20 Black-Owned and -Founded Skin-Care Brands You Should Have on Your Radar

The skin-care industry hasn’t always been inclusive of melanated skin—just look at the lack of diversity in clinical testing or the fact that only 5% of dermatology residents are Black. That’s why here at Allure we believe the best Black-owned and -founded skin-care brands should be celebrated every day for their contributions to pushing the boundaries for inclusivity, one innovative skin enhancer at a time.

And you can find these brands in just about every part of the skin-care space. Shani Darden is catering to the luxury crowd with esthetician-approved formulas. Black Girl Sunscreen sells sunscreens made with darker complexions in mind (what white cast?). And face and body oils by brands like Oui the People and 54 Thrones will have you glowing for days. Whatever kind of skin care you’re looking for, there’s a brand on this list that has done it—and done it well.

To honor the contribution Black entrepreneurs and beauty experts have made to the skin-care industry, we’re shouting out some of our favorite founders, brands, and products that deserve a spot in your medicine cabinet. The list doesn’t cover every Black-owned and -founded skin-care brand, but consider this the tip of the iceberg—one that we’ll be adding to periodically.

Epara

Ozohu Adoh, founder of Epara (meaning “to cocoon oneself” in the Nigerian dialect of Ebira), created this brand in hopes of giving Black women the luxury line they deserve with products that truly meet the skin-care needs (like hyperpigmentation) of people of color.

Epara Skincare

Epara Skincare Moisturizing Face Cream

Star product: The luxe Moisturizing Face Cream features a mix of nourishing ingredients, including marula, moringa, and argan oils to seal in moisture all day long. We recommend applying a pea-size dollop immediately after cleansing while your face is still a bit damp to let your skin really drink up the rich cream.

Shani Darden

Celebrity esthetician Shani Darden’s namesake skin-care line is a multi-time Allure Best of Beauty Award winner. The luxury lineup, which the beauty industry vet launched in 2020, features gold-standard formulations suitable for a wide range of skin types, including an award-winning retinol serum and peptide-enriched firming cream.

Shani Darden

Shani Darden Triple Acid Signature Peel

Star product: Shani Darden Triple Acid Signature Peel won our prestigious Best of Beauty Award in 2023 for its gentle yet effective exfoliating formula. Use it before a big trip, presentation, or party for luminous skin and microscopic pores.

Topicals

We’ll be honest: We’re always skeptical of TikTok-touted products, but Topicals is one of the beauty brands that our editors and influencers can agree on. The brand, founded by Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng, became an instant viral hit when it launched in 2020, selling out on Nordstrom’s website within 48 hours of hitting virtual shelves. Fast forward to now and it’s earned the cliché but accurate title of cult favorite.

Topicals

Topicals High Roller Ingrown Hair Tonic

Star product: Like many brands on this list, Topicals is an Allure Best of Beauty Award winner. It won our highest accolade in 2022 for the High Roller ingrown hair tonic that treats post-shave bumps with exfoliating salicylic and glycolic acids while zinc PCA reduces redness and niacinamide evens tone.

Good Molecules

If you love shopping for skin care by ingredient, you will surely become a fan of Good Molecules. The brand, founded in 2019 by Nils Johnson, focuses on effective ingredients like niacinamide, retinol, and mandelic acid, and boasts affordable prices: The lineup consists of 34 products that range from $6 to $18. Though the brand is often compared to The Inkey List and The Ordinary, the bright packaging and community-led branding sets Good Molecules apart.

Good Molecules

Good Molecules Discoloration Serum

Star product: The Discoloration Correcting Serum, chock-full of tranexamic acid and niacinamide, is the brand’s bestseller. Scroll through the product’s hashtag on TikTok and you’ll see users raving about how the serum cleared their dark spots in a matter of months.

Hyper Skin

Get your glow on with Hyper Skin, a hyperpigmentation-targeting skin-care line founded by Desiree Verdejo in 2020. Currently, the brand has three beauty products, each formulated to target dark spots, discoloration, and uneven tone for all skin types, but especially melanin-rich skin.

