These 8 Skin-Care Brands Are Tackling The Issues Women Of Color Face

Skin care, like underwear, is not one size fits all. And no one knows that better than women of color, who often have specialized skin issues that go unaddressed by popular skin-care brands. Melanin-rich skin is disproportionately disposed to excess oil, hyperpigmentation, acne and eczema, so thorough research and careful label-reading is key to finding a regimen that works.

I realized during my tween years, perusing the endless options on the drugstore shelves, that most products would do more harm than good, so I chose to err on the side of caution by sticking to natural ingredients and splurging when I could. The data shows Black women typically spend 80% more on cosmetics and skin care, yet beauty companies are still lagging in cosmetic color diversity and product formulations that take ethnic skin into consideration.

Despite the gaping hole in the industry overall, there is a silver lining. Entrepreneurs, celebrities, and dermatologists are beginning to develop new lines, if not entire brands, that cater to the skin needs of people of color. Ahead, find some of our favorites that are bringing skin solutions to all.

BlackUp cosmetics reached a new level of influence in 2015, when the French brand made its way to the states via Sephora. Though the brand is widely known for its comprehensive variety of foundation shades, it also offers skin-care products formulated to infuse skin with hydration while simultaneously warding off oiliness.

BlackUp Daily Face Purifying Gel, $22, available at Black Up Cosmetics.
Popular beauty blogger Farah Dhukai and her husband Sal Ali are behind the budding Farsali skin-care brand. The up-and-coming line offers an edit of products that are sweeping social media, with the elixirs leading the way. The moisturizing serums are formulated with natural oils that are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant-rich — and the bottles are just too cute.

Farsali Rose Gold Elixir, $54, available at Farsali.
Those with thick, coarse, curly hair are especially prone to ingrowns, making shaving any part of the body that much more difficult. Bevel, a premium grooming products line, is designed with this issue, as well as razor bumps and skin irritation, in mind. It's touted as a men’s line, but that’s never stopped us from reaching for the boy’s products before.

Bevel Shave Starter Kit, $89.95, available at Bevel.
Well-known for its contributions to the curl community, Shea Moisture has also made notable strides in the skin-care sector. The African black soap-infused collection takes an age-old beauty secret for blemished and eczema-prone skin and transforms it into a range of essentials, including a mud mask, moisturizer, and toner.

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask, $14.99, available at Shea Moisture.
Despite what you may have heard, SPF is absolutely crucial for all skin types. However, most sunscreen is still created with lighter skin tones in mind. Katonya Breaux, the mother of singer-songwriter Frank Ocean, developed UNSUN after suffering sun damage and becoming frustrated with the white film left by traditional products.

UNSUN is slightly tinted to blend with darker skin tones, eliminating the need to slather foundation over it because, as Katonya says, “#blackfolkburntoo”.

UNSUN SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Sunscreen, $29, available at UNSUN.
Natural, handmade products are the name of the game at Butter Bar, a skin-care brand launched by former accountant Kimberly-Chloe Wilson in 2014. The Butter Bar claims its products are “good enough to eat” and offers sets for battling acne, dark spots, and eczema.

The Butter Bar The Flawless Body System, $49.95 (originally $63), available at The Butter Bar.
In April of 2016, actress and director Angela Bassett announced her collaboration with renowned physician Barbara Sturm, MD, to create a skin-care line specifically for women of color. Dubbed Darker Skin Tones, it combats hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and uneven texture using the benefits of purslane and potent anti-aging enzymes.

Dr. Barbara Sturm for Darker Skin Tones Face Cream Women, $215, available at Shen Beauty.
If Urban Skin Rx's name looks familiar, it's because you've likely seen it on the Instagram accounts of Teyana Taylor, Fantasia, and more. The brand was founded by licensed esthetician Rachel Roff and uses plenty of ingredients like kojic and azelaic acids, which help with hyperpigmentation (something that many women of color suffer from). Of course, some might be skeptical of a White woman's skin-care recommendations for deeper skin tones. "When we get samples, my staffers of all ethnicities try the products," she tells us. "That’s how we see what works and what doesn’t work, rathe than participating in some 50 patient case study [of predominantly white women]."

Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Night Treatment, $68, available at Urban Skin Rx.
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