30 Black-Owned Skincare Brands to Support Now and Forever


paris, france   january 27 editorial use only   for non editorial use please seek approval from fashion house a model poses backstage prior to the juana martin haute couture springsummer 2022 show at the residence of the ambassador of spain as part of paris fashion week on january 27, 2022 in paris, france photo by richard bordgetty images

Richard Bord

Do you remember how good it felt when you first saw a makeup brand with an expansive foundation offering or concealer shade range that extended beyond “toasted almond” and “mocha?” Long before 40 shades became the gold standard, Black founders were the only ones meeting the oft-overlooked needs of our community. They were the only ones with shade ranges, white cast-free sunscreens, and a catalog to define “nude.” Shopping for skincare may be a time-consuming, expensive process, but supporting smaller brands that prioritize natural ingredients and melanin-rich skin makes the process even simpler.

If you’re in the mood to spend some coins, keep scrolling for 30 skincare brands to shop.

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Inspired by her childhood growing up in Nigeria, Christina Funke Tegbe launched 54 Thrones to explore the beauty and authenticity of African culture and beauty secrets.

Price range: $14+

Editor’s Pick: Osun African Beauty Mist, $42

A 54 Thrones (from Sephora) reviewer said: “This is the perfect product as a staple to your self-care essential kit, travel bag, and a great gender-neutral gift! The butter is versatile and has been my go-to these days when we are consistently washing our hands. There is so much comfort in knowing that this is a pure and natural product!”

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While pregnant with her daughter, Desiree Verdejo struggled to reduce extensive hyperpigmentation caused by a bout of hormonal acne. Unable to find a product that performed, she created her own solution with a vitamin C serum infused with kojic acid, turmeric, and bearberry.

Price range: $28+

Editor’s Pick: Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum, $36

A Hyper Skin reviewer said: “I have always had dark marks from acne. I saw results in just a few weeks. My spots are much lighter.”

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Karen Young, the founder of Oui the People, was forbidden from reading beauty magazines growing up. Why? She thinks her mother felt their content showcased a damaging ideal of beauty. Oui the People is dedicated to producing body care with mindful messaging that rejects perfection and champions individuality.

Price range: $11+

Editor’s Pick: Hydrating Body Gloss, $65

A Oui the People reviewer said: “Veeerrrryyy moisturizing and lightweight, I absolutely love it and how fast it’s absorbed by my skin, so I don’t have to worry about it sticking to my clothes right after.”

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Shontay Lundy changed the sunscreen game for women of color by creating a non-white cast formula infused with nurturing avocado and jojoba oils, cacao, and carrot juice.

Price range: $9

Editor’s Pick: Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30, $19

A Black Girl Sunscreen reviewer said: “BGS is a great sunscreen! As an esthetician, sun protection is my number one concern for my clients. BGS provides proper coverage, applies without the ashy cast, and also moisturizes. Definitely recommended!”

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Hanahana Beauty understands that the secret to moisturized, radiant skin starts with some good ol’ shea butter. Founded by Chicago-based entrepreneur Abena Boamah, Hanahana ethically sources its shea butter-based products from the Katariga Women in Tamale, Ghana.

Price range: $12+

Editor’s Pick: Vanilla Lavender Shea Body Butter, $7

A Hanahana Beauty reviewer said: “My favorite smell of all time. This is like 5th or 6th jar and will continue to order, haha. Great for colder weather as my skin gets dry quickly.”

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Esthetician to some of your favorite stars (Shay Mitchell, Kelly Rowland, Jessica Alba), Shani Darden delivers results—and her products are no different. From the cult-favorite Retinl Reform to the Face Sculpting Tool, Shani Darden Skincare provides simple but effective products that give us our healthiest skin possible.

Price range: $38+

Editors Pick: Retinol Reform, $88

A Shani Darden reviewer said: “I LOVE this retinol! I’ve seen such a difference after 30 days and NO irritation!! Love this stuff so much!”

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Founder Katonya Breaux, like many Black people, was often left disappointed by the dearth of clean sunscreen products for our skin. Breaux created Unsun in 2016 to provide often overlooked skin tones with clean, non-toxic, and non-ashy sunscreen.

