Acne makes us take all kinds of risks. Testing different skincare products made with hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Using fashion as a not-so-subtle cover-up. Cancelling Bumble dates without reasonable explanations and hoping they give you a second chance. It’s instinct. An instinct Jane Ormon also had when she took a huge leap by stepping out on her own and creating Nolaskinsentials—an eco-friendly, plant-based, vegan skincare brand.
Struggling with acne during college, Ormon started her journey by researching what was good for her own skin. From essential ingredients to acne types, her research culminated in a brand that appreciated melanated skin and catered to health-conscious millennials. As a Black woman, Ormon’s focus on people of color is a given.
Jane Ormon, founder of Nolaskinsentials
With five pets of her own, the decision to make Nolaskinsentials vegan was a no-brainer as well. Ormon is strongly against animal testing and believes it to be cruel and inhumane. “They can’t speak or tell us what’s hurting them and how they feel so they suffer in silence, which just breaks me,” Ormon says. “I can’t even sit through documentaries that show what they go through without tearing up.”
Nolaskinsentials Papaya Burst face cleanser
Her belief that animals have no place in skincare and beauty products is clearly shared by many. Nolaskinsentials has 85.4K Instagram followers, including myself, to back it up. When I smoothed the Glycolic Night Creme on before bed, then woke up with a velvety smooth face the next day, I understood why fans—aka Nolababes—felt the need to post about their transformations on social media.
Nolaskinsentials Glycolic Night Creme
Glycolic acid is just one of the chemical exfoliants incorporated into Nolaskinsentials. Chemical exfoliants, including salicylic acid and lactic acid, do amazing work on melanated skin—according to Ormon. “I incorporate a lot of chemical exfoliant into our products because many of our Nolababes have skincare concerns that can be treated with and respond well to chemical exfoliants.” But she’s well aware of that tingly feeling acids cause, so she pairs them with soothing ingredients like hibiscus, pomegranate and aloe vera.
Nolaskinsentials Brightening-C Serum
Those ingredients have made Nolaskinsentials’ moisturizers, serums, and masks immensely popular and Ormon never saw it coming. “Yes, this is something I’ve wanted but I never actually thought I’d have a brand that thousands of people know about,” she says. “People randomly find me on my personal page, slide in my DMs, and tell me about how our products have transformed their skin and restored their confidence.” Those are the moments that make her soul feel good and the reason she started her business.
That success and fulfilment didn’t come without obstacles. Ormon never had access to investors or business loans so raising the funds to support Nolaskinsentials was a challenge from the start. And without the necessary resources, building a brand from scratch was an obstacle she had to push through. “As a small indie brand, you struggle with visibility because there are not a lot of resources readily available.”
Something that Ormon believes isn’t just a challenge for Black businesses in the beauty industry, but also an issue for Black creators and influencers. “We need more opportunities and partnerships for them as well,” Ormon says. “They are so talented and I’ve had the chance to work with a few amazing Black content creators!” She’s collaborated with Mariah Vixen, Courtney Lee, Ayodele, and Chaterra B.—just to name a few.
While those obstacles persist, Ormon doesn’t fail to recognize that the beauty industry also brings a lot of good things to the table. “I love that it connects like-minded people, inspires, makes others feel beautiful, helps us empower one another, and for me personally, gives me the confidence to be myself,” she says. “It [beauty industry] is so powerful and it definitely gives many something to look forward to.
That confidence pushes Ormon to continue making Nolaskinsentials the go-to skincare brand for people of color. Constantly working to create products that make millennials feel beautiful in their own skin. From risk to reward, Ormon’s leap of faith pays off with every smile inspired by the impact of Nolaskinsentials.
Check out Nolaskinsentials range on their website.
Written by Darren Bridges