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Skin health is an important issue for everyone but it is especially important to the LGBTQ+ community. Finding a health care doctor that understands your medical history, gender identity, and sexual orientation is difficult. It's very important for a healthcare provider, including dermatologists, to have a better understanding of the needs of the LGBTQ+ population.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the number of melanoma deaths in the U.S. is expected to increase this year by over 5 percent. Studies show that gay and bisexual men are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer due to indoor tanning and unprotected sun exposure. Even transgender people dealing with acne due to hormone therapy are susceptible.
We spoke with dermatologist Dr. Cuong Le with the U.S. Dermatology Partners to find out the ins and outs of skin care health. Dr. Le treats patients of all races and provides a safe space for LGBTQ patients. Education and understanding are his main concern and here is what he had to say regarding LGBTQ skin health:
Q: Why Is It Important To Moisturize?
A: Everyone should be moisturizing daily and make it a part of their routine. Moisturizing helps repair the skin barrier- which can be damaged in certain diseases like eczema or if you are using products that contain ingredients that can dry or irritate your skin. Moisturizing also helps hydrate the skin. This can make your skin look plumper, fill out fine lines and wrinkles, and healthier.
Q: What Are the Proper Steps To Moisturize?
A: Moisturizers work best if applied to damp skin. In the morning, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply a moisturizer, and then apply sunscreen. At night, wash the face with a gentle cleanser and apply the moisturizer to damp skin. If you have toners, serums, retinol, or retinoids, they would usually go on before the moisturizer.
Q: Does Moisturizing Matter by Gender?
A: Everyone should be moisturizing regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. There might be a difference in how dry or oily the skin is - but even then that doesn't matter. Both dry skin and oily skin will benefit from moisturizing. Something else that might play a role is how complex your skin care regimen or routines are but that is specific to each person- not necessarily a gender or sexual orientation.
Q: What Are the Best Ingredients for Moisturizers?
A: Some ingredients to look out for are ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. Humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid attract water. Ceramides help repair the skin barrier. Petrolatum is an occlusive that helps retain moisture in the skin.
Q: What Are the Worst Ingredients for Moisturizers?
A: There are some things that you should avoid if you are looking for a moisturizer. Fragrances, parabens, and dyes can be allergenic or irritating to some people with more sensitive skin. It might be good to avoid them if you are not sure. Night creams can contain retinol - which can irritate the skin and cause redness, peeling, and make products sting when applied. If you want to use something with retinol in it, I would introduce it slowly so your skin can get used to it. Some night creams also have AHAs or BHAs- these are weak acids that can also be irritating especially if they are overused.
A good skin care regimen does not have to be complicated and can consist of just a gentle cleanser, a good moisturizer, a good sunscreen, and retinol or retinoids.
Good Skin HealthPhoto by Good Skin Club on Unsplash
Based on the interview from Dr. Le, we put together a little skin care routine that is very easy to follow and you can add to it as your skin care health needs. Remember, the different seasons also play an important role in skincare. During the summer months, you will most likely need a lighter moisturizer while during the winter months, you'll need a more thicker and richer moisturizer.
For Proper Skin Health, Start with a Basic Skin Care Routine
Every morning you should use the following routine:
- Cleanse. Use a mild cleanser to remove dirt and grime that has built up overnight.
- Moisturize. Use a moisturizer that works with your skin type and for the time of the season.
- Sunscreen. You should be protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
Your nightly skincare routine should look something like this:
- Cleanse. Again, use a mild cleanser to remove dirt and grime from the day.
- Toner. Refresh your skin without stripping it of natural oils.
- Treat. Use a product such as serums, spot treatments, or retinol to help repair skin damage, treat acne, or whatever your skin health needs may be.
- Night Cream. Use a thicker moisturizer that will help with skin repair and hydrate your skin while you sleep.
What Skin Care Products Do You Need?
There are plenty of skincare products out there. It really comes down to your skin type and skin health. At the minimum, you should have a mild cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. You can build from there. For instance, if you wear makeup, then having a makeup remover will clean a lot of the residue from your face before actually cleaning it. The cleanser will then remove any leftover residue that the makeup remover didn't get.
