Brilliant, sustainable and community-minded, these BIPOC beauty brands need to be on everyone’s radar. The BIPOC beauty space deserves more than just a February Black History month shout-out. Avoid the cliché of sporadic inclusivity: Each day is an opportunity to celebrate Black culture!
Black and brown innovators in every field and medium have all contributed so much to our society, on orders of magnitude from local to global. The following companies not only give you great products that help you feel good about looking good, but they also give back. Each contribute some of their profit to worthy causes that support talented but underprivileged populations.
Brown & Black Owned Skincare & Beauty Brands You Should Support
Bea Dixon created The Honey Pot after her own experience with bacterial vaginosis and her struggle to find relief. She says on the brand’s website, “One night, an ancestor visited me in a dream and gifted me with a vision to heal myself. With her help, I created the Honey Pot Co to solve for what other brands wouldn’t, using the power of herbs.”
The company is a plant-based, black-owned feminine care brand founded by Dixon, one of the first 40 women of color to raise $1 million in venture capital. Today, it’s a multimillion-dollar company that sells a full line of plant-based, affordable feminine care products, from wipes to menstrual cups to postpartum healing pads.
The Honey Pot’s mission is to provide kindness, wellness and education to humans with vaginas across the globe. To that end, they’ve partnered with Alaffia
for safe maternal care; the Georgie Badiel Foundation for access to clean water; and RED
to strengthen health systems impacted by global pandemics.
Founder Lynn Callaway began making plant-based personal care and home essentials for her and her family when she started experiencing skin irritation and hormonal imbalance. She knew that many of the products on the shelves contain ingredients that were known endocrine disruptors, and she felt there had to be a better way.
Lynn joined forces with her partner Mario, and Ollie & Otto was born. The driving mission of the brand is the idea that skin and personal care can be simply made, effective and impactful. Equally important, the entire line is environmentally conscious, safe for the entire family as well as the earth.
For every product purchased, O&O provides clean water to one person in need for one year.
Urban Hydration cofounder Psyche Terry started the skincare line with her husband, Vontoba Terry, after suffering from extremely dry skin and hair. She wanted to create a collection of spa and travel-inspired natural products with ingredients she could understand—and trust.
What began as a collection of natural sugar scrubs evolved into a carefully curated portfolio of clean, plant-based skin, hair and body care products distributed nationwide.
With every product purchased, Urban Hydration
donates a gallon of water to transform communities around the world.
founder and CEO Olowo-n’djo Tchala is driven by the need for empowerment, equity and environmental sustainability. In order to address the gender inequality and poverty he witnessed growing up in the small village of Kaboli in Northern Togo, West Africa, he founded Alaffia
with Prairie Rose Hyde in 2003.
In 2004, armed with his understanding of the value of indigenous West African resources and an understanding of sustainable business ideologies, they launched Alaffia’s ?rst collective, redefining the natural products industry through its values of corporate responsibility, good manufacturing processes and supporting minority business enterprises.
Changemaker: Empowerment Projects
are Alaffia’s mission in action, funded by the sale of Alaffia’s products. Targeted development ensures basic needs are met for a dignified life. This allows Togolese communities to provide their skills and knowledge to the rest of the world and rise out of poverty. Projects include maternal care, education, eyeglasses and reforestation.
Twist is a new product line by Ouidad, founded by Ouidad herself, a Lebanese immigrant who opened her first salon in 1983. After struggling with her own curls as a young girl and listening to her curly-haired clients’ traumatic stories, she made it her life’s work to educate stylists and people globally to love and embrace curly hair.
TWIST celebrates each person’s unique and personal curl journey with safe, toxin-free ingredients designed to nourish curls.
Ouidad’s parent company, Beauty by Imagination, recently supported a new wealth-building initiative to help 25,000 black woman entrepreneurs. The company provides $450 million worth of free training and resources to help black women create wealth and build community.
Sofi Tucker started selling shea nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling shea butter, African black soap and her homemade hair and skin preparations all over the countryside. In 1991, Tucker’s grandchildren, Liberians Nyema Tubman and Richelieu Dennis, founded SheaMoisture and in 1992 founded Nubian Heritage.
SheaMoisture’s mission is serving those who have been underserved. As part of their Community Commerce business model, SheaMoisture partners with women-led co-ops in Northern Ghana to source their namesake shea butter, renowned for its hydrating and nourishing properties.
Every purchase supports their mission to reinvest back in their communities. Their educational and entrepreneurial programs are designed to create an inclusive and thriving society from the U.S. to Africa. To date, they have raised millions to fund education, healthcare, safety and fair wage initiatives.
Nubian Heritage got its start on the streets of Harlem. Fresh out of college and without jobs, Richelieu Dennis and Nyema Tubman set out to bring the healing traditions of African black soap and shea butter to the community they loved. They are inspired by their belief in bringing together traditional healing practices, cultural wisdom and indigenous ingredients, remix them and create modern natural solutions for skin and hair care.
Nubian Heritage owners source their shea butter ethically from seven women's co-ops in Northern Ghana. The parent brand, Sundial, works with over 700 women who are paid ethical wages as co-op members in a healthy environment. The women in Ghana become Sundial's partners, not just suppliers, and with their rise in income, they experience greater health, access to education and the benefits of financial freedom.
Mill Creek Botanicals was founded in 1975 with the purpose of bringing better products, better natural ingredients, better value and unsurpassed performance to their customers. Panch Prasad purchased the company in the late 90’s and is dedicated to making formulas as clean, natural and sustainable as possible.Changemaker:
Prasad believes the company has an obligation to give back to its community. Mill Creek supports the Mayo Clinic for its cancer and parkinson’s disease research, collaborates with PETA and is involved with Vitamin Angels, a global initiative that helps undernourished children achieve better health with natural supplements.
Rick Cantu founded his eponymous hair brand in 2003. The company’s philosophy is dedicated to positive change, empowerment and beauty. Their original mission statement was “dedicated to providing quality haircare products for ethnic hair.” Cantu's collection of award-winning products is curl-forward, versatile and affordable.
In 2021 the company started teaming up with nonprofit Gyrl Wonder,
to support Black and Latina communities by nurturing the next generation of female leaders from curl to toe. The partnership provides events, resources and programs designed for ambitious young women of color to help build resilience, self-confidence and mental wellness as they embark on their personal and professional journeys.
Lorraine Massey, co-founder of DevaCurl, started the first Devachan salon with Denis DaSilva in 1994. At one point, there were four Devachan salons, including a location in Los Angeles. The brand DevaCurl launched in 2002 with No-Poo Cleanser, a product epitomizing Massey’s haircare philosophy that harsh shampoos aren’t suitable for curls.
DevaCurl is one of the original companies to fight for curl acceptance, and ultimately, curly girl celebration. Nowadays, their official commitment to antiracism says it all: “To be an accomplice for all people with curly and natural hair – no matter their ethnicity, gender, age, ability or religion – by providing equitable access to high quality curl-curated products, professional support and expert-led education to help eradicate racism in the hair industry.”
DevaCurl supports a variety of non-profits, including Project St. Anne
, an international non-profit organization established to enrich Haiti by providing nutritional, financial, and educational support. They are committed to donating to antiracism causes as well as providing growth opportunities and support for Black content creators.