I’m not a green beauty purist yet, but I aspire to be. Being an African American girl in a green world isn’t always easy. Although some brands are making a legitimate effort to expand their color range and cater to kinkier hair textures, the reality is, options for us are still limited. Whether it’s the wrong undertone in a foundation, lack of slip in a conditioner, high price points or just a failure to see myself in a brand’s marketing, I can’t always use the absolute cleanest or safest options that this community has to offer.
I know what you’re probably thinking. Many brands are still very small. They can only afford to start with a handful of colors, hesitant to expand their shade range in fear of a major profit loss. These brand owners are located in areas where they simply aren’t exposed to people of color. Maybe, people of color should just work harder so they can afford the $70 sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast. (I have a Master’s degree, certified in my field, studying to become a board certified integrative health coach, work 3 jobs and still significantly underpaid, by the way.)
When shopping, I rank personal care products by, “meh”, “better” and “best”. Until the green beauty community expands, I’m okay with using some products that I would classify as “better”. As a woman of color that also happens to live with an endocrine disorder, I take my health very seriously. I try to do the best I can with what I have access to. I can’t lose sleep over a few products that contain phenoxyethanol. However, I do my very best to avoid it.
To people of color in this community, don’t let others bully or judge you for the products you use. You’re doing the very best you can, when you can. Give yourself a little grace, for the sake of self-care. Take it from an Insider.
Photo credit: WillPowerPhotos // Jon Will // WillPowerPhotos.net