10 beauty brands owned by black people need to know and support ASAP

As we celebrate Black History Month, now is a timely opportunity to renew our commitments to activism. For me, that means knowingly supporting Black ads in everything I do. I’ve doubled down on reading more Black authors, supporting Black Instagram ads, and filling my beauty shelf with no shortage of Black-owned beauty brands. The purposeful focus on Blacks-owned brands has always reminded me of the vivid diversity that exists in the beauty space. Unfortunately though, it often goes unnoticed for the most part.

The best way to raise awareness of interesting brands with compelling stories is to talk about them. A lot of. I send skincare recommendations to my friends, seek advice from the community from group chats, and poll on my Instagram stories. I’ve found that the products I’m most excited to share aren’t just trendy products with pastel packaging. Instead, I appreciate works whose stories resonate with me — and many of them are often owned by Black People or POCs.

It’s a common story: Black beauty founders start new businesses because they’re sick of being ignored by the industry. I’ve always been inspired by the founder, who decided to create products they wanted to see for themselves. Each fills a void that has been overlooked by conventional skin care products for too long, and thanks to their work and vision, my list of favorite product discoveries continues to grow. Full disclosure: This isn’t just a placebo in pretty packaging. They have powerful ingredients that help ease the frustrations of marginalized beauty lovers and fill the void for other consumers.

Featured image of Belathée Photography

Through experimenting with different products and ingredients, I’ve learned that shopping for your unique skin is key. What I just realized is how beneficial my skin care and beauty routine is when shopping from brands by and for people like me. For a full picture of what it means to shop specifically for darker skin, I spoke with Dr. Michelle Henry, a dermatologist in New York City.

What is Melanin?

Melanin is a pigment in the skin that determines skin color. Dr. Henry further explains, saying, “Everyone, regardless of their skin color, has the same number of melanocytes. However, people with darker skin have more melanosomes that contain more melanocytes.”

What concerns are common with dark skin?

Hyperpigmentation and melasma are common concerns of those with dark skin. Because darker skin contains more melanin, dark spots appear more often and are often difficult to fade. Dr. Henry adds: “Any hyperpigmentation may be more common or severe in patients with darker skin types.

What causes skin hyperpigmentation? What can you do about it?

To help combat these dark spots, it’s important to know where they’re coming from. “There are many types of hyperpigmentation,” says Dr. Henry. The most common is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which is hyperpigmentation following any inflammatory injury. Injuries can be caused by acne, lacerations in the skin, and even eczema. ” Melasma is another type, mainly seen in women and caused by hormonal changes.

For both types, Dr. Henry emphasizes the importance of wearing sunscreen. “Protecting the skin from UV rays is a significant way to reduce excess melanin production,” she told me.

In darker skin tones, higher levels of melanin mean more dark spots. Black skin has beauty brands to the rescue.

What are the best ingredients for treating hyperpigmentation?

When I first started navigating my own journey with hyperpigmentation, it took several weeks before the term was even mentioned. I’ve bought products that claim to help fade acne scars, but many mention texture instead of discoloration, and most are too weak to fade my scars. Over the past few years, the term hyperpigmentation has gained popularity and many products have come out to treat it.

Some ingredients are better than others. “I like ingredients like azelaic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide, hydroquinone, glycolic acid, and retinoic acid to help lighten dark spots in darker skin tones,” recommends Dr. “Most ingredients take four to twelve weeks to see significant improvement.”

While we have a long way to go, I’m encouraged by the progress the industry has made and very excited about the products I’ve found so far. From hair oils to scar removal creams, here’s a roundup of my favorite Black-owned beauty brands and the inspirational stories behind them.

Meet the Black-owned beauty brands your skincare routine needs.

Please share your recommendations for other Black-owned beauty brands you know and love!

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