For decades, the dominant portrayal of beauty has been through the lens of white and lighter skin tones. Beauty editorials, advertising and marketing – and of course product formulation – has typically failed to represent, let alone understand the needs of Black and darker skin.
Well-intentioned and long overdue conversations are going on in the industry about diversity and inclusivity. And there are some breakthroughs with product ranges such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty which caters to all skin tones. However, women of colour are still facing the daily challenge of finding products, information and salon practitioners who understand their skin’s needs. Behind the well-meaning words and celebrity product lines lies the reality of beauty counters and salons that are lagging behind and unable to cater to those with darker skin tones.
Dija Ayodele has made it her life’s work to educate the industry and advocate for all types of beauty products to be accessible and relevant to women of colour. Simply put, Dija Ayodele is making Black skincare matter.
A successful practising aesthetician, Dija is a champion and pioneer of Black and darker skincare and beauty and she has plenty to say about the gaps in beauty industry education when it comes to understanding the needs of women of colour.
Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Dija about her work and her book ‘Black Skin: The Definitive Skincare Guide‘ which was published in late 2021 and is already receiving international acclaim.Subscribe on iTunes Subscribe on Spotify Subscribe on YouTube @Dija_Ayodele, author, aesthetician and beauty industry advocate for women of colour talks to @FormulaBotanica about why Black skincare matters. #womenofcolour #Blackskincare #Blackskin Click To Tweet
In this episode with Dija Ayodele, you will hear:
- How the default narrative of white and lighter skin tones and beauty has for decades dominated industry messaging, automatically excluding women of colour both as beauty practitioners and consumers.
- About how beauty industry education has big gaps when it comes to the needs of Black and darker skin: for instance, even qualified practitioners may not know why Black skin ages differently or about its need for greater hydration.
- How product labeling and the language alone can be a barrier for women of colour when they shop for beauty products. Mostly, there is no information on products about if and how they work on Black and darker skin.
- That the lack of clinical trials of beauty products among women of colour has led to so few products being able to address Black skin.
Key takeouts include
- The market needs more salon practitioners and aestheticians to be trained to understand the needs of Black skin if women of colour are to be reassured that even common active ingredients and salon treatments are suited to their skin.
- Women of colour may suffer in silence rather than seek help for skincare issues as there is a general level of mistrust of mainstream skincare treatments. Laser and acid peels, for instance, need expertise to use correctly on darker skin tones.
- There is a lack of support, whether mentoring or financial, for beauty entrepreneurs of colour. Without a greater number of women of colour in the industry and at management level, the sector is unlikely to address the education and product gaps.
- Dija’s book is ground breaking in giving sound skincare advice to consumers of colour as well as providing much needed education to beauty industry professionals.
Meet our guest: Dija Ayodele
Skincare Expert and Aesthetician, Dija Ayodele is author of the newly published Black Skin, The Definitive Skincare Guide, owner of skincare clinic West Room Aesthetics in London and founder of the multi award-winning educational platform Black Skin Directory (BSD). With over 10 years experience in understanding and treating skin health, she has become a pivotal champion and advocate for providing the tools for people of colour to be educated on their unique skincare needs while pushing the beauty industry forward in its requirements to serve this sector.
Her clinic is a go-to destination, especially for Black women seeking skin rejuvenation treatments and advice for their skincare needs. She is a GLAMOUR Magazine columnist, Trustee of the Beauty Backed Trust and Advisory Board Member to the British Beauty Council, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) and Aesthetic Medicine Journal.
Dija is an experienced public speaker at both industry and consumer events and has taken the stage at the House of Commons, Stylist Live, British Association of Dermatologists, Financial Times, Cosmoprof and Refinery29. She also works with a host of respected brands within the global beauty and cosmeceutical industries such as Walgreen Boots Alliance and L’Oréal as a consultant and Key Opinion Leader (KOL).
Black Skin: The Definitive Skincare Guide
Published by HQ Stories and Harper & Collins, Dija’s book, ‘Black Skin: The Definitive Skincare Guide’ is a first of its kind, both celebrating the journey of Black skin through a historical and cultural lens and also providing a myth-busting and practical companion to caring for Black skin.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.