Courtesy: Rosen Skincare
What do you think of when you hear the word “acne“?
It’s no surprise that feelings of frustration and embarrassment are brought up when the topic is brought up. For many women, skin problems are still a major pain point that affects their mental health from generation to generation. The results of a 2019 study found that 76% of women surveyed said they felt good about themselves if they thought their skin looked good, regardless of their age.
Jamika Martin, 24, can personally attest to this. With flare-ups that started at age 11, she took on the challenge of treating acne in a world that tells us that pimples are a sign that something is wrong with our bodies. “Growing up was super bad,” Martin told Essence, referring to skin care marketing in the ’90s and beyond. “TV shows, movies, and commercials would build whole storylines around a single button of a character that were so extreme.” She pointed out that a few brands are currently using positive skin messages, but there is still work to be done. This is what prompted her to launch her own inclusive line, Rosen Skincare in 2017, when she was only 21 years old.
After the UCLA graduate felt frustrated with the myriad of ineffective skin care products including Accutane, she not only decided to take the escape solutions into her own hands, but also decided to change our way. way of looking at the health of the skin in general.
Starting with researching beauticians’ Facebook groups and a smart Google search, Martin began creating formulations from his kitchen. Rosen emphasizes natural ingredients and gentle formulas, removing many of the harsh basics of traditional acne products. “I think it’s time to de-stigmatize acne-prone skin and create a higher sense of normalcy regarding different skin types,” Martin said. “There is so much shame about something happening to so many people that has nothing to do with our level of health.”
From the start, Martin was smart about the direction his business would take. Until recently, the line was distributed entirely direct to the consumer, with most orders being fulfilled from home, despite its almost instant success.
“I was really realistic about my business model from the start,” she shared. “My decision to start everything was both strategic and circumstantial. When we started to see steady growth, conversations with investors started, but I still wasn’t clear on the fundraising process. ”
She attributes a deep sense of self-awareness to her intentional scaling strategy.
“At this point in our journey, I had to be honest with myself and recognize that if we were to get seed funding at this point, I wouldn’t even have known what to do with the money,” he said. she revealed.
She said the acceleration programs have helped her reach a point where she is truly ready for growing her business, which she urges aspiring entrepreneurs to consider. “We’re actually nearing the end of a funding round and I’m really confident in what’s on the other side of that because of the knowledge I’ve gained through accelerators like the program. UCLA Startup and Target Takeoff, ”a five-week incubator aimed at equipping beauty startups with key information for expansion. “I’m glad I waited.”
His patience paid off as now the brand’s commercial footprint has seen a major expansion with distribution to Nordstrom’s Pop-In stores, Target Stores and a partnership agreement with Urban Outfitters.
It doesn’t stop there. The brand aims not only to provide topical acne solutions, but also to bring in health experts to spread skin care education to Rosen’s many social followers.
“We are excited to partner with renowned estheticians and skin care educators on our digital platforms to provide their perspective and help us get people to target their skin concerns with a simple routine,” said Martin .
Martin said this is a pivotal moment in Rosen’s journey as they’ve always looked to shift the conversation around skin care and that starts with understanding our own skin.
“There is still room for us to be more authentic around attainable beauty goals and to change what ‘beautiful skin’ really means.”