Travel: Stock Up on Travel-Friendly Beauty Products From These Black-Owned Brands

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For too long, beauty products have catered primarily to those with European features, and ignored the specific needs of those with natural hair and darker skin tones. And it gets harder to find specific products when you further narrow the pool to travel-sized or travel-friendly items. Great beauty essentials for all travelers do exist, though—if you know where to look. Black-owned beauty brands like Black Girl Sunscreen and Range Beauty make sunscreens, serums, and beard oil for various skin and hair types. They also have concealers in inclusive shades that suit a range of skin tones.

The best way to ensure that there are more of these much-needed products? By supporting and buying from the Black-owned brands making them. (And yes, many of these products work just as well on Black and non-Black skin and hair.) Read on to discover 21 Black-owned beauty brands we love—and the travel-friendly products worth packing on your next trip.

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Skincare

  Stock Up on Travel-Friendly Beauty Products From These Black-Owned Brands © Provided by Condé Nast Traveler

Vegan Mia Organics

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The term “organic” is tossed around quite casually in the beauty industry. But Life Schneider, who launched Vegan Mia during the pandemic, doesn’t mess around with her oil-based skincare products—everything she sells is USDA certified organic, and her site details the sources of each ingredient. The PETA-certified line includes a serum packed with seven superfruit oils, including baobab and acai, which acts as a multivitamin and hydrating agent perfect for combatting jet lag. Plus, Vegan Mia sells three elixirs—Strength, Harmony, and Clarity—which are meant to be mixed into the serum for an added boost.

Why the Internet Swears By Rice Water for Smooth, Shiny Hair

  Why the Internet Swears By Rice Water for Smooth, Shiny Hair The DIY has been around for centuries, but does it work on all hair types?If you've spent all your monies on hair supplements or hair growth shampoos that, sadly, didn't give you the results you wanted, you might be desperate eager to find a cheap DIY to try instead. Well, ever heard of rice-water hair treatments? Because if you spend any time on the internet, you certainly will sooner or later.“The use of rice water is an anecdotal but long-living beauty ritual in ancient Asian culture,” says trichologist Bridgette Hill. “Rice-water enthusiasts believe rice water detangles their hair, makes hair smoother and shinier, and grows the hair longer.

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Kinlò

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Growing up on sun-soaked courts, tennis superstar and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka didn't give much thought to sunscreen. Once she realized the importance of protecting her skin, she decided to create a line of products specifically formulated for people like her who may have also been misinformed about skincare needs. “Those of us with melanated skin might not see the need to apply sunscreen since we’ve been told our natural melanin will protect us, but that’s actually not the case,” Osaka said in an email. Her line, Kinlo—the words “Kin” and “Lo” mean gold in Japanese and Haitian Creole, an homage to Osaka's bicultural heritage—uses fine non-chemical ingredients like niacinamide, a vitamin, in its products. Pack the star product, Golden Rays Sunscreen with SPF 50, and rest easy knowing it's formulated to preserve melanin and protect against hyperpigmentation, all while being reef-safe and cruelty free. For more of a matte look, try the mineral-based tinted version.

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Karité

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This skincare brand was created by three sisters from Ghana who realized they wanted more from the shea butter products their families used, many of which were labeled as pure shea butter but were actually filled with toxic chemicals. The line, Karité, uses sustainably-sourced ingredients from Ghana and the U.S. to create products that are beautifully wrapped in recyclable packaging topped with a chic bamboo cap. The family’s palm oil factory generates its own electricity, too: “After the fresh palm fruit bunches are processed, the energy plant that the factory has on site uses a mix of the palm fiber, palm kernel shells, and empty fruit bunches as fuel for the turbine to convert superheated steam into electricity,” the Karité founders told Traveler in an email. “The energy plant generates 100 percent of the electricity that the factory needs, so the factory is able to operate off the grid.”

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Ayanna Denise Skin

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After a divorce, Ayanna Freeman focused her energies on a new hobby: creating a face oil using plant-based, all-natural ingredients. She gave the product to her friends and family to test out, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. As people recognized improvements in their skin (related to issues like discoloration and scaly dryness), she took the ability to heal to the next level, starting Ayanna Denise Skin in 2020 with a goal of addressing everything from eczema to psoriasis in a holistic way. Try out her products with the best-sellers kit: It comes with a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, all inside a handy travel pouch.

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  Your Fenty Beauty Favorites Are Now Available At Ulta Beauty It’s time to restock.