Hyper Skin

Hyper Even Fade and Glow AHA Mask

Star product: Elevate your self-care days by slathering on the Hyper Even Fade and Glow AHA Mask. This Allure Best of Beauty Award-winning face mask is an editor favorite for its tone-evening blend of glycolic and mandelic acids. The two alpha hydroxy acids slough away dead skin and brighten your complexion for a radiant finish.

KNC Beauty

Pucker up and treat dry, chapped lips with all the skin-softening picks from KNC Beauty. Founder Kristin Noel Crawley launched the brand in 2016 as an ode to her favorite beauty product: lip masks. Now, the Black-founded brand has a whole lineup of lip, face, and eye masks as well as lip balms.

KNC Beauty

KNC Beauty Supa Balm Mint

Star product: KNC Beauty Supa Balm comes in adorable packaging, but that’s not the only reason we love this rich lip salve. A blend of shea butter, moringa, and kukui oils acts as intensive plant-based skin conditioners that leave lips kissably soft.

54 Thrones

There’s a lot to like about this body- and skin-care brand, but we especially love that it’s anchored to its African roots. Nigerian American founder Christina Funke Tegbe was inspired by African beauty rituals and ingredients, which she harnesses into 54 Thrones products. Shea butter from Ghana and hibiscus from Kenya are just a couple of the ingredients Tegbe and her team source straight from the continent to enhance the brand’s butters, cleansers, soaps, and creams.

54 Thrones

54 Thrones African Beauty Butter

Star product: The Ugandan Vanilla and Ethiopian Honey Beauty Butter is as moisturizing as it is fragrant. Shea butter, baobab oil, and jojoba oil add long-lasting moisture and sheen to the skin. The light scent is from vanilla and honey infused into the thick butter.

4.5.6 Skin

4.5.6 Skin puts a heavy emphasis on science-driven data to formulate its gentle yet effective products. Founder and CEO Noelly Michoux started in beauty e-commerce and later partnered with scientists to create clinical skin care for darker skin. The brand uses a phototype categorization system to help customers determine how much melanin is in their skin so they can shop for the ingredients and formulations that best suit their needs.

4.5.6 Skin

4.5.6 Skin Come Clean Cleansing Oil

Star product: Double cleansing is a popular skin-care practice and the Come Clean Cleansing Oil is a great product to start with. It gently removes dirt, impurities, and makeup while hydrating with squalene.

Rosen

Want high-quality skin-care products without spending a dime over $25? Look no further than Rosen’s line of body lotions, cleansers, and face masks. Founder Jamika Martin launched Rosen in 2017 as a student at the University of California, Los Angeles. Seven years later, the brand’s budget-friendly lineup of acne- and dark spot-targeting products can be found at retailers like Ulta Beauty.

Rosen

Rosen Super Smoothie Cleanser

Star product: The foundation of every good skin-care routine starts with a cleanser and Rosen Super Smoothie Cleanser is one of our favorites. This face wash intensively cleanses as a blend of fruit powders derived from antioxidant-rich superfoods like strawberries, raspberries, and lemons polish the surface for a brighter, more even complexion.

Rose Ingleton MD

Board-certified dermatologist Rose Ingleton, MD, is a resource to many skin-conscious people in New York City, including a handful of beauty editors. In 2019, she combined her medical expertise and knowledge of Jamaican superfoods to launch Rose Ingleton MD. The skin-care line blends potent ingredients like glycolic acid, vitamin C, and peptides with Dr. Ingleton’s patented Jamaican Superfood Complex of antioxidant-rich fruit acids and enzymes. The result is effective products with derm-backed science and an island touch.

Rose Ingleton MD

Rose Ingleton MD SuperFruit Exfoliating Tonic

Star product: If you’re looking for a toner that really does something, then Rose Ingleton MD SuperFruit Exfoliating Tonic is for you. It has a blend of AHAs to exfoliate, balanced by soothing ingredients like glycerin and allantoin.

Eadem

Eadem founders, Marie Kouadio and Alice Lin don’t just talk the talk when it comes to championing women of color. Their team of chemists, executives, and dermatologists accurately reflects the brand’s ethos: “Keep melanin in mind.”

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