Price range: $11+

Editor’s Pick: Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen In “Medium/Dark,” $29

An Unsun Cosmetics reviewer said: “This sunscreen has just the right amount of tint. It’s sheer enough to blend with my concealer/mineral foundation. Highly recommend.”

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Three Ghanaian sisters, one of whom is a dermatologist, created Karité (French for “shea butter”) with, you guessed it, shea butter as its hero ingredient. The moisture-rich formulas look to high concentrations of raw ingredients to help heal and moisturize skin. The family oversees all oil sourcing for its product to prevent deforestation or harm to the animals in West Africa.

Price range: $25+

Editors Pick: Crème Mains Karité Shea Butter, $36

A Karite reviewer said: “The hand cream is now a staple in my beauty kit! It smells wonderful and is portable enough to put in my purse to take everywhere with me. Like the body cream, I’ll be ordering this again and again.”

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We love a brand with a clear mission, and Luv Scrub has not veered off course since it launched a few years ago. These mesh wash clothes shake up everything you thought you knew about exfoliating in the shower. Each one is long enough to slough even tough-to-reach places like your back, and comes in an assortment of gorgeous colors to match any bathroom scheme.

Price range: $18+

Editors Pick: Mesh Body Exfoliator, Naked Sunset, $18

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Absolute Joi was birthed by pediatrician Anne Beal who created the line to help soothe her daughters’ skin breakouts. Specifically made to target concerns that taunt skin of color, Absolute Joi offers a complete range of products, including cleansers, a toner, retinol, and sunscreen.

Price range: $10+

Editor’s Pick: Skin Refining Night Oil with Retinol, $57

An Absolute Joi reviewer said: “This Oil glides on my skin and enters deep in the pores. I see my skin soften immediately!!! Reordering. Thank you.”

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The goal of Tsuri is to make self-care more than just an occasional practice. Founder Ashli Goudelock has a background in product formulation and created the range to deliver a spa-like experience without harsh ingredients like synthetic fragrances, colorants, and sulfates.

Price range: $6+

Editor’s Pick: Cashmere + Vanilla Body Oil Bar, $30

A Tsuri reviewer said: “Confession time.. I bought this to give to someone as a gift but when I smelled it I had to keep it for myself! It fits conveniently in my small purse so I never leave home with it.”

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Newly launched company Katini is all about a glow-up. The baby brand just launched in 2022 with four face oils, all made with minimal but potent ingredients pulled straight from founder Katini Yamaoka’s Japanese, African, and Australian roots.

Price range: $75+

Editor’s Pick: Clarity Face Oil, $95

A Katini reviewer said: “Awesome product!!! Made a difference in my skin in the first week of daily use. Will definitely be reordering and recommending to my friends.”

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As the name suggests, Buttah Skin’s products leave your skin feeling as soft as butter. Founded in 2018 by Dorion Renaud, Buttah Skin is built around shea butter to nourish your skin while proving feel-good ingredients for healthy, glowing skin.

Price range: $14.99+

Editors Pick: Skin Transforming Cocoshea 3 Piece Kit, $60

A Buttah Skin reviewer said: “After just a couple of weeks of using this product, I love the way my skin feels. It is no longer dry and is soft to the touch without being oily. None of the products seem harsh on my skin which tends to be sensitive. My skin looks refreshed and has just enough shine.”

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Created for Black women, by Black women, Bolden is the skin savior you never knew you needed. One common skincare struggle Black women face is hyperpigmentation, which is why founders Ndidi Obidoa and Chinelo Chidozie created products that brighten skin and face hyperpigmentation.

Price range: $8.50+

Editor’s Pick: Bolden Clear Skin Kit, $89

A Bolden reviewer (from Amazon) said: “This product is so amazing!! It really brightens my face and does good against the sun smells really good too. Can’t wait to buy it again!!!”

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Skincare shouldn’t be complicated. Fed up with the beauty industry’s lack of innovation and skincare products catering to Black skin, Jamika Martin found a way to simplify your routine. Enter: Rosen, a skincare brand with fun, targeted products that work for all skin tones and textures.

