Self-care, Self Assurance, & Self Love: Kokanni Cosmetics

Pretty as a Peach

Self-care, Self Assurance, & Self Love: Kokanni Cosmetics


Our owner Lara Ashley shares her latest obsession in one of her favorite skincare lines, Kokanni Cosmetics: 

Environmentally friendly products with a great message and is great for my acne-prone skin?!

Check, check, and check!

I have a love/hate relationship with my skin (like I’m sure many Belles have). I love my skin glowing and feeling radiant! However, my skin hates the new products that I lather on it. And to get back at me, my skin allows pimples and blemishes to pop up, and I have to resist popping them.

I started losing confidence and not giving myself enough self-love. I had a therapy session with my skin, and we agreed that I need to do better!

I needed to create a new skincare routine that helped me find self-assurance in myself and the skin that I’m in. So I have been on the hunt for skincare products that are packed with Glycerin & Witch Hazel. Glycerin is key in keeping the skin hydrated. The ingredient also protects the skin from environmental aggressors and helps improve the skin’s texture. Witch Hazel is a woman’s best friend! It relieves inflammation, tightens pores, & cleans the skin of excess oil, i.e., reduces those pesky pimples!

I found that Kokanni Cosmetics has these benefits and ingredients in its skincare lines. 

Owner Karen Iyere

Nigeran-American owner Karen “Koko” Iyere created her skincare beauty business for women like me who struggle with skin problems. Iyere studied Nursing at Howard University and received her Master’s degree in Nursing at Georgia State University.

Despite her success, Iyere was looking for more in her career.

Initially, my younger brother inspired my entrepreneurial journey,” Iyere said. “When I completed my Master’s Degree and started working as a nurse practitioner, he could see that I wasn’t completely living up to my fullest potential. He asked me what my passion was? I explained to him that I wanted to merge the healthcare and beauty industries. He encouraged me to start my business.”

As the entrepreneur delved into healthcare, she realized that most Black women were more concerned about aesthetics than health. “I immediately thought, “what if I could create something that would make women of color feel good about their appearance while maintaining health through the products that they use,” she said. 

She developed Kokanni Cosmetics, a natural luxury skincare line, to deliver a solution to common problems of color encounter in the world of beauty. She also wanted to create a skincare line that merged the healthcare and beauty industries.

 “Each product is created with the lowest carbon footprint, which means that the energy emitted to manufacture the products is the most eco-friendly,” she said. “The energy that is used is from hydro-electricity. Most of the ingredients are certified organic or are grown under organic conditions without the use of preservatives and growth enhancers.”

The nurse practitioner also wanted to merge her heritage with her business. As a first-generation Nigerian-American, it was important for Iyere to have the Nigerian culture be highlighted in the skincare products. Iyere said that she used Nigeran words to describe the skincare lines because she thinks it has really influenced the western hemisphere through the arts and influenced the beauty world. 



Karen Iyere showing her cosmetic line, Kokanni

Karen Iyere embracing her Nigerian culture

“I am Nigerian from the Edo tribe,” Iyere said. “My goal is to use descriptive words from different Nigerian tribes to name the various product lines of Kokanni. I want customers to be able to see their beauty through images and our products.  Those are OUR words.”

The names of the collections are in the Edo and Yoruba language. Omose means “beautiful” in Edo, and Orewa means “good-looking,” “attractive” in the Yoruba language. 

I loved using the products that reminded me that I am beautiful!

Here are the products that will make any Belle feel attractive while helping their skincare concerns:


  • Omoso 3-Piece System

    Omose line: Oily/combination skin- Ingredients include green tea leaf, lemongrass, licorice root, lychi, and organic marshmallow. These ingredients retain the skin’s natural moisture balance. This line is perfect for Belles with acne-prone skin.


  • Orewa 3-Piece System

    Orewa line: Hydrating skin– Ingredients that include aloe vera, jojoba, vitamin C from tangerine and tomato oil, and pomegranate juice. 


  • DMAE Mask

    Kokanni DMAE Mask: Moisturize the skin Ingredients include omega 3 that retains moisture and maintains elasticity. 24k colloidal gold improves cell communication & speeds cellular regeneration. The hyaluronic acid boosts the skin’s moisture content, making it the most balanced mask to use.


Kokanni is a luxury brand. “I created this is skincare created to inspire women to gain confidence and embrace their skin,” Iyere said. The brand speaks to the needs of various melanin tones while speaking to women’s individual needs. Kokanni provides a brief consultation with a nurse practitioner to help consumers gauge what is necessary for their skin.

Once again, you cannot go wrong with this luxury skincare brand!

Belles, join me in loving yourself with pimple, blemish-free skin!