Faced with a constant challenge of finding solutions created specifically for men of color, Patrick Boateng II and Blake Rascoe created Ceylon, a skin care brand developed to help men of color adopt an effective skincare routine.
With help from their advisor Dr. Lynn McKinley-Grant, Boateng and Rascoe created Ceylon as an exclusive product for men of color because research shows they are disproportionately affected by skin concerns such as acne scarring, eczema, razor bumps, and hyper-pigmentation.
“The biggest change that we’d like to see in the industry is an end to the lie that the product is for all skin types,” said Boateng. “There are specific skin concerns that disproportionately affect people of color and it is disingenuous for companies to imply that a skincare product that hasn’t been developed with skin of color in mind can, in fact, be a safe and effective product for people like us. For us, it’s important to have safe, effective, and well-researched products that help deal with these issues without the risks that many common products on the market carry.”
Built From the Ground-Up With People of Color in Mind.
Typically, targeting people of color is an afterthought for mainstream beauty brands. So when it comes to marketing and product development the founders leveraged their personal experiences and concentrated their efforts on education and accessibility.
“Together, we thought about how to create products that we would have liked to have when we wanted to take care of our skin. We knew that if we created the answer for us, it could be the answer for many others,” said Boateng. For Boateng it was when living abroad that he experienced daily breakouts and routine acne scarring. Despite trying hundreds of products, nothing seemed to help clear up his skin. For Blake it started in high school, when as a three-sport athlete, a rigorous schedule and constant sweating made it difficult to keep his skin clear. At the time, Blake began using an over-the-counter skin care product recommended by his dermatologist to help combat acne which also ended up bleaching his skin, leaving him with a pale, washed-out complexion.
Beyond selling skincare products directly to consumers online, the trailblazing duo is also creating a community platform for men of color that fosters improved health and wellness outcomes.
“The most overlooked factors that can negatively affect our skin health include poor nutrition, lack of sleep, daily stress, exposure to air and water pollution, and inadequate personal care practices,” said Boateng. These are the same issues that can actually affect our overall health. So it’s important to note that our dermatological health and overall health are linked. Our ultimate goal is to start a conversation around overall health and wellness. We believe that starts with looking in the mirror.”