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Alicia Keys on Body Care as Self Care

For the entertainer and brand founder, body care fits naturally into her philosophy on body positivity.

When Alicia Keys launched Keys Soulcare, a category-defying beauty brand in partnership with E.l.f. Beauty last year, she set out to widen the overlap between beauty and wellness.

Now she’s taking her brand — and its feel-good philosophy — below the neck. Available for preorder and to launch both on the brand’s site and with Ulta Beauty, the assortment includes the Renewing Body and Hand Wash, Rich Nourishing Body Cream and Sacred Body Oil. Prices range from $24 to $35.

Each product in the range comes with a prescribed mantra for consumers to repeat upon application: for the body cream, “my body is a vessel for love, light and strength”; for the cleanser, “I love myself as I am”; for the body oil, “Everything I do is an act of creation.”

For Keys, and many a consumer, mental well-being and beauty are inextricably linked. “Soul care is about every single part of you. It’s about mind, body, spirit and emotion,” Keys — whose acclaimed album “Songs in a Minor” marked its 20th anniversary on June 5 — told WWD. “There’s no real limit to the way that we can continue to nourish, nurture, fulfill and love ourselves. We talk so much about skin care, but the body is such a powerful, huge part of us.”

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One of Keys’ inspirations came from a Buddhist meditation she learned, in which she had to examine her own body without judgment. “I found it was such a powerful practice, just to try to focus on what you look like with no judgment and to be so connected to your body. With the oil and hand and body wash, it really feels like that continuation of that. It’s so easy to fall into what you don’t like about yourself, but the rituals are part of changing your mind-set around how you think about yourself, or even just spend time with yourself,” Keys said.

Keys’ previous product introductions also follow a theme of ritualization. When the brand launched late last year, it debuted a candle alongside a face roller and a range of skin care products — which Keys refers to as “offerings” — all meant to be used conjunctively.

“With the Sacred Body Oil, the mantra is ‘everything I do is an act of creation.’ That’s powerful, and you nonchalantly get out of the shower, and you turn this thing that you would normally do to feel more fulfilled in this tiny way. It’s not even a big chore you have to overthink, it’s just part of your routine,” Keys said.

Although Keys’ own routine didn’t change throughout quarantine, the past year did give her perspective on the importance of rituals. “I’m enjoying the little moments so much more, and I think Keys Soulcare gives you the opportunity to connect with yourself on a daily basis,” she said. “That’s how I feel like my routine has changed in the past year, I’m enjoying these little moments that lift me up, whereas before I was so rushed. Now, I feel good about paying attention to myself more.”

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