Teen Vogue spoke with cofounder Olamide Olowe about launching a brand during a pandemic, the importance of effective ingredients, and why real skin is the brand’s top priority.
Teen Vogue: Why did you want to start your brand?
Olamide Olowe: [Claudia and I] both grew up with skin conditions. Claudia had severe eczema, I had post-barbae folliculitis. We never found a brand that resonated with us. We always felt embarrassed about our skin conditions and used to hide our ointments because they made us feel like outsiders. Topicals is transforming the way people feel about skin by making the treatment experience more like self-care rather than a burdensome ritual. We take the focus off of having “perfect” skin and put the onus on having “funner flare-ups.”
What are some of the challenges you faced launching during a global pandemic?
We had originally planned to launch earlier this year around March, just as the pandemic hit. It ended up interfering with our supply chain so we had to postpone. Fundraising during an economic downturn is extremely difficult because no one knows how long it will last or how bad it will be. On top of that, I’m a 23-year-old Black woman, so the stats were not in my favor to begin with. I faced my fair share of bias from investors, but ultimately my background and my unique insights into the category got investors excited enough to back our vision.
What pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to start a beauty business, specifically as women of color?
Develop a unique insight and learn to storytell around the fact that you are the best person to bring this idea to life. Successful businesses are built around intuitive knowledge of an under-tapped category.
What’s your daily skin-care routine look like?
What does it mean to feel beautiful?
Feeling beautiful is when you are in your zone of genius. For me that’s when I get to be creative and build experiences that celebrate others.
What are your thoughts on imperfections? Lots of people associate beauty with perfection.
Perfect skin literally doesn’t exist. Everyone’s skin is constantly changing, because skin, just like life, is messy and unpredictable! The poreless skin that you see in ads or magazines has been manufactured. Real skin has texture, flare-ups, spots, bumps. At Topicals, we always say, “You make skin look good, not the other way around.”
What’s the one skin-care ingredient you think is essential in everyone’s routine and why?
Tranexamic acid! It works so well to reduce discoloration, especially on darker-skinned women like myself.
What do you hope people take away from your brand?
Topicals is built around creating authentic and positive conversations, and community around living with a skin condition. We promise to be a medium for connection and self-discovery. Sharing experiences and bridging gaps in understanding allows us all to live happier and healthier lives. All Topicals products have been carefully formulated and clinically tested on all skin tones to ensure the best results for your skin. It’s not about having perfect skin, but rather celebrating the fun of flare-ups.
What’s a skin-care myth that you want Topicals to debunk?
That you need 12-plus products to achieve results. Our product development philosophy is based around creating targeted solutions. Our goal at Topicals is to simplify your routine and deliver amazing results.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with acne?
Find a tribe of people who are working to unlearn toxic beauty standards and lean on them versus the typical beauty world.
Faded Brightening & Clearing Gel
Like Butter Hydrating Mask
Source by www.teenvogue.com