Black-Owned or Founded Skin-Care Brands to Shop and Support
In support of the Black Lives Matter movement and in an effort to shine a light on Black leaders and innovators in the beauty industry, the team at Skincare.com is highlighting some of the amazing Black founders who have spearheaded their own skin-care brands. Some of these beauty bosses, like Shontay Lundy of Black Girl Sunscreen, started their companies because of a lack of products designed specifically for darker skin tones, while others, like Psyche Terry who started Urban Hydration, are seeking to run a mission-driven brand that highlights both equality and high-quality products. To honor the brands founded by Black entrepreneurs, here’s a growing list of skin-care companies you can support now and always.
Founded by Lisa Price (aka Carol Price’s daughter), Carol’s Daughter got its start in the family’s Brooklyn-based home and has since become one of the most popular natural hair, scalp and body-care brands. The line is created for all textures, all types and all beauty needs. After growing in popularity, Carol’s Daughter was acquired by our parent company L’Oréal in 2014, but Price is still actively involved in the business.
Finding a sunscreen that doesn’t leave behind a white cast is a tricky feat if you have a darker skin tone. That’s why Black Girl Sunscreen founder Shontay Lundy set out to create a product specially designed for women of color. The brand aims to educate and protect “melanin beauties” worldwide, moisturize melanated skin and remain clean of harmful chemicals.
Have your Kaike and use it on your skin, too? That was Keli Smith’s idea. In 2015, she founded Kaike, a plant-based skin-care company that focuses on celebrating skin. The brand’s minimal and multi-use products focus on targeting women of color’s skin concerns such as dry skin, hyperpigmentation and uneven tone.
Karen Young started her razor and shaving company aimed with a mission to redefine the message of beauty. With the notion that brands inform culture, the brand strives to watch its language, create efficacious products and help you feel great in your own skin. Plus, the razors are amazing for sensitive skin.
Created by Tatiana Price, Skinbuttr is a natural body and skin-care line that leaves skin hydrated and glowing. The brand, which includes everything from body scrubs to facial cleansers and toners, aims to help you simplify your routine with products that work, educate you on your specific skin needs (it has a chat feature on its website), help you build confidence in your skin and leave your face and body feeling refreshed and healthy.
Growing up, Nyakio Kamoche Grieco spent a lot of time in Africa surrounded by medicine men, farmers and generational beauty secrets. Memories including her grandmother teaching her to use crushed coffee beans and sugar cane as a remedy for dry skin is what prompted Grieco to found Nyakio. The line, complete with anti-aging oils and cleansing balms, uses formulas and ingredients inspired by global beauty secrets and family traditions.
Ron Robinson, BeautyStat’s cosmetic chemist founder, has been an expert in the beauty field for decades. But after reviewing thousands of products, he was key in launching the company's proprietary brand, which focuses on high-performance, innovative skin-care products. If you’re in need of a great vitamin C serum, give the Universal C Skin Refiner a try.
With dry skin and discoloration, Ozohu Adoh was struggling to find luxury skin-care products that worked well on skin of color. That’s why she set out to create her own luxe line, Epara. The brand sources organic ingredients from Africa, is high-quality and consists of scientifically-proven products that work to address all the skin-care issues faced by women of color.
While pregnant, Desiree Verdejo found herself experiencing extreme hyperpigmentation and dark masks. Unfortunately, nothing catered specifically to her skin’s needs. Enter Hyper Skin. The brand’s hero product, Hyper Clear, is a vitamin C serum packed with clean and natural ingredients that brighten the skin, smooth texture and treat hyperpigmentation.
Niambi Cacchioli founded Pholk to welcome women of color into the natural skin-care space. She infuses the line with her knowledge of the African Diaspora’s healing and herbalist traditions, while creating a narrative that promotes women of color as innovators in culture.
We fully believe that relaxing aromatherapy can change your state of mind, and Aba Gyepi-Garbrah, a certified aromatherapist, clearly agrees. Her love of plant medicine and holistic skin-care led her to found Aba Love Apothecary. The brand focuses on handcrafted formulas designed to change the way we see and feel about self-care. Plus, the essential oil-based formulas are both effective and affordable.
Kristen Noel Crawley wanted perfectly hydrated, kissable lips, so she created a handful of products (read: lip mask and lip scrub) that could make that happen. Fast forward to today and KNC also has ultra-Instagrammable eye masks. Trust us, you’ll want to give the collagen-infused products a try.
Akilah Mary-Louise Releford grew up watching her grandmothers (Mary and Louise) making homemade remedies and natural products. That commitment to natural, nourishing and clean beauty products is what inspired her to found Mary Louise Cosmetics. The organic line features everything from body butters and face masks to serums and body soaps.
As a professional dancer and choreographer, Jashiro Dean was struggling to find a solution for his aches, pains, bruises and muscle fatigue. With limited options on the market that didn’t contain chemical ingredients, he set out to found Temple Zen. The line is an eco-friendly company that promotes beauty, wellness and living through high-quality products that are infused with vitamins and nutrients to restore and promote natural cell rejuvenation.