Do you know someone who struggles with acne? Or maybe you are someone, like a lot of transgender people, who struggle with acne when taking hormones. It sucks. Like a lot. But the good news is, you’re not alone and there are plenty of other trans people who are experiencing the same things you may be going through. It can be a long process and a long time coming when dealing with acne, so be patient with your skin.
The most important advice for treating acne is to appreciate and LOVE your skin. Stop trying to fight your own body when it comes to treating acne and start valuing what it does for you every single day. With that said, this is a short guide of things that may help you along your acne journey!
Know Your Skin
Know Your Skin
Photo courtesy of Imagen Skin Diagnosis | Skeyndor | Flickr www.flickr.com
- Normal skin is typically described as being neither oily nor dry but a balance between the two throughout the week and is not prone to breakouts. It is usually smooth to the touch and is less likely to have an adverse reaction to things you put on your face. The word ‘normal’ is a technical term that dermatologists recognize, so we will use it here for educational purposes.
- Having oily skin can mean that for the majority of the week, your skin produces an excess amount of sebum which causes the skin to look shiny and feel greasy.
- Dry skin is exactly as it sounds; for the majority of the week, your skin is dry, often dull, or even rough and flaky.
- Combination skin is a mixture of dry and oily skin as it oscillates throughout the week between the two, sometimes even resting at ‘normal’ but for short periods.
- Finally, sensitive skin is more prone to being irritated by ingredients or the environment it is in. Symptoms of sensitive skin can include being oily or dry but are more commonly referred to as the redness of the skin, and burning or itchy sensation when exposed to irritants. Irritants can be ingredients in topical products used on the skin, certain foods ingested, and even the environment your skin is in such as a dry or humid climate.
Now that you know your skin type, it will be a little easier to decide which products and approaches you should take when it comes to your skin (and acne). Additionally, it is good to know what type of acne you have but this is a bit more difficult and can even take a medical opinion to determine the right type. But whether it is hormonal, cystic, whiteheads, blackheads, or fungal, all of this advice is helpful.
Use a Daily Sunscreen
Photo courtesy of www.maxpixel.net
It doesn’t matter what kind of acne you struggle with, how much or how little, your skin will thank you for protecting it! It has nothing to do with your hormones and doesn’t discriminate against the type of acne you are working with. Plenty of science has proven that your skin is not friends with the UVA and UVB rays (including all of the other things the sun does that most of us don’t even realize cause worse acne) emitted by the sun, including but not restricted to the worsening of pigmentation and hyperpigmentation, causing wrinkles, damaging and killing of the skin cells, causing inflammation and even cancers. None of which is healthy or helpful for your acne either.
And while it’s true that some ingredients in sunscreen can cause or worsen acne, the protection of your skin is a lot more helpful than anything else! For example, staying away from ingredients such as Benzophenones, Cinnamates, Octocrylene, Quaternium-15, and Para-aminobenzoic acid- all of which are known as non-comedogenic- can essentially make it impossible for your sunscreen to cause acne. Even better is that most sunscreen products will tell you if they are non-comedogenic and help acne-prone skin! Plus, picking the right type of sunscreen for your skin type helps with a lot more than just reducing your acne. Figuring out whether a chemical or physical sunscreen is better for your skin can be a challenge too but luckily there is also scientific evidence that can help advise your decision. For starters, knowing how these types of sunscreens work is extremely helpful when it comes to choosing what’s best for your skin type.
Chemical sunscreens penetrate into your skin and convert UV rays into heat which is then released naturally by your body. Physical sunscreens on the other hand sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays. It is thought, but not proven, that chemical sunscreens are worse for the skin as they can often irritate and possibly even cause breakouts, for your skin. However, the right type of sunscreen truly depends on your skin type! For those who struggle with acne, physical sunscreens (sometimes referred to as mineral sunscreens) that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active, protecting ingredients have been shown to reduce the appearance of acne.