Price range: $10+

Editor’s Pick: Tropics Toner, $18

A Rosen reviewer said: “This toner keeps my face feeling so hydrated but also helps with my dark spots. I love how it doesn’t dry or tighten my face. This is a winner!!”

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Licensed esthetician and makeup artist Danielle Bahi started Ayele & Co., formerly known as Bahi Cosmetics, from her college dorm room at the tender age of 21. Although the Ivory Coast native created the brand to provide affordable, plant-based skincare for all, it’s especially popular among acne-prone individuals for its cult-favorite Sunflower Sweets Serum. The Before and Afters speak for themselves.

Price range: $25+

Editor’s Pick: Sunflower Sweets Serum, $17

An Ayele & Co reviewer said:

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Blk + Grn is a mecca for black-owned skin, body, makeup, and hair products. This one-stop shop only houses clean, toxic-free beauty products to ensure that whatever product touches your body is the best of the best—like Marla Rene’s Micellar Cleansing Water. Doubling as a makeup remover and cleanser, it’s formulated with cucumber, vitamin B5, and calendula to restore hydration to dry, damaged skin.

Price range: $3

Editor’s Pick: Marla Rene Micellar Cucumber Aloe Facial Cleansing Water, $22

A Blk + Grn reviewer said: “It’s super light yet really good. Takes off my makeup, really, and is a very refreshing facial wash. Love it!”

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If you’ve been following model Tatiana Elizabeth Price, you’ll notice girl loves a sun-kissed vacation glow. That’s all her body care brand Skin Buttr. Free of any harmful ingredients, Skin Buttrs’ body butters use whipped shea at the base to nourish and condition the skin. Oh, and the Gingr Lemon Buttr smells DIVINE.

Price range: $10+

Editor’s Pick: Gingr Lemon Buttr, $30

A Skin Buttr reviewer said: “I love how it smells and how smooth it feels when rubbing it on my arms and legs.”

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Founder Niambi Cacchioli founded Pholk with a mission to harness the African Diaspora’s beauty traditions into a plant-based skincare brand that celebrates women of color.

Price range: $12+

Editor’s Pick: Glow Replenishing Face Wash, $2o

A Pholk reviewer said: “I’ve been using this face mash for over 3 months and it’s great for my skin. I also want to support a fellow black woman that is trying to help the black community.”

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New York-based skincare brand Aba Love creates handcrafted botanical products perfect for the green beauty lover. The aromatic goods are free of synthetic fragrances and parabens, instead boosted with seed, plant, and floral oils.

Price: $5+

Editor’s Pick: Flower Crown Facial Serum, $21

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Using clean, simple ingredients, Kaike aims to address the complex skincare issues Black people endure daily. Dry skin or hair? Kaike’s signature Frosting is a creamy cocktail of mango butter, coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, and more. Chapped lips? Not with Kaike’s Lip Frosting, which softens the skin with castor oil, mango butter, and coconut oil. Ashy who?

Price range: $5

Editor’s Pick: Kaike Marshmallow Mask + Scrub, $20

A Kaike reviewer said: “I purchased the scrub a while back at an event in DTLA. My skin is dry and dull, but after one use of the sugar scrub my skin feels soft, smooth, and moisturized. This is a product that had a lot of thought go into it and the oils are the best.”

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22

Anne’s Apothecary

Anne’s Apothecary’s philosophy is “what you put on your skin should be safe enough to eat”—so you better believe the ingredients are pure. The products, created in North Carolina, are handcrafted in small batches with a focus on herbs and essential oils. You can shop everything from body scrubs and cleansers to deodorant.

Price range: $9

Editor’s Pick: Anne’s Apothecary Black Honey Facial Cleanser, $10

An Anne’s Apothecary reviewer said: “My skin was looking so dull, I was breaking out, and feeling dehydrated. This cleanser made my skin feel smooth and didn’t dry out my face at all.”

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Kristen Noel Crowley, influencer, mom, and former ELLE contributor, launched her beauty brand three years ago with a collection that includes lip and eye masks as well as lip scrubs and balm.

