For decades, the beauty and skincare industry profited off of the stigmatization of communities of color. Many products are designed to promote Western beauty standards and ignore the skincare needs of people of color (POC).
In recent years, there has been a major spike in POC-owned skincare and beauty brands that challenge these norms and bring POC beauty and skincare techniques to the forefront. As consumers, it’s important to support these brands so that they can continue to pave the way for a more inclusive beauty and skincare industry representative of the people around us.
Check out some of these POC-owned brands that are paving their own path in the industry.
The newest beauty brand, founded by Bengali entrepreneur Zareefa Arije, utilizes natural ingredients like Ashwagandha, Neem, and other common ingredients used in Ayurvedic healing to replenish and rejuvenate the skin. Arije was inspired by her mother’s own handmade masques made from ingredients coming from her kitchen and their shared passion for clean beauty. Ammu Beauty masques See Spot Run ($39), Future is Matte ($39), and Glow Getter ($39) work together to address a wide range of skin issues like hyperpigmentation, oily skin, uneven texture, and breakouts. All of their products are available online at ammubeauty.com
TikTok has become an important platform to learn about different skincare techniques, including Gua Sha, an ancient facial technique, widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Asian-owned beauty brand Mount Lai curated skincare tools and products that celebrate these ancient techniques for glowing, radiant skin. Mount Lai offers Gua Sha tools, rollers, and a number of skincare products all rooted in TCM with a modern twist to achieve more radiant skin. Their collection of skincare tools and products are available at mountlai.com and at Sephora.
In a beauty industry that’s catered toward Western beauty standards, beauty brand Kulfi brings South Asian beauty practices to the forefront and celebrates the importance of reclaiming your own beauty. Founder Priyanka Ganjoo’s past experience working in the beauty industry and their lack of South Asian representation inspired her to build a brand that celebrates South Asian beauty. Kulfi’s line of kajal, or eyeliners, drew inspiration from the traditional South Asian formula to develop a creamy, highly pigmented liner that shows up beautifully on melanated skin. Kulfi’s line of kajal comes in five bright and bold colors and are available online at kulfibeauty.com.
Protecting our skin from the sun is one of the most important ways to prevent early onset aging and other major skincare issues. But for POC, it can be a struggle to find a sunscreen that provides the protection needed without leaving a noticeable white cast. Unsun Cosmetics offers tinted sunscreens made with natural ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and zinc oxide that provide the necessary sun protection for the skin, without the white cast. All of their products can be purchased online at www.unsuncosmetics.com.
This indigenous-owned and operated beauty line offers socially conscious cosmetics that are cruelty-free and aim to provide representation for indigenous youth within the beauty industry. Cheekbone utilizes sustainably sourced ingredients and packaging to honor indigenous communities’ close ties to nature and deep respect for the land. Along with their mission to provided much-needed representation for the indigenous community, Cheekbone has donated over $108,000 to non-profit organizations like the Navajo Water Project and One Tree Planted. Their cosmetic line is available online at cheekbonebeauty.com.