With the rise of both conscious and natural beauty product options, who wants phthalates and parabens anyways? According to Kristian Henderson of  BLK+GRN: “Of the products marketed to Black women, 75% are considered toxic. Moreover, most were not created by Black women.” 
Although women of color have been privy to natural beauty and wellness practices for centuries, it’s exciting to see the new renaissance more of them opting to create their own products at home. One woman hoping to push the conversation forward is professional beauty expert and founder of the HERDAY series, 26-year-old Temi Marie Shobowale. “Working in the beauty industry, directly with products and real live people, I got tired. I was tired of seeing the same nasty results from products filled with harmful chemicals,” Shobowale says. “I wanted to figure out a way to make natural, clean products more accessible to the regular consumer.” This is what inspired one of HERDAY’s most popular events—the DIY Workshops focusing on how women and men can create natural and clean skincare products at home. She also teaches attendees “how to decipher the ingredients lists if you choose to purchase your skin care products out of convenience.” Shobowale, who has worked with actress Mouna Traoré, signer FeFe Dobson, media maven Karen Civil and activist Janaya Khan in the past, starts by “always asking my clients to keep it simple the first time they decide to create their own DIY beauty products by picking which essential beauty product they have a difficult time finding in stores.” According to Shobowale, the easiest products to replicate for personal use are scrubs and rosewater. “The hardest, in my opinion, are lotions and anything cream-based.” Next up is the research portion to discover different methods to creating natural alternatives. “Keep in mind of your own limits. Please don’t start experimenting with essential oils if you have not researched them.” When it comes to ingredients, you do get what you pay for. “Essential oils generally are not regulated so do your research on the distributor/manufacturer to be sure you are getting the best quality EOs (essential oils) for your money. [It’s important] to know the difference between 100 percent pure EOs and synthetic or fragrance oils,” Shobowale explains. The best part of making your own products is that you’ll likely have many of the tools at home. “For example, a personal body scrub only requires a stainless steel spoon and bowl, but if you are sharing, sanitation rules would apply such as wearing gloves, sanitizing tools, etc.” One of her favorite products to recreate is surprisingly a makeup product. “Here is a big hack for the sisters who find a hard time finding that right contour powder,” she shares. “The perfect mixture of cocoa, mica, cinnamon and  cornstarch powders (with about 15 drops of a calming essential oil such as rose otto or lavender) combined together can create the perfect pressed contour powder.” Who knew? Unlike “traditional” products, the shelf life of your DIY products is significantly shorter. “A naturally-made DIY product with mild antioxidants or preservatives, depending on the type of product could last you anytime from two to six weeks, if properly stored somewhere cool and dark or in the fridge,” explains Shobowale. “Always opt for some type of natural preservative depending on whether your product is liquid based or cream based.” With all the knowledge under Shobowale’s belt, I can’t help but ask her, what’s next?  “[The] learning never ends, like all things in life, the more you are educated about what you’re using, the better your outcomes will be,” she shares. “I am currently taking refresher courses on advanced formulations to better enhance the development process of my new natural luxury skincare essentials line that will be released this fall.” In the meantime, you can keep up with HERDAY via Instagram to try a workshop in-person—Shobowale tethers between Toronto and New York City. “Teaching women that we can make an impact in our communities through the practice of self-love and empower them to take control and own their love for themselves by teaching them how to make their own natural beauty products.” Keep scrolling to find out Shobowale’s favorite essential oils.  1. Lemongrass: “It’s my number one and it is such an uplifting scent that not only keeps you grounded but also keeps your skin healthy and radiant.” 2. Neroli: “It heals and fades scars. [Neroli] also has properties that maintain moisture levels and balance oily skin.”  3. Chamomile: “It is soothing, and has anti-inflammatory properties that treat eczema and can fight free radicals that cause aging.”