Price range: $22

Editor’s Pick: Collagen-Infused Lip Masks, set of five for $25

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Elle Johnson is all about no-fuss, easy-to-follow botanical skincare starting with the “Clear 3,” a skincare system of 1) cleansing lotion (yes, lotion), 2) toner, and 3) moisturizer. It doesn’t hurt that Johnson, who used to work in branding, has gorgeous Insta-ready packaging.

Price range: $3+

Editor’s Pick: Elle Johnson Cleansing Lotion, $18

An Elle Johnson reviewer said: “I’ve been searching for a face wash that was gentle enough to use twice a day and finally found one. This leaves my skin with a beautiful glow and doesn’t dry me out.”

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All-natural skincare line Base Butter is on a mission to challenge the depiction of Black women in media. Partly inspired by founder She’Neil Johnson’s struggles with acne, the line includes a moisturizing facial “jelly” and body cream.

Price range: $15+

Editor’s Pick: Base Butter Radiate Face Jelly, $27

A Base Butter reviewer said: “This is the best moisturizer that I’ve used. It keeps your skin moisturized and soft all day long.”

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This organic California-made skincare line was founded by Stevonne Ratliff, who created it to address her hyperpigmentation and skin frustrations. Her botanical products include scrubs, lotions, and bar soaps, all inspired by Brazil.

Price range: $12+

Editor’s Pick: Beija Flor Naturals Acai Mango Lotion, $20

A Beija Flor Naturals reviewer said: “I love Body & Hair Honey! It provides shine for my hair and softness for my body! It moisturizes both hair and body so efficiently. I love that this product has dual purpose, and again, small amount goes a long way! So amazing!!”

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Blade + Bloom’s eco-conscious goods are handmade in Chicago with a focus on 100 percent plant-based skincare and candles. All feature delicious scents (the “Charming I’m Sure” soap apparently smells like “the secret ingredient in your boyfriend’s cologne”), and the no-nonsense packaging is recyclable.

Price range: $12

Editor’s Pick: Blade + Bloom Rich Cleansing Bar in Charming, I’m Sure, $12

A Blade & Bloom reviewer said: “I’m so happy with my purchase. Smells clean and fresh. After I rinsed, there was a shine and glow. After drying off. Skin still felt smooth. Already spreading the word.”

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This organic line promises to help you “slay, naturally.” Cleansers, mists, masks, toners, and even “beauty boosters” contain tiny, concentrated doses of antioxidants and other good-for-skin ingredients.

Price range: $5+

Editor’s Pick: Jacqs Revitalizing Face Toner, $19

A Jacqs reviewer said: “This toner goes everywhere I go! I keep at least 3 on hand. In the bathroom, in my purse, and at my desk! You never know when you just need a little daytime refresher and this toner is perfect for that!”

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True Moringa started as a project to explore alternatives to chemical hair relaxers and cosmetics, and has since expanded to skincare. The facial oils, scrubs, and balms contain moringa, a green plant rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and other skin-quenching ingredients.

Price range: $6+

Editor’s Pick: True Moringa Lavender Facial Oil, $26

A True Moringa reviewer said: “This smells so nice, and leaves my skin SO SOFT. Seriously my face has never felt so nice. I love putting this on before bed and waking up with beautiful skin. It absorbs really nicely, doesn’t clog pores, and really makes my skin feel amazing. I’ll never use another moisturizer.”

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Growing up, Akilah Releford watched her grandmothers Louise and Mary turn natural ingredients from their kitchen into skin-saving remedies. Releford named her skincare brand, Mary Louise, after her inspirations, and continues their legacy with organic, natural products formulated with essential oils accessible to everyone.

Price range: $24+

Editor’s Pick: Miracle Serum, $35

A Mary Louise reviewer said: “I have been using the miracle serum for 4 years now. I use it daily solo or under a moisturizer. It truly perfects the skin. It gets rid of discoloration and leaves my skin feeling like butter. I wear no makeup the majority of the time because my skin is so flawless. No need to cover natural beauty with daily makeup wear.”

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Beauty Commerce Editor
Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music).

Beauty Director
Kristina Rodulfo is the Beauty Director of Women’s Health—she oversees beauty coverage across print and digital and is an expert in product testing, identifying trends, and exploring the intersections of beauty, wellness, and culture.

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