Marula tree

The Influence of Africa on the Beauty Industry

Africa has had a significant influence on the beauty industry, both historically and in the present day. African beauty techniques, such as traditional hairstyling methods and intricate makeup designs, have inspired and influenced beauty trends around the world. For example, braids and twists, which are commonly worn by African women, have become popular hairstyles globally.

Likewise, in the United States, the influence of Black women and Latina culture can be seen everywhere, from nail art to hair extensions, even when people of color have been overlooked when it comes to representation in foundation and concealer shades for all skin tones, or hair products that work for all textures, for example.

But now, with the rise of clean beauty and sustainability, there has been an increase in natural skincare solutions, many of which use ingredients that are native to African regions. The continent’s impact is only set to grow as the industry continues to evolve.


Shea butter Marula fruits Serum



Many of the ingredients used in beauty products today come from Africa, including shea butter, baobab oil, and marula oil. These ingredients have been used in African beauty rituals for centuries, and are now popular in the global beauty industry. Brands such as Shea Botanics, Drunk Elephant and The Ordinary have embraced the non-irritant, antioxidant-rich, hydrating qualities of marula oil in their products, while shea butter remains a popular, versatile component of many beauty products.


In recent years, there has been a growing movement towards inclusivity and diversity in the beauty industry, with a focus on representing people of all skin tones and hair textures. African models and beauty influencers have played a significant role in this movement, promoting a more inclusive and diverse beauty standard. Nigerian-American influencer Whitney Madueke has used her platform to explore and share the benefits of beauty products with her audience. From the perfect foundation match to make-up tutorials, Black consumers have been able to feel seen in an industry that has not always catered to their needs. 


Many African entrepreneurs have started their own beauty brands, focusing on natural and sustainable products. One such brand is Ami Colé, which was founded by Senegalese-American Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye after feeling frustrated by the lack of inclusive options for women of color. These brands are gaining popularity both in Africa and internationally, and are contributing to the growth of the global natural beauty market.


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