Allow me to introduce myself: I'm Alexandra Polk, the new Associate Writer (specializing in deals!) for Refinery29's Shopping team — and, most importantly, a Black Girl for life (specializing in self-love!). It's an absolute thrill to meet you and confess all my juiciest shopping secrets, from cheap keeps to great finds and everything in between. But today, I'm kicking things off by sharing my favorite self-care buys for assuaging the everyday struggles of the modern Black Girl.
Sometimes it feels like your hair’s going to break off, your knees are going to crack off, and your brain is going to melt all at the same time. Why? Because you’ve been making yourself a low priority. Just being a Black Girl in 2020 is hard enough — so, instead of neglecting our bodies post daily stress-inducing demands, let's stop and take a moment to treat ourselves to some much-deserved nourishment. Join me ahead as I walk through my top silky, moisturizing, and shea-buttery goods that I swear by for soothing self-care treatments.
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Etsy Whipped Shea Body Butter
For When: You Think Your Knees Are Going To Crack Off
This whipped shea body butter comes from a black-owned Etsy shop and does wonders for my skin! I save my precious vanilla-lavender scented tub for those days that call for a little extra relaxation and peace of mind.
ElysiumNaturalsCo Whipped Shea Body Butter, $, available at Etsy
Nécessaire The Body Wash
For When: You Want A Luxurious Experience For Your Sensitive Skin
This body wash is super popular for a reason. It’s multi-vitamins and essential oil blend makes my skin feel super nourished but still squeaky clean. A great buy for Black Girls who have sensitive skin like me but want to move on from a plain unscented bar of soap.
Nécessaire The Body Wash, $, available at Sephora
Slip Pure Silk 3-Pack Scrunchies
For When: It Feels Like Your Hair Is Going To Break Off
Silk and satin scarves are a staple in black hair care and these scrunchies should be too. This pack of three is spun with 100% silk and will help your hair get a grip (minus the breakage). Knowing my curls are out of the way and safely wrapped in silk always puts my mind at ease.
Slip Silk Scrunchies, $, available at Nordstrom
Macadamia Professional Nourishing Repair Masque
For When: You Think There's No Hope For Your Damaged Ends
This 100% vegan hair masque is everything. It’s packed with Macadamia, Argan, and Mongongo oils that revive my color-treated hair and leave it smelling like a wonderful tropical vacation that I can’t afford. I make sure to coat my hair in this concoction once every other week for the hydration! Also, the fruity smell puts me in a good mood.
Shop Macadamia Professional
Macadamia Professional Ultra Rich Repair Masque, $, available at Ulta Beauty
Etsy Black Girl Relaxing Self Care Journal
For When: You've Had What? IT
A good self-care routine involves good self-expression: I like to write to stay sane. This 50-page notebook comes from a black-owned Etsy shop and perfectly encompasses what a black girl self-care day should look like.
CopperandBrassPaper Self-Care Journal, $, available at Etsy
Olay Premium Body Conditioner Shea Butter
For When: You Want To Feel Good And Smell Even Better.
This product is a cheap find but it makes me feel luxurious. I never thought that a body conditioner would change my life because…what even is a “body conditioner”? You layer this on your skin after using a bodywash, let it rest, rinse, and then you leave the shower smelling as if sweet shea butter had a baby with a rose garden.
Olay Body Conditioner, $, available at Target
Tweezerman Spirit 2000 Styling Shears
For When: You Find Out There's No Hope For Your Damaged Ends
I’ll never forget the day I went to a natural hair salon and my dead ends horrified the hairdresser. Now, once a month, I snip off any damaged hair with these super-sharp shears! Healthy hair, healthy life.
Tweezerman Tweezerman Spirit 2000 Styling Shears, $, available at Amazon
Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Mist
For When: Your Face Needs A Little TLC
Rosewater and a dash of hyaluronic acid is a lovely hydrating combo. This mist has natural but effective ingredients that give your skin a nice dewy glow and restores the moisture your skin needs.
Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Mist, $, available at Sephora
Target 2-Wick Candle Sparkling Yuzu
For When: You Want Your Self Care Routine To Be An Experience
I’m brave enough to say that I think I found a dupe for Anthropologie’s classic volcano candle. It has that citrusy scent with a dash of smoke and fills my apartment with a light freshness.
Opalhouse 15.2oz Glass Jar 2-Wick Candle Sparkling Yuzu – Opalhouse™, $, available at Target
Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Body Oil
For When: You Don't Feel Like Microwaving Your Jar Of Coconut Oil.
We all have that jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil sitting in our cabinet, but this hydrating coconut oil formula is infused with shea and cocoa butter to amplify its hydrating abilities. I like to mix a pump or two with a handful of my favorite body lotion to keep my skin glow all day.
Palmer's Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Body Oil, $, available at Amazon
Carol's Daughter 7 Oil Blend Scalp Blend
For When: You Feel Like Your Scalp Is Going To Flake Off
"Natural hair requires a lot of work; there's a reason black girls spend so much time at salons, and in the bathroom during wash days. This summer, I've stopped straightening my hair and started slicking it back into a bun instead. This product works great for leave-in treatments overnight, and for dry scalps that need a super-boost of nourishment. " – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Writer (& Special Black Girl Self-Care Guest)
Shop Carol's Daughter
Carol's Daughter 7 Oil Blend Hair Oil, $, available at Amazon
Highline Wellness CBD Bath Bomb
For When: You Need To Soothe Both Your Muscles And Your Mind
"I'm obsessed with all things Hannah Bronfman, a major Health and Wellness Guru. I had a few of these bath bombs sent to me in the mail a few weeks ago and I've been buying them ever since. They up the game on bath time; making it 10x more relaxing and soothing for both my muscles and my mind. Add a bit of red wine, and you're set for a calming week." – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Writer (& Special Black Girl Self-Care Guest)
Shop: Highline Wellness
Highline Wellness CBD Bath Bomb, $, available at Highline Wellness
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