Self-care describes an act one takes in order to promote not only their physically health, but mental and emotional health. There are many examples, such as bubble baths or walks around your neighborhood. Unfortunately, there are many who view self-care as a luxury, rather than a necessity.
I am honored that I was able to be a part of B.R.A.G.’s event, which was in honor of Black History Month. Our host Ja'Kierelle led a great conversation with Phyillicia Bishop from Phil's Better and Stacie Elpheage from Rebellious Magnolia. They answered a lot of questions from participants about their businesses and about self-care in general. And I can sure say that I learned a lot.
Phyillicia talked about how she decided to "go natural" in 2014, explaining how haircare takes time to figure out. It is all about trial and error. She decided to start making her own deep conditioner and oil, and she was able to see what worked best for her. When we were all stuck in quarantine, she noticed many people started to request that she to start making products.
When asked about those products she currently offers on her website:
“Currently, I have a deep conditioner, lip balm, and body scrub. Our body scrubs have two flavors: oatmeal honey and brown sugar. The oatmeal honey is actually oatmeal grinded down, perfect for dry skin and eczema. The brown sugar is a perfect exfoliator for very dry skin cells. I try to go the ‘no-chemical’ route; we should all care what we are putting on our skin! All these ingredients you can find in your kitchen (and are able to pronounce!).”
Stacie was our second guest speaker. Rebellious Magnolia is an organic soap line. Her main goals were to give back and help others, so the first thing Stacie thought about was soap. She is a huge fan of different fragrances and how different soaps make skin feel. She also loves soft, smooth, moisturized skin but couldn’t find the right soap that gave her all three. So, she created her own.
“I wanted to give back to women that go through dramatic experiences in their lives,” Stacie said. “Women have a million things on their plates, whether it is raising a family, going to school, or even just being a woman.” She considered that a lot of women do their thinking in the bathroom or shower, and connected that to the products she wanted to make.
When asked what ingredients are included in her soaps:
“Our best seller contains honey, oatmeal, cinnamon, goat milk, and jojoba oil. This is great for sensitive skin and I consider this one to be my healing bar. Oatmeal honey helps with psoriasis, eczema, dry skin, acne, small break outs, sunburn, etc. This soap helps your skin go back to its natural way.”
It was amazing to learn about different hair types and the care they can require, and it opened my eyes to what women of color often need. I thought about how today’s ads don’t tend to focus on these needs and concerns. For example, think about shampoo commercials, they cater to white hair. Whether it is about dryness, flakiness, or length, it's often only for one audience.
I am very honored and glad that I was able to hear about these stories and journeys. If anyone is interested in buying any of these products, as well as supporting these amazing women, I list their websites and social medias below. Make sure to follow B.R.A.G. on Instagram @braglim for upcoming posts on the raffle and how to enter. Also, look out for more posts about Black History Month and Black Excellence Week!