Naomi Osaka celebrates Haitian heritage with her skincare line

Naomi Osaka named goodwill ambassador by President Moise

Four-time, half Haitian, Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka is currently on a hiatus from professional tennis. While recovering from burnout and expecting her first child with her partner, Grammy nominated rapper Cordae, she has kept herself busy dabbling in philanthropy and entrepreneurship.

Osaka is very selective with her business partners. She has worked with BODYARMOR LYTE to refurbish tennis courts in Queens, New York, where she grew up, and Nike’s Play Academy to promote athletic programmes for young girls. “I see if I can be involved in the creative and/or design process, and I organically have to use or strongly believe in the product,” Osaka said, explaining her partnership process. “Then finally I like to meet the people in charge and vibe with them. So, only after passing those four steps would I even entertain further discussions.”

Naomi Osaka

For KINLÒ, Osaka’s skincare line that was launched in 2020, she partnered with Dr. Naana Boakye, a leading Black female dermatologist and founder of Bergen Dermatology, to create a series of products that protects and nurtures melanated skin.

There are many myths surrounding skincare – one of the biggest and most harmful is that melanated skin has enough built in protection from sun exposure. In reality, people of color are more susceptible to skin cancer with the mortality rate for Black Americans being three times higher than their white counterparts. “Once I was given that information, for me the rest fell into place… Create a line that protects, nourishes and repairs melanated skin while also making it high quality at a price that also is accessible to all,” Osaka explained to Forbes.

The Golden Rays Sunscreen SPF 50+ melanated tint is $20 at select stores. It’s a lightweight cream that’s water resistant, sweat-proof, and blocks 98% of harmful UV radiation. Most strikingly, it doesn’t leave behind the white cast that we associate with sunblock. Instead, there’s a universal brown tint that massages easier into melanated skin.

The name KINLÒ comes from Osaka’s mixed heritage. She was born to a Japanese mother, Tamaki Osaka, and a Haitian father, Leonard Francois. Both syllables of KINLÒ translate to gold in Japanese and Haitian creole respectively. “I can feel myself having different characteristics from each parent…” Osaka reasoned. “I am quite soft-spoken, which is definitely from my Japanese side, but I think my fierce competitiveness comes from my Haitian side.”

Cordae and Osaka