Dr. Anne Beal, founder of BIPOC-owned skincare and beauty brand AbsoluteJOI, is reinventing the way we talk about beauty. “Black women are twice as likely to develop uterine fibroids, breast cancer, and so many other health disparities. I wanted to create skincare that promotes a non-toxic lifestyle and talks about what we expose our bodies to. I define toxicity in terms of the products that we use, and in turn, consume," said Dr. Anne.
According to Refinery29, Black women, in particular, spend an estimated $7.5 billion annually on beauty products despite the industry constantly failing us and our needs. From the lack of beauty education regarding the ingredients we should look out for to exclusion of people of color in beauty marketing —Dr. Anne believes healthy beauty isn't easily available to us, even though access to safe products should be our right.
"To really be out there saying that we deserve something that's high quality, we deserve something that's excellent, and we want something that works, is of the utmost importance to me. We want products that work for us and that are made for us. We want products that are clean and safe while celebrating who we are. That is our birthright,” Dr. Anne expressed.
At the heart of the brand's philosophy is a commitment to formulating high-quality sun care. AbsoluteJOI’s Tinted Moisturizer With SPF 40 Mineral Sunscreen is a layer of protection against harmful U.V. rays and blue light which prevents developing dark spots and hyperpigmentation. “Fundamentally there are only two things we need for healthy skin and not anti-aging, but aging," she continues." You should always apply a retinol and SPF within your everyday routine. We don't only need SPF for the sun, but SPF that blocks against blue light."
AbsoluteJOI’s mission transcends beyond just providing customers the necessary skincare they need for their everyday routines, but is providing a foundation for how we treat ourselves overall. We asked Dr. Anne more about expert-approved beauty tips and tricks and the importance self-care plays within our lives below.
Gabrielle Tazewell: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Dr. Anne: I spent time some time up at Harvard and worked in health policy. And when I hit 50, I thought 'okay, I've been in this game for about 30 years, what's gonna be the next phase of my life? What is it that I'm gonna do differently?' And I really started to reflect on this and the fact that health disparities are not any better for our communities. There were no Black physicians that we had when I was coming through the industry 30 years ago and we really haven't been able to move the needle. And that’s when I realized I could actually do something about the disparities we experienced and are currently experiencing by providing proper beauty education to women of color.
G.T.: How is Absolute JOI catered to all skin types and ages?
Dr. Anne: There are a number of things that are represented in the brand. Women of color are global, we're international, were fabulous, and deserve products that are catered to us. I wanted to really focus on mixing health and wellness within the topic of healthy skin and wanting to focus on the needs of all women who battle with common skincare concerns WOC experience — such as inflammation, dryness, redness, and hyperpigmentation/dark spots.
G.T.: When and how often should we throw products out and refill them?
Dr. Anne: Products that are made with oils, particularly if there's a little bit of vitamin E, can actually sit in your cabinet for quite some time. Anything generally acid-based can stay as well. You don’t have to have three bottles of the same serum in your cabinet as they won't be as effective when you’re ready to use them for 4-6 months afterward. Keep it simple.
G.T.: How do you feel about preventative skincare?
Dr. Anne: I think this whole “anti-aging” thing is a very Western paradigm. Very few people are really thinking about preventative skincare, and in that same way, we don't think about preventative medicine. Let's be honest, in the same way that Black women have been shown to be much more body-positive than white women, we not only accept, but we embrace our natural curves and I think that we’ve learned to accept and embrace our natural aging. Your best years are ahead of you. And so I think that recognizing that, especially in the Black community, aging is a gift.
G.T.: How are you taking time to refuel and recharge your energy these days?
Dr. Anne: I've really been leaning into getting more sleep lately. And I will say over the years I've had the same resolution of getting at least eight hours of sleep and it's life-changing when you're able to actually do it.
G.T.: Can you walk us through your ideal daily skincare regimen?
Dr. Anne: Start off with a gentle cleanser and think about applying a product with Vitamin C. Follow through with a retinol product to help hydrate the skin, and exfoliate 2-3 times a week with a light and gentle scrub or exfoliator.
For more on AbsoluteJOI, check out the brand's website.
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