Beauty co-founders create line designed for underrepresented skin tones

ABC NewsBy GMA3, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Two young entrepreneurs are setting out to challenge the stigma around skincare with a new line of beauty products.

Olamide Olowe, 23, and Claudia Teng, 24, grew up struggling with visible skin conditions. Olowe suffers from post barbae folliculitis and Teng has severe eczema, diseases the pair said made them feel at odds with the beauty community.

“I would never go on sleepovers because I was embarrassed to bring my topical steroids with me and I remember feeling really isolated from the skin care community and wanted to change that,” Teng said.

“It was super painful growing up, and I actually didn’t wear a swimsuit until I was well into college, because I was embarrassed about what people would think about me,” Olowe said.

After meeting through a mutual friend, the duo instantly clicked over their shared struggle and launched a skincare line catered for individuals like themselves — people of varying skin tones and conditions that are tired of feeling as though they should feel ashamed of their complexion.

From a “Like Butter” hydrating mask for eczema prone skin to a “Faded” brightening gel for dark spots, the “Topicals” skin care line has a range of products intended to make treatments enjoyable.

“We give them those fun names and those fun sort of application methods like a face mask, because our community hasn’t been able to treat their chronic skin conditions, like a fun part of self-care before and we really wanted to introduce that to their experience,” Teng said.

Each medicated botanical is science-backed and clinically tested to treat certain skin conditions that are largely incurable but effect a sizable number of Americans. One in four suffers from a chronic skin disease, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

While the company remains product-driven, the “Topicals” duo revealed promoting mental health remains at the core of their business. They’ve used their marketing budget to donate to well-being organizations like Sad Girls Club and Therapy for Black Girls, Olowe said.

“We had a really great impact on our community,” Olowe added.

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