Now and always
For too long the beauty industry has been complicit in the racism that is so deeply rooted in every facet of our society. It has prioritised, spread, and upheld white European beauty standards for centuries, from the skin “whitening” creams of the 1880s up until present day when brands are still failing to provide those with darker skin products in shades for them and to represent diversity in campaigns.
It's time to put an end to this and one great way to contribute is by supporting Black-owned beauty brands – while, of course, continuing to push for racial justice and equality on a far greater scale at the same time. In an industry dominated by white men, these Black businesses, founders, and owners are taking their long overdue seat at the table.
We’ve put together a definitely-not-exhaustive list of 60 beauty brands that range from established favourites to independent home-crafted treasures to invest in, now and always.
London-based brand Holy Curls is designed for all curly hair from wavy curls to kinky curls. Inclusive by nature, the minimalist line consists of four hero products which are all natural and cruelty-free.
Celebrity hairstylist Vernon Francois has worked with everyone from Serena Williams and Willow Smith to Elaine Welteroth and Ava DuVernay. His namesake haircare brand champions the versatility of textured hair and his products use the highest quality, Fair Trade, organic, and ethically harvested oils.
Founded by Tracy Ellis Ross, Pattern products are designed specifically for curly, coily, and tight textured hair. Championing the natural hair movement, Ross said Pattern was about “creating a space for a community that exists, to celebrate our beauty and magic.”
Devoted to the rehabilitation of the health of your hair, Rawkyn’s hydrating deep conditioners, hair masks and treatments will restore and revitalise your dry and damaged hair.
The Mane Choice stemmed from founder Courtney Adeleye’s own healthy hair journey which she documented on YouTube. When viewers started to ask for the unique mixtures she was creating, the brand was born from her kitchen.
Vegan hair care brand Dizziak – “an aphrodisiac for afro hair” – was born from years of frustration caused by the lack of truly rich, deep conditioners on the market. With Dizziak, founder Loretta De Feo created fun, cool products that work on all hair types and textures without relying on harsh chemicals.
Launched in 2016, Lulu Pierre’s brand of handmade synthetic faux locs are quick and easy to install and come in all lengths and styles. “There’s this idea that synthetic hair has to look plastic or feel cheap or be really disposable, something that you wear for two minutes and throw away,” says Pierre on the stereotypes she wanted to smash.
The namesake brand of Charlotte Mensah, a natural hair expert, entrepreneur, and the first black female hairdresser to be inducted into British Hairdressing Awards hall of fame. The products are full of sustainably sourced manketti nut oils to keep your hair hydrated and soft.
Naturally-based hair care line Briogeo was inspired by founder Nancy Twine’s grandmother’s coveted beauty recipes. Full of nurturing ingredients, Briogeo’s texture-specific products detoxify, hydrate, and protect your hair.
Founded in 2015, each and every Ecoslay product is still handmade in co-founder Adria's kitchen. Strongly believing that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it, the brand only uses natural ingredients and explains why every ingredient has been chosen.
From detangler formulated for curls to coils, to hydrating styling gel and oil rinses which cleanse and condition all in one, vegan, organic plant-based brand Soultanicals covers all your hair care bases.
Founded by two self-described “mixed chicks” Wendi Levy and Kim Etheredge, Mixed Chicks was created after years of trying to blend products in a hopeless attempt to tame their locks. The non-sticky, alcohol-free and lightweight products will define your curls and lock in moisture at the same time.
Hair jewellery line Afra is inspired by historically and culturally significant items like the Afro hair pic and the Loc Band and bead. All products are gold in colour because founder Guyanese celebrity hairstylist and barber Nigella Miller believes Black people should feel like royalty every day.
Boucleme is dedicated to nourishing and protecting curly hair. Its simple three-step hair care system is packed full with high performance actives that restore moisture and life to dry lacklustre hair.
On a mission to promote longer, healthier hair, Diva by Cindy’s all natural products moisturise, detangle, and stimulate growth to prevent breakage and shedding. Founded by former nurse Cindy Tawiah, the brand donates proceeds to support homeless women and victims of domestic violence through its programme Diva Project. It was also the first natural haircare brand to launch a vending machine in an airport.
Independent, Brooklyn-born brand Golde creates superfood-boosted essentials for health and beauty. Always natural, easy, and fun, Golde’s products look good, taste good, and help you feel like your best self.
Founder Dana Jackson created Beneath Your Mask’s first product after being diagnosed with severe Lupus. When she couldn’t find anything to repair the damage done to her skin from the chemotherapy that didn’t contain harsh chemicals and toxins she decided to create her own and from there the brand grew to a whole range of products that are safe for the skin and don’t challenge the immune system.
