These natural body creams for Black skin are not only super clean and vegan, but they’re owned by people of colour, too!
By Amma Abrum
Research shows that the average person in the UK spends about six weeks of their entire life applying moisturiser or body lotion. And for most highly melanated people, that’s probably even more.
For us, applying lotion is a daily practice that involves moisturising your entire body from head to toe. It’s pretty much a necessity to keep your skin from visibly cracking, especially in countries with colder, drier weather.
Why melanated skin is different
Black-owned skin experts lab Inoya has done some incredible research on Black skin, and has highlighted some differences between skins high in melanin, and those which are low.
For example, they point out that Black skin has a high sebum content. However, it’s also lower in ceramides than other ethnicities. Ceramides are crucial for keeping the skin hydrated and healthy. A low ceramide level can mean that your skin is likely to suffer from water loss. This is even truer if you use harsh, drying soaps.
What to look for in natural body creams for Black skin
Not all lotions are suitable for Black skin, so it can be a little hard navigating which cream to buy. Many African Americans deal with combination skin, which means some parts of the body are oily, while others are dehydrated and dry. Therefore, it’s advisable to use a lotion that’s non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, yet high in ceramides and emollients.
You’ll also want to be cautious about what goes into body creams for Black skin. Generic moisturisers are often cheaper to buy, because they’re filled with loads of toxic rubbish. This is detrimental to both your skin and your health!
Check the label for natural ingredients like shea butter, ceramides, glycerin, and other healthy emollients. A dermatologist may recommend creams with petroleum or liquid paraffin, but you don’t want to use petroleum based products that will block your pores and cause more skin issues.
Personally, finding natural body creams for Black skin was a challenge after I transitioned to using only vegan, all natural options. There are very few that cater to Black skin specifically. And even fewer that are also Black owned!
How to prevent ashy skin
Bear in mind that even the thickest emollient won’t work its magic if the skin underneath it is dry, which is why using a lotion with water as one of its primary ingredients is favourable. This will help to seal in much-needed moisture.
When melanated skin is left to get dry and cracked, ashy skin can appear. This can be made even worse by using the wrong products, such as drying soaps and body washes. Here are a few tips to prevent ashy skin:
- Banish sulfates and harsh detergents from your entire skincare regime, and this will be the first step in preventing ashy skin.
- Reduce your shower time. If you like to stand for ages under hot water, you should take shorter showers in warm water, as opposed to hot. Though you may not think so, water can actually dehydrate the skin by stripping away its natural oil. Hard water factored in with high temperatures can exacerbate the problem, causing your skin to be drier.
- Use a gentle scrub or loofah sponge in the shower to exfoliate dry skin.
- After your shower, pat your skin dry and apply moisturiser right away. This helps with the absorption of the lotion and will leave your skin silky smooth.
- Another way to help aid your skin to look and feel its best is to drink more water! Many of us take for granted the many ways water can help us to look our best, and one way is our skin. It’s our biggest organ, and keeping it hydrated is a must.
Where to shop for body creams for Black skin
Superstar Alicia Keys has been vocal about how she’s struggled with her skin. So it’s not a big surprise that she’s decided to launch her own beauty line, which includes body creams for Black skin.
One of the best of her offerings is her Rich Body Cream. This contains plenty of shea and cocoa butter to lock in moisture, and antioxidants and fatty acids to soothe, calm, and nourish the skin.
Seeing as the name of the brand is ‘Soulcare,’ Keys also promises that her formula “honors your body and soul by replenishing your radiance and centering your spirit.” Interesting! She also swears that the scent of sage and oat milk brings comfort, clarity, and balance.
Best for: Soothing the body….and the soul!
Another of the best body creams for Black skin comes from Buttah. Melanin-rich skin will drink up this luscious body butter, which is highly effective for both women and men. Made with virgin, organic unrefined shea butter from Africa, this rich treatment will smooth, soothe and nourish your skin daily, while also protecting it from the weather and elements
Best for: Daily use. It’s also great for itchy and sore patches in need of major TLC!
