Topicals launched with a waiting list and $2.6 million in VC funding and the participation of several high-profile Black women, including Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John, entrepreneur and DJ Hannah Bronfman, and the Emmy-nominated stars of the hit show Insecure Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji.
WHO: After battling personal skincare conditions, two 23-year-old former pre-med students, Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng, teamed up to create a skincare brand tackling chronic skin conditions with a Gen Z sensibility. The brand launched with two products: Like Butter, a hydrating mask for dry, distressed, and eczema-prone skin, and Faded, a serum for discoloration and dark spots. The brand will be available through October at Pop-In@Nordstrom inside select Nordstrom doors, online at Nordstrom.com, and on the brand’s website.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “This is an industry that has not evolved and has used many of the same formulations over the last 30 years,” says Olamide Olowe, Topicals CEO and co-founder. “Having lived with a serious skin condition myself, I found there were limited treatment options available, and none of the brands looked like me. I could use an over-the-counter product that didn’t address my specific needs as a Black woman with darker skin, or spend thousands on pricey prescriptions. With all of the amazing beauty products out there, I still didn’t find one that helped me with my flare-ups. I knew we could do better.”
“With my background in clinical research and dermatology, I saw firsthand the lack of access to care that existed for these types of skin conditions,” says Claudia Teng, Topicals Chief Product Officer and co-founder. “For me, I knew there was a serious opportunity to create something affordable, and that not only educated a broad amount of people, but also made their treatment experience more enjoyable. Our mission is to make chronic skincare management synonymous with the fun and luxury of self-care, taking the focus off of perfect skin and helping our community have funner flare-ups.”
Olowe told Beauty Independent the fundraise for Topicals was a two-year process, saying, “It’s not an overnight success by any means. It’s been a lot of no, and, over the last month, there’s been just an avalanche of yes.”
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