Spring is here and doesn’t it feel so good? The arctic weather has finally let up, the days are growing longer, here comes the sun.


Now that we’re emerging from our winter isolation, it’s time to shake off the social cobwebs and get back to our best selves.

Spring is a time for reinvention. I love getting the chance to enter the world anew. So, I don’t waste any opportunity to rebrand and re-evaluate whether those outdated aesthetics of yesteryear still suit my current self.

During the first months of the year, this self-reflection helps me be more intentional about everything I bring with me into the rest of the year. It may seem small — or even shallow — but my rigorous self-inventory about how I dress, how I look, how I feel keep me in tune with my own identity, rather than being swayed by trends or settling for complacency.

According to PsychCentral, being playful with your appearance is one way to foster healthy self-expression: “If you’re feeling stuck and want to improve your self-expression, you might want to consider expressing your style in everything you do — your dress, cooking, or the way you wear your hair.”

PsychCentral also emphasizes that self-expression should not be “a bid for popularity” — hence the importance of checking in and asking if your expression aligns with your inner self.

Needless to say, I take the opportunity to start fresh quite seriously — and ‘tis the season for it! Traditionally, Spring emphasizes the refreshing period of growth, life, and abundance we are now entering. I like to channel these empowering metaphors for myself.

Spring cleaning is all in service of this. Marie Kondo may have her mantra — the famous philosophy of letting go of whatever doesn’t spark joy. But I have mine: “does this item serve my new self?” Whether it’s an impulse buy based on a social media post about a celebrity street style sighting. Or that bright blue eyeliner pencil I have no memory of purchasing, I’m ruthless about dumping those things which are superfluous.

On the other hand, my passion for objects I use and love is reignited. It’s not uncommon for me to dig something out of the back of my closet — or my beauty shelves — and reclaim a treasure.

After any of my huge declutters, I take this as a license to go on a shopping spree, with intentional spending in mind. A dramatic closet purge really reinforces selective and savvy shopping.

With this fresh perspective, I’ve been scouring beauty aisles and forums to identify the latest products that protect my skin, nourish it, and treat my current skin concerns. I prioritize quality ingredients from Black-owned brands, which seriously helps me stay true to my values.

Here are some of my favorite finds that give me hope and inspiration this Spring:

Katini Skin

For glowing skin, use these nourishing oils that envelop you in a guilt-free sense of luxury that you deserve. Inspired by founder Katini Yamaoka’s cultural heritage and upbringing, Katini Skin contains high-quality oils derived from native ingredients found in Japan, Africa, and Australia. Raised plant-based from birth, and educated at a neo-humanistic school, Katini had a deep understanding of natural healing from a very young age. Committed to a sustainable path and inspired by ancient traditions, Katini Skin utilizes powerful flora in their facial oils that nourish and enhance your natural beauty.

Undefined

One of the most important tenets in skincare is to load up on SPF. Without it, the rest of your routine is useless. Undefined is a line of clean, conscious, and inclusive beauty and wellness products that harness the power of plant magic. The recently launched R&R Sun Serum was designed with all skin tones in mind and will help you to avoid the dreaded white cast on darker skin. This lightweight and universally flattering tinted mineral sunscreen has SPF 50 protection. Plus, it includes skin-nourishing actives such as Niacinamide, Tremella Mushroom, and Raspberry Seed that hydrate while protecting against daily oxidation (UVA/UVB), pollution, and blue light (HEV).

Hyper Skin

Anyone who has struggled with post-acne scarring knows that hyperpigmentation is no joke. Those dark spots take forever to fade — and most products on the market make empty promises they’re incapable of delivering on. Enter: cult beauty favorite, Hyperfade. On the heels of the blockbuster success of their beloved vitamin c serum, Hyper Skin’s expanding its product line to include Fade & Glow AHA Mask. The mask features a brilliant AHA-duo of glycolic acid and mandelic acid that clean congested pores and brighten dull skin — while niacinamide and bearberry work to fade those stubborn dark spots. A one-two punch of salicylic acid and sea buckthorn stop looming breakouts in their tracks.

Common Heir

Retinol is one of the biggest, baddest skincare ingredients out there. But choosing the right one can be tough. Not anymore — thanks to Common Heir’s breakthrough serum. In just under one year, co-founder Angela Ubias has revolutionized and reimagined what plastic-free beauty can be. Common Heir’s innovative 10% Vitamin C Serum challenges the standards of sustainable, eco-friendly beauty packaging with a completely plastic-free approach. Inclusive to all skin tones and types this luxury skincare line includes gentle-but-mighty 0.2% Retinol Serum. Developed with melanin-rich and sensitive skin in mind, this holy trinity of super soothing botanicals boost squalane and algae that keep skin moisturized, protected; and delivers a post-facial glow. Finally, just the right nightcap before bed with no regrets the next morning.

The Whistling Thorn

Many skincare devotees focus on spot-treating issues that are visible to the human eye. However, much of the damage to our skin is invisible. From the photoaging effects of UV rays to the onslaught of pollution we face each time we go outside, there’s more to preventative skincare than meets the eye. The Whistling Thorn’s nourishing, Vitamin C-rich skincare line helps you counter environmental aggression. Formulated with an array of antioxidants that are derived from natural sources — Acai, Raspberry, and Cranberry — this set is an excellent choice for those seeking intensive botanical fortification. This game-changing set is your best guard against pollution and uneven skin tone, leaving your bright self positively glowing.

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