"It’s been a heavy week as a Black woman and an incredibly strange one as a Black founder," began an Instagram post by Desiree Verdejo, founder and CEO of the skin care brand Hyper Skin, on the @GetHyperSkin account. In the June 5, 2020 post, Verdejo shared a snapshot of what it's like to be behind the scenes at a Black-owned skin care brand at the moment: "It’s been a time of outward action and self-reflection for many as we think about what we can do to make our country more equal and just. And of the many imbalances, there has been a huge focus followed by an outpouring of support on Black-owned businesses."
The moment is one of nationwide action against systematic racism — sparked by protests, bolstered by celebrities, editors, and industry leaders. According to Verdejo, Hyper Skin has "received overwhelming support in the form of unprecedented sales," which means that its hero product, Hyper Clear, is currently only available for pre-order.
"Hyper Skin sits proudly alongside a countless number of thoughtful, investment-worthy, editorial, retail-ready Black-owned businesses and I am grateful that we are all currently receiving such support," she continued. "My hope now is that major industry players move past lists and social media posts and begin to act with depth and intention in a movement towards true diversity and economic equality. Let’s Keep. This. Same. Energy."
Which is something you can do with your dollar. Below, 25 Black-owned skin care brands well worthy of a spot in your bathroom cabinet.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Co-founder Angela Ubias is reimagining what sustainable packaging can look like for the beauty industry, and indeed the brand’s plastic-free, biodegradable vitamin C capsules are already a must-have product for skin care lovers everywhere.
Founder Christina Funke Tegbe launched her skin care brand, 54 Thrones, as an ode to the beauty traditions, cultures, and diversity of Africa, and her tubes of shea butter, jojoba oil, and baobab oil-rich creams are well on their way to becoming beauty cult-favorites.
Co-founded and led by Funlayo Alabi, Shea Radiance celebrates the traditional use of unrefined shea butter with a line of moisturizing body and hair products. If you’ve never before experienced the luxe feeling of applying shea butter after a shower, you are in for a serious treat (and crazy soft skin).
This gorgeous line of face oils and serums was recently launched in 2022 by New York-based, Japanese-African artist, Katini Yamaoka. The tightly edited collection utilizes ingredients from Japan, Australia, and Africa such as Kakadu plum, macadamia, baobab for luxurious, skin nourishing formulations.
Founded by makeup artist and esthetician Lesley Thornton, KLUR is equal parts luxurious, ingredient-forward, and minimalist — a potent combination. Moreover, the expertly crafted line is cruelty-free, packaged in recyclable glass and plastic components, and covers a wide breadth of skincare categories, ranging from gel cleanser to facial oil.
Looking for gentle products for sensitive skin? Meet Iyoba. Founded by Efiya Asabi after her son was diagnosed with eczema, Iyoba focuses on healing and protecting your skin all over, whether it's with probiotic deodorant, moisturizing bar soap, or hydrating skin care. (Side note: Make sure you check out Iyoba's haircare line, too.)
Golde's approach to beauty is simple: It goes hand in hand with wellness. The two-prong brand offers glow-boosting face masks and turmeric latte blends, a superfood that combats inflammation from the inside out.
Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson's up-and-coming skincare brand, BeautyStat, has created quite the buzz amongst the fashion circuit. Though it only currently offers three products — a vitamin C serum, moisturizer, and eye cream — the carefully curated line has already garnered a reputation for potent active ingredients and powerful formulas.
Not only are JACQ's skincare products vegan, but the beauty brand takes its platform one step further, focusing on creating products without silicones, sulfates, and parabens. (In fact, JACQ's calls its no-go ingredients the Dirty30.) So, expect to see simplistic, ingredient-focused products when you shop the brand, like a facial cleansing bar made out of organic carrots.
Black Opal has been a tried-and-true staple since its original Advanced Dual Complex Fade Gel debuted back in 1994. Decades later, the cosmetics and skincare company offers a formidable skincare collection, which includes a brightening facial scrub, SPF 15 moisturizer, and multiple approaches to hyper-pigmentation (with and without hydroquinone).