Founded by husband and wife team Bjarke Ballisager and Holly McWhorter, Plant Apothecary is an organic, vegan, cruelty-free and clean line of bath, grooming and skin care. Its products are formulated with your skin type, skin color and skin concern in mind. Plus, the founders are committed to upholding an eco-conscious mindset through both formulation and packaging.
Founder Kayla (aka Foxie) Phillips creates all handcrafted vegan and cruelty-free products for the body and face. We’re particularly excited to try her bath products, which aim to soothe aches and pains.
Tolu Oye grew up in Nigeria watching her mother collect nuts from the Shea trees. The shea butter, which was extracted from the nut, was used to address her eczema, her sister’s burns and to hydrate their hair. After moving to the United States, she wanted to share the efficacious nature of shea butter. That’s where Oye Shea Butter came into play. The ingredients are sourced from Nigeria, and the formulas are designed to renew, heal and hydrate the hair and the skin.
After being diagnosed with an ovarian tumor, Barbara Jaques began formulating non-toxic solutions for her changing body and concerns. Her line takes inspiration from the simplicity of nature while focusing on clean formulations and botanics. The brand understands that beauty is not one-size-fits all and aims to create products for every skin type, skin color and skin concern.
Jane Ormom was struggling to find a plant-based skin-care line that catered to African American women and their melanin-rich skin. Instead of giving up her search, she decided to create a solution with Nola Skinsentials, a plant-based line that benefits melanin-based skin tones, as well as all other skin types, because, as she likes to say, “there’s no glow left behind.” Take a look at her website, and you’ll love the fact that she uses real skin, real models and untouched imagery to promote her products and mission.
Joy Ekhator, a computer programmer turned beauty brand founder, leveraged the beauty secrets of her childhood in Nigeria with her knowledge of technology to create a plant-powered, high-performance line of luxe skin care. Through her ancient African knowledge of plants, she created Lovinah to show a modern representation of African beauty traditions while creating a line of skin care that would address hormonal changes, premature aging and visibly improve complexion.
Buying beauty products from Urban Hydration is a great way to not only support a black-owned business, but also a way to support the water crisis abroad. The founder of the brand, Psyche Terry, has a pledge to donate one gallon of water to Kenyan school children for every product sold. While the mission-driven brand is enough of a reason to lend your support, we can attest that the ultra-hydrating products are must-have for dry skin.
Dr. Mia Chae Reddy founded Dehiya to celebrate global and time-honored beauty traditions. She was inspired to launch the brand after living abroad and studying under a fourth generation Moroccan herbalist. Influence from her learnings is found throughout the vegan, plant-based and all-natural skin-care line. Most importantly, though, the brand champions diversity and ensures its products are inclusive.
In West Africa, people have been using a towel-like exfoliating tool in the shower for generations. But when Caroline Owusu-Ansah learned that the tool hadn’t made its way to American, she decided to bring the exfoliator to the West African shower staple to market. Aptly named Luv Scrub, the tool is ideal for smoothing your skin’s texture, removing dead surface skin and cleaning your body, and it allows for moisturizers and oils to absorb and penetrate deeper.
Blaire Armstrong, a dermatology clinician, founded Gilded. The luxe body-care brand was created to share awareness of body skin care. Formulas tout luxurious plant oils and hydrating shea butter to help balance the skin and the mind.
Katonya Breaux launched Unsun Cosmetics in 2016. The line offers clean, no-residue, no-white cast sunscreens that are designed for darker skin tones and with the environment in mind. The line offers tinted options, mineral face sunscreen, body sunscreen and hand cream.
Dana Jackson was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. After struggling with her diagnosis and the changes her body was experiencing, she eventually committed to a non-toxic way of life — going so far as to found her own skin-care line rooted in her learnings. Beneath Your Mask is a line of pure, luxurious and all-natural products with highly active ingredients chosen for their restorative benefits.
She’Neil Johnson created Base Butter to help Black women redefine the perception of beauty and realize their potential. The line, which creates crowd-sourced skin-care products for women with oily and combination skin, strives to celebrate the uniqueness of different complexions and help everyone celebrate the skin they’re in. Its first product? The Radiate Face Jelly, a lightweight, aloe vera-infused moisturizer that leaves your skin glowy, not greasy.
Trinity Mouzan Wofford wanted wellness to look good, taste good and help you feel like your best self. That’s why she started Golde, a line of superfood-boosted essentials in health and beauty. With everything from clean face masks to all-natural coffee blends, the brand has your wellness needs covered.
Jamika Martin (like so many of us) suffered from acne. But when medications and harsh topicals weren’t working, she founded Rosen to bring confidence to acne sufferers, in the form of products with clean ingredients and formulations. Plus, the brand takes all the guesswork out of creating a routine by offering bundles that have everything you need to target your personal skin-care concerns.