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Naomi Osaka teams up with Ghanaian-born dermatologist to create skincare line


First Published April 28, 2021

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is venturing into the skincare industry with a new line, KINLÒ, purposely for melanated individuals. Osaka, like many dark-skinned individuals, struggled to find what works for their skin. That is why she decided it was about time to launch an affordable one that does the job right.

The notion that Black people do not need to protect their melanated skins is a thing of the past. Osaka wants to make sure that everyone gets on the bandwagon to a healthier skin regimen because until recently, she did not know she needed to wear sunscreen.

“What drew me towards this project is having memories of being a kid and not knowing how to protect my skin. I only started wearing sunscreen recently.

“This is a public health need. I used to tell people that I didn’t need to wear sunscreen — but even if you have melanin, you need to take care of your skin, and I am passionate about that,” she told Business of Fashion.

The line was specially created with Ghanaian-born dermatologist Dr. Naana Boakye and it can be worn by everyone especially athletic people because it protects the skin all the time.

Boakye, M.D., is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Karité, a shea butter business she founded with two sisters. According to the website of Karité, Boakye “specializes in the health and appearance of the skin. Her passion is to create products with scientifically backed ingredients that have the ability to nurture the skin and optimize its health. Boakye completed her dermatology residency at State University of New York Health Sciences Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she also served as Chief Resident.

Osaka created the formulas of her line with the NYC-based dermatologist.

KINLÒ’s products will consist of body spray, lip balm, eye cream, and an SPF 50 Tinted Face Lotion and sunscreen that could potentially save lives aside from protecting the skin. Per CDC research, nearly 33% of Black Americans who get diagnosed with melanoma, a type of skin cancer, die in the United States.

“I never thought I would ever start my own company, but I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be launching KINLÒ, a new brand of skin care products developed to protect and rejuvenate melanated skin tones.

“I hope these products can help a lot of people and potentially save lives because I really feel that we aren’t protecting ourselves as much as we could,” the tennis prodigy wrote in an Instagram post.

The 23-year-old has a love for fashion as well and she explicitly expressed it when she graced the cover of Louis Vuitton in January this year after being named house brand ambassador for the French label.

The three-time Grand Slam winner said she was honored to be the brand ambassador for the fashion house. She is now set to feature in their Spring-Summer 2021 campaign. “Wow this is actually crazy,” the Japanese star wrote on both her Twitter and Instagram accounts at the time. “Honored to be @LouisVuitton newest House Ambassador.

“Funny story: I first bought my mom an LV bag when I was 16 as a birthday present and it’s kinda been a tradition since. Do I call this a full circle moment? Yes.”

The luxury brand chose her because she is a role model for many young people. Artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière, who shot the new collection, described Osaka as “an exceptional young woman who represents her generation and is a role model for everyone” in an Instagram post.