AAPI-Owned Beauty Brands That Should 'Definitely' Be On Your Radar

From non-toxic nail polish to sustainably made serums, these AAPI- and women-owned beauty brands have everything you need for a well-rounded routine. 

asian-owned beauty brands
Photo: Courtesy of manufacturers

If your skin-care routine consists of more than a single slather of cream and doesn't cost an absolute fortune, you likely have Asian-owned beauty brands to thank. After all, the wonderful world of (Western) beauty you've come to know and love has been shaped and molded in part by the recent explosion of Korean and Japanese beauty. But K- and J-beauty are only two examples of the incredible influence Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) entrepreneurs and beauty gurus alike have had on the serums you slather on your face, the scrubs you run across your scalp, and the stains you swipe on your lips.

Whether you already count eco-conscious creations from, say, Cocokind and Glow Recipe as part of your routine or you need to restock your skin-care supplies overall, look no further than AAPI-owned beauty brands.

Your wallet has more power than you might realize. So, whip it out and start shopping to help elevate Asian- and other minority-owned businesses and foster inclusivity in the beauty world and beyond. (See also: These AAPI-Owned Wellness Brands Deserve Your Support — and Are Just Really Cool)


cocokind sunscreen

Instead of dwelling on her "worst skin days," Priscilla Tsai turned her struggle with hormonal acne into a successful (and sustainable!) beauty brand known as Cocokind. Sound familiar? That's likely because you've seen the company's gentle, non-comedogenic products while perusing the aisles at Whole Foods, stocking up on, well, everything at Target, or searching for a gift for your girlfriend at Ulta. Since starting up in 2014, Cocokind has built quite the cult following that swears by the conscious company's affordable creations. Whether you're in the market for a new Resurfacing Sleep Mask (Buy It, $22, target.com, cocokind.com) or looking for a lightweight daily sunscreen (Buy It, $29, target.com; $24, cocokind.com), you'll be hard-pressed to find anything over $30. What's more, all of Cocokind's creations feature 100 percent recyclable packaging and some containers can even be repurposed as, say, a sprayer for watering plants or a jar for your packed lunch.

Buy It: Cocokind Mini Essentials Bundle, $10, cocokind.com

Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer
Glow Recipe

Between the cheery rainbow aesthetic and fruity, playful product names such as Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer (Buy It, $39, sephora.com) and Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream (Buy It, $39, sephora.com), it's hard not to smile when scrolling through Glow Recipe's site (and Instagram and TikTok, for that matter). And that's the point: Self-described as "unapologetically fun," Glow Recipe is on a mission to make skin care exciting and inspiring with its fruit-powered products.

Buy It: Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $42, sephora.com

Em Cosmetics


Considered one of the OG beauty personalities on YouTube, Michelle Phan has established herself as the master of all things makeup — both IRL and online, where she has nearly nine million subscribers on her YouTube channel and two million followers on Instagram. In addition to being the co-founder of the monthly beauty subscription service Ipsy, Phan, who's second-generation Vietnamese, is also the creator of the cosmetics brand Em Cosmetics. Featuring an array of beauty buys for your entire face — eyes, brows, lips, cheeks, and more — Em Cosmetics is all about providing the products needed to express yourself at any makeup expertise level. So, if you're a beauty aficionado who can draw winged eyeliner like it's NBD, then the brand's Illustrative Eyeliner (Buy It, $22, emcosmetics.com) is perfect for you. More of a lip balm-only kind of gal? Phan's got you covered with the Lip Cushion Nourishing Balm (Buy It, $23, emcosmetics.com).One thing's guaranteed: You'll find something you love.

Buy It: Emcosmetics Lip Cushion Tinted Lip Luminizer, $23, emcosmetics.com

Shaz & Kiks

shaz and kiks Scalp + Hair Prewash
shaz and kiks

For sisters Shaz Rajashekar and Kiku Chaudhuri, aka Shaz & Kiks, some of their fondest memories of childhood in India were centered on beauty — namely, the summers spent watching their grandmother whip up all-natural concoctions rooted in Ayurveda right in the kitchen. Inspired by these shared moments and passed-down beauty secrets, the duo engineered a hair-care line built around the same ingredients their grandma once used: ashwagandha, turmeric, jasmine, and many more. (

Buy It: Shaz & Kiks Back To Your Roots Scalp + Hair Prewash, $60, shakandkiks.com


glamnetic virgo magnetic lashes

CEO and founder of Glamnetic, Ann McFerran, a first-generation immigrant from Thailand, admits that running a business wasn't exactly on her radar after graduating from college. Still, a passion for beauty — namely, how to make it cleaner and easier — was enough fuel to ultimately start her own company specializing in magnetic liner and lashes. Equally as beautiful as traditional strip lashes but far easier to apply, Glamnetic's lashes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials so that everyone can experience the confidence-boosting power of enhanced eyelashes.