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Helen Rose Skincare

$.00, Helen Rose Skincare

Let’s be honest: Our skin needs a lot of moisture and love when we travel, especially when we're bouncing between climates. This Portland-based organic skincare line originally started when owner Day Bibb received a grant from American Express as part of a program to help fund 100 Black women-owned businesses. And now, she's paying it forward—a percentage of the proceeds from Helen Rose products go toward Om Thrive Foundation, a non-profit Bibb founded to provide yoga and wellness resources to survivors of domestic violence. One of her favorite Helen Rose products? “Cupuaçu is a ‘super-moisturizer’ that is much lighter and absorbs much faster than shea butter-based products,” she says.

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Holly Hall Supply Co.

$.00, Holly Hall Supply Co.

What started as a 2017 Kickstarter campaign now attracts a loyal following, particularly in Houston, where the brand was born. Creator Justin D. Moore, whose dad and brother are dermatologists, started the line to offer a straightforward skin care routine—and that's exactly what you'll get with Holly Hall. Start with the Essentials Skin Care Travel Kit, which includes a face wash with energizing peppermint, a shaving gel made with willow bark and floral extracts, and a collagen moisturizer. We also love the organic beard oil with argan and jojoba oils, which softens coarse hairs.

Why Tea Tree Oil Is the Key to a Happy, Flake-Free Scalp

  Why Tea Tree Oil Is the Key to a Happy, Flake-Free Scalp Nope, it's not just for your pimples.If you've ever had a pimple in your life, you probably already know about tea tree oil (and if you haven't had a pimple, how does it feel to be the universe's favorite?). This little essential oil is frequently touted as one of the best natural skincare ingredients for acne (and there are some studies to back it up), but let me ask you this: Did you know it moonlights as a natural haircare ingredient, too? Specifically for treating, soothing, and calming your irritated, itchy, and flaky scalp.

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Specific Beauty

$.00, Specific Beauty

Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd knows a thing or two about dermatology. As the director of the Skin of Color Division at the University of Miami, she has developed products for melanin-rich complexions, specifically for those who struggle with uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. Her line, Specific Beauty, has a moisturizer that doubles as a sunscreen with SPF 30, and is light enough to wear daily. Also worth stocking up on? The leave-on overnight mask with licorice root, which diminishes dark spots and hydrates skin while you sleep.

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Cobalt Honey

$.00, Cobalt Honey

This beauty brand ,created by former veterinarian Alycia Washington, donates a portion of sales to bee conservation programs like Detroit Hives and Honey Bee Conservancy. And no wonder, because the products contain the hive’s bounty (honey, propolis, royal jelly, and beeswax), alongside clinical ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides. Try the hydration cream, which uses honey as a protective humectant to lock in moisture—vital for long travel days.

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Buttah Skin

$.00, Buttah Skin

“No one I knew with melanin-rich skin ever talked about skincare or addressed my skin concerns,” says Buttah Skin founder Dorian Renaud. So, he created the products that his skin craved, with ingredients like creamy shea butter, imported from Africa, and vitamins A and E. The vitamin C serum is a favorite, with antioxidants like green tea and grapeseed to fight wrinkles, blemishes, and pigmentation issues. The daily gel cleanser, with calming lavender, is great for soothing tired skin after a long flight or drive.

Why Plum Oil Is the MVP Skin and Hair Oil

  Why Plum Oil Is the MVP Skin and Hair Oil A non-greasy oil that won't clog pores? Uh, yes, pls.If I were to ask you to list the first few fruits that come to mind, would a plum even be one of them? Probably not, especially when it comes to your beauty routine (I mean, watermelon skincare is dominating right now). But if you’ve been sleeping on plums, let this be your wake-up call, because plums are that fruit, y’all. Full of benefits for your hair and your skin, plum oil (aka prunus domestic seed oil) is one natural beauty ingredient you absolutely want to check out next time you’re looking to restock your skincare supply, so take notes as you dive into the below.

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Black Girl Sunscreen

$.00, Black Girl Sunscreen

It can be tough to find a sunscreen that caters to melanin-rich skin. So in 2016, Shontay Lundy, frustrated that every sunscreen she tried left a pesky residue, created this paraben-free brand to suit her needs. Black Girl Sunscreen's sheer formula has no fragrance and only natural ingredients, including avocado, jojoba, aloe, cocoa butter, and carrot juice—and, thankfully, it leaves no residue. Order it online, or find it in stores at Target or Ulta (in case you need to resupply mid-trip).

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Hanahana Beauty

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Abena Boamah-Acheampong, who started Hanahana in 2017, wanted to give back to the Katariga women of Tamale, Ghana, who handcraft the shea butter that goes into her beauty products. “We pay two times the fair-trade price for it,” says Boamah-Acheampong. A small tin of her shea balm is small enough to fit into your purse or pocket while promising to leave your lips smooth and chap-free. We also love the exfoliating cleanser made from black soap and honey.

