For people of color and beauty lovers in general, Black-owned skincare brands provide a wide range of elevated products for face and body—from Manuka honey cleansers and oil-regulating face masks to nourishing body oils and nearly invisible sunscreens—that are worthy of any medicine cabinet or countertop. It’s no secret that celebration and promotion of these trailblazing companies has been scarce within the beauty industry for years, but with recent uprisings and closer examination of racial relations sparked globally during the pandemic, Black-owned beauty is finally getting its well-deserved time in the limelight.
Contrary to what some shoppers may believe, most Black-owned brands create beauty products that cater to everyone, with special emphasis placed on the cosmetic needs of Black and brown people who have been underserved for years. And while the beauty landscape is currently flooded with a slew of celebrity lines, stars like Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Venus Williams, and others have launched thoughtful skincare brands that serve a greater purpose through their incorporation of clean ingredients, wellness, and sustainability. To honor and support a few notable Black-owned skincare brands, we’ve rounded up a short list of beloved and up and coming companies, like Oui the People and AbsoluteJoi, that are leaving their mark on the beauty industry while enhancing our complexions. Here, 25 of the best Black-owned skincare products and tools to shop now, and keep on your radar for all time.
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Oui the People
Best known for its effective yet gentle single blade razors, Oui the People was born in 2015 out of founder Karen Young’s desire to create bodycare products with sensitive skin in mind. Since the brand’s official debut in 2015, Oui the People has expanded its offerings to incorporate a wider collection of essentials and tools, including bikini sheet masks, bath soaks, and even a glycolic- and lactic-based body serum.
Featured item: The Undercover Set: Cheat Sheet and Sugarcoat
A love of ancient beauty rituals and the ups and downs of her own skincare journey inspired singer Alicia Keys to launch Keys Soulcare, a skincare and wellness brand that’s rooted in self-love and positivity. Keys Soulcare takes the application of your daily skincare routine a step further by tying each of its products to a special icon and affirmation that also encourages its users to reflect and decompress.
Featured item: Golden Cleanser with Manuka Honey
Keys Soulcare is also available to shop at Ulta.
AbsoluteJoi is a brand created by Dr. Anne Beal, a medical researcher and a former biopharmaceutical executive who saw a need for clean, science-backed skincare that addressed common issues for skin of color. AbsoluteJoi’s products are fragrance-free, and aim to reduce skin inflammation that can contribute to signs of aging and hyperpigmentation.
Featured item: Skin Refining Night Oil with Retinol
KNC Beauty is named after its founder and entrepreneur Kristen Nicole Crawley, and has become a celeb- and makeup artist-loved beauty line thanks to its wildly popular (and extremely Instagrammable) lip and eye masks. Crawley created KNC Beauty after a visit to Japan that inspired her to formulate natural, collagen-based products that are not only fun to use, but also expertly prep and condition the skin.
Featured item: Supa Scrub
Acne-prone skin types, this one’s for you: from discoloration to inflamed zits, Rosen Skincare‘s products cover all the bases when it comes to dealing with breakouts. The brand uses a treasure trove of clean, natural ingredients like coconut and radish root ferment, pineapple enzymes, and more to create its products. Rosen Skincare also makes it easy for customers to stick to a regimen through their choice of a pre-set four-step routine that focuses on improving texture, pimples and pustules, or old acne scars.
Featured item: Earth Mask
Created by cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, BeautyStat initially started as an online community that connected people with beauty experts. Since its launch in 2019, the brand has grown to develop one of the first pure and stable vitamin C serums—which contains 20 percent of the ingredient—as well as other coveted skincare basics like microbiome-balancing cleansers, moisturizers, and this coveted brightening eye cream.
Featured item: Universal C Eye Protector
Artist and producer Pharrell Williams’s buzzy skincare brand Humanrace is an extension of his popular apparel line, and is made with an eco-friendly and non-binary approach to beauty. Featuring stand-out green packaging and a curated three product offering—which includes a cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturizer—Humanrace aims to simplify your skincare routine while placing self-care at the forefront. The brand is also sustainable, as it operates on a refill system to minimize unnecessary waste.
Featured item: Rice Powder Cleanser
Rose Ingleton MD Skincare
Dr. Rose Ingleton started her namesake brand in an effort to directly translate the beauty of her native Jamaica into her work as a dermatologist. The brand delivers simple and effective skincare products that combine a range of potent Jamaican-based ingredients like bilberry and sugar cane with skincare staples like hyaluronic acid for brighter, more radiant skin.
Featured item: Complexion Brightening Booster
Eleven by Venus Williams
Is there anything tennis icon Venus Williams can’t do? In addition to collecting a number of sports titles and awards and launching her own clothing brand, Eleven by Venus Williams, the athlete is also the mastermind behind her self-titled—and sun-care-focused —skincare line. The skincare line within Eleven by Venus Williams includes a mineral broad-spectrum SPF 35 sunscreen that’s optimized for skin of color, plus four SPF 15 balms to keep your lips moisturized.
Featured item: Game Day Perfect Form Lip Balm SPF 15
Hanahana Beauty is probably best known for its highly nourishing and Ghanaian-sourced shea body butter, and recently expanded its offerings to include a range of products just for the face—from this exfoliating cleanser to a water-activated face mask.
