2020 was wrought with turbulent challenges that included a global pandemic, high-stake elections, confronting injustice, and drastically adapting our general way of life. As we round out the year, taking time to recenter and indulge in TLC and R&R is especially paramount. If you could use some pampering or would like to provide a gift that encourages the act of self-care for someone else to enjoy, we have a list of all-inclusive products from ten Latinx owned businesses.
Some of our favorites can help alleviate timely issues like maskne, stress-induced hair loss and monitoring our mental health. As shut-downs continue to take effect this holiday season, take the time to slow down and unwind on your own or in safe company with our curated self-care items.
Makeup Artist Jessica Monzalvo’s Skin by Jem pays homage to her grandmother’s traditional teachings on wellness and expression of beauty. Inspired to use ingredients like those cultivated in her grandparent’s rose-filled greenhouse in Mexico, Monzalvo tells Remezcla “Everything that’s created for Skin by Jem is a reference to a really fond childhood memory of my grandparents or something that I’ve personally experienced.”
The brand’s recent partnership with Nordstrom, which houses the Jemie Duo, includes the Rosa Clay Mask made with various rose-based ingredients and kaolin clay to draw out impurities and absorb excess oils. The Papaya Glow Oil then promotes healing resulting in supple, dewy and glowing skin.
Named after Ametrine stone known by its trade name, Bolivianita is an organic gloss. Specifically, a non-sticky lip hydrant that highlights the gradient golden-violet hues of tumble and sealed Bolivianita gemstones.
“As an artist, I wanted to make something inspired by my heritage and to showcase it in a tangible way that would highlight Bolivia’s national stone. I wanted it to be both functional and beautiful as a work of art,” Bolivian-American artist Charlene Adams tells Remezcla. The lip gloss comes with a lip scrub that helps exfoliate for extra smoothness and an amethyst roller ball for easy gliding application.
Founded by Bronx-based, Dominican-American CEO Mariel Mejia, Pink Root Hair Products are “designed to revitalize damaged hair and promote new growth by infusing nutrient-rich and organic ingredients into its formulations.”
The naturally-derived ingredients from plants, seeds and nuts are processed into oils, vegetable proteins and butters for added hydration. Her products are developed to improve the condition of natural tresses and combat the problematic “pelo malo” narrative. As the Pink Root slogan puts it “we don’t believe in bad hair, just bad hair care.”
Reina Skincare body butters are a luxury product “fit for royalty” as the website describes. Its founder, Adriana Robinson, made the product after suffering from acne herself.
“Our founder, an Afro-Latina, wanted to offer products that were natural, effective and represented a part of her that is deeply rooted within,” the about page reads. The Florida-based skincare line seeks to close the gap in the skincare industry to suit a full range of skin tones. Their body butters are enriched with tropical moisturizers such as shea butter, coconut butter wafer, rose water, palm oil and gold mica powder to refresh, moisturize and absorb for maximum skin benefits.
Puerto Rican textile designer Desirée Velazquez moonlights as an artisan soap maker. Her business, Lila Suds, is a one-woman show that handcrafts deliciously designed soaps and bath bombs that are vegan and cruelty-free with biodegradable packaging. You can’t eat them but the naturally-fragranced suds such as the “ooo-la-lavender,” “Melón,” “Guac Star,” and “Cafecito” are sure to delight the senses. You can then wash and lather in the shower or soak in the tub with the Ruby Pink Shea Butter Foaming Bath Bomb which blends pink grapefruit, velvety vanilla and supple rose clay.
Keeping track of water intake and ensuring you are drinking enough every day is especially important during dry winter months. The Agua de Sirenita Nalgene water bottle is stylishly designed to keep your thirst quenched with customized digital art illustrations by Chicago based multidisciplinary Mexican-American artist, Esperanza Rosas BKA Runsy. The 32 oz. bottle is BPA free and comes with a sticker sheet, postcard and Apple/Spotify playlist. All packaged for mood-boosting hydration and well-being to live your best “sirenita lifestyle.”
Teas & Tinctures
Chelly Xicali is a Latina urban farmer based in East LA who grows her own medicinal herbs that she incorporates into her business, Xically Products. Her brand which is rooted in advocacy for social and environmental justice provides teas and tinctures to relieve stress and anxiety such as her ¡Cálmate Tea! that infuses chamomile and lavender leaves. Her best-selling Mellow Out CBD tincture is made to help soothe from within for restorative relaxation.
With labels such as “Smells Like Bad Bunny,” “All I want for Christmas is Shawn Mendes” and “CEO of lying in bed, eating junk food, having a hangover, loving toxic men, and thinking my problems will go away when I light up this candle,” you can light these as a reminder that self-care can come with a little humor. The sister company Sofia and Katie Co candles are made from 100% natural soy wax and are hand-poured in small batches without any color additives. You can select from their collection of pre-made cute/funny label phrases or customize your own and choose a scent you would like to pair with Re: what Bad Bunny smells like.
That’s Smooth men’s grooming company based in Harlem and founded by Cuban-Puerto Rican founder Miguel Martinez sought to formulate products “to address multicultural needs that set apart from the traditionally marketed consumer.” The all-inclusive products range from beard oil to aftershave, beard balms, and facial cleansers that are made with natural ingredients free from parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. Their groom care is geared towards men with wavy and curly hair to fill the gap in the industry and improve the condition and appearance of skin by elevating shave and beard grooming standards.
Selfcare can look differently for everyone. For some that incorporate products and treatments for added external care and wellness. For others, it may mean doing some inner work. The *More or Less* Definitive Guide to Self-Care by Anna Borges for example gives advice, strategies, and pick-me-ups addressing physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellness. Let That Sh*t Go by Monica Sweeney is a workbook filled with prompts to help navigate through mental roadblocks and quell rumination. Do It For Yourself by Kara Cutruzzula is a creative guide for organizing and gaining clarity on your goals to inspire confidence and help put them into motion. All of these journals can be ordered online from the Brooklyn, NY based bookstore Cafe Con Libros founded by Panamanian-American owner Kalima DeSuze.