Osaka developed KINLÒ to combat the myth that those with darker skin tones can't get skin cancer and therefore don't need to use sunscreen.
It's a misconception that has far-reaching effects on both the skincare industry and the field of dermatology, leaving people of color — particularly, Black people — without products suited to their specific needs.
Sunscreen is typically formulated with ingredients that leave a chalky cast on the face, deterring non-white customers from using it. And dermatology textbooks often lack photos of dark skin, leading conditions such as skin cancer to go undiagnosed in Black patients.
"Through my personal experience and learnings, I have found that Black, brown, and other melanated skin-toned communities are often an afterthought in the discussion and research surrounding sun care, including being excluded from clinical studies on skin cancer," Osaka elaborated in a statement.
To address the inequity, the athlete teamed up with dermatologists to formulate an SPF 50 that won't leave any white residue behind. The result is Golden Rays sunscreen, a serum-like product that blocks UVA and UVB rays using zinc oxide, a sun-reflecting ingredient that's often responsible for sunscreen's dreaded white cast — unlike other sunscreens on the market, though, KINLÒ's is tinted with a bronzy shade that blends into all skin tones seamlessly.
There's also a hydrating mist that soothes sun-exposed skin and an eye cream that tackles age spots and discoloration, issues that melanated skin is more prone to.
Amid a sea of celebrity beauty brands, KINLÒ stands out — it fills a gap in the market that desperately needed addressing. Customers don't necessarily need more lip kits (Kylie Jenner's got that covered), but sunscreen that people of color can actually use is an underserved product category that Osaka has wisely, and admirably, tapped into.
Last week, Osaka announced that she is taking an indefinite break from tennis. If KINLÒ is any indication of what her new pursuits have in store, we can't wait to see what's next.