Featured item: Black and Brown Exfoliating Cleanser
Each plant-based product from Kaike (which is pronounced like “cake”) is intended to celebrate the skin you’re in, and developed for multi-use purposes to address issues directly relating to skin of color. Kaike creates face and body essentials for just about every skin type, including dry, oily, acne-prone, mature, and sensitive skin.
Featured item: Lip Frosting
Founded by singer Frank Ocean’s mother Katonya Breaux, UnSun Cosmetics made its mark in the beauty industry starting in 2016, by creating an offering of sunscreen products that are optimized for melanated skin. The brand has since expanded its product selection with a range of SPF body highlighters, hand cream, and a deeply hydrating face and body butter.
Featured item: Golden Angel SPF 15 Face and Body Highlighter
Hyper Skin founder Desiree Verdejo—who has dealt with acne and dark spots since her teen years—launched the skincare brand in an effort to create effective formulas that treat a wider number of skin tones and types. The brand’s best-selling Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum uses a hefty 15 percent of the ingredient, plus a blend of bearberry, licorice, and salicylic acid to minimize dark spots while preventing future breakouts from occurring.
Featured item: Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum
Hyper Skin is also available to shop at Sephora.
Base Butter started as a passion project in 2015 for founders She’Neil Spence and Nicolette Graves as a solution to manage their own oily and acne-prone skin. The brand’s top-rated Radiate Face Jelly Balancing Daily Gel Moisturizer uses a water base and other natural ingredients, like beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, to hydrate and balance skin without clogging pores or contributing to breakouts.
Featured item: Radiate Face Jelly Balancing Daily Gel Moisturizer
Founded by actor and model Dorion Renaud in 2018, Buttah Skincare was created to target dryness, discoloration, and breakouts while ultimately help people of color find confidence in their skin. Each Buttah Skincare product contains organic African shea butter to boost skin’s radiance and provide long lasting moisture.
Featured item: Vitamin C Serum
Luv Scrub is a bodycare brand with West African-inspired roots that’s here to replace your favorite loofah. The scrub tool itself is designed with extra length to make exfoliating hard to reach areas like your back and neck a breeze, and slowly stretches out over time with frequent use.
Featured item: Mesh Body Exfoliator in Naked Sunset
Luv Scrub is also available to shop at Ulta.
The products from skincare brand 54 Thrones are powered by plant-based botanicals like roots, herbs, oils, and anchored by Nigerian culture and common African beauty practices. Founder Christina Tegbe created the brand in 2015 to spread the message of the continent’s origin of clean beauty while celebrating its 54 interior countries.
Featured item: Minona Glow Body Oil
54 Thrones is also available to shop at Sephora and Nordstrom.
Epara—meaning “to cocoon oneself” in the Nigerian dialect of Ebira—provides luxe, handcrafted products tailored to address common skincare needs of people of color. Epara Skincare harnesses the power of natural ingredients to help regulate oil, improve dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and remove the skin’s impurities without stripping it of moisture.
Featured item: Hydrating Serum
Face and bodycare brand Nichole Avonie was started by beauty blogger Christine Carr to treat a variety of skin tones and types. Nichole Avonie uses natural ingredients like pomegranate and safflower oils in its range of moisturizers, exfoliators, and cleansers to help promote glowing, soft, and hydrated skin.
Featured item: Exfoliating Body Cleanser
Shani Darden Skincare
Celebrities like Kelly Rowland and Shay Mitchell have raved about using products from Shani Darden, a leading Hollywood esthetician who transitioned her coveted skincare treatments into a range of high-performance products—including this high-tech facial wand—for at-home use.
Featured item: Facial Sculpting Wand
Shani Darden is also available to shop at Sephora.
Topicals is a newer, cult-favorite skincare brand that exclusively uses ingredients that are scientifically proven to work based on their peer-reviewed clinical trials. Each product is formulated in partnership with a skincare advisory board for effectiveness and efficiency, and helps their customers positively associate with their skin and routines.
Featured item: Faded Brightening and Clearing Mist
Topicals is also available to shop at Sephora.
Black Girl Sunscreen
It’s no secret that a good sunscreen can be hard to find, especially for Black and brown skin tones. To help address this issue while providing new skincare selections for melanated skin, Black Girl Sunscreen launched their best-selling broad-spectrum SPF 30 product in 2016, which is formulated to dry down invisibly without a lingering white cast. Black Girl Sunscreen has since expanded its offerings to feature a sunscreen with SPF 50 for kids, and this matte, fragrance-free take on their original product with increased sun protection power.
Featured item: Make It Matte SPF 45
Vegan beauty brand Pholk Beauty was created by esthetician Niambi Cacchioli after frustration of not being able to find the right products suited to address her specific needs as a woman of color, including dark spots and ingrown hairs. The brand’s name and overall ethos is inspired by folk beauty rituals practiced across the African Diaspora.
Featured item: Moringa Pore Teatox Mask
Created with glowing skin in mind for both face and body, founder Tatiana Elizabeth launched Skin Buttr—which includes a suite of simplified beauty essentials from cleanser to moisturizer—to promote an overall healthy and balanced skin appearance.
Featured item: Tonr
We recently covered the launch of tennis superstar Naomi Osaka’s suncare line Kinlò—with kin and lò translating to “gold” in Japanese and Haitian Creole, respectively—which is formulated by Osaka specifically for Black, Brown, and Asian Pacific communities. The collection also includes a hydrating lip balm, face mist, and eye cream for less than $20 each.
Featured item: Golden Rays Sunscreen SPF 50+
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