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BeautyStat

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Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, the CEO and founder of BeautyStat, spent five years finding a completely stable version of pure vitamin C. The result is his Universal C Skin Refiner, a silky serum that smooths and evens skin with continued use over time, on all skin types, and is lightweight enough to be used in hot summer temperatures. Chase it with BeautyStat's rich moisturizer, made from bio-fermented ingredients, which acts as a shield against polluted air on city trips.

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Skôt Beauté

$.00, Skôt Beauté

Toks Fahm Ajayi's Skôt fuses African beauty rituals and French spa secrets, in a line of skincare essentials that includes serums, oils, masks, and peels. The Discovery Kit is a good way to get to know the brand—it has four miniatures, including a light cleansing cream, hydrating mist, Lip Smoothie treatment, and a moisturizer made with grape skin and spinach leaf extracts.

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Makeup

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Kyvan Body Essentials

$.00, Kyvan Body Essentials

Created during the height of the pandemic, this father-daughter business produces organic, vegan, and cruelty-free lip balms. With 12 flavors (one for every month of the year), the lip balms come in scents ranging from Creamy Dreamy Orange to Freshly Sliced Watermelon, and use ingredients sourced from the United States. The best sellers? Kyvan coconut and ‘It’s Mint to Be,’ per the brand. Trust us when we say they’ll transport you to far-off places.

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Pat McGrath

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Once called the “the most influential makeup artist in the world” by Anna Wintour, Pat McGrath is known worldwide for her constellation of makeup products. The Divine Rose lip trio is meant to be taken on the go, with a lip pencil, lipstick, and gloss designed to flatter darker skin tones. For a touch of sparkle, try the Mthrshp mini eye-shadow palettes—they're ideal for a night out, wherever you're headed.

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Uoma Beauty

$.00, Ulta

Nigerian-born Sharon Chuter got into the beauty business after noticing how few skin tones most products catered to. With Uoma, she created 51 shades of foundation categorized within six ‘Skin Kin’ groups, each with unique skincare ingredients for that group's needs. The Stay Woke concealer and Say What?! foundation are buildable and creamy—and the brand's online shade finder makes finding your exact match a breeze.

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Range Beauty

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Range Beauty’s motto is “clean beauty for the forgotten shades,” and the brand delivers—every product functions as both skincare and makeup for a range of complexions. There’s a bronzing primer that evens skin and plumps fine lines, and a foundation that targets acne and eczema. True to its name, the diversity of shades is impressive as well, with products made for olive complexions, tan skin with yellow undertones, and deeper, cooler brown complexions. The hydrating foundations, containing chamomile extracts and French clay, are travel-ready in tiny one-ounce containers.

Haircare

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Ecoslay

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Founded by Adria Marshall in 2015, hair care line Ecoslay started with homemade products for naturally curly hair. Now, despite 30 retailers across the world selling Marshall's products, little has changed regarding its quality, and every product is still handmade with ingredients like jojoba, almond, and argan oils. If you’re a traveler who loves options, there are custom sample sets you can build and take with you on your next big trip. “If I were to pack one product in my suitcase it would be our Moonshine hair and body oil because it's so versatile,” Marshall says. “It can be used as a hair oil to ‘scrunch out the crunch,’ and is fantastic for dry heels and elbows. And it simply smells incredible.”

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Black Travel Box

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After traveling to many hotels and finding shampoos that didn't work for her hair, Denver, Colorado–based Orion Brown started Black Travel Box out of sheer frustration. Made with natural ingredients like coconut oil and rosemary leaf extract, these sulfate-free products are luxurious on a range of natural hair textures. The brand's $35 starter kit contains solid just-add-water bars of her popular rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner, and balms for your hair, body, and lips. The solid bars are highly efficient, too: each contains the equivalent of a 16-ounce bottle.

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OrganiGrowHairCo

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Designed by Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Kay Cola, OrganiGrowHairCo caters to natural textures and tight curl patterns, with all vegan products free of preservatives and fragrances. The GrowPoo shampoo soothes overworked hair, while the Conditioning Curling Custard delivers serious hydration.

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Oyin Handmade

$.00, Oyin Handmade

Yoruba for “honey,” Oyin was created in 2003 by Jamyla Bennu, who wanted organic hair care products that worked as well as the rest. “At the time, there were not many naturally sourced formulations in the ethnic hair aisles, and the products were almost exclusively dedicated to straightening, chemically relaxing, or texturizing,” Bennu says. She began making products in her kitchen, leading to current bestsellers like the ginger- and mint-flavored Co-Wash, a non-sudsy conditioner that invigorates the scalp. The leave-in Hair Dew brings pliancy to hair, and a good pick for thirsty strands is the What the Hemp deep moisture mask, which deeply moisturizes but feels light as air.

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