Kaavia Inspired Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade's Newly Launched Baby Care Brand

From the packaging to the formula, baby care brand PROUDLY is inspired by America’s favorite Shady Baby, and it’s for melanated little ones everywhere.

Gabriel Union, Dwyane Wade, and Kaavia James Union Wade sit for a portrait in their living room
Photo: Courtesy of Proudly

Quality skincare begins at birth, and Black families know all skincare products aren't created equal. We see hints that products, from lotions to sunscreen, weren't made with us in mind all of the time. Few products even meet the needs of Black skin, let alone being affordable and safe enough to put on our children.

In response to these issues, husband and wife Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union-Wade launched PROUDLY, a new baby care brand for babies with melanated skin, on April 12, 2022. They hope it addresses the skincare disparities that Black and brown families face. Its mission is anchored in a belief the needs of littles of color are better met when every step of the process considers their unique skincare needs and communities.

PROUDLY was Kaavia-inspired at every stage, Gabrielle told Kindred by Parents.com in an interview. She says even the packaging design is inspired by Kaavia's bedroom wallpaper. It was also the result of realizing the products they had available weren't doing enough. "We knew a lot of her needs weren't being met by those products," she says. "So we partnered with Dr. Naana Boakye, a dermatologist of color who really understands melanated skin, and worked with the team to develop formulas that meet the extra-special needs of melanated skin—ultimately creating something made for us, by us."

Her husband Dwyane echoes this, saying they were determined to include Black dermatologists and other dermatologists of color so the Union-Wade household and the larger Black community had access to better products. "We all grew up navigating our own relationship with our skin including dealing with dry skin," he says. "But we had to use what was given to us—we didn't know if they even actually worked."

Proudly baby care products
Courtesy of Proudly

The PROUDLY line has various essential baby skin-care products for every stage of the skin care process. There are five products: a hydrating baby lotion made with jojoba oil and shea butter, an all-over balm with mango butter and jojoba oil, a gentle baby wash with aloe and jojoba oil, nourishing oil, a mix of jojoba and rosehip oils and squalane, and finally hypoallergenic water-based gentle touch baby wipes made with shea butter and aloe vera.

Families of color face issues often according to Pamela Cholankeril, president of PROUDLY. She says for years, children of color have been using products that weren't made with their skin in mind, despite their vulnerability to skin conditions like eczema, cradle cap, dry skin, and acne.

She believes working with skin experts of color, like their dermatologist Dr. Naana Boayke, is crucial to their mission of making authentic, effective, and affordable products. "It's important to us that our products are accessible from a price standpoint—the health and wellness of our babies shouldn't be a luxury—we're building this to fill a gap, and it's imperative that these communities can easily access them."

GabrielUnion and Dwyane Wade sit for a portrait in with their new baby care brand, Proudly
Courtesy of Proudly

Cholankeril says this requires considering the full community. "Families of color have a village raising their children—from parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles to our friends to educators and healthcare providers," she says. "This community influence makes a huge impact on a kids' self-esteem and worth."

The Union-Wade family is working toward a healthy relationship with their skin too. "We do our best to lead with love and praise for the beauty, richness, and strength of our Black skin while surrounding our children with a large Black village that's inhabited by a diversity of skin tones and sizes," says Gabrielle. "Together, we work to decenter white supremacy, fear, beauty standards from our lives while promoting and amplifying the joys of living in our Black skin."

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