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The highest-paid female athlete in sport history and a powerful advocate for mental health, is getting into a new, plant-based business. With her new skincare line Kinlò, Naomi Osaka is stepping onto the beauty court – and, like everything else she does, doing so with purpose, creating a totally vegan line that’s formulated specifically for the needs of people of color, who have often been an after-thought in the industry.
“I spend so much time outside and in the sun, so protecting my skin has always been a top priority for me,” Osaka told The Hollywood Reporter. “I wasn’t finding a product that I loved enough to keep going back to that was created specifically for darker skin tones, so I started doing research about melanated skin and skin cancer rates. In learning the stats and the lack of proper education people with darker skin tones often have when it comes to sun protection needs, I decided to create Kinlò.”
The range, which currently includes four products – SPF 50+ facial sunscreen, eye cream, the moisturizing Golden Mist, and lip balm – focuses on sun-care for darker skin, addressing the white residues and drying properties associated with many other brands. In addition to being completely vegan, the skincare line from Naomi Osaka is gluten-, sulfate-, paraben-, and phthalate-free, and the company website states that the products are cruelty-free and never tested on animals.
“I’m so excited to share Kinlò with you,” Osaka wrote in an Instagram post announcing the product’s release earlier this week. “I founded Kinlò (a functional skin care line for people with melanated skin) to address a public health need around skin cancer prevention within our POC communities. Tennis can be challenging at times, but it has given me this platform which I am so grateful for. It allows me to help others in ways I wouldn’t have imagined otherwise.”
For the project, Osaka teamed with Dr. Naana Boakye, a New Jersey-based dermatologist who has long specialized in sun-care and skin cancer education in the Black community. On the Kinlò website, rather than simply sell the line, there are extensive q-and-a’s with “Dr. B” where she debunks skin myths and shares knowledge.
“Dr. Boakye is a true expert in skincare formulation. I knew what my vision was for Kinlò, but she helped bring it to life,” Osaka told THR. “There were some key ingredients I knew I had used before and loved, like shea butter and jojoba, and I had been hearing key words like niacinamide in other skincare, but to really understand the science behind it and to learn from someone like her was special. So much of this line is also sharing that information with others.”