Hyper Skin started when founder Desiree Verdejo couldn’t find any skincare products that seemed to cater to her and the hyperpigmentation caused by her pregnancy. The brand’s first product is a vitamin C serum that brightens skin, smooths texture, and drastically treats hyperpigmentation.
Ode to Self Skincare is a simple range of products that are formulated for the needs of Black women first, instead of being an afterthought in the development process. Catering to Black women’s skin, the products address concerns including dryness and hyperpigmentation.
Clean, ethical and inclusive, Klur’s minimalist range of serums and cleansers are full of ingredients to help strengthen your skin barrier.
Epara – meaning “to cocoon oneself” in the Nigerian dialect of Ebira – is a collection of luxury handcrafted skincare products tailored to the needs of women of colour and full of hydrating oils to protect and nourish the skin.
Founded by oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr Chaneve Jeanniton, Epi.logical brings her years of experience to a line of products that simplifies the ingredients to maximise the results.
Made with clean, ethically sourced ingredients, Hanahana is a skincare and wellness brand committed to social change. Not only do they pay two times the fair trade price for their shea butter which is sourced directly from Tamale, Ghana, the Hanahana Circle of Care initiative world to improve economic health, environmental conditions and self sustainability for the women within the shea trade.
Undefined Beauty founder Dorian Morris is committed to using her CBD beauty brand to bring about social change. “My goal is to infuse social good and purposeful impact into my business model to drive sustainable impact,” she told Dazed Beauty. “I empower disenfranchised communities across my supply chain focusing on women-owned and minority-owned businesses – my manufacturing lab is female-founded, my 3PL warehouse is female-founded. Business can empower business.”
This plant-based skincare brand was founded by Certified Aromatherapist Aba Gyepi-Garbrah to change the way you experience skincare. Only genuine essential oils, absolutes, resins, plant and seed oils are used in the formulations while the ingredients are based on energetics and wholesome healing properties.
Base Butter’s vision is a world in which women accept and love their skin. It’s simple lightweight moisturiser is full of aloe vera to keep your skin pH-balanced while lavender and tea tree works to tone, disinfect and protect your face.
Crafted specifically for people of colour, skincare brand Nuekie’s health and beauty products are scientifically formulated with a unique combination of traditional African medicine and cutting edge science and work to promote healthy, youthful looking skin.
Founder Evita started off creating handmade organic skincare for her family and friends. From there the idea grew and in 2018, she made the brand official naming it 3 Queens in honour of herself and her two daughters.
Raw, handmade skincare, Skin Gourmet’s products are sustainably sourced from Ghana and so pure you can eat them. From sugar scrubs to clay masks and body butters, all products are sustainably packaged with no added stabilisers, preservatives, parabens, artificial colors or fragrances.
Founded by cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, BeautyStat is dedicated to developing innovative products with high-performance. It’s bestseller Universal C Skin Refiner has won multiple awards and works to improve skin texture and tone.
Vegan skincare range Redoux NYC is influenced by nature, with each new collection of products designed to reflect the scents of each season. The latest one draws inspiration from the longing and anticipation for summer and is full of notes of neroli, palo santo, mandarin, lavender, and orange blossom.
Essentials by Temi’s all-natural products are clean, vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainable. Infused with the power of plants, love, and healing energy of precious stones, the products are truly nourishing.
Founded by Olympic athlete Abi Oyepitan and art publishing business-owner Liha Okunniwa, Liha Beauty creates skincare products inspired by their African roots and English aromatherapy that are vegan and ethically sourced.
Dehiya Beauty is named for one of the most powerful warriors in Northern Africa, a freedom fighter who ruled an Amazigh free state in the 8th century and led her people in the resistance against colonisation. From mists to balms and masks, the ingredients are natural, organic, and ethically-sourced. The brand is also passionate about furthering women's equality, human rights, and racial justice, and donates two per cent annually to causes spanning the range.
When co-founder Tenesia Pascal moved from Guyana to the UK the change in climate, the hardness of the water and the processed food, caused her to develop rashes all over her body. Unable to find anything in the market that helped, she formulated her own cream and the brand grew from there. From oils and butters to body washes, Earth to Earth Organics products are intensely soothing and moisturising as well as vegan-friendly, eco-friendly, and natural.
Rosen Skincare wants to change the way we think about breakouts with its cleaner, more thoughtful skincare for people with acne-prone skin
After years spent working for some of the biggest beauty companies in the industry, Sharon Chuter became dissatisfied with working to build brands that didn’t care for nor cater to her as a black woman. She launched Uoma inspired by the rich cultural history of her home country, Nigeria, and with an expansive product lineup that accommodates all skin tones going beyond just foundation.
