June 18, 2020 – By Vic Smith
Following on from our article concerning Black-owned sustainable fashion brands, we have featured a selection of ethical and natural hair and skincare brands which are owned and founded by women of colour. While you can take to the streets to show your solidarity with the Black community, it is also important to vote with your wallet in order to support these powerful women making a positive global impact.
@brownbeautytalk recently reported that black women spend around £6 on hair and beauty for every £1 that white women spend, despite there being a distinct lack of diversity in the industry. We addressed this problem before on the rise of inclusivity article. Systemic racism is deeply rooted in society; and Black people are less likely to have access to capital to support their businesses.
Therefore, it is particularly important to support these entrepreneurs diversifying the industry in order to level the playing field.
Find below our selection of 9 natural beauty brands founded by women of colour that you can start supporting today.
Cruelty-free and vegan brand Ksoni have rewritten the rulebook with a brand new way to package shampoo: in a can! The humble aluminium can is infinitely recyclable, unlike plastic which can only be recycled once or twice before being downcycled. Having experienced first-hand the disastrous impact of plastic waste in South-east Asia, founders Joti and Banasa are passionate about tackling the issue and vowed to protect the oceans from these damaging products.
Ksoni offer three ranges of their body wash, conditioner and shampoo trio with natural ingredients and beautiful calming scents for a soothing shower experience.
Award winning afro beauty brand Afro Hair and Skin Co. is dedicated to creating clean and green beauty with certified organic and natural ingredients. Founder Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka actively supports local British artisans and producers by buying British ingredients that make up much of her range. Avoiding all synthetic ingredients which can be harmful to the environment, she ensures her products are filled with the purest and natural sources.
Ibi’s range offers a tailored beauty experience to those with textured hair and melanin-rich skin. However, the healthy ingredients she uses can be beneficial to everyone.
Vibrant and colourful brand Boucleme believes in the power of nature, and is committed to sourcing natural ingredients which are safe for both our bodies and the environment. The ingredients are biodegradable and the packaging is 100% recyclable, whilst using British suppliers wherever possible to restrict transport emissions.
Founder Michelle created Boucleme after over 30 years of fighting against her natural curls, wanting to empower those with curly hair to love their locks for what they are. Her range varies from wellness treats including silky sleep masks and silicone scalp massagers, to intense formulas for improving curl definition.
Liha beauty was inspired by the Yoruba tradition for all young women to learn how to make beautifying soaps, oils and lotions from the nuts, tree bark and plants that grew there in abundance. Founders Abi and Liha were motivated to create an innovative, natural, organic and vegan skincare brand that blends the rich botanical life of West Africa with traditional English aromatherapy from their backgrounds. With environmental concerns at the forefront of the brand, the packaging is 100% recyclable and reusable, with the products handmade in small batches in London.
One of their beautifully nourishing products is handmade black soap featuring palmarosa oil which is a natural antiseptic and antiviral, and moringa leaf which provides important antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E.
Founder Lesley Thornton’s mission is to cultivate a brand of clean, ethical and inclusive beauty. She built Klur after documenting the effects of various ingredients and formulas on diverse skin conditions and ethnicities. The outcome is a range of beauty products which meet the demands of everyday life, as well as benefitting the environment with sustainable packaging made from infinitely recyclable glass and aluminium.
Klur products are a careful blend of plant botanicals and essential vitamins with no animal ingredients, which improve skin and leave you feeling refreshed.
London based beauty brand Shimirose is led by a love for the environment and showcases the power of nature in creating entirely natural hair and skin care. Minimising environmental impact is one of their core beliefs, using glass jars and aluminium lids as an alternative to plastic. They also ensure a low carbon footprint through sourcing the ingredients in bulk and producing each individual product by hand in the UK.
By ethically sourcing shea butter from family connections in Ghana, the company is able to support the community and ensure farmers and workers are paid a fair price.
Tailored to the underserved needs of women of colour, Epara invites you to envelop your skin in luxury with indulgent and scientifically proven handcrafted skincare curated from botanicals, plant extracts and essential oils.
Following a fruitless search for such products, founder Ozohu Adoh formulated her own, going back to basics with organic ingredients from Africa that were best suited to African skins. Her range of products address all the skincare issues faced by women of colour, including dryness and discolouration caused by the sun, free radicals and air pollution. The ingredients are ethically sourced from communities across Africa, providing the opportunity to support the local industries and farmers. Additionally, Epara encourages you to recycle your empty packaging, by making a donation to partner charity Kiteka for every recycled product. In turn, Kiteka is able to provide women in rural Africa with accessible technology to support their business and tackle gender inequality.
Eco-luxury wellness brand A Complexion Company focuses on clean beauty for women of African descent, creating skin essentials designed for their specific needs. Consulting with traditional healers and elders within the African community worldwide, founder Nomshado Baca aims to preserve native knowledge that would otherwise be lost without appropriate documentation. The company ethos encourages an eco-community in which humans, animals, and the natural world share a holistic and sacred bond – what is taken from the earth should be returned.
Packaged in an amber glass bottle, they currently have one product on offer: Moringa Oleifera Superpowder. Moringa is highly valued for it’s nutritional power, purportedly the most powerful natural multi-vitamin and antioxidant on Earth. Applied as a face or body mask, your skin will reap the benefits of Zeatin – a healing plant hormone that helps skin cells resist environmental stressors and improves their cellular function and ability to regenerate.
Translated to ‘mine’ from the Yoruba language of Nigeria, Temi began her beauty career by formulating products for herself, without the harmful ingredients found in ‘cult favorite’ skincare products. Reminding us that there is no planet B, she strives to maintain a highly sustainable status quo for her manufacturing, packaging and product ingredients. Even customers are encouraged to participate in this by repurposing the glass containers, or returning to her for reuse.
Temi also supports the Ajike Shea Centre – a social enterprise established to empower rural women who are the backbones of their families by donating proceeds from their quarterly sales. With body butter scrubs to soothing elixir oils, Temi promotes wellness in the most beautiful and empowering way.
It is more important than ever to champion brands changing the beauty sphere for the better. We also shared some other ways you can help and support black communities.
Would you like to put your favourite natural beauty brand on the spotlight? Share it with us on the comments below.