To kick off Black History Month, New York City singer-songwriter Katini Yamaoka has launched Katini Skin, a vegan skincare line. Inspired by her African, Asian, and Australian roots, the line pays homage to ancient wellness traditions and uses only consciously sourced and organic ingredients. The brand launched in partnership with Black Progress Matters, a platform dedicated to advancing Black leadership at the executive level. Here, EBONY chats with Yamaoka, who gives us the deets on her line of nourishing and luxurious skincare products.

EBONY: What made you want to launch a skincare line?

Katini Yamaoka: I was raised in a family where self-care and wellness were always at the forefront. I have been a vegetarian since birth and attended a neo-humanist school where I learned about the interconnectedness between plants, animals, and people. From an early age, my mother, an artist from Japan, and my father, a human rights leader from Ghana, taught me the importance of being conscious about our planet’s well-being. Learning about the native secrets from both of my cultural backgrounds has always been fascinating. I wanted to create a skincare line that used natural flora from around the globe. Katini Skin is a collection of high-quality facial oils [made up of ingredients from places] where ancient wisdom is the source for beauty and truth. With the brand, I hope that I can help other people feel their own grace and beauty so that we can give our kindest selves to one another. 

How did the partnership with Black Progress Matters come about?

I have always been passionate about involving myself in projects that leave a positive impact on our world. As an artist and performer, I have been able to share this passion by performing and speaking for organizations such as Forbes and the United Nations. I was connected to Black Progress Matters (BPM) a few years ago when I first started working on developing Katini Skin. Our shared mission to uplift and be a voice for underserved communities was so aligned. Katini Skin is part of the BPM Black-Owned Business Incubator and Accelerator Program. Being half-Asian and half-Black, I have always focused on representing the diversity of thought and representation. We have been working on Katini Skin for two years now and we're thrilled to launch a brand that positively impacts the planet, by committing to a sustainable path, and also to our community, by giving a percentage of all sales back to help fund other Black-owned businesses.

How should we implement the line into our daily skincare routine? 

When we were formulating and developing the oils for Katini Skin, I wanted to make sure we had an oil that worked for every skin type and season. The Soleil Day Serum and Celestial Night Serum ensure that your skin has the perfect start and end to each day. The Clarity Facial Oil is great for those with sensitive skin. The product also works beautifully for anyone with hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and acne scarring. Our Collagen Oil will help with your skin’s elasticity and will give you a plump and beautiful glow year-round.

Where can we find the brand?

We are available on We will be available at Saks Fifth Avenue in late February and plan to take Katini Skin global this summer. In our innovation pipeline, we have some incredible new products coming soon, and I can't wait to share!

Katini Skin Clarity Facial Oil, $95,
Katini Skin Celestial Night Serum, $85,
Katini Skin Soleil Day Serum, $75,