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Sundial Launches Prestige Skin Care Nyakio in Ulta Beauty

The line was created by a first-generation American of Kenyan descent based on family recipes and beauty traditions from 13 countries.

Sundial Brands is launching its first prestige skin-care brand, Nyakio, exclusively in 350 Ulta Beauty stores across the U.S. today. The collection will also be available on

Sundial’s SheaMoisture brand has grown at a blistering pace in food, drug and mass doors, clocking 40-plus percent year-to-year sales gains according to IRI.

The company hopes to achieve the same level of success with the upscale Nyakio brand, which it acquired in 2015, and has worked collectively with founder Nyakio Kamoche Grieco to reformulate the line she launched in 2013 and bring it to market.

Grieco is a first-generation American of Kenyan descent. Based on Grieco’s family recipes, as well as beauty traditions from 13 countries across the globe, Nyakio’s formulas were created to evoke a luxurious, culturally transcendent experience.

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The 16-stockkeeping-unit line, which draws ingredients including manketti, neroli, maracuja and yangu oils, red ginseng and quinoa from countries including Kenya, China, Brazil, Spain, Egypt, India, Morocco and Peru, is priced from $22 to $49. The range will be merchandised in Ulta Beauty’s prestige skin-care department. Ulta Beauty has its ear tuned to consumer demand and most recently added 25 Korean skin-care brands to its mix.

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“My beauty journey started when I was a young girl visiting my grandmother in Kenya,” said Grieco. “She was a coffee farmer who taught me to crush coffee beans and rub them on my skin using a piece of sugarcane to remove dry skin. I’ve curated beauty secrets like this from my family, friends and travels around the world and translated them into a full line of skin care based on cultivated global beauty secrets, cultural traditions and ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients.”

The line features a five-regimen collection including cleansing, exfoliating, restoring, moisturizing and treatment. The system is said to hydrate, revitalize, smooth and provide anti-aging benefits. Nyakio offers an à la carte menu of skin-care options that can be customized to target specialized concerns, as well as a collection of products based on traditions passed from generation to generation. Developed for all skin types and ages, Nyakio products are formulated without sulfates, phthalates, parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, formaldehyde and butylene glycol.

This isn’t Sundial’s first venture into upscale beauty. Last year the company created a hair-care line for Sephora honoring Madam C.J. Walker, who is credited with being the first self-made woman millionaire in America, an honor she earned selling her homemade hair products directly to black women. Sundial had acquired that brand in 2013.

“For 25 years now, our vision at Sundial Brands has been to build our business and our Community Commerce purpose-driven business model as examples that other entrepreneurs and businesses could be inspired by, learn from and expand upon,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder and chief executive officer of Sundial Brands. “Our acquisition of Nyakio underscores our ongoing commitment to identifying, supporting and developing other entrepreneur brands that share our vision and values.”

Dennis added that Grieco’s business closely mirrors Sundial’s. “We have a deep connection to what this brand represents and the woman who inspired it. As we move forward with our multibrand portfolio strategy and scaled growth, we are committed to continuing to bring others along with us in ways that simultaneously advance businesses and communities.”

Sundial Brands’ Community Commerce efforts develop communities by providing access to resources and opportunities that lead to sustainable economic value creation for individuals, their families and their communities through education, entrepreneurship and commerce. As part of this work, the company invests directly into people, programs and institutions that are successfully supporting educationally and entrepreneurially driven endeavors delivering strong social impact and sustainable solutions to poverty alleviation. Based on Grieco’s passion for the development and empowerment of young women, the Community Commerce focus for Nyakio includes a partnership with Girls Inc. aimed at helping girls achieve healthy lives, succeed academically and acquire the life skills needed to prepare them for adulthood, Dennis said.