Ingredients such as niacinamide in sunscreen can help to reduce redness and inflammation while things such as lactic acid and hyaluronic acid keep the skin healthy and in balance by increasing the rate of cell turnover (and clearing away dead skin cells!) and keeping the skin hydrated, respectively. Getting a light, water-based, non-comedogenic, sunscreen is best for acne-prone and oily skin but a moisturizing/sunscreen combo is more helpful for dry skin. For sensitive skin, it is important to look at the ingredients and figure out what your skin is OK with and what will irritate it (including fragrances). But, regardless of your type of skin, you should always be using sunscreen with AT LEAST an SPF of 30 which blocks up to 97% of UVB rays emitted by the sun. If you have more sensitive skin or a fairer complexion, the recommended SPF is 50.
Best Affordable and Effective Daily Sunscreen
The INKEY list SPF 30 Sunscreen
Committed to creating quality products based on scientific research at an affordable price. This is an excellent place to start if you’re new to daily sun protection.
Best for For Sensitive Skin
ZitSticka has a very simple and effective methodology based on science as well. Their formula specifically targets acne-prone skin, plus, they are here to destigmatize acne, not just clear it up!
Best For Oily Skin and Makeup Wearers
While it’s not recommended to wear makeup due to how it can clog pores and worsen some acne, SuperGoop’s powdered sunscreen can be a great option if you do as it gently sits on top of whatever you want on your face. It is also a good option for those with oily skin!
Best Vegan, Cruelty-Free, and Reef-Safe Option
Black Girl sunscreen has become popular more recently and for the absolute best reasons! Their story starts with the need for quality sunscreen that caters to women of color and continues to consistently be the best for the environment. The sunscreen itself dries completely without any white cast (the white residue most sunscreens leave behind) and is vegan, cruelty-free, reef-safe, natural, AND recyclable by the company.
Find the Right Cleanser
Finding the right cleanser is a lot harder than finding the right sunscreen but the same basic principles are there: find something that works with your skin type. Here is a quick breakdown of some key ingredients your cleanser should have if you struggle with acne.
- Salicylic acid - A BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that cleans pores by dissolving debris that often clogs them, and helps get rid of red, inflamed breakouts (most commonly black and white heads). It can come in strengths from .5 to 5% but over the counter, the strongest you can get is 2%. It is also considered a keratolytic medication which is just a fancy way of saying it exfoliates the skin.
- AHAs - Also known as Alpha hydroxy acids, they are the sister acids to the BHA’s I was talking about earlier. Most common and researched are lactic and glycolic acid, both of which work by exfoliating the skin to clear away dead skin cells and other acne-causing debris and stimulating cell turnover. But there is also mandelic acid, a little less researched but can help with oily skin, depigmentation, and skin redness as well as acne. These products, unlike salicylic acid and BHA’s however, cause “controlled trauma to the skin” which is just as serious as it sounds. While it is safe and effective (and almost all strengths are sold over the counter) it is also more harsh and invasive to the skin and can cause dryness, redness of the skin, peeling, sun sensitivity, and itchiness. Therefore, if you have sensitive skin, it is not typically recommended unless done with weaker strength products, or in a controlled environment such as a dermatologist's office. It should be noted that for best results and care, these acids should be neutralized using sodium bicarbonate or water and should NOT be left on the skin for more than a minute or two at the absolute most.
- Benzoyl peroxide - This product works to kill acne-causing bacteria by peeling away skin layers, therefore releasing trapped debris, removing dead skin cells, killing the bacteria, and removing excess oil. It comes in percentages from 2.5 to 10, all of which you can get over the counter. Because this product is harsher than other acne treatments, it is often not recommended for sensitive or dry skin but typically works great for oily skin.
- Azelaic Acid - Azelaic Acid loosen the bonds of the skin cells to clear away dead skin cells and targets P.acnes (or Cutibacterium acnes, bacteria that causes acne) disabling their effectiveness and subsiding them. Additionally, these products help to reduce dark spots and other blemishes caused by acne.
- Retinol - Unlike any of these other acne fighters, retinol works from the inside out and is considered the gold standard for acne treatment. Yes, it’s still a topical treatment but the way it works is by stabilizing your cell turnover cycle, therefore clearing blocked pores and allowing other acne-fighting ingredients to work better. While retinol alone does not actually ‘fight’ acne, it does one of the most important things to allow for your other products to work better while also changing your skin's makeup to be healthier, allowing for a more clear complexion.
