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United States of Skin: Sachi Skin Founder Farah Bashir on Thoughtful Beauty

September 08, 2021 Carla Seipp
September 08, 2021
Sachi

Specialization is the next frontier of diversity. Helping lead that movement is Sachi Skin, which is not only focused on counteracting hyperpigmentation while including the needs of skins of varying melanin richness, but is also looking to reinvent the language and marketing around beauty products altogether.

The origins of the brand’s name are as diverse as its brand mission; in Sanskrit the word “sachi” translates to grace / truth / child of joy, in Urdu to being truthful / expressing the truth, and in Japanese to happiness / child of bliss. All are an expression denoting positivity, the same of which can be said about the company’s intent and structure. For founder Farah Bashir, the brand was born out of personal need, but she is looking to provide benefits for all.

Having suffered from a host of skin conditions herself, Bashir was passionate about finding the correct treatments. “For years, it was very difficult to find hyperpigmentation treatments that tackled the issue but wouldn't compromise your skin health or alter your underlying skin colour. There has also been tremendous misinformation around how to tackle hyperpigmentation, which in many cases requires a multipronged approach and essential daily SPF, rather than quick instant fixes,” she explains. Take for example the brand’s newest release, the Triphala Pigment Corrector, which only targets the most active melanin site in the skin, making it suitable for all skin tones, and also addresses breakouts, which can often be the underlying cause for hyperpigmentation.

“A lot of beauty brands ignore the deep mental impact of the language and marketing that they use, and that really doesn't help the people that it serves. Actually, it works against us.”
By Farah Bashir, founder, Sachi Skin

Bashir’s background in beauty—from writing the beauty blog Beamwonder, working at the skincare counter and as an esthetician, to developing cosmetic formulations—gave her a unique perspective. “This launch addresses elements in beauty products that I have never personally been pleased with: failing to provide effective skincare for darker skin tones, addressing their skin needs and delivering visible results, or addressing the language used in retail branding products such as ‘anti-ageing’ and ‘whitening,’ which really make us feel less than,” she states. “A lot of beauty brands ignore the deep mental impact of the language and marketing that they use, and that really doesn't help the people that it serves. Actually, it works against us.”

Underpinned by a pro mental health / well-being standpoint, the brand proclaims itself as thoughtful, rather than as clean beauty—a conscious attempt to avoid polarizing language. “We're all affected by the way the beauty industry and narratives shape us, whether you are in the industry or not. Our depiction of what beauty is is shaped by brands. The whole idea of changing the beauty narrative was to look at cultural appreciation over appropriation, well ageing over anti-ageing, states of skin over skin types,” she explains. The brand’s tagline, States of Skin, is an ode to the fluctuating nature of our skin. Through the company’s ethos and consumer education, Bashir hopes to give others realistic expectations of skincare solutions, adopting a pragmatic approach rather than unrealistic marketing standards.

Sachi Skin’s editorial platform, Sachi Papers, offers education on skincare ingredients and routines, as well as the “It’s Deeper Than Skin” interview series, featuring the likes of Abiola A., founder of Nigerian beauty retailer BeeOla Beauty, and hijabi influencer Hajar Mohammad. Bashir also published a free hyperpigmentation ebook, the result of 1.5 years of research, specifically addressing the needs of darker skin tones dealing with this issue. “We're about more than just putting products out there, Sachi Skin is really about how we can help educate in a very unbiased way. We'd like to help you to understand your skin better, so that you can help yourself better,” she states.

The formulations themselves celebrate the rich heritage of the botanicals which fuel their efficacy. Actives include a triphala peptide complex, powered by the Ayurvedic plants emblica officinalis, terminalia chebula, and terminalia belerica; dioic acid, the gentler twin to azelaic acid; as well as encapsulated retinaldehyde to reverse signs of aging, liposomal encapsulated ursolic acid to boost collagen, and liposomal microalgae to even skin tones. A self-funded venture, the brand launched with three products: Triphala Pigmentation Corrector, Complexion Clarifying Accelerator, and Ursolic Acid & Retinal Overnight Reform. Aside from tackling hyperpigmentation, each product also addresses a host of other skin concerns such as breakouts, hydration loss, oxidative stress, and texture issues. After a successful pre-order round, the brand was able to employ said funds for production.

Upon looking at all the elements that constitute the world of Sachi Skin—addressing customer needs that had previously been neglected by the industry, spotlighting other BIPOC beauty influencers, aiming to reduce its carbon footprint through multitasking and sustainably produced products, changing the language of our beauty conversations—thoughtful isn’t just a fitting word to describe the brand’s approach. It hits the bull’s eye.

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