Buy It: Glamnetic Virgo Magnetic Lashes, $30, amazon.com



First-generation Indian American sisters Taran and Bunny Ghatrora are on a mission to de-stigmatize periods and encourage young women — especially those just going through puberty — to celebrate womanhood. How exactly? Through Blume, a beauty-slash-wellness company whose offerings include self-care products and education materials. Since its inception in 2016, Blume's expanded beyond its original target audience of Gen Z teens to people in their 20s and 30s who are also seeking menstruation education and items to help deal with its effects (see: cystic acne, cramps). Whether it's healing serums for acne scars (Buy It, $27, amazon.com) or biodegradable, organic tampons (Buy It, $10, ulta.com), Blume's bettering puberty and the not-so-fun parts of womanhood one product at a time. (

Buy It: Blume Daydreamer Face Wash, $16, ulta.com



In addition to its trio of salons in New York City, Sundays is also a nail-care brand boasting better-for-you polishes that are vegan, cruelty-free, and 10-free (meaning they're made without 10 common chemicals such as formaldehyde and toluene). Not only are these lacquers sans several barely pronounceable toxins (blech), but they're also available in a collection of timeless colors. So while Sundays might not have that trendy neon yellow you've recently seen all over the 'gram, its shelves are stocked with shades — think buttery nudes, dark grays, rich reds — that are always in style. (

Buy It: Sundays Nontoxic Nail Polish No. 44, $12, amazon.com

Clean Circle

Reusable Bamboo Velour Skincare Pads
Clean Circle

If you've ever watched your bathroom trash pile up with dirty makeup remover wipes, Q-tips, and other random products and felt totally wretched, you're not alone. And while makeup remover and skin-care wipes might seem like the last beauty products a person could ever make sustainable, Lena Chao miraculously (and thankfully) figured it out. Chao's company, Clean Circle, sells reusable (and machine washable!) makeup remover pads that feature a pointed tip to clean those hard-to-swipe areas such as inner eye corners and lashlines. (

Buy It: Clean Circle Reusable Bamboo Velour Skincare Pads, $22, clean-circle.com

Tower 28

Tower 28 SuperDew Balm
Tower 28

As anyone with sensitive skin can tell you (🙋‍♀️), finding products that won't send your complexion into a tizzy can be a frustrating endeavor — that is, however, until Tower 28 Beauty entered the skin-care and cosmetics world. On a mission to prove that #ItsOkayToBeSensitive, Tower 28 exclusively sells products (including highlighter balm, lip jelly, and cream blush) that are all hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic, gluten-free, and dermatologist-tested. But the beauty brand doesn't just stop there: All of Tower 28's formulas also adhere to all of the National Eczema Association's ingredient guidelines, thereby creating irritant- and worry-free cosmetics for even the most sensitive of skin.

Buy It: Tower 28 Beauty SuperDew Shimmer-Free Highlight Balm, $18, sephora.com

Ellis Brooklyn

RROSE perfume Ellis Brooklyn
Ellis Brooklyn

Upon becoming pregnant with her daughter, Ellis, Bee Shapiro started cleaning up her beauty routine, somewhat seamlessly swapping skin-care products and makeup for safer alternatives. But there was one item in her repertoire that didn't seem to have a cleaner counterpart: fragrance. So, Shapiro — a beauty journalist for the New York Times — set out to make one herself. Around two years later, in 2015, Ellis Brooklyn was born. Today, the beauty brand sells a wide variety of fragrances, all with vegan, cruelty-free formulas that don't contain phthalates or parabens(both of which can act as endocrine disruptors). And they aren't missed: One of the website's top sellers, Salt Eau De Parfum (Buy It, $105, sephora.com) smells like a much-needed beachside vacation thanks to tropical floral notes, sandalwood, and musk.

Buy It: Ellis Brooklyn Rrose Eau De Parfum, $105, revolve.com

Peach & Lily

Peach and Lily

Alicia Yoon dealt with eczema and perpetually problematic skin growing up, a struggle that ultimately drove her to obtain her esthetician license in Korea and New York (she's a Harvard Business School grad, too). During her time working as an esthetician, Yoon dissected beauty and skin-care labels, in constant search of the types of formulas and ingredients that would produce radiant, problem-free skin. A few years — and many faces — later, Yoon compiled her extensive research and unique and effective treatments to officially start Peach & Lily. Specializing in Korean beauty, Peach & Lily provides the products needed to take control of your skin, such as the Glass Skin Refining Serum (Buy It, $39, ulta.com) to help calm and hydrate skin and the Pore Proof Perfecting Clay Mask (Buy It, $43, ulta.com) to decongest clogged pores.

