As transparency becomes table stakes for consumers, a young group of brand founders are finding success by speaking straight to their consumers about what goes into their products.
During Beauty Inc @20, Abena Boamah, chief executive officer and founder of Hanahana Beauty, Charlotte Palermino, CEO and cofounder of Dieux, and Liah Yoo, CEO and founder of Krave Beauty, joined WWD’s Ryma Chikhoune for a frank talk about truth and marketing in the beauty space.
“It was actually through the cannabis space and meeting a cosmetic chemist that I realized we need to not only be transparent, but also level with consumers about what skin care can and cannot do,” said Palermino, whose Instagram nickname is “your skin care fairy godmother.” “For us, when we saw the markups with some of the more clinical brands that were trying to focus on having these results, we personally wanted to create something a little different.”
Similarly, Boamah, a former teacher, thinks of herself as equal parts consumer and CEO. “As a consumer, I want to know what I’m putting on my body. But also, I actually want to know what ‘clean’ means from a brand. I want to know why and where their products are made. That’s why we call it ‘consciously clean,’” Boamah said.
Boamah’s own philosophy on sourcing touches on myriad topics, from ingredient quality to equitable treatment of the farmers and producers who provide the shea butter that goes into her products. “What does it really mean to be sustainable,” she said. “There’s a lot of things that are ‘clean,’ but we’re also conscious of how we get our products, and how we sustain the people working behind them — what does health care look like for our farms, what does education look like, and most importantly, how can we continue to educate the people that are actually purchasing that product?”
Yoo also tries to follow a more organic approach when cutting through the clutter. “When I was a YouTuber, I was interacting with hundreds and thousands of people on a daily basis through my platform,” she said. “I knew the beauty market was oversaturated and consumers were living in a state of constant paralysis. Despite abundant product options and information, people were more confused than ever on how to build a skin care routine for themselves.”
“I started KraveBeauty to liberate people from that stress and confusion,” Yoo continued. “I just wanted to empower people to tune into their skin’s cravings, and to make the most intentional choice when it comes to building their own skin care routines. We ultimately want people to feel really not only confident but educated, and that they feel like they made the right decision, and are at peace with what they’ve chosen.”
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