Photo Credit: GoDaddy

While the increased efforts for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the last year are a good thing, they are frankly also long overdue. 

Many of us are seeing DEI efforts become a high priority in our workplaces. I’m hopeful we’ll continue moving forward if we keep our foot on the gas. 

Diversity and inclusion are also necessary for all aspects of life. I’m also a consumer, and when I’m shopping for myself or my family, it’s clear consumer products, in general, haven’t done much to solve core needs for people of color. This is especially true for health and beauty products that have historically overlooked Black, Brown, and Asian communities in the product development process. 

When it comes to skincare, people of color have important and specific wants and needs for melanated skin that current products on the market are missing. I’m excited and proud to share that Initialized has recently invested in KINLÒ, a functional skincare brand made specifically for melanated skin tones, created by first-time beauty entrepreneur and CEO, Naomi Osaka. 

The idea for KINLÒ came from a public health need. The sun has damaging effects on all types of skin, but the mortality rate for Black Americans with melanoma is actually 3X’s higher than that of white Americans, due to the fact that it is generally detected at a more advanced stage. 

There is a misconception that melanated skin doesn’t need the same sun protection as light skin, but that is not the case. My father never believed in sunscreen. I sat with him when he had melanoma taken out of his arm and watched as they took skin from another part of his body and burned the replacement skin into place. I’ve had 3 family members get skin cancer. 

And damage to skin doesn’t only come from the sun. As I write this, blue light is permeating into my skin, and my screen time is reflected in the freckles on my face. 

As a professional athlete spending so much time outside in the sun, Naomi also learned about the risks of sun damage to her skin after previously assuming she was immune to sun damage.

Naomi and KINLÒ are taking this opportunity to create more awareness about the importance of skincare in communities of color and have partnered with Dr. Naana Boakye, a dermatologist, and founder of Bergen Dermatology, to formulate protective, clean, and nourishing products formulated specifically for black and brown skin tones. They are filling an unmet need and busting some common misconceptions about caring for black and brown skin. 

The company’s first products are now available online starting with eye cream, lip balm, after-sun mist, and mineral-based sunscreen, and they plan to add more protective products for sun and blue light soon. Their sunscreen blends in easily without leaving a layer of white cast and the products include more hydrating ingredients.

Many may not know that sunscreen is reimbursable by many health savings account plans and in some cases that can mean a 30-50% discount. Even more reason to give KINLÒ’s new line a try. 

KINLÒ is a brand coming from another company in our portfolio, A-Frame, a Los Angeles based holding company that develops talent led, personal care and wellness brands created to solve everyday problems for those that need it most. We are very excited to welcome KINLÒ to our portfolio and support their efforts to create inclusive products with Naomi at the helm as an inspiration to so many people.