Discover 14 Black-Owned Beauty Brands from Around The World

This story is a part of The Melanin Edit, a platform in which ishonest will explore every facet of a melanin-rich life — from the most innovative treatments for hyperpigmentation to the social and emotional realities — all while spreading Black pride.

Black-owned beauty brands and their founders have historically disrupted the industry, pushing it to be more inclusive of the myriad of skin tones, hair textures, and cultures that exist out in the world but are often underserved when it comes to the shelves of beauty stores. These brands have arguably lead the way in creating lines of hair-care products for curly and coily textures, developing sunscreens that won't make folks with darker skin look like Casper the Ghost, and offering cosmetics (beyond foundation!) in a selection of shades that work for darker skin tones. Brands like Fashion Fair, Mielle Organics, and Black Girl Sunscreen are just a few of the ones that have helped catalyze profound change in the beauty industry — and that work continues around the world.

Here at ishonest, we make an effort to feature as many Black-owned brands as possible — but they tend to be brands based in the United States. So, for our third iteration of The Melanin Edit, we wanted to highlight some of these wonderful Black-owned beauty brands that exist outside of our home country — whether across the pond in the United Kingdom or in one of the 54 African countries. For your international shopping pleasure, this list features makeup, skin-care, fragrance, and hair-care brands from every continent except for Antarctica. (Sorry penguins!)

Canada: Honey Hair Scrunchies

Mom Myrianne SaintFort and daughter Delphine Cybulski came together to create a line of cute scrunchies made from satin, so they're less damaging on the hair. They're available in a range of cute shades and prints like the hunter green Falling For You (shown above) or the metallic lilac Cosmic.

UK/South Africa: Malee

Back in 2009, Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao leaunched her fragrance and body-care brand Malée (pronounced mah-lay), which she named after her great-grandmother. The brand has three main scents — Verdure, Peppersage, and Polyantes — but the body- care products are only offered in the Verdure scent which combines citrus, mint, and patchouli notes. The fresh scent is used in the brand's Conditional Body Scrub, composed of pieces of salt and sugar combined with nourishing oils and butters, like avocado oil and shea butter, to physically remove rough dead skin.

The other two aromas are used in the brand's candles that will surely smell wonderful once lit. The Peppersage aroma is an earthy blend of sage and peppercorn while the Polyantes scent has notes of blonde woods, vanilla, tuberose, gardenia, and lotus flowers.

UK: RadSwan

Both the Radclips (the clip-ins) and Radshapes (the wigs) are available in four distinct hairstyles. All eight hair pieces represent the range of textured hairstyles like Radclips 03 (shown above) with its tight and short coils and Radshape 02 which has looser shoulder-length curls.

Jamaica: Irie Rock

After going through a series of layoffs at her job, Racquell Brown felt inspired to work on her own skin-care brand. Though she wasn't let go until a year after those initial layoffs, she was not deterred because she had Irie Rock to focus on. From there, Brown further developed the skin- and body-care range made with ingredients (tea tree, glycerin, and witch hazel, to name a few) focused on nourishing the skin, brightening dark spots, and treating acne. Its Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Facial Moisturizer is a fan favorite because it moisturizes the skin while also addressing breakouts.

Colombia: Miss Balanta

Headwraps and turbans are an important part of Black culture around the world, and Angélica Balanta wanted to ensure that, with Miss Balanta, she was honoring their importance. As an Afro-Colombian, she was used to seeing her mother (who also served as the inspiration for the brand) wrapping her own hair with headwraps. The brand's headpieces definitely showcase the vibrancy of the Black community with all the stunning colors and patterns. She even dedicated one of her collections — called Mujer/Mujer Negra, which translates to woman/Black woman — to Black women in particular. It's is full of colorful pieces, like the Balaca Con Nudo BL Al Mundo (shown above) that has the words "ser," "mujer," "negra," and "tenia" written all over the fabric in various hues.

Trinidad & Tobago: Immortelle Beauty

Cosmetic chemist Kathryn Nurse spent a few years studying the profession before deciding to develop her own skin-care line. In 2010, she established Immortelle Beauty, which carries products across the home fragrance and body-care categories, in Trinidad & Tobago. All these products are made for a relaxing night in. You can start your mini spa night by using any of the brand's shower gels, moisturizers, and body oil sprays, then end your evening by igniting one of its popular candles, like the Santal Rosé candle, which has notes of Indian lotus, damask rose and sandalwood.

