It’s no secret that the beauty industry has been far from inclusive in the past, and many of us have become more conscious of how we can do better. Exercising your individual buying power is just one small way to take action—so if your routine could use a refresh, these black-owned skincare brands deserve your support.
Doing so can make a big difference. By helping these businesses to grow, you will be encouraging economic investment, fostering job creation and strengthening black communities. And with the innovative products they’ve created, these brands should be on your radar, anyway! Think: dark spot-fighting serums, non-whitening sunscreen, hydrating masks and much more.
Read on to discover the black-owned skincare brands that you need to know about, plus my top product picks.
Editor’s Picks (At a Glance)
Best Dark Spot Serums
Best Retinol Serums
Best Lip Mask
Best Face Masks
Best Calming Serum
Best Hydrating Serum
Best Lip Balm
Best Body Moisturizer
The Best Black-Owned Skincare of 2022
- Background: Topicals is the creation of Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng, who—despite being in their early 20s—already heave years of experience in beauty brand-building and clinical research. Their goal was to create a line of science-backed products to help people with chronic skin conditions to feel more confident.
- Editor’s pick: Topicals Faded Brightening & Clearing Serum is a potent, gel-like serum that fades post-acne marks, dark patches and discolourations. It’s loaded with a long list of active ingredients, including niacinamide, tranexamic acid, azelaic acid, kojic acid and licorice root. No wonder it is frequently sold out!
- Background: Shani Darden is the eponymous skincare range by celebrity facialist Shani Darden (whose A-list clientele includes Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Kelly Rowland). After years of honing her clinical expertise, she developed her own products, including a retinol that quickly became a cult sensation.
- Editor’s pick: Shani Darden Retinol Reform combines 2.2% encapsulated retinol with 2% lactic acid in a lightweight serum. It treats everything from fine lines to dark spots to breakouts, and has countless celebrity fans. It’s one of my all-time favourite retinoids—see my full review here.
EleVen by Venus Williams
- Background: EleVen by Venus Williams is the brainchild of tennis superstar Venus Williams. In addition to selling activewear, she has also teamed up with Credo Beauty and The Sunscreen Company on a collection of mineral suncare products.
- Editor’s pick: EleVen by Venus Williams Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 is a highly innovative sunscreen serum for all skin tones and types. Not only does it gives you broad-spectrum protection with 25% zinc oxide, it is also completely weightless and invisible on your skin.
- Background: ROSEN Skincare grew out of founder Jamika Martin’s struggles with teenage and adult acne. When she couldn’t find anything that worked—let alone with clean ingredients and cool packaging—she decided to take matters into her own hands.
- Editor’s pick: ROSEN Skincare Tropics Toner is the brand’s bestseller, a hydrating toner that prevents dark spots and balances oil production. It contains just five ingredients, including kojic acid to inhibit melanin production and hyaluronic acid to bind moisture.
- Background: BeautyStat was founded by Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist who spent 20 years creating formulas for brands like Clinique, L’Oréal, Revlon and Avon. After realizing that consumers were more confused than ever, he channelled his experience into creating a results-driven skincare line using premium, scientifically-proven ingredients.
- Editor’s pick: BeautyStat Universal Microbiome Barrier Balancing Cleanser is the brand’s newest product, a fragrance-free foaming cleanser that deep-cleans without stripping your skin’s moisture barrier. It removes dirt, oil makeup and sunscreen in one step, yet is gentle enough for even sensitive skin.
- Background: KNC Beauty began after founder Kristen Noel Crawley fell in love with lip masks on a trip to Tokyo. Upon learning that a natural version did not exist, she was inspired to create her own, and now sells lip balms, lip scrubs and eye masks, too.
- Editor’s pick: KNC Beauty All Natural Collagen-Infused Lip Mask is a gel-textured sheet mask for your lips. (You might’ve seen Emma Stone wearing one on Instagram!) Each mask is infused with collagen, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and algae extract, which plump, hydrate and prime your lips for lip colour in just 15 minutes.
- Background: Golde was launched by Tiffany Mouzon Wofford and her partner with the goal of bringing inclusivity and fun to the wellness space. The company started out with ingestible turmeric latte powders, and has now expanded into all-natural face masks.
- Editor’s pick: Golde Clean Greens Purifying Face Mask transforms from a powder into a creamy gel with a few drops of water. Left on the skin for 15 minutes, the chlorella, spirulina and mango juice work to purify, brighten and reduce inflammation.
- Background: Hyper Skin was started by Desiree Verdejo, who couldn’t find a product to address the acne as well as post-acne hyperpigmentation that she battled while pregnant. After two years of development, she came up with a formula that worked, and now more products are in the pipeline.
- Editor’s pick: Hyper Skin Hyper Even Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum fades dark spots and prevents breakouts with 15% vitamin C in the form of ethyl ascorbic acid. It’s also high in kojic acid, bearberry and licorice to amplify the brightening effects.
ROSE Ingleton MD
- Background: ROSE Ingleton MD was developed by Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, a dermatologist who has tended to the complexions of Chrissy Teigen and Iman. Her streamlined product system addresses discolourations, fine lines, acne, redness and dehydration, and everything is spiked with her signature Jamaican superfruit blend.
- Editor’s pick: ROSE Ingleton MD Skin Calming Booster is a soothing and moisturizing serum for dehydrated and sensitive skin. Each drop is packed with barrier-supporting niacinamide, moisture-binding hyaluronic acid and calming allantoin; it also has green and white tea extracts to fight free radicals.