The Non-Negotiable Skincare Step Naomi Osaka Swears By

Naomi Osaka is much more than just a world-class tennis player with four grand slams under her belt (which is pretty impressive, if we do say so ourselves). She became a vocal mental health advocate after she vowed not to participate in the high-stress press conference environment at the 2021 French Open before withdrawing from the tournament completely amidst her struggles with anxiety and depression. She shared her feelings openly on social media, writing in an Instagram post, "The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that." 

Since then, Osaka has also become a successful entrepreneur. She's launched a sports agency called Evolve, a media company called Hana Kuma, and started her own skincare line, Kinlò — which went on to partner with Walmart

With everything that Osaka has achieved thus far, as she weathers challenges and celebrates rewarding experiences, we feel we can trust the wisdom she has gleaned from them. Now, Osaka is imparting her best skin care advice, and we're certainly listening. 

All about Kinlò

Naomi Osaka's skincare line, Kinlò, was designed with melanated skin in mind, emphasizing education about skincare and protection from the elements — especially preventing sun damage. According to Angel Beasley, the U.S. merchandise director for beauty at Walmart, "Naomi is truly a pioneer in her work to build a future of skincare that's formulated for melanated skin while shining a light on the unmet needs affecting people of color" (via Harper's Bazaar). 

Formulated with the assistance of dermatologist Dr. Naana Boakye, Kinlò is also fragrance-free, paraben-free, and phthalate-free. It also avoids ingredients that could be considered irritants or allergens, per the company's website

Speaking with Yahoo! Finance, Osaka shared her ambitions for her skincare line. "I hope that this brand not only allows for people of color to find accessible and affordable products they love but that also the brand raises awareness for the growing numbers of skin cancer in people with Brown and Black skin." A lack of education on skin cancer might contribute to the lower survival rate of melanoma amongst Black Americans than their white counterparts, which remains even when the cancer is found in an early stage, as research by the CDC showed. 

"Since launching Kinlò, my biggest takeaway is that you can create products AND stand for making an impact in the world, you don't have to just choose one," she said. 

Osaka's skincare savior

With all of this in mind, it should be no surprise that the non-negotiable skincare step Naomi Osaka swears by is sunscreen.

"I use an SPF every day; it is the most important part of my skincare routine. No matter the time of year, or if I'm indoors or outdoors, protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays is always top of mind," Osaka tells MindBodyGreen. "It's a common myth that those with melanated complexions aren't as susceptible to sun damage, but that is not the case."

Osaka uses her own sunscreen from her skincare brand. "Kinlò's Golden Rays Sunscreen is great because it is a mineral sunscreen, which is better for your skin and the environment, and it is specially formulated for melanated skin, so it leaves skin glowy and never ashy," Osaka says. The truth about mineral sunscreens is that they do not use the harmful chemicals that their chemical counterparts do, and do not absorb into the skin.

Osaka is also a fan of gua sha

Naomi Osaka also has an affinity for gua sha, which is a traditional Chinese healing method that uses a stone to massage the skin. "My makeup artist has taught me about the importance of facial massage," she notes (via MindBodyGreen). "It really helps with lymphatic drainage, and I feel instantly more contoured after a good massage. The massage also helps skin care products seep into the skin better, and I feel more 'awake,' too."

Per Healthline, gua sha works as a stone is massaged around the body — and more gently around the face — to "stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow." It is believed in ancient Chinese medicine that chi is energy that flows within us, and can sometimes become stuck, in need of releasing. Gua sha is meant to release this chi from, and in doing so, can relieve inflammation and pain, Medical News Today reported.

Speaking with Vice, Yeo Wei Ling Tricia, a physician for a Chinese traditional medical clinic in Singapore, said of gua sha's skin benefits: "The point of facial gua sha is to stimulate the dermis layer of the skin to improve elasticity and release the tension to relax your facial muscles." And by allegedly emptying your face of this built-up chi, stimulating the lymphatic system, your face will be left fresh and glowing. Here's why adding gua sha to your skincare routine is worth your time.