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Photo: Stocksy/Kristen Curette Hines

The movement for toxic- and cruelty-free beauty items has become an increasingly important issue for makeup and skin-care brands. Some are completely clean and natural, while others are taking one step at a time to create better products. But despite these admirable advances, one serious gap the beauty market still remains: Women of color are vastly underserved, which is evident partly by the momentous success of brands that have made moves to rectify that gap, like Fenty Beauty and Pat McGrath Labs. The lack of diverse choices available combined with the need for natural products led Kristian Henderson, PhD, a professor at George Washington University, to launch her online natural beauty store, BLK + GRN.

Dr. Henderson launched the online store on February 2 as a digital space to promote clean beauty, self-care, home wares, and jewelry made by black women, for black women.

According to George Washington University’s online publication, The Hatchet, Dr. Henderson launched the online store on February 2 as a digital space to promote clean beauty, self-care, home wares, and jewelry made by black women, for black women. She reportedly wanted to use her knowledge of health and science to curate products that allow black people to practice self-care without the chemicals commonly found in popular products.

“Supporting BLK + GRN and supporting the artisans is really supporting women on their journey to find happiness and do the things that fulfill them.” —Professor Kristian Henderson, PhD, founder of BLK + GRN

Speaking to the publication, she said, “We really want to connect with people and help them live healthier lives. We really want to normalize this idea of self-care and self-love.” By supporting local artisans and creators, Henderson hopes that BLK + GRN will not only become a resource for women’s self-care rituals but also an online space “to empower women to find their voice and find their passion and chase it and be unashamed about chasing it.” Henderson added “supporting BLK + GRN and supporting the artisans is really supporting women on their journey to find happiness and do the things that fulfill them.”

This is an example of self-care that’s community-oriented (and less selfish), not to mention that it enables women to directly support other women. And just in time for International Women’s Day, no less.

For more inclusivity and body positivity, check out Asos’ new activewear line and Missguided’s new realistic, diverse mannequins

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