From toners to deodorants, shaving cream to haircare, Alaffia is virtually a one-stop shop for all things beauty. And you'll want to add it to your radar, too; product sales help fund The Alaffia Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to assisting communities in Togo, West Africa, supporting Fair Trade initiatives, providing pre- and postnatal care, and more.
KNC Beauty is another hyper-focused, tightly curated beauty brand that knows what it's doing. Its All Natural Collagen Infused Lip Mask has long been heralded as a celebrity favorite, thanks to a petroleum-free blend of collagen, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid.
Chloe + Chad
Similar to Iyoba, the skincare and body-care brand Chloe + Chad was inspired partly by founder Aisha Besson's journey after her son's eczema diagnosis. Shop the brand if you're looking for a product that'll soothe extra-sensitive skin; its entire ingredient suite works in tandem to calm, hydrate, and repair.
Still a relatively fresh newcomer, Hyper Skin offers one hero product: the Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum. Brought to life after founder and CEO Desiree Verdejo found a gap in the beauty industry, the serum directly addresses hyper-pigmentation, dark spots, and acne scarring with 15 percent vitamin C and E.
Black Girl Sunscreen
Founded by Shontay Lundy, Black Girl Sunscreen has been a game-changer since its 2016 launch, creating sunscreen that doesn't leave a white cast behind, exclusively and proudly for women of color. Actor and comedian Yvonne Orji said it best in a previous TZR interview: "We were doing an episode of Insecure, and someone asked what I wanted to pack. This [was my first answer]."
You know how aloe vera has been a must-have in DIY skincare for, well, ever? Base Butter took the ingredient and gave it an elevated — and affordable — upgrade. The brand's hero product, the Radiate Face Jelly, is a $21 solution to pH balancing and lightweight hydration.
Beneath Your Mask
Beneath Your Mask offers Black-owned, small-batched luxury beauty you can pick up at Bergdorf Goodman — which is no small feat. (Not to mention that the entire selection is highly Instagrammable.) Or, explore its clean-focused skin, hair, and body products by visiting its website.
Put Dehiya Beauty on your list if you're a shopper who likes to know where the ingredients in their skin care actually come from. On its website, the brand is transparent about which ingredients are organic, wild harvested, or even hand-extracted from Morocco's argan tree forest.
Although known best for its haircare products, Alikay Naturals' skincare products — for your face and body — deserve a spot in your collection. Better yet, the beauty brand prioritizes natural and organic ingredients while still staying affordably priced.
Aesthetically pleasing and thoughtfully clean, AYOND creates cruelty-free, carbon-neutral, zero-waste, and vegan skincare products that look as good as they feel. The line itself is influenced by the founders Shani Van Breukelen and Porter Yates' "experience in the desert," according to the website — and certain ingredients, like rock rose, show this off.
Bevel is a skin and body-care brand for men of color — and it's leading the pack across the personal-care industry, regardless of gender. Its products are straightforward, accessibly priced, and available from Target to Amazon to Sally Beauty.
Everyone knows that creating a sunscreen you're actually excited to wear takes effort, time, and, most importantly, patience. So, take Bolden's SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer as a sign that its product line is seriously good. Like the skincare brand's other products, it works double time, offering SPF 30 and brightening vitamin C.
Founded by Ozohu Adoh — and inspired by her own experience with dry, uneven skin — Epara is a luxury skincare brand stacked with spa-worthy products. And even though you wouldn't blink twice if you saw them wielded by your favorite esthetician, the names of Epara's products (Eye Serum, Moisturizing Face Cream, etcetera) are consumer-friendly and keep things simple.
Good Beauté Skincare
An industry veteran with experience at Unilever, Coty, and L’Oréal under her belt, founder Kimberly Hairston-Hicks' expertise is palpable. Not a single product in Good Beauté's curated lineup seems out of place or unnecessary.
Created in 2020 as a skincare brand for "melanated millennials," Kanti was founded by influencers Keamone F. and Alisha Ricki. So, expect Instagram-worthy products, combined with simplistic — yet effective — formulas.
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