Very common and in a lot of products, it is best for those just starting to try and clear acne as it is less harsh. Recommendations are split by skin type.
The INKEY List
Again, the recommendation comes from the Inkey List due to the reasonable price, science, and 2% strength (which is the strongest percent over-the-counter you can buy).
Paula's Choice Skincare
Paula’s Choice has been around for a long time and gives a lot of people great results. This cleanser, based on its weaker 0.5% dosage of Salicylic Acid, is better for people with dry skin as it’s less potent and therefore won’t dry out the skin as much.
With an even weaker strength of Salicylic Acid (0.2%) Caudalie’s Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser is fragrance-free and vegan, making for a good more natural option if you have pretty sensitive skin.
Not all AHA’s are what you typically think of when it comes to the type and form of cleanser. Cleansers can be face washes, face peels, leave-on products, and other things such as face masks. However, AHA’s are most commonly found as a single ingredient face peel due to their harshness.
From The Ordinary, a mainstream brand that can be found at several large retailers, this lactic acid formula can actually be left on the skin and comes in 5% and 10% strength. All of their products are vegan and cruelty-free as well as contain clean ingredients.
Alder New York
Alder New York is a queer and woman-owned brand that provides this really gentle glycolic acid cleanser for everyday use! It’s a great alternative for more sensitive skin as opposed to the AHA face peels.
This item by Volition Beauty contains both AHA’s and BHA’s to help more gently fight acne compared to single ingredient AHAs. They are also queer and woman-led brand that boasts their ‘always clean and cruelty-free' products.
Another one from The Ordinary this face peel is really accessible and affordable. One of its best (or worst) products is its AHA 30% + BHA 2% peel which is an extremely effective peeling solution for the skin. However, because of its strength, a lot of caution needs to be taken when using this product.
A long-standing brand, PanOxyl uses max strength, 10% Benzoyl Peroxide to help fight acne ALL over, not just your face. This facewash is a great option for those with oily and combination skin but if you have sensitive or dry skin, you might want to try their lower strength, 4% formula.
Once again, Paula’s Choice pops up on the list for its less harsh version. This is actually a cleanser treatment that can be left on the face that is truly affordable if you want to try benzoyl peroxide products.
Bliss has championed the skincare routine since 1996 and continues to amaze. This green tea gel mask is incredible for its ingredients and because it's vegan, cruelty-free, and planet friendly. The company is also B Corp certified so you can rest a little easier that both the product and the people producing it are treated amazingly.
This 10% Azelaic Acid serum by Typology is a great leave-on product that is 97% naturally derived. The company is all about quality and transparency, not only for their product but for their workers too as they are also B Corp certified.
Face the Future
This version of a retinol treatment is pricey but worth it if you want to dip your feet into using retinol without the side effects or have sensitive skin. PCA Skin is dedicated to science and your skin, with 30 years of experience and innovation they do their best to make professional treatments accessible and even provide customer service with licensed aestheticians that can help you with your unique skin.
A lot of dermatologists stand by CeraVe products based on the ingredients and easy access they provide. And for the most part, CeraVe does all of the right things with and for their products; they contain great, effective ingredients that have proven results, they are in the vast majority of stores, and the price is among the most affordable products out there. However, it should be noted that their products are not vegan or cruelty-free, which can be a drawback.
Finding a moisturizer that doesn’t make your acne can be a difficult task but is not impossible. The main thing you must know is the ingredients you are looking for in your moisturizer: hyaluronic acid, ceramides, sodium PCA, glycerin, glycerol, and salicylic acid. As long as you stay away from oil-based products which are thick and tend to be heavy on the skin you can easily find a moisturizer that works well for your skin. For those struggling with acne, a water-based moisturizer (if the first ingredient on the list is water, then it is a water-based moisturizer) is recommended by most dermatologists and typically has all the ingredients above that you’re looking for. Here are some favorites!
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Best All Over and for All Skin
Again, CeraVe makes the list because of its scientifically researched product. This can be used all over your body and works great, backed by all the great ingredients you need. But for the same reasons mentioned before, CeraVe might not be the brand for you.