Sweden: Melyon

After years of being a model, Roger Dupé decided to jump into the beauty business. Thus, in 2020, Melyon was born. The Sweden-based body- and skin- care brand was created with darker skin tones in mind (since they can often be forgotten about within the Scandinavian market) but the products are still formulated for a range of skin types. Its bestseller is the antioxidant-rich Day Cream which is infused with niacinamide and vitamins C and E to keep skin looking moisturized and glowy.

Nigeria: Arami Essentials

Nigerian-based Arami Essentials provides multi-use products for the skin and body developed to cleanse, brighten, and smooth the skin. Arami translates to "my body" in Yoruba: Founder Ore Runsewe wanted to focus on formulating products that give the body the care it deserves when she established the brand in 2016 — the very ethos of the brand is treating the body like a temple.

The brand's simple, clear packaging will look gorgeous in any shelfie, plus also allows you to see all the pretty colors of these nourishing products. The Glow Oil (shown above) is 100 percent pure shea oil, hence the calming yellow hue.

Australia: Bread Beauty Supply

Australian Maeva Heim created hair-care brand Bread Beauty Supply in 2020 because she wanted to push away from the focus on defined curls and sleek hair often found in textured hair care. She also wanted to embrace a more simplistic approach to hair care that centered the tightest of textures aka 4C types first, so the brand launched with only three products (shampoo, hair mask, and oil) for an easy wash-and-go.

Its best-selling Everyday Gloss Hair Oil contains a blend of hydrating oils, including castor, argan, sweet almond, and Kakuda plum, which is derived from the brand's home base in Australia. It does such a great job of conditioning and moisturizing curls and coils that we gave it our seal of approval with a 2020 Best of Beauty award.

UK: Epara Skincare

After struggling to find adequate products that suited her hyperpigmented, sensitive skin, in 2014 Ozohu Adoh began looking into ingredients from the African continent, including marula and argan oil, to develop her own skin-care brand. Three years later, Epara launched in the U.K. and, a year after that, started selling retailing its luxury skin-care products in the United States.

Because the brand focuses on the luxury market, these products are made to make you feel expensive, and we think they're worth every dollar: In fact, we awarded the brand's marula oil-infused Cleansing Lotion with a Best of Beauty Splurge Award in 2020. The silky cleanser is designed to help brighten uneven skin while also washing away any makeup or dirt.

Ghana: R&R Luxury

Valeria Obaze launched the Ghanian-based brand R&R Luxury in 2010 with a range of skin-care products to cleanse and moisturize. These products keep the skin- care process simple with the basics, utilizing ingredients like shea butter, baobab oil, and black soap sourced from Obaze's home country and other West African countries. Its Shea Oil is popular because of how it moisturizes and softens the skin. Its also available in three fragrance options — Unscented, Lemongrass, and Serenity, which is the brand's signature mix of essential oils including lavender, bergamot, and ylang ylang — so folks can choose the one that works best for their skin.

UK: The Renatural

Sometimes, it can take forever and a day to install a wig. And sometimes, you simply do not have the time or patience for all the glue, hairspray, or gel. Aasiyah Abdulsalam definitely understood the struggle, so she launched her brand The Renatural in 2019 with its sole product: The Wig Fix. The product is a textured silicone headband that helps grip your wig without the need for any adhesive. It's available in five shades — Transparent, Fair, Tan, Medium, Deep — to match different skin tones, and the brand uses Fenty Beauty foundation shades as a reference to help customers pick the best one.

Korea: Dr. Gio Cosmetics

Okafor started with the one K-beauty product she felt like needed the most work: cushion foundations. Thus, the Ultra 7 Brightening Foundation Cushion was developed. The lightweight complexion product is available in six shades, specifically developed for medium to dark skin tones, and provides the most glowy, natural-looking coverage. Typical of many K-beauty products, it's packed with skin-care goodies too, specifically hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, centella asiatica, collagen, tea tree oil, shea butter, adenosine, and niacinamide.

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