These 29 AAPI- and Asian-Founded Beauty Brands Are on Their Way to Icon Status

In the decade-plus that I’ve been covering beauty—not to mention the many years prior I spent being a consumer and tried-and-true fan—I’ve seen firsthand how Asian beauty brands have completely revolutionized the industry. (Who can even remember what it was like before K-beauty won over our skincare-loving hearts?) So every May when Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month comes around, I love learning about new beauty brands I haven’t tried yet and seeing how far we’ve come in terms of representation.  

After giving birth to her daughter, Jennifer Yen, a former actor, followed a traditional postpartum Chinese tradition called zuo yue zi that allows the mother’s body to rest after giving birth and incorporates superfoods. It ended up revitalizing her skin, inspiring her to launch Yensa in 2018. (She’s also the founder of Purlisse.) Yen acknowledges the appreciation and interest surrounding Asian beauty in recent years. “I believe this rise started happening when Asian Americans started representing themselves by creating their own beauty and wellness brands, bringing parts of their culture and unique perspectives into the beauty industry. And with this came more representation for us in the press, in campaigns, social media, and mainstream media. It’s about time that our flyness and impact are being recognized,” she says.

Despite the progress that has been made, Yen says that we still have a long way to go to “ensure that AAPI representation is amplified and not a passing trend but rather a permanent presence in the beauty industry.” Peach & Lily founder Alicia Yoon shares a similar sentiment, especially when it comes to beauty campaigns, influencer collaborations, and companies. “There are also so many beautiful ingredients, beauty techniques, philosophies, and modalities coming from all over Asia, and it’s important for beauty brands to give credit where it’s due, and I believe customers love that transparency and context of knowing where things come from,” she says.

Keep scrolling to learn about more AAPI- and Asian-founded beauty brands and which of their products you should add to your beauty routine this month and beyond.

The Korean beauty brand’s latest innovation is this ampoule serum. It’s formulated with plant-based collagen and mushroom for ultimate moisture and firming benefits.

This beauty brand founded by a mother-daughter duo infuses the skin-nourishing powers of the Philippines’ pili tree in all of its products, including this deep-cleansing mask. The exfoliating mask also contains harvested ash from Mount Mayon, the Philippines’ most active volcano.

Co-founder Giselle Go celebrates a holistic and meaningful approach to skincare through DamDam, which incorporates heritage ingredients and spotlights the importance of daily rituals.

Alice Lin Glover co-founded Eadem with Marie Kouadio Amouzame in 2021 with the needs of melanin-rich skin in mind. Their Dew Dream Hydrating Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm is a double-duty cleanser, removing makeup and dirt while hydrating and protecting the skin at the same time.

Amy Liu wanted to make clean, sensitive skin–friendly beauty products with inclusivity at the forefront, and Tower 28 was born. Since its launch, products like the MakeWaves Lengthening + Volumizing Mascara have become holy-grail beauty finds for many. 

The innovative K-beauty makeup brand made cat-eye liner easier to achieve when it came out with this double-ended wing stamp and liquid pen liner.

Through her eponymous beauty brand, Michelle Ranavat invokes her Indian heritage by harnessing the benefits of Ayurvedic ingredients. The newest addition, Lotus Cleansing Balm, uses Indian jasmine, blue tansy, lotus flower, and mango butter to cleanse and nourish the skin.

Celebrity hairstylist Guy Tang, who is Chinese and Vietnamese American and grew up in Oklahoma, never saw himself represented growing up. He launched his haircare brand in 2017 to help others celebrate their own beauty and individuality.

Experiencing a mental health crisis while working in the beauty industry inspired Stephanie Lee to found Selfmade, which centers on the connection between the mind and the skin. The products are also developed with BIPOC mental health professionals.

Founded by Anne Oliver, a Vietnamese immigrant, House of M Beauty pairs luxury with science-backed ingredients in products such as the newly launched Saffron Glow Jelly Mask.

From the high-performance grooming brand co-founded by Sofie Pok and Julius Arriola, this multipurpose cleanser can be used on the hair, body, face, and hands.

Solluna founder Kimberly Snyder, whose mother was from the Philippines, is a spiritual and meditation teacher, nutritionist, and wellness expert. The brand is centered around holistic wellness and includes supplement and skincare products, like this vitamin C serum that contains 10 times more active vitamin C than your typical products.

Not only is the K-Beauty brand’s award-winning dry shampoo formulated to bring instant volume and a refreshed look to oily roots, but it also contains black ginseng and biotin to support a healthy scalp.

Zero-waste packaging is a major part of Butter and Me’s ethos. The brand uses 100% recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Break off a piece of this body scrub bar in the shower to get instantly smooth, exfoliated skin.

Co-founder Christina Kao had the idea for her nailcare brand, Le Mini Macaron, after wanting the option to do easy and affordable gel manicures at home.

The hair accessory brand, founded by Julianne Goldmark, has become a favorite among celebrities and influencers since its launch in 2009. For AAPI Heritage Month, the brand created a collection called Sugar Blossom celebrating its Korean roots and is making a donation to the Asian Mental Health Collective.

Rooted in Ayurvedic philosophy, Squigs was the only South Asian–inspired brand to be chosen for Ulta’s first brand accelerator program. Its popular Gooseberry Delight Hair Oil is formulated with amla oil, an ancient Indian beauty treatment.

Founded by Filipina Australian and former editorial director Neada Deters, the skincare brand focuses on the needs of those with diverse skin concerns. This award-winning exfoliating cleanser purifies the skin without being harsh.

Shrankhla Holocek founded Uma, which is a skin and bodycare brand based on Ayurvedic traditions. This divine body oil contains healing botanicals like rose, geranium, and bergamot.

Developed and founded by Philippines-born bioorganic chemist Vivian Valenty, PhD, Dazzle Dry is a game-changing nail polish system that lasts up to two weeks without chipping. There are more than 100 shades to choose from, such as this perfectly bright and spicy red.

AAPI-owned brand Orcé Cosmetics was founded by Yu-Chen Shih in order to put Southeast Asians with melanin-rich complexions at the center. The newest launch, Come Closer Serum Foundation, features heritage ingredients like Tahitian black pearl extract for hyperpigmentation and the antioxidant Chinese herb evodia rutaecarpa for radiance and improved skin texture.

The vegan and cruelty-free nail polish brand was founded by Michelle Lin to celebrate uniqueness through the artistry of nails.

The AAPI-founded makeup brand has gotten love on TikTok for its versatile products, like this multi stick, which brings color to cheeks, lips, and eyes, infusing the skin with nourishing mango butter and adaptogenic, skin-protecting ingredients like ashwagandha, brahmi, and triphala.

This affordable makeup line encourages creative expression through its products, like this lightweight tint that dries down to a soft, velvety matte lipstick.

Preeti Luthra is the founder of Pure & Cimple, a skincare brand that’s formulated using Ayurvedic ingredients that are effective and supported by research.

These semi-cured gel nail strips from AAPI brand Hip Chic are meant to be applied to nails like a sticker but cured under a UV lamp, and they can last up to two weeks.

Lin Chen founded her skincare brand on the basis of self-love and self-care. The line is inspired by astrology, which Chen grew up learning about and practices.

Up next, 15 Under-the-Radar AAPI and Asian Brands Every Beauty Lover Should Know

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