sunscreen use. Why? Since dark skin does not show signs off aging as quickly of lighter tone skin, it shows other signs of damage such as hyperpigmentation and photodamage. According to dermatologist Dr. Nada Elbuluk, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, NYU Medical Center, "Individuals with skin of color can also experience sunburns and should wear moisturizer with sunscreen SPF 30 or higher on a daily basis."1 Simply put, no matter what skin care products you use: Protect your melanin!

Now, let's get to what you want to know:

Why I Love Eben Naturals

Milain David, the Founder of Eben Naturals, has created a line of products intended to cleanse, moisturize, and refresh skin for people of color. His story is compelling. Listen to it here. David's story and mission of intentional problem-solving coupled with understanding and passion resonated with me. Getting ahold of the line was not just a 'want'; it became a 'need to have.'

Behold! Eben Naturals is Here!

fragrance, skincare, and makeup photograhed on marble top
Photo by Gerilyn M. Hayes

As you can see, my makeup and skincare go-to's are few; I am a true minimalist when it comes to beating my face. However, as my natural hair care journey continues, I've found that my interest in skincare has piqued at the same time. My curiosity was even further stirred by Eben Naturals, but I did question why I would need cream instead of lotion, a toner for my skin, and another body lotion to add to my bathroom shelves. By following my hunch and investigating more about skin care for black skin, I realized that I needed all of the items in the line. Read on to learn why.

Facial Cream vs Face Lotion

In all my years of trying to find the right face lotion, I have been doing it all wrong. All my skin needed, in addition to water and an extraction tool, was face cream. No, not cold cream. An actual moisturizing cream that keeps skin soft and smooth all day and night. Facial Cream with Green Tea & Citrus proves that my somewhere-in-between-oily-and-sandpaper skin needs a high viscosity formula versus a thin, watery face lotion. Although it pumps out of the bottle in small, thick spurts, the cream is velvety when palm rubbed and spread gently onto the face and neck. My favorite part about it is that the formula isn't greasy, something I'm very afraid of buying into by accident. This facial cream is decadent, my friend.

Are Toners and Lotions the Same Thing?

Well, kind of... yeah. Upon receiving the Purifying Tonic Lotion, I was confused, I have it admit. Growing up with oily skin, I was told to use toners not 'tonics' or 'lotions' to refresh my skin. So, when I read the bottle, I did a little digging and found this gem:

"In cosmetics, skin toner or simply toner refers to a lotion or wash designed to cleanse the skin and shrink the appearance of pores, usually used on the face." -Wikipedia editors, the contemporary collective conscience

What was fascinating to me was that my ignorance about different types of 'lotions' kept me from understanding the benefits of using toners to help balance my skin's pH and minimize the appearance of pores (mine are pretty, pretty big). Setting aside my frustration-post-realization, I cleansed my face with the toner after using a peel-off face mask. From the first cotton-soaked dab, I was hooked: this toner is LIT. There's nothing more exciting for me than to share with you how much I absolutely LOVE something, so I took to YouTube to talk about it (the toner, and the movie 'IT' - pun pun pun). Essentially, "all my melanin needs have been met." For real.

Eben Naturals in NaturallyCurly Watch and Go
Using Eben Naturals in my IT Watch and Go

Can't No-Body Deep Moisturize Bettah than Eben

Okay, okay - so I'm biased. At least I admit it! At this point, I am finding random excuses to use the Deep Moisture Body Lotion even after covering myself in it. I rue the moment that I run out... it's going to be a butter knife-scraping-the-bottom-of-the-bottle moment that I will most likely cry in front my cat about. In any event, I am a fan of this body lotion because, although it is lighter in viscosity than the facial cream, it glides onto my skin without feeling like I tried to get rid of dryness with a cup of water. Essentially, it is thick enough to hydrate my skin, from head to toe. It also has a light citrus scent that beautifully complements my favorite Demeter fragrance, Riding Crop. It is my #1 favorite body lotion, knocking down a longstanding bottle of magic into the #2 lineup on the shelf.

Is Eben Naturals Good For Your Melanin Needs?

As I share in the video, the Eben Natural mission is to bring natural, accessible skin care to people of color that have melanin-related concerns not yet addressed in the marketplace. That is so important to me because after using all 3 items in the line, I can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, this line is serving the entire melan-ated population. With highest recommendations, I encourage you to give the line a try!

Please tell me if you're using, plan on purchasing, or already have a love affair with any or all of the Eben Naturals products in the comments. If you have specific skin care concerns, I recommend visiting Skin of Color Society online for dermatological resources and professionals.

Profile photograph of Gerilyn M. Hayes by Cassanda Klepac
Photo by Cassandra Klepac

As ever, stay f-l-a-w-l-e-s-s with Eben Naturals!