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Care Creations talks the future of Black Skincare

with Good Beauté founder Kimberly Hairston-Hicks

Prior to the launch of our product, Moisture & Mattification for Melanated Skin, we wanted to speak with an expert on the Black skincare market.

Kimberly Hairston-Hicks is a beauty industry veteran who launched her own skincare line for Black women, Good Beauté, because she knew there were consumer needs that were unmet in the market. We were lucky enough to sit down with Mrs. Hairston-Hicks, to learn about what drove her to start her own skincare brand designed for Black women, how she sees the beauty industry evolving, and what she believes is the future of Black beauty.

Published On: 10/12/20

"If someone just told them early on that they are smart, powerful, and beautiful, it would change their lives."

BASF Care Creations: Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us Kimberly! Could you please share what inspired you to go into business yourself, why you chose skincare, and why you specifically targeted Black skincare?

Kimberly: I started the Good Beauté Company because after working for 15 years in the beauty industry and fighting a losing battle for inclusion for Black women, I knew it was time to give Black women the meaningful research, product development, and elevation they deserve. While I have spent most of my beauty career in haircare, I had a passion for educating Black women on how to take care of our skin. Especially after discovering that the majority of People of Color still believe that they did not need to wear sunscreen and that their melanin would protect them from getting melanoma skin cancer. Which, of course, as you know, is far from the truth.

The other aspect is tradition within some Black communities. Knowledge is often passed down generationally, most often around hair rituals. Learning comes early about how to care for hair, but not skin. Skin health has long been a missed opportunity, as has developing skin rituals that parallel hair rituals. The focus in hair rituals has often been problem/solution, and that is necessary for skin too, but so is general caring. The industry needs to get this right, but there is still a lack of products out there speaking to skincare for Black people.

BASF Care Creations: What do you see as the future of Black beauty?

Kimberly: Black women have forever been told that their beauty isn't good enough. The standard of beauty has been very Eurocentric, and we have learned to adapt to it. Now, with the rebirth of the Black power/excellence/pride movements, Black beauty has taken on a different energy. Earlier in the 20th century, the public conversation revolved around civil rights – Black people just having equal rights as American citizens. Now, the continuation of that movement has spilled over into everything – Black Lives Matter. Black beauty matters.

Companies are now being challenged to address the needs of this consumer in ways they have never expected or maybe even wanted to.

"The future is about inclusion – but that is too light a word – it is about meaningful product development, meaningful research, and representing Black beauty in its entirety – in its true breadth – not as it relates to a supposed Eurocentric ideal."

This means appreciating my wide nose, my kinky hair, and my dark skin and not watering it down. You can't love our culture and not love us too. Don't take the things that make us special and then call our beauty not good enough. My company is called Good Beauté because Black beauty is already good and doesn't need anyone's permission to be beautiful or feel beautiful.

This is a hopeful moment for sure. If something isn’t created for us, time and time again, we have shown that we will create it for ourselves. The increase of founder-owned Black beauty companies is on the rise because we want brands that are true to our beauty. My hope is that the industry as a whole is going to change and change for the long term rather than go back to business as usual.

BASF Care Creations: From your point of view, what changes need to take place in order for the industry to do a better job addressing these gaps?

Kimberly: What needs to happen is that same kind of research in every beauty company - Research & Development and consumer insights dedicated to this consumer who by far spends more on hair and beauty than any of their counterparts. Ideally the same proportion that this consumer spends in the market should be dedicated as budgetary resource within beauty companies.

"In beauty we are not curing cancer, but when women don't feel beautiful it affects them not only on a physical level, but on an emotional level too."

When Black women are asked, “When is the first time you felt beautiful?” In comparison to other ethnicities, it isn’t until later in life - maybe when they got married or when they went to prom. How is it that this beautiful woman who is standing in front of me never saw images that reflected them, so they didn't feel beautiful? If someone just told them early on that they are smart, powerful, and beautiful, it would change their lives.

BASF Care Creations: How can ingredient manufacturers like BASF play a positive role in the change that needs to take place in the industry?

Kimberly: Research is so critical. Everything starts with ingredients and how things come together and work. If BASF decided to invest X % of business in the right ingredients and development in skin and hair ingredients for the Black consumer around the world, those consumers could come and discuss and show the impact of the ingredients, we may find that the big beauty companies would then develop products to really address these consumer needs.

BASF Care Creations: What has driven Good Beauté’s current product assortment?

Kimberly: I launched Good Beauté Vita C 3-steps collection, the First Vitamin C line for Black women, that addresses her essential needs: lack of hydration, hyperpigmentation caused by breakouts/ overproduction of oil, and inflammation/sensitivity. The Collection also addresses the need for protection from the sun every day. The Collection is simple: Vita C Cleanser, Vita C Serum, and Vita C Moisturizer with SPF 50.

BASF Care Creations: We understand that you have some incredibly exciting news to share.

Kimberly: Yes! Good Beauté has been accepted to the Macy's Accelerator Program and will be launching on Macy' This is Macy’s 10th Anniversary of their Brand Incubator program, and Good Beauté was selected as one of 10 brands out of over 1,000 that applied. Our brand will launch on on during the holiday season and in Macy’s Herald Square in Spring 2021. We are also launching a Special Holiday Collection including two new products called Good Night Beauté Glow Detox Mask and Refreshing Cloud HYDRATING Cream, as a complement to our Good Night Beauté Eye Balm. Initially, we launched the Eye Balm as a limited edition, but now it is a staple.

BASF Care Creations: Congratulations, Kimberly! This is incredibly exciting news. We wish you all the best with your initiative at Macy’s and thank you so much for sitting down with us to share your insights about this extremely important topic.

Kimberly: My pleasure and thank you!

Madam C. J. Walker

Sarah Breedlove aka, Madam C. J. Walker, paved the way!

Launch of Moisture and Mattification for Melanated Skin

Care Creations® - BASF’s personal care business unit - has a longstanding practice of testing our products on diverse skin tones and types to ensure that our products are effective and suitable for everyone.

We're proud to announce BASF’s very first proprietary ingredient blend created specifically for Black skin, our Moisture and Mattification for Melanated Skin product.

You can find more information on Moisture and Mattification for Melanated Skin here.

Click here for a product sheet.

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