David Yi wants to change beauty’s binary standards with a gender-inclusive brand of his own.
The “Pretty Boys” author has cofounded a skin care company, Good Light, with Michael Engert, Supergoop’s former head of direct to consumer. After two years of research and product development, Good Light will bow on March 17 with three products created with the international readership of Very Good Light, Yi’s online men’s beauty publication, in mind.
“When I launched Very Good Light, I was intentional that my dream was to one day start a skin care brand,” Yi told WWD in an interview. “I grew up in Colorado Springs, Colo., as a young Korean boy who slathered his skin with an SPF 100 because my mother saw the importance of skin care. Skin care was a vital part of who I was, where I found my confidence and where I found my identity.”
Good Light launches with a gel-to-foam cleanser, $18; a pH-balanced toning lotion, $22, and a probiotic serum, $22 — all of which incorporate anti-inflammatory ingredients meant to support healthy skin barrier function. The products are cruelty-free and vegan and were formulated without the 1,300 ingredients banned by the European Union. They will be sold direct-to-consumer and on Amazon.
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Yi and Engert funded Good Light by raising pre-seed money via family and friends.
“David bootstrapped the company beginning in 2016,” Engert told WWD. “We set out to be thoughtful about the money that we raised, how we conduct business and the partners that we bring on if they’re on the institutional side. We have a few, small institutional partners in our friends and family round, but the goal is to launch, for that to be a community-driven launch and at that point, we’ll see what the business requires and potentially raise another round after that.”
Engert met Yi shortly after joining Supergoop.
“We had a percentage of sales coming from men, but didn’t really have any men featured on the website, so I started looking into publishers that I thought might be a good fit,” Engert said. “That’s where I first met David.”
Having written about beauty brands and researched beauty’s history for his forthcoming book, Yi applied his knowledge to the creation of Good Light’s products.
“I’m a beauty consumer, first and foremost. The skin barrier function is where your skin care journey starts and ends. Whether it’s a cleanser, our toner or our serum, the more you use the product, the more strengthened your skin barrier function will be and the more robust the microbiome. We made sure that every ingredient was non-toxic, checked out to be clean in our standards,” Yi said.
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