Buy It: Peach & Lily Glass Skin Water Gel Moisturizer, $40, ulta.com


Chunks Hair Clips

On the surface, Chunks is a Seattle-based accessory boutique best known for its funky hair clips that take your 'do to the next level while channeling your inner child. But behind its checker claw clips (Buy It, $18, urbanoutfitters.com) and wavy barrettes (Buy It, $14, chunks.shop) is a serious dedication to sustainable manufacturing. For example, all hair accessories are made from acetate (a plant-based rather than petroleum-based plastic that will eventually biodegrade), according to the brand's site. Chunks also never throw away its unsold or slightly damaged products, often selling production "rejects" at a discount or for free, which are proudly manufactured in China, BTW.

Buy It: Chunks Jumbo Claw Hair Clip, $8 $14, nordstrom.com


tacha skincare products

A trip to Kyoto, Japan, is sure to inspire any traveler and Victoria Tsai is no exception. During her travels, Tsai met a modern-day geisha who taught her a veritable lifetime-worth of lessons on Japanese beauty and skin care. Naturally, this education inspired Tsai to create her own beauty brand based on Japanese skin-care secrets and time-tested ingredients: Tatcha. At the core of every Tatcha product is a science-based formula called Hadasei-3, a "trinity of anti-aging superfoods born from the Japanese diet and the basis for the original geisha beauty rituals: green tea, rice, and algae," according to the company's website. You can score that amazing-sounding elixir by slathering on The Water Cream (Buy It, $69, sephora.com, tatcha.com) or spritzing your face with Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (Buy It, $48, sephora.com, tatcha.com).

Buy It: Tatcha The Rice Wash, $36, sephora.com, tatcha.com


Jin Soon Nail Polish
Jin Soon

Prior to seeing clients such as Sarah Jessica Parker (casual) at her New York City-based salons, Korean-born Jin Soon Choi was a rising freelance nail artist whose impressive hustle earned her the nickname "Bicycle Jin." (She was known for her frequent back-and-forth cycling from one client to another on busy workdays.) Today, Choi is the brains behind two brick-and-mortar spas and a 10-free nail polish line, JINsoon, which specializes shades that are quick-drying (she has her own patent), long-lasting, chip-proof, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Buy It: JINsoon Ube Nail Lacquer, $18, revolve.com


tula best sellers skincare essentials routine kit

When it comes to clean and effective skin care, few brands know their stuff as much as Tula — after all, the company was founded by none other than Roshini Raj, M.D., a practicing gastroenterologist and probiotics expert. After years of studying probiotics and witnessing the major effects that they had on her patients, Dr. Raj set out to create a probiotic-based beauty brand that could topically deliver the same glowing results her patients' seemed to experience from ingesting them. Today, Tula (whose name means "balance" in Sanskrit) has quite the lineup of salves, serums, and scrubs made with a range of standout ingredients including (but not limited to!) probiotic extracts (duh), prebiotics (e.g. chicory root), watermelon and apple (for hydration), and azelaic acid to even out skin tone.

Buy It: Tula The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser, $28, tula.com

Then I Met You

Then I met you

Built on the Korean concept of jeong — "a deep feeling of empathy and affection that one can develop for people, places and things," according to the company's siteThen I Met You is a sustainable skin-care company with just a handful of products. But don't be fooled — the brand's streamlined offerings are intentional. The brainchild of Charlotte Cho (who, BTW, is also the founder of Korean beauty brand Soko Glam), Then I Met You takes a less-is-more approach to skin care to help simplify your routine and encourage you to use that time wisely (i.e. pressing pause, taking a deep breath).

Buy It: Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm, $38, thenimetyou.com

Common Heir

Common Heir 0.2% Retinol Serum
Common Heir

Like many beauty business founders, Cary Lin imagined her skin-care line, Common Heir, using other, already-established products as inspo. Although for Lin, she actually stumbled into said products — while walking on her local Santa Monica beach one day, she found hordes of plastic beauty bottles littering the shore. From that point forward, Lin — along with Common Heir's co-founder, Angela Ubias — engineered a beauty line with all biodegradable, no-waste packaging and formulas. The company's flagship product, Vitamin C Serum, comes in cute, lightweight little capsules, so no more clunky plastic bottles falling in your vanity cabinet or shower.

