Olamide Olowe (@olamideaolowe) is revolutionizing the skincare industry with its inclusive and innovative brand, Topicals. Using science-based formulas and promoting mental health promotion, Olowe blurs the line between skin health and mental health, creating products that promote realistic beauty standards while helping customers to to feel better.
Olowe grew up with “a ton of chronic skin conditions”, so she knows firsthand how debilitating these conditions can be, not only to the skin itself, but also to the patient’s mental health. “We knew we had to build a holistic brand around the customer that also touched on their mental health,” she told In The Know.
For Olowe, the general lack of knowledge and care options for people with his skin color and skin type adds to the mental and physical toll of having multiple skin conditions.
Through countless trips to primary care physicians and dermatologists, Olowe was “often leaving offices without a prescription and without a treatment plan.” Olowe notes that this happened for a multitude of reasons, including that doctors were unaware of her complexion and skin type. “There is a lack of inclusivity when it comes to skin care and dermatology,” she says.
As a child, Olowe admits she didn’t understand why there was a lack of information regarding certain skin tones and types. “But as I got older, especially in college, I researched the dermatology industry and found that about 50% of dermatologists and residents say their medical training didn’t make them prepared to treat colored skin,” says Olowe.
This striking stat was a big motivation for Olowe to launch Topicals. “There was a glaring gap in the industry,” says Olowe, sharing that she aimed to fill that gap by creating products that spoke to and appealed to people of all skin tones.
Inclusivity is at the core of Topicals, and the brand uses this value to ensure its customers feel wanted, seen, and heard from both a skincare and mental health perspective.
Topicals products target four specific skin conditions: dark spots and discoloration, eczema, ingrown hairs and keratosis pilaris. “Instead of just focusing on the shame of the skin condition or the pain of the skin condition, we focus on the pleasure you can have from having the skin condition,” says Olowe. .
In addition to helping customers feel more confident in their own skin, Olowe shares that to date Topicals has donated over $100,000 to mental health organizations. “We’ve made it our mission to not only talk about mental health, but more importantly how it relates to how you view yourself,” she says.
As her brand continues to grow, Olowe hopes her success can help encourage a transition to a more inclusive workforce across all sectors.
“I have this unique idea because I’m a black woman,” she says. “And so I hope that we see me and we see other women like me succeed, and that we should continue to invest in seeing a hundred or a thousand ‘me’s in different industries, to create a better country that feels more inclusive and produces more products that are better for everyone.
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