Native Moisturizing Facial Lotion
Native Moisturizing Facial Lotion
Best Vegan and Eco-Conscious Option
A lot of people know the brand Native for their deodorant but they also produce some good skincare products as well, such as this coconut water face moisturizer. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, paraben free, and made with simple ingredients making it an excellent option for any skin type. Plus they try to be eco-conscious with their packaging and transparent with their environmental impact.
Your skincare routine is honestly best kept simpler if you struggle with acne for several reasons. One is because, when trying to find the right product, it's easier to see the effects of one if you do not have a lot in your routine. Another is that, although layer can be helpful and effective, it’s more often detrimental for those prone to acne or with sensitive skin. Keeping track of ingredients can be hard and it takes a wizard to know what goes best with what and what counter acts which ingredients. This is why it is best to see a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist for any further acne treatment (trust me, they will thank you if you keep a simple, effective routine). Plus, when you do go to a dermatologist for help, it is much easier for them to sort out what might work best if you already have a good routine down and the process tends to go MUCH faster and smoother if you can let them know what does and doesn’t work for your skin type.
Home Light Therapy
Dermabeam LED Light Therapy Mask
Blue Light therapy has been shown to kill acne-causing bacteria and can be a great option if you are sick and tired of over-the-counter topical creams, gels, and serums. This is much recommended for those who have tried a lot of products already and haven’t had quite the results they hoped for. It’s also a way of staying out of a dermatologist’s office or licensed aesthetician’s office a little longer because this product by DermaBeam offers the same medical grade product for at-home use. It’s a comfortable, easy, daily, effective product that is worth the price for sure.
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It is a common experience for almost anyone: we buy skincare products that look appealing either for their packaging, price, or reviews and then discover it’s just not good for us. It might be a fragrance we don’t like – or the fact that they have a fragrance at all – the harshness on our skin, or that we’ve opened the product and left it there on the shelf long enough for it to be considered part of the furniture. Or maybe we simply didn’t get the right product for our skin type; dermatologists say that gender-marketed products can be a bit misleading. For example, typically, cisgender men’s skin would be oilier but, obviously, that does not apply to all cisgender men; women-targeted skincare often smells like a bouquet of flowers, but that can irritate the most sensitive skin types, and so on.
So, if you want to ditch the binary and shop for your skin type rather than your assigned-at-birth gender, you should check out these queer skincare brands.
But what can we do with those products we’ve mentioned, the ones we’ve bought and tried and discovered are simply not for us? A few ideas can help avoid wasting them while still getting some of the benefits.
Use Face Creams on Your Body
Use face creams on your bodyPhoto by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash
Moisturizing your body with face cream is an effective way to ensure that the product won’t sit on the shelf for too long. The quantity in the small package will be gone in maximum two days! Moreover, the skin on our body is tougher than the one on our face, so if your most sensitive parts didn’t like the product, it’s unlikely your legs will suffer from it.
Use Exfoliating Scrubs in the Shower
Jar of exfoliating scrubPhoto by Nana Lapushkina on Unsplash
As it goes for face creams, sometimes face scrubs can be too harsh and overall, not good. They work perfectly as body exfoliators, especially for the chest area, which is a very sensitive skin part of the body, and they’ll leave no irritation, as they are initially created with the face in mind. They can be used on knees, elbows, butt, feet, and sometimes do a more effective job than scrubs particularly designed for the body, as those can be quite tough as well.
Use Harsh Face Cleansers as Body Wash
Using face cleanser as body washPhoto by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash
If your facial acne is suffering from the harshness of the cleansing products you use, then it’s time to move their place into the shower. You can use them as body wash, or simply target your acne body spots, like maybe your back or butt.
Add Unused Serum or Toner to Your Body Moisturizer
Adding serum to moisturizerPhoto by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Add a few drops of unused face serum or toner to your body moisturizer for extra hydration. This helps you get rid of the product fast, and enjoy the last benefits from the serum or toner, as they tend to lose their fragrance and effectiveness with time. And even though sometimes it’s better to have no fragrance at all, if the scent has faded it does not mean it’s good for you now.
Use Leftover SPF During Your All Year-Round Routine
Using SPF year roundPhoto by Antonio Gabola on Unsplash
The shelf life