Buy It: Common Heir Vitamin C Serum, $88, commonheir.com


aavrani Eye Rejuvenating Elixir

After stress and non-natural products began to wreak havoc on her skin, Rooshy Roy turned to her grandmother's beauty recipes. Not only did these help address Roy's dermatological difficulties but they also allowed her to reconnect with her heritage — and, with that, AAVRANI was born. Today, the AAPI-owned brand boasts an impressive lineup of products that are formulated to address common skin concerns, from clogged, dull skin — try: the Healing Rose Clay Mask (Buy It, $39, verishop.com) — to dryness and dark spots — try: the Balance Restoring Serum (Buy It, $72, verishop.com).

Buy It: AAVRANI Eye Rejuvenating Elixir, $49, verishop.com

Hero Cosmetics

Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superfuel Serum Stick

Spend enough time scrolling through the seemingly endless abyss of beauty content on social media and you're sure to hear the name "Hero Cosmetics" quite a few times. After all, the AAPI-brand is pretty much known for being, a well, hero when it comes to helping acne-prone skin. Founded in 2017 by Ju Rhyu, Hero Cosmetics has grown quite a bit since its inaugural product of a pimple patch (although it's still a bestseller today). Its offerings now include skin-brightening pads (Buy It, $20, target.com) and serums (Buy It, $25, target.com), post-pimple "rescue" balms (Buy It, $12, target.com), and so much more. When it comes to beating breakouts, few brands have you as covered as Hero Cosmetics.

Buy It: Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superfuel Serum Stick, $13, target.com

Mo Mi


Whether you're in the market for a gua shua comb (But It, $46, momibeauty.com) — such as those that are all over TikTok — or a new dry shampoo (Buy It, $35, momibeauty.com), look no further than Mo Mi. A "hair care and wellbeing brand based on mindful and sustainable living," Mo Mi's products are all plant-based and ethically sourced, according to the brand's website. The goal? To have a lighter footprint on the environment while still allowing customers to engage in the self-care practices that leave them feeling and looking good.

Buy It: Mo Mi Styling Jelly, $38, momibeauty.com



Founded by Stephanie Lee in 2020, SelfMade is a ritual-based beauty brand that marries clean, sustainable products with "the human pursuit of self-exploration," according to the company's website. Each of its three products is formulated with research-backed therapeutic ingredients and the goal of allowing the user to create habits that support their emotional and physical well-being. Take, for example, Secure Attachment (Buy It, $36, beselfmade.co); this hydrating, de-stressing serum contains squalene to smooth skin texture, hyaluronic acid to boost moisture, among other skin-supporting ingredients all while acting as a key part of a user's self-care routine. After all, when you look good, you tend to feel good — and vice versa.

Buy It: SelfMade True Grit Resilience Scrub, $34, beselfmade.co

Everyday Humans

Everyday Humans Intro Pack
Everyday Humans

With names such as Resting Beach Face (Buy It, $24, ulta.com) and Oh My Bod! (Buy It, $18, ulta.com), it's hard not to want to buy all of Everyday Human's products. And once you learn more about the AAPI-brand's initiatives, you'll be even more inclined to add everything to cart, trust. The brainchild of Hong Kong-born Charlotte Pienaar, Everyday Humans prides itself on being "pro-planet" — and for good reason. In addition to being Climate Neutral Certified and Plastic Neutral Certified, the company's creations — including its self-care essentials, such as lip balm (Buy It, $9, revolve.com) — are all cruelty-free, PETA-certified, and packaged in post-consumer recycled plastic, according to the company's website. And those aforementioned SPFs? They're formulated without controversial (and potentially harmful) actives such as oxybenzone and octinoxate — plus, they're lightweight, sensitive skin-friendly, and not greasy.

Buy It: Everyday Humans The Intro Pack, $50, revolve.com

Pink Moon

Pink Moon Gua Sha Set
Courtesy of Merchant

Lin Chen is a big believer in the power of self-care — so much so, in fact, that she's built an entire business around the practice. An online retailer, Pink Moon features female-founded brands (including its own in-house label) that value sustainability, philanthropy, and holistic wellness. In the market for a new mask? Try YINA's Anti-Pollution Mask (Buy It, $65 $56, pinkmoon.co). Need a new tube of toothpaste? Give a natural option a go with Risewell's Natural Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste (Buy It, $12, pinkmoon.co). Whether you're trying to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle or set on scoring some skin-soothing oils, Pink Moon's consciously curated selection of products will surely inspire you to "slow down and genuinely love yourself," according to the brand's website.

Buy It: Pink Moon Head to Toe Gua Sha Set, $135 $120, pinkmoon.co

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