If you’ve never heard of Naomi Osaka before, then you’re probably not into sports or tennis more specifically. As the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles—whatever that means, am I right?—Osaka has made a name for herself as the reigning champion at the US Open and the Australian Open as well as a four-time Grand Slam singles champion. In other words, she’s a badass.
But Osaka is now making headlines for another amazing announcement: the Japanese tennis player who was born to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother is about to launch her very own skincare brand KINLÒ, which will solely consist of products specifically created for those with darker skin tones.
“What drew me toward this project is having memories of being a kid and not knowing how to protect my skin,” Osaka said in an interview with Business of Fashion. “I only started wearing sunscreen recently.”
While an exact launch date hasn’t yet been announced, it has been revealed that the brand is set to arrive this autumn and debut with multiple products, which will all retail for less than $20 each. The complete collection will be available for purchase online, and Osaka has already given fans a preview of what’s to come. Along with an SPF 40 tinted face lotion, there will be a body spray, lip balm, eye cream, and an SPF 50 tinted face lotion made specifically to withstand physical activity—duh.
As Osaka explained in her interview with BoF, to her, KINLÒ is more than an opportunity to offer customers with darker skin tones skincare products that don’t leave behind a white residue on their skin. “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 said.
Osaka is not the first person to fall victim to poor knowledge surrounding the importance of wearing sunscreen. In fact, the question of whether people with darker skin tones are less likely to get sunburnt or skin cancer is one that is still heavily argued to this day. A simple search on Google will serve you a variety of articles on the matter such as one published in 2019 by The New York Times titled Should Black People Wear Sunscreen?—which, by the way, was written by Kendra Pierre-Louis, a dark-skinned black woman.
In truth, as Pierre-Louis explained herself, anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of age, gender or race. And that’s more reasons to celebrate Osaka’s upcoming skincare brand, which could hopefully spread awareness on what remains a widespread issue. In preparation for KINLÒ’s launch, the tennis player has been working closely on the collection with dermatologist Doctor Naana Boakye to create products that are beneficial and moisturising rather than harsh on the skin.
Sharing news of the brand with her Instagram followers, Osaka wrote “I never thought I would ever start my own company … 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.”
Make sure to keep an eye out this upcoming autumn for Osaka’s KINLÒ, and in the meantime, tell your loved ones to apply sunscreen every day.