Being a professional athlete — and the face a few campaigns — requires some specific skin care needs. Products that can stand up to sun, sweat, and the occasional glammed-up photoshoot can help such a person’s complexion stay protected and healthy looking. It’s exactly these things that are goals of Naomi Osaka’s soon-to-launch skin care brand, the latest business endeavor from the international tennis champion. And not only that, but the line was created specifically with “melanated skin tones” in mind.
On Tuesday, April 27th, the four-time Grand Slam winner shared the news of her forthcoming brand, KINLÓ, with Business of Fashion as well as her massive Instagram following. “I never thought I would ever start my own company, but I'm super excited to announce that I'll be launching KINLÒ, a new brand of skincare products developed to protect and rejuvenate melanated skin tones,” she captioned the post. “I hope these products can help a lot of people and potentially save lives because I really feel that we aren’t protecting ourselves as much as we could.”
Osaka explained to the publication that she didn’t always understand the need for BIPOC to consider sun protection, admitting that sunblock is a product she only recently began using regularly, despite spending so much time outdoors — and she knows that many darker skinned men and women are under the same incorrect assumption. Not only that, but the tennis pro has been pretty clear about her unfussy beauty routine in the past. Last year when she shared the details of her nightly routine with Harper’s Bazaar, Osaka confessed that she’s not always the best about removing makeup (in the rare occasion that she’s wearing it) and she sticks to a pretty simple regimen of a makeup remover, cleanser, moisturizer, sleeping cream, lip balm, and under eye stick.
But it’s exactly this less-is-more, functional approach to beauty that’s informed KINLÒ, which was named with respect her Japanese-Haitian roots (kin means “gold” in Japanese and ló means “gold” in Haitian Creole). While Osaka is no stranger to brand partnerships — she’s collaborated famously with Nike, Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer, and ADEAM in the past — this marks her first-ever company. As for what to expect from the products, sustainability (the athlete and activist is working with A. Frame, which specialized in environmentally-friendly personal care brands), affordability (everything is under $20), protection (including blue light protection for indoors and a sweat-proof formula for outdoors), and inclusiveness for women of color are of utmost importance. "This is a public health need,” she told BOF. “I used to tell people that I didn’t need to wear sunscreen — but even if you have melanin, you need to take care of your skin, and I am passionate about that.”
Can’t wait to try KINLÒ’s SPF 40 and SPF 50 face lotions, eye cream, lip balm, and body spray? Unfortunately you’ve still got a few months to pine for them. The brand is set to launch in fall of this year, but you can sign up for the mailing list now for the latest updates.