In recent years, many makeup brands have diversified their lines to include a wider range of skin tones. Unfortunately, the skin care industry is still lagging behind. However, there are a few brands — some new, some familiar, and some under the radar — that are pushing boundaries to create products specifically formulated for deeper skin tones.
Here are eight skin care brands that have proven to be favorites among people of color. We also spoke to the founders to learn more about what makes their brands so unique.
“As a first-generation American of Kenyan descent, I was inspired to create the Nyakio brand based on beauty recipes passed down to me from my grandmother, a Kenyan coffee farmer, and my grandfather, a medicine man,” Nyakio Grieco tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I’ve curated beauty secrets from my family, girlfriends, and travels around the world and translated them into a full line of skin care based on cultivated global beauty secrets, cultural traditions, and ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients.” Nyakio’s full line is loaded with luxury skin care products that receive rave reviews.
Bestselling product: Nyakio Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Oil
Sometimes oils get a bad rap, but not this one. The Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Oil is a cold-pressed conditioning oil that can be used both morning and night to soothe and restore skin while calming sensitive areas. It’s also a must-have for traveling, especially air travel, as it provides intense but weightless moisture, helps to reduce puffiness and dark circles, and gives a wonderful glow to skin that may be tired and dull from dehydration or lack of sleep. ($42, ulta.com)
After hitting a rough patch within her career and love life, SDot Beauty founder Stephanie Coker wanted a fresh start. She began by implementing a more natural skin- and hair-care regimen as a way of self-therapy, and after looking within the market for brands that were authentically natural and fit all her needs, she couldn’t find one brand that was able to do so — so she made her own. “I started having friends ask me to make products for them, and they loved them and told their friends,” Coker says. “Literally that is how SDot Beauty was born.” Now, Coker has expanded her beauty empire to also include baby products that work wonders on darker skin tones and more.
Bestselling product: SDot Beauty Calm Rose Clay Cleansing Bar
People are in love with this product because of its amazing skin-loving properties. The French rose clay aids in calming inflammation and provides a mild detoxification for the skin. The cleansing bar also uses the highest therapeutic grade essential oils of lavender, geranium, and bergamot, which all balance out the skin to reveal a beautiful complexion. ($12, sdotbeauty.com)
After a decade of experience as a model, brand ambassador, and style influencer within the beauty industry, Africa Miranda felt it was time to tell her own story. This prompted the launch of her own line of luxurious yet accessible products — and she did just that! “Each product I release is inspired by the sights and sounds of my travels,” says Miranda. “My goal is to capture the essence of these places and create products that not only make people feel beautiful, but also improve their skin and life.”
Bestselling product: beauty by Africa Miranda Facial Elixir
This lovely oil was inspired by Africa Miranda’s time spent in Brazil. Ingredients include maracuja oil and Cupuaçu butter, which help to replenish lost moisture and leave skin with a restored glow. It’s actually a favorite of women and men because it can be used in so many different ways. You can use it as a nighttime moisturizer or even after a shave to help soothe skin. ($40, beautybyafricamiranda.com)
While Bevel has received praise for its amazing single-blade razor that’s specifically designed for curlier hair, the brand’s skin care products and the story behind them are equally as amazing. “For years, I’d walk into a drugstore to look for grooming products and would find just one shelf dedicated to ‘ethnic’ health and beauty products,” Tristan Walker, the founder and CEO at Walker & Company, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It was completely demoralizing. I’d also struggled for the longest time to find grooming products that worked for coarse and curly hair. The choices out there left a ton to be desired, so I decided to create products that I could actually use myself.”
Bestselling product: Bevel Shave Kit
Bevel’s Shave Kit includes everything you need to get a smooth outcome. It has the actual blade, a badger brush, priming oil to prep, moisturizing shave cream, and a restoring balm to calm skin post-shave. Plus, you get 60 replacement blades. ($130, getbevel.com)
After college, co-founders Richelieu Dennis and Nyema Tubman set forth on a journey to bring the healing traditions of African black soap and shea butter to the streets of Harlem, a community they loved. “Twenty-six years later, we remain passionate about sharing our products and the cultures they came from, and continue to be guided by our community’s demand for wellness products that speak to their unique needs,” adds Richelyna Hall, the chief innovation officer of Sundial Brands. The line includes a huge assortment of bath, body, and skin care products that address the needs of individuals with darker skin tones and curly hair textures.
Bestselling product: Nubian Heritage Bar Soaps
Certified organic and infused with fair trade ingredients, Nubian Heritage’s bar soaps are available in luscious scents such as Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver, Patchouli & Buriti, and Mango Butter. The rich mixes included in each soap titillate the senses of consumers and leave their skin feeling silky soft. Plus, the bars are cruelty-free, don’t contain any sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum, artificial color, or synthetic fragrance. ($5, nubianheritage.com)
“About one year into being an aesthetician, I discovered the inequality and lack of offerings of services and products for tanned and darker skin,” Rachel Roff, licensed medical aesthetician and founder of Urban Skin Rx and Urban Skin Solutions, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I come from a diverse family and have a few friends with deeper skin tones, so this appalled me. Regardless of not having darker skin and getting some pushback from people about my idea, I knew that my life calling was to serve a neglected demographic that was dealing with the same issues I had growing up.” Since launching, the dynamic brand is a favorite among beauty editors, celebrities of color, and everyday people looking for skin care solutions.
Bestselling product: Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Cleansing Bar
Hyperpigmentation can be a tricky skin problem to treat, but Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Cleansing Bar counters that. It is a 3-in-1 hard cleansing bar melted into a jar that comes with a sponge. Key ingredients include kojic acid, azelaic acid, niacinamide, and black tea leaf extract ($12.99 for 2 oz., target.com)
As noted on the company’s Instagram page, “Skincare that works really well for black and brown girls,” Bolden’s bottom line puts a heavy focus on serving women of color. “Take for instance the very common problem of inflammatory acne and postinflammation hyperpigmentation (dark spots) — we were having a hard time figuring out what products worked best for our skin issues without resorting to skin lightening products,” co-founders Chinelo Chidozie and Ndidi Obidoa collectively note. “Frustrated, we knew it was time to stop complaining and actively become part of the solution.”
Bestselling product: Bolden Brightening Glycolic Acid Toner
This fan favorite contains a powerful mix of glycolic acid and antioxidants to help brighten dark spots, diminish lines, and improve skin’s texture as well as tone. All-star ingredients include niacinamide, algae extract, and hyaluronic acid to exfoliate, hydrate, and even out the complexion. ($20, boldenusa.com)
Erika Clark possessed a passion for evidence-based studies, as well as a love for using honey within her skin care routine — and those two elements became the secret sauce behind her nourishing skin care line. “EHoney is different from other brands because of the time and passion put into biomedical research, Clark tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “My brand was created specifically for skin of color in a beauty world where majority of products are not made or marketed to the minority directly.” The line includes everything from face scrubs and oils to moisturizers and beard oils.
Bestselling product: eHoney Goddess Glow Cleansing Scrub
This multitasking miracle in a jar gently lifts makeup and dirt, evens out skin tone, and gives a healthy glow, all while cleansing your skin without stripping it of moisture. ($20, ehoneyskin.com)
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- How this Liberian-born entrepreneur went from selling soap on street corners to building a beauty empire
- On-camera TV reporter opens up about having vitiligo: ‘Let people stare’
- 10 products that’ll get you glowing skin — no KiraKira app required