Natural Skin Care with nyakio

This post was written in partnership with nyakio, who sent me a free product to review.

nyakio mud mask

I recently had the opportunity to try nyakio, a skin care line from beauty expert Nyakio Kamoche Grieco and Sundial Brands, the company behind Shea Moisture.

Marketed as featuring traditional beauty ingredients from around the world, nyakio products feature Fair for Life-certified shea butter and African Black Soap sourced from a women’s cooperative in Ghana. When I asked the company for more information about their ingredients, they sent me details on one of their suppliers who is certified organic with the USDA and fair trade with FLO-CERT, including specifics on harvesting practices that revealed a welcome level of transparency.

I got to try the African Black Soap Purifying Mud Mask to review. The first time I tried the mask, I experienced painful stinging around my nose. I have very sensitive skin, and occasionally I’ll encounter clarifying products that are just too strong for me. However, when I tried the mask again a few weeks later and steered clear of sensitive areas, I merely felt a pleasant tingle as the product went to work on my skin.

My skin definitely felt smoother after using the mask, and I think my pores were a bit tighter and clearer. Mostly, I just had fun using the mask — mud masks are one of my favorite self-care treats.

nyakio mud mask

nyakio is carried exclusively at Ulta, which is a big win for beauty fans thanks to Ulta’s generous return policy. Ulta allows the return of products if consumers are not satisfied after using them, which I especially appreciate when I make the investment on natural or organic beauty.

Ethically-sourced products often are nowhere to be found on the shelves of big cosmetic stores, so I’m excited to see nyakio and Ulta working together to make sustainable options more accessible in the beauty world.

Check out nyakio’s complete line at Ulta.com and let me know which product you love!

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Ultimate Hair Care Giveaway!

This post was written in collaboration with Lakeshore Dry Goods and Shea Moisture, who sent me products to share with my readers. 

Are you ready to treat your hair?

I’m giving away one Sunrise Bliss organic cotton hair towel and a set of Shea Moisture products to one lucky reader! I’m so excited for you to have this lovely touch of self-care in your beauty routine.


The adorable Sunrise Bliss towel is made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and is a gentle way to dry your locks. Each towel is made in a small batch in Michigan.

I’m also giving away shampoo and conditioner from Shea Moisture’s new 100% Virgin Coconut Oil line plus an Intensive Hydration treatment. All three products are part of Shea Moisture’s Community Commerce Program, which gives back to producer communities.

Enter with the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway is open only to residents of the United States and ends on August 31, 2017. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Nourishing My Curls with Shea Moisture

I originally wrote this post without input from the Shea Moisture brand, but after reaching out to the brand for more information, they generously provided samples for me to review and give away. Stay tuned for an awesome giveaway in a few days!

I’ve been sharing recently about going curly after years of straightening my hair. An important part of that process is the product I use.

Ingredients are key for curly girls. Traditional hair products are filled with sulfates that strip out moisture and silicones that weigh down curls. While my previous hair products were paraben-free and cruelty-free, I was eager to move on to something better for my hair AND better for the planet.

Right now my favorite line is Shea Moisture. I love the natural ingredients and ultra-readable label, and I appreciate that any fragrance in the products comes from essential oils or other plant-derived ingredients.

Founded by Liberian-born Richelieu Dennis, Shea Moisture is a tribute to his grandmother, Sofi Tucker, who began selling handmade shea butter soaps and salves to support her family in Sierra Leone. Today the Shea Moisture brand puts profits back into their producer communities and other initiatives to empower women in the United States and Africa.

Shea Moisture’s parent company, Sundial Brands, is a Certified B Corp with a Fair for Life certification for shea butter sourcing. The company seeks to source ethically and support partner communities with fair wages and infrastructure investment, with 10% of the proceeds of select products going back into communities and non-profits as part of the Community Commerce program.

So far, my favorite Shea Moisture lines are Coconut & Hibiscus and Raw Shea Butter. They keep my hair moisturized and have a delicious smell thanks to the yummy ingredients. (However, I was not a fan of the Jamaican Black Castor Oil line due to the strong scent.) Shea Moisture recently sent me additional products to try, and I’m super excited to use the Fruit Fusion line for my fine, curly hair.

Shea Moisture hair products have long been used by women of African descent, and you often can find the brand in the multicultural section of hair care aisles. In recent years the brand has launched a #BreaktheWalls campaign to address segregation in the beauty aisle. This year the brand encountered controversy as some marketing materials featured fewer of the black female consumers who have supported the brand for years, potentially to attract more white customers. I am ill-equipped to address this issue, but welcome comments on the topic if you want to share your experience. In the meantime, I am thankful to have found Shea Moisture to support healthier hair, a healthier me, and a healthier planet.

If you’re ready to treat your hair, check back in a few days for my ultimate hair care giveaway featuring products from Shea Moisture and Lakeshore Dry Goods!

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