Black-Owned Wellness and Beauty Businesses Everyone Must Know
As a Black girl interested in the wellness and beauty worlds, I want to support brands whose ethos I believe in, and whose products actually serve me well. I’ve been excluded from the beauty industry before, standing frozen in a Target beauty aisle torn between two shades of foundation, neither of which totally matched my skin but both of which were too expensive for my bank account. And as I placed the bottles of foundations back on the shelves, I began to believe beauty wasn’t something a person like me — a first-generation girl who wasn’t white, skinny, light-eyed, or straight-haired — could claim as my own.
I’m challenging myself to consume more intentionally from Black-owned wellness and beauty brands, to support the businesses that support Black people back. I’ve compiled an alphabetical list of Black-owned wellness and beauty brands that you should check out, too. Take a look!
Founder: Brittney Winbush
Creator and actress Brittney Winbush knows there is more to self-care than candles and tea, which is why her wellness startup Alexandra Winbush promotes mental health awareness and mental illness treatment by engaging in community outreach and events centering mental health. “We deserve to feel good, not just physically but also mentally,” the Alexandra Winbush website proclaims. “Our products may provide a sense of peace for the outside but let’s work together to increase awareness of mental health in underserved communities.” The Brooklyn-based brand sells hand-poured soy candles and loose leaf teas, and their website also features vibe-setting playlists curated by Winbush herself for you to set the mood. Each candle label even comes with a poem written gently in lowercase letters to the user. My personal favorite? “today is a day of possibilities, although you’re not sure which way it’s headed, you know you’re in control. light me when you’re open to the day. light me when you’re ready to embrace the journey and aren’t worried about the destination. we’ll get there eventually right?”
Founder: Lauren Ash
A holistic wellness platform based in Chicago, Black Girl In Om is “creating space for women of color to breathe easy” through the brand’s digital publication, podcast, events, and monthly spotlight of Black girls in the wellness community. “We encourage self-care, self-love, and self-empowerment for communities of color,” their website explains. “... We learn and share wellness practices with one another, and through this work cultivate richer understandings of what it means to be healthy and beautiful from the inside out.
Founder: Cashmere Nicole
“A near-death experience taught me that nothing is more important in this life than the moments that are gone too fast,” Beauty Bakerie founder Cashmere Nicole writes. “Having long-lasting, smudge-free makeup may seem like a simple novelty to one person, but to me, the 8-15 times I would have spent touching up my makeup today are now the 8-15 opportunities I have to be in the moment.” It’s those moments that inspired Nicole to create Beauty Bakerie, which offers cruelty-free cosmetics for your face, eyes, and lips -- and an online shade finder!
Founder: Kristian Henderson
A site dedicated to green living among Black women, BLK+GRN is a digital marketplace of all-natural products created by Black artisans, ranging from skincare to home goods to bath and body. By giving Black consumers and Black creators a space to connect, BLK+GRN furthers their mission of keeping money in the Black community and creating a community of people who consume consciously. “We’ve seen firsthand the damaging effects harmful ingredients and practices have had on our community. Our marketplace connects Black women with natural lifestyles to high-quality, toxic-free brands that share in our mission of health, wellness and community cultivation,” BLK+GRN’s ethos reads.
Founder: Trinity Mouzon Wofford
Trinity Mouzon Wofford is on a mission to demystify entrepreneurship. She uses her Instagram stories as her very own office hours (which she stylizes as “#office_hrs”) to discuss all things related to building a brand. Wofford is the founder and CEO of Golde, a wellness brand whose mission is to make wellness more accessible. “We’re an independent, Brooklyn-born brand centered in making superfood-boosted essentials for health and beauty. Our products are always natural, easy, and (most importantly) fun,” Wofford writes. Their products range from face masks to vegan, keto-friendly powders based in turmeric, matcha, or cacao to add to water, milk, or smoothies.
A 1100 square foot holistic cafe and healing space in Brooklyn, New York, Heal Haus was co-founded by best friends Elisa Shankle and Darian Hall to make wellness more approachable for people of color. “Our community tends to not have equal access because of the lack of accessibility and education on holistic health. Yes, healthcare is expensive, but there are things we can learn that don’t cost a dime to heal our body, mind, and soul and it starts with someone interested in providing space and unlearning what we are fed,” Shankle said to Black Enterprise. The cafe offers indoor and outdoor seating, a curated selection of teas, smoothies, and elixirs, as well as vegan and gluten-free pastries. The wellness studio itself, which was created to cultivate a sense of community and easy access to wellness, offers daily group classes, specialized workshops and donation-based events, and private rooms for practice.
Founder: Beatrice Espada
The Honey Pot is a vaginal wellness brand that offers cleansing, protecting, and balancing plant-based products for people with vaginas. Their products are “made by humans with vaginas, for humans with vaginas” and are clinically tested and gynecologist approved. The Honey Pot’s offering of pads, tampons, condoms, and more are made from natural ingredients -- “powered by herbs” -- and are biodegradable and cruelty-free. In efforts to further their belief that every person who experiences a period should have access to menstrual care, The Honey Pot partnered with Happy Period, an organization that works to restore dignity to people with vaginas who may be experiencing homelessness or are currently low-income or living in poverty.
Founder: Tatiana Glover
“I believe that success is measured beyond your own self achievements and accolades,” Tatiana Glover, Mahogany’s founder and creative director, states. And while she does have many accolades to be proud of (including a degree in Integrated Design and Fashion Communications from Parsons School of Design), Glover’s pride comes from her commitment to empower Black girls. “Mahogany is a multimedia concept brand shifting the narrative of women of color through fashion, inclusive storytelling and empowering social media content,” Mahogany’s website proclaims. Through beauty campaigns, fashion spreads, and short films, Mahogany works to cultivate a community that openly discusses topics like family, change-making, politics, identity, fashion, and beauty, and what those mean in the context of an existence as a woman of color.
Founder: Monique Rodriguez
Monique Rodriguez was working as a nurse when she started posting about her natural hair journey on social media. “I loved my career working as a nurse, but I still did not feel fulfilled,” Rodriguez told SELF Magazine. “I’ve always been passionate about beauty and hair, but doing something in that space professionally never crossed my mind.” She transitioned into the beauty sphere professionally by sharing her original recipes for hair products online, and Mielle Organics was born from there. Now, her company offers a variety of products ranging from haircare (shampoos, conditioners, curl creams, and oils) to skincare (serums, cleansers, face masks, and stretch mark creams). Their guiding value? Healthy ingredients = healthy hair and skin.
Founder: Katonya Breaux
It’s hard for women of color to find sunscreen that doesn’t make us look like ghosts. The founder of Unsun Cosmetics (and Frank Ocean’s mom!), Katonya Breaux created her company after multiple frustrating experiences with sunscreens that either left residue on her skin or were filled with chemicals. “The desire to protect our skin from the sun should not mean having to wear foundation in order to cover the white and gray film that’s present after application,” Breaux stated. With Unsun, she’s created a mineral-based sunscreen in two shades -- light/medium and medium/dark -- and hand creams formulated for people of color.
Black people are unquantifiably creative — innovative, if you will. It’s evident through the work we do, whether it’s through the creation of wildly popular phrases (“eyebrows on fleek” ring a bell?) or the businesses we introduce to the world. Seeing us take up space in beauty and wellness spaces — some simply for the purpose of just making wellness more accessible to their respective communities — makes those spaces, and the paths to them, less daunting.