The digital age has changed the game for entrepreneurs. A brand is able to connect directly with a mass audience, your next customer is always a scroll away and through social media, supporters are able to learn more about the person behind the company. It’s encouraged new demographics to try out business ownership, while allowing them to capitalize on tools they use daily. With that, in-store customers can hold a product, quickly compare prices and head home with a brand they discovered that day.
Naomi Osaka’s KINLÒ, is enjoying the best of both worlds. The sun care brand is now available at 2,500 Walmart locations across the U.S. You can also get it online through Walmart, as well as on the company’s site.
“Naomi is truly a pioneer in her work to build a future of skincare that is formulated for melanated skin, while shining a light on the unmet skincare needs affecting people of color,” said Angel Beasley, Merchandise Director, Beauty, Walmart U.S., in a statement. “Adding the KINLÒ product line to Walmart aligns squarely with our mission to better serve the needs of all of our customers. Walmart is ultra-focused on reflecting our diverse customers and advancing racial equity.”
KINLÒ launched in September 2021 and until last week, was only obtainable online. Its primary product is tinted sunscreen intentionally created for those with higher amounts of melanin in their skin. The brand also offers hydrating products like mist, facial oil, body oil, lip balm, UV detection stickers and recovery products for damaged skin. As CEO, 4-time Glam Slam singles champion Naomi Osaka works with Dr. Naana Boakye, a certified dermatologist, to assure each offering is efficient.
The following products have been added exclusively for Walmart: Always Golden Daily Moisturizer ($11.97), Always Golden Body Lotion ($11.97), Sunscreen Stick with SPF 30 ($11.97), Cooling Body Gel Moisturizer ($9.97) and Sun Spot Brightening Moisturizer ($9.97). Golden Rays Sunscreen’s shades have also been expanded — Light, Medium, and Deep tones are now available.
Through KINLÒ, Osaka may finally dispel the myth about melanated skin not needing sunscreen.
ESSENCE spoke with Naomi Osaka about why she chose Walmart, price accessibility and more. Our conversation is below.
ESSENCE: What inspired you to formulate skin care specifically for people of color and Black people?
Naomi Osaka: I wanted to start KINLÒ as growing up I never liked wearing sunscreen as it would leave my skin with a white cast. As I began to develop the brand, I learned about the statistics of skin cancer in melanated skin and that inspired me more to create a brand that not only catered to melanated skin, but also helped to educate people on the affects that the sun has on our skin.
Why did you choose to work with Walmart for this special launch?
Partnering with Walmart on this next phase really feels like a full circle moment. Walmart is a store we grew up buying items from and to know that KINLÒ can now be more accessible and be available nationwide in store makes this journey so exciting. For me, it’s not enough to just create a great product, it’s also about ensuring that product reaches the people who need it. Walmart is allowing that to be possible.
What have you learned from diving into the world of skin care?
I have learned SO much along this journey. I learned that even when we aren’t outside in the summer sun there are harmful rays that can damage our skin. I learned that the myth that dark skin cannot burn is not accurate. I also learned about so many ingredients and what goes into making not only a great protective product, but one that goes on smoothly. I continue to learn daily from the amazing team at KINLÒ and that’s why having Dr. Boakye [Dr. Naana Boakye MD MPH, Dermatology Director of KINLÒ] alongside me is so important.
Tell me about why the accessible price point was a must for you and the team?
Great products are one thing but ensuring that the product can be used by the most amount of people is another, that’s why accessibility was key for the line. Not only being able to expand into retail but offering top level products at an affordable price was one of the first things I brought up when starting KINLÒ. Quality should not have to be a sacrifice.
Lastly, how will you celebrate this major moment?
I pinch myself daily that we were able to create a product I knew there was a large need for, and more than that, not only bring it to life but do so in a way that everyone with melanated skin could access it. I celebrate the products and the education behind them daily.