For champion tennis player Naomi Osaka, the sun is an occupational hazard. When competing on outdoor courts, the reigning US Open Singles titleholder often wears her signature black Nike visor. But because a tennis visor is more of a visual aid than sun protection, she's also wearing sunblock when spending hours in direct sunlight — and it's probably her own brand.
According to new reports from Business of Fashion, Osaka is currently in production of her own sun and skincare brand, called Kinlò, which will be focused on delivering sun-protection products specifically formulated for darker skin tones.
The name 'Kinlò,' is reportedly an homage to Osaka's Japanese and Haitian decent. "Kin" means "gold" in Japanese, "lò" translates to "gold" in Haitian Creole, and Kinlò's brand hashtag is #staygolden.
According to BoF, Kinlò will launch in autumn of 2021 with five products: a tinted face lotion with SPF 40, a tinted face lotion with SPF 50 "formulated for activity," as well as a body spray, lip balm, and an eye cream. The publication also reports that Osaka and the Kinlò team partnered with Dr. Naana Boakye, MD, a dermatologist with experience treating darker, melanin-rich skin tones, to ensure that the product formulations address the needs of the underserved Black-sunscreen consumers. For example, sunscreen that doesn't leave a white cast.
Osaka tells BoF that she considers Kinlò more than a skin-care line, but a passion project that serves a broader a public-health need, because many people with darker skin tones don't realise they can get skin cancer, too. "I used to tell people that I didn't need to wear sunscreen," Osaka admitted to the publication, acknowledging the importance of education in her own experience. "But even if you have melanin, you need to take care of your skin, and I am passionate about that."