There are still very few Black-owned brands on shelves at major beauty retailers, and few of them, if any, specifically address skin care needs for men of color.
While living in mainland China, Patrick Boateng, who was working as a U.S. diplomat at the time, struggled with breakouts due to the heavy pollution in the East Asian country. Hunting for solutions, he sought products that wouldn’t lighten his pigmented skin and that would be easy enough to incorporate into his skin care routine.
Being scared of harmful ingredients and needing something simple that could be effective on his skin are experiences that led Boateng to create Ceylon, a skin care brand for men of color.
“The field of dermatology is largely generalized to White men,” notes Boateng. “For men of color, there is no brand out there that is achieving high scientific quality and delivering results specific to [issues] we’re facing.” These include eczema, dermatitis, razor bumps and pigmentation, he explains.
Advised by Lynn McKinley-Grant, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and director of Curriculum Innovation and Development at Howard University College of Medicine, the team at Ceylon has been able to formulate products that deliver the results men of color have been looking for, according to Boateng.
“We get a lot of e-mails from guys being like, ‘I’ve tried so many different things, nothing has worked as well as this does for me,’ ” he says. This could be because the products were made especially for pigmented skin and also because Ceylon’s set is designed to be an entire routine—a simple three-step process.
“Skin care is a habit,” says Boateng. “If you begin with the right products and do it consistently, you’ll achieve results. I think the same way about nutrition and exercising regularly. The right set of habits gives us better health and wellness outcomes—and Ceylon [products] might be that gateway.”
With limited options for men of color at beauty retailers, it’s worth noting that Ceylon products could also prove to be the perfect Father’s Day gift. “Not too many dads out there have a skin care routine,” states Boateng. Holidays like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are great opportunities to introduce your parents to new concepts and ideas that they otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to encounter. “Having better skin is something that can be exciting for dads.”