Shea Nuts

Making Beauty More Equitable: Hanahana Beauty's Inclusive Approach


Dec. 27 2023, Published 6:36 p.m. ET

Hanahana Beauty boasts a lot of qualities, but on top of that list has to be their inclusive approach to beauty. From the get-go, the brand has been centered on amplifying the beauty of colored skin types by offering people of color products that soothe and moisturize their skin.

For a brand that started as a home-kitchen production, it has surpassed so many odds, giving the beauty sphere an admirable face, inside out.

Getting Everyone on Board

The beauty industry has always been reserved for the few, ruled by hyper-expensive products with overhyped quality. Abena Boamah-Acheampong has managed to slice all these bad stories revolving around the industry and made her brand the answer to all the questions asked about skincare products. Focused on sourcing natural ingredients ethically and uplifting women of color, Hanahana has crashed down the barriers in the beauty industry, making it work for the people. Here’s how:

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Celebrating African Ingredients and Beauty

Hanahana Beauty's hero ingredient is unrefined Ghanaian shea butter, ethically sourced directly from Katariga Women's Shea Cooperative in Tamale, Ghana. This supports local communities and celebrates a traditional African beauty staple, often overlooked in mainstream brands.

She even says she plans to shift production to Ghana and source everything from there, including the essential oils she gets from the US. This move means making authentic beauty products even more accessible to African communities and providing an economic boost to the people in the region.

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Moreover, their products cater to various skin types and concerns, with options for dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. They have a wide product range, including different kinds of butter like bamboo, coconut, and amber vanilla. This inclusivity helps serve the needs of different product users, offering something for everyone.

Ethical and Sustainable Practices

Hanahana Beauty prioritizes fair trade practices, ensuring fair wages and working conditions for the women who produce their shea butter. They are also pretty transparent about their sourcing and production processes, sharing all the ingredients they use in all their products to help customers decide what’s best for their skin.

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The brand has a keen eye on the environment, too. Its packaging is dictated by what’s best for the environment, adopting recyclable and biodegradable packaging materials to minimize their environmental impact.

In an interview with Vogue, Abena says that she was always hesitant about using plastic to package her products, despite her customers pushing for larger package sizes than she was packing in the glass containers. She then did the math and realized that making larger glass packages wouldn't be sustainable due to increased carbon emissions and even more transport-related pollution.

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Still, with reusability and sustainability in mind, she opted for recyclable plastic, which offered a better customer experience and didn't weigh as much.

Empowering Women and Communities

The brand started the "Circle of Care" program with a primary focus on community outreach, aiming to bring humanity into the industry. It reinvests some of its profits into the Ghanaian communities it sources from. This investment supports initiatives like healthcare, education, and economic development for women. The initiative holds monthly educational programs and provides easier access to clean water for the Katariga Community.

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It keeps the health of the people living in these communities their top priority, offering annual healthcare days, which include screening and free treatment. The foundation also pays the producers double their asking price, helping them earn livable wages and be proud of their association with the brand.

Celebrating Diverse Beauty Standards

Hanahana Beauty's marketing and branding feature models of various ethnicities and skin tones, challenging narrow beauty ideals and promoting a more inclusive vision of beauty. A quick peek into their Instagram page, and you’ll get a feel of what they are all about, with models with different skin types showcasing the effectiveness of the brand’s products. Such an approach helps appreciate the beauty in different skin tones, redefining beauty perceptions in colored skins.

Giving the Side-Lined a Chance to Glow

Hanahana Beauty has made it its responsibility to offer women of color affordable beauty products that work. With a firm stand on using natural ingredients with established benefits to colored skin types, they are helping people of color unlock new levels of beauty and enjoy the glow of their natural skin. The best part is that the brand is helping uplift their beauty standards and the quality of their lives, raising a wholesome and fulfilled community.

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