Danessa Myricks is an artisanal beauty brand developed with the notion that make-up is art and that the world of beauty should be inclusive of every woman. From concealers to eye shadow, every formula is designed to be multifunctional in i’s use and work on a broad range of skin tones.
Mented Cosmetics started from a conversation between two friends about how hard it was to find a perfect nude lipstick. From there the brand grew and now includes a range of everything from brow pencils to blush, all under the philosophy that every woman should be able to find herself in the world of beauty, no matter her skin tone.
In 2012, Melissa Butler started making lipsticks in her kitchen, determined to change the way people thought about beauty. Vegan and cruelty-free, the Lip Bar is known for their shea butter and avocado-infused lipsticks.
Recyclable, bio-degradable and cruelty-free, these are the make-up wipes you’ve been looking for your whole life plus they are formulated to target different skin concerns from anti-aging to blemish-prone skin.
Founded in 1994, in 2019 the long-standing inclusive beauty brand was acquired by two black business women Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. Together they are continuing Black Opal’s legacy of high-quality make-up products truly accessible to all women of colour.
Hue Noir is on a mission to change the face of beauty by putting multicultural women at the centre of the modern beauty movement. The brand set out to give women more choices and better options developing formulas designed specifically for the varied complexions among women of colour.
Founder KéNisha Ruff spent five years traveling the world to identify the best and most ethical cosmetic laboratories fit for the creation of her beauty brainchild. Every Marie Hunter Beauty lipstick, candle, cream, and fragrance is certified cruelty free and vegan.
Juvia’s Place was created to celebrate the rebels, rulers and queens of the African kingdoms of long ago. From its high-intensity palettes to its velvety foundations, the make-up brand offers the richest, most vibrantly-pigmented essentials for the eyes, face and lips.
Razor brand Oui the People is perfect for anyone looking for a gentle shave and a razor that doesn’t irritate the skin. The name comes from wanting everyone including non-binary customers to feel welcomed by the brand. As well as razors, the brand offers shaving gel and bikini line sheet masks.
Black Girl Sunscreen was founded in 2016, born from the need for melanin women to have a sunscreen brand that caters exclusively to them free from any signs of white residue.
Arnett Faulkner began paying particular attention to the ingredients in body products when her son was born with severe eczema which led her to research not only what was in his products but in hers. AHF Body Chemistry is a line of natural and organic whole body products with carefully selected ingredients for the best skin nurturing and healing properties.
This grooming line made specifically for Black men includes skin care, shaving, hair, and body products and also offers tutorials ranging from how to shape your beard to straight hairlines.
Ebi, meaning family in Yoruba, is a line of wellness essentials for postpartum women. From teas and bath herbs to organic cotton nursing pads and underwear, it has all new mothers covered.
Unsun was founded by Katonya Breaux in 2016 after much frustration by the lack of options within the world of clean sunscreen products for women of color. Unsun Cosmetics was created to provide clean, no-residue options that were kind to the person using it as well as the environment it's being used in.
Kreyol Essence brings natural hair, skin, and body products from Haiti to the world. The eco-friendly formulations are made from pure and natural indigenous ingredients from Caribbean farms and focus on dry hair and skin. A social business, it works to create sustainable jobs, protect and conserve the island’s environment and empower women.
Terra-Tory’s soaps and butters are natural, effective and safe for you and the environment. The brand’s mission is to create hypoallergenic skincare for everyone to enjoy. Harnessing the power of nature to nourish, cleanse, soothe, and protect your skin, the products are free from artificial and harmful toxins.
A Complexion Company’s superpowder works both as a supplement and as a face and body mask. Containing Moringa Oleifera which is suspected to be the most powerful natural multi-vitamin and antioxidant on earth, the powder will work to help skin cells resist environmental stressors and improve their cellular function and ability to regenerate.
Oakland-based beauty company Iyoba creates handcrafted organic products for the body and home. Ranging from probiotic deodorant to hair and body oils, all products are vegan and free from parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrance, and other harmful chemicals. Not only that but the brand is environmentally conscious working towards zero waste.
This all-in-one powder can be used as a clay mask, hair treatment; teeth whitening, clay baths, acne treatment, and even deodorant. When taken internally it is said to help with digestion and collagen-production.
Pear Nova nail polish is PETA certified cruelty free, vegan friendly, non-toxic and “5 free” which means no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, toluene, and dibutyl Phthalate DBP.
Toxin-free nail polish brand, Nash + Pino products are made without 10 of the most harmful chemicals. As well as being safe and ethical, the products are packaged thoughtfully, with sustainability in mind
Suite Eleven offers vegan, cruelty-free, toxic-chemical-free nail varnishes that still retain their luxury high-quality, high-pigment shine.