If your skin is in dire need of a little hydration, this is the body cream to revive it! Kreyol Essence’s Haitian Hibiscus & Lavender Body Creme is a triple whipped moisturiser that penetrates the deeper layers of your skin. It promises to leave it hydrated all day long.
Your skin will drink up this 100% natural cream, which is infused with skincare essentials. These include Haitian black castor oil, guava, baobab and aloe leaf juice, for example. It’s definitely one of the best smelling natural body creams for Black skin, too!
Best for: Leaving a delicious scent on the skin. It’s also great for soothing those little bumps we sometimes get on our arms.
Prefer an oil to a body cream? You’ll love Linha Idan oil!
Inspired by its founders’ African roots, this natural beauty brand offers luxe organic, vegan skincare that blends the rich botanical life of West Africa with English aromatherapy.
The nourishing moisturiser is formulated with natural ingredients that synch together to protect and rejuvenate dry skin and hair. The oil smells heavenly thanks to the natural, cold-pressed coconut oil and fragrant tuberose flower immersed inside. The warm scent of the tuberose is absorbed naturally into the oil using the traditional African process of enfleurage, resulting in a luxurious oil that will transition skin to be silky smooth.
This oil boasts a non-sticky and fast-absorbing formula that can be used all over the body, including hands and feet.
Best for: Being a multi-use product. You can use this all over the body, including the face, and even use it as a leave-in hair conditioner!
We typically think of serums as being skincare for your face. But Nude Sugar’s weightless body serum contains a proprietary blend of humectants that work together to moisturise, restore and renew the skin of the body.
Penetrating deep into the skin, this serum will brighten the appearance of your skin, while also restoring a better texture. And the delicious scent of Peruvian lime, orange blossom, creamy lavender, tonka milk, and golden amber is a true delight for the senses!
Best for: Splurging on a luxurious body lotion
Sometimes, the best natural body lotions for Black skin are the simplest. And it doesn’t get simpler than SheaMoisture’s coconut oil!
This is a multi-purpose product that can do so much! It can soften and restore both the hair and skin, for example. Use it everywhere, from the face, hands, body and feet without clogging pores or leaving a greasy residue. But that’s not all! This is also a wonderfully moisturising makeup remover. What more do you need?
Best for: At under $15, this is one of the best body lotions for Black skin if you’re on a budget
The Naturally Tribal Yara Body Food is the power player of all the natural body lotions for Black skin. It’s super soft and gentle on the skin, and can even be used for mothers and babies. The mix of rich shea butter and coconut oil nourishes and protects the skin wonderfully. It’s especially soothing for skin that struggles with eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis.
Price: Around $40
Based: UK (ships worldwide)
Best for: This is one of the best natural body creams for black skin for those with skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis.
This Laticia Organics bath, body and hair oil is a 3-in-1 is a wonder for its multifaceted use. Dab it onto the tips of your hair, smooth it over your body, or splash it into your bath for some extra hydration. We also love that it’s 99,26% organic and of 100% natural origins!
This is a divine concoction of rose petals and organic botanical oils. It’s designed to relax, comfort and illuminate any skin type.
Price: Around $70
Based: UK (ships worldwide)
Best for: A 3-in-1 holy grail product
Live in sunny climes? Planning a holiday soon? This Black Girl Sunscreen lotion is a must-have! Specifically developed for melanated skin (but also good for all skin types), it leaves zero white traces while nourishing and protecting your skin to the fullest. In addition to being a natural sunblock, it’s also effective as an all-round face and body moisturiser for any day, rain or shine.
Price: Around $15.99
Best for: Dry to normal skin types isn’t suitable for with oily skin.
If you’re looking for a decadent body butter that will rehydrate even the driest skins, then 54 Thrones is one of the best body creams for Black skin for you. Growing up in Nigeria, founder Tegbe was inspired to launch 54 Thrones as a means of exploring the authenticity of African culture, harnessing African beauty secrets into products that can be enjoyed worldwide.
This body butter is unscented, and instead has the natural, pure, earthy and nutty aroma of unrefined shea butter. It’s incredibly thick and rich, and is the perfect lotion to massage into parched skin. It even works on flaky elbows and heels.
Best for: A saviour balm to bring any dry patches of skin back to life