As the human body’s largest organ, the skin is one of our most precious features. Caring for such a delicate attribute should be nothing less than a thoughtful process full of deeply rich, nourishing ingredients that enhance our melanin, not take away from it. Being conscious of what we put on our bodies is only one step to healthy skin. With the range of products on the market, it’s beneficial to know about Black-owned skincare companies that create products specifically for people of color, addressing issues that were previously overlooked by traditional brands in the past.
Making up about half of the beauty industry, the range of skincare brands on the market can be overwhelming. With such an oversaturated market, it’s hard to believe that not too many years ago, Black individuals were left out of the equation when searching for products such as white-cast free sunscreen or simple ingredients like shea butter that deeply moisturize deeper skin tones. Within the last 10 years, there's been an explosion of Black-owned beauty brands founded by entrepreneurs that birthed companies out of frustration, lack, and the necessity for what was missing in their everyday lives. Choosing the proper products can be an expensive and time-consuming process but supporting smaller brands that prioritize naturally clean ingredients as well as uplifting their community is a great start in the right direction.
In honor of Black History Month, keep scrolling for a comprehensive guide to Black-owned skin brands, their stories, and how they aim to benefit people of color.
Growing up, founder Olamide Olowe always wanted flawless skin. She knew her skin was different from what she saw on her favorite television shows, commercials, and fashion magazines but with time she learned the key to achieving great skin was making it look good, not the other way around. Developing Topicals with board-certified dermatologist and stem cell scientist, Olamide created a line of skincare products along with experts using ingredients, developing formulas that are efficient and gentle, free from harmful dyes, and scientifically proven to ensure effectiveness for all skin types.
Best Seller:Topicals' Faded, $38
In 2017, Hanahana Beauty began out of Chicago-based entrepreneur Abena Boamah-Acheampong’s longing to feel beautiful and confident in her own skin. Frustrated with the lack of transparency within the skincare industry, Abena decided to take it back to her family’s tried and true method of achieving moisturized, radiant skin with shea butter. Hanahana sources its shea butter-based products from the Katariga Women's Shea Cooperative in Tamale, Ghana while producing clean, homemade products with natural ingredients to uplift women of color.
Best Seller:Hanahana Beauty's The Best Sellers Set, $75
It’s all in the name. Founded in 2018 by Dorion Renaud, Buttah’s products were created for melanin-rich skin to feel as smooth and soft as butter. Discovering the transformational properties of raw, organic, natural shea, this single ingredient inspired Dorion to create Buttah.
Best Seller: Buttah's Customizable Skin Kit, $60
The first all-natural, collagen-infused lip mask was inspired by KNC Beauty founder Kristen Noel Crawley after a trip through Don Quijote in Tokyo. After stumbling upon a whole world of lip masks overseas and realizing there were no options available here in the U.S., she decided to create her own. KNC Beauty was created for women to achieve injection-free, perfectly plump kissable lips in 5-10 minutes.
Best Seller: KNC Beauty's All-Natural Collagen Infused Lip Mask 5-Pack, $25
5.Flora and Noor
The first Halal brand to launch at Ulta Beauty, Flora and Noor provides inclusive luxury skincare with organic and natural ingredients for those who appreciate clean beauty and the benefits of superfoods being “food for the skin.” Being Halal means products are permissible for Muslims which include benefits and advantages for skin's health and for the environment. In such a diverse world, all products are vegan, Halal, and cruelty-free, created for everyone to shop all-natural luxury skincare.
Best Seller:Flora and Noor's Boost & Brighten Vitamin C Cleanser, $28
6.Black Girl Sunscreen
Black girls need sunscreen too and thus Black Girl Sunscreen was born. As women of color we were often overlooked when it came to protective products from UV rays, years of blotchy white residue was enough for founder Shontay Lundy. Founded in 2016, BGS launched with an SPF 30 made with melanated skin in mind, drying completely clear. Since then the company has expanded into a range of sunscreen options as well as SPF lip gloss.
Best Seller:Black Girl Sunscreen's Make it Glow, $19
Due to the lack of clean sunscreen options for women of color, Katonya Breaux founded Unsun Cosmetics in 2016. Banning over 1,700 ingredients she created clean, inclusive, no-residue options that are mindful of those using Unsun products as well as the environment they are being used in. A favorite among many, the mineral-tinted sunscreen has been a game changer for protecting darker skin tones from harmful UV rays while enhancing flawless skin.
Best Seller:Unsun Cosmetics' Hand Cream SPF15, $27
Eden Gilliam’s 11 years of experience in the skincare industry became the driving force behind Eve Milan New York 5-free skincare line. After years of hearing her clients complain about skin issues and masking insecurities with makeup, she was motivated to get clients to be comfortable in their own skin. Studying skin from within, Eden traveled abroad to learn about nutrition and how internal issues and diet affect skin health.
Understanding the importance of what goes into our bodies led her to pay attention to harmful ingredients within products she used which became the catalyst behind the birth of the products made free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, artificial color, and fragrance to limit exposure to toxins.
Best Seller: Eve Milan's Brightening Vitamin C + CoQ10 Sheet Mask, $10
Created out of both necessity and frustration, Pholk was founded by Georgia-born skincare expert Niambi Cacchioli who found it challenging to match these countless skincare options available with her personal skin challenges. In a world full of inclusivity, Niambi still couldn't find the right products that directly treated her needs for combination skin so she created them. Pholk Beauty is a vegan-based, melanin-safe, cruelty-free range of products created for women of color targeting the root of dark marks and hyperpigmentation with holistic care.
Best Seller:Pholk's Aloe Lemon Balm Face Mist, $20
Kiana Baldon is the founder of ‘JENTL, a vegan body butter brand that puts quality ingredients and self-care above all else. Created to nurture vulnerability and transparency through compassion, community, and self-discovery ‘Jentl was put forth with the intention to produce ethically sourced ingredients to soothe, energize and provide joy. Pronounced “gentle,” the base of all the products includes shea, cocoa, and mango butter.
Best Seller: 'JENTL's Original Body Butter, $16
Shea Radiance started in the kitchen to solve co-founders Funlayo and Shola Alabi family’s overly dry skin and eczema problems. Using unrefined shea butter as a form of healing, they created beauty products to help women achieve a healthy-looking natural glow at any age. Known as “women’s gold,” shea butter sourced from West Africa used in their products creates a pathway of economic progress for women and their community.
Best Seller:Shea Radiance's Sensitive Skin Moisture Bundle, $50
Established in 2019, women-owned Siyah Organics is both an American and Senegalese company. All products are tested and are 100% organically pure to ensure the highest quality of plants keeping everything fresh to maintain their healing properties.
Best Seller: Siyah Organics' Moringa x Ginger Facial Cleanser, $24
13.Natural Radiant Life
Empowering their community to take better care of themselves in every area of their lives, Natural Radiant Life was created out of love for nature-based products that breathe life into the skin. Long-time friends and co-founders Rhonda Daniels, LaKesha Gage-Woodard, and Sherry D. Fields set out on a mission to bring clean, organic, and effective skincare products to the market that proudly show outer and inner radiance. Encouraged to use products daily, these co-founders are promoting positive and healthy practices through natural products for a radiant life.
Best Seller: Natural Radiant Life's AM Moisturizer, $35
14.OAM by Ciara
Who knew leveling up our skincare would take us to a new product line by one of our favorite entertainers? OAM, or On a Mission Skin, was founded by singer Ciara in collaboration with clinical professionals, skincare experts, scientists, and dermatologists to create a simple day and night routine for all skin types. Concentrating on its main ingredient vitamin C to hydrate and brighten, the simple step solutions to clinical skincare are even more accessible for all.
Best Seller:OAM by Ciara's Vitamin C Brightening Pads, $28
From Fenty Beauty to Fenty Skin, Rihanna can do anything she puts her mind to and we will stan. Her latest project includes a line of products formulated for everyone to achieve beautiful skin. After years of experimenting with the best of the best products, Rihanna still felt there was something missing in the industry. In short, her aim was to create easy, hassle-free products for all to enjoy.
Best Seller: Fenty Skin's Instant Reset Brightening Overnight Recovery Gel Cream
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