How the beauty industry can improve its inclusivity

Article provided by Shenae Rae, founder of SwearBy Skin

‘Diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ are trendy buzz words used that have been used by brands much more in recent years, but it still felt like no real change was happening, nor at the speed that it should have been.

However, since the start of 2020, I do think that there has been more chatter and demand from consumers, leaving brands with no choice but to be truly inclusive. It’s bad for business if they’re not, because it’s not just white people buying. Black, Asian, LGBTQ+ people and others also have spending power. 

However, there is still a way to go. As a black woman, I would love for more brands to not just overtly include more shades and tones for darker skin, but to also have us at the table. I would love for them to include black chemists, dermatologists and scientists in the formulation process. Include us in the clinical trials, the marketing meetings, the decision-making process. In the boardroom. A lot of brands will have diversity with their marketing models and product range, but when you pull back the curtain, it is all the same group of people behind the brand. So, it feels performative.

It’s important for consumers to feel seen or represented, and that of course goes beyond skin tone. It’s also about sexuality, gender, and socioeconomic status. Brands can do more to support inclusive charities and underrepresented communities, as well as looking at how affordable or accessible their products are. Brands can also look at who they work with, in terms of influencers and bloggers. It all matters. 

The importance of representation and inclusivity was a huge motivation for me in creating SwearBy Skin. To create a brand that was accessible and affordable. I did not set out to start a brand that catered only to black skin, but that catered to all skin, so that everyone is included. From our brand values to who we work with, our approach is truly inclusive and we’re constantly looking at ways to be even more so. What influencers do we work with? Which brands do we collaborate with? It all matters.

Shenae RaeAbout the author

Shenae Rae is the founder of SwearBy Skin. Shenae has made it her mission to make effective treatments accessible to all, having found so many effective treatments off limits for darker skins. The LookLit at-home LED mask is a product that anyone can use with yellow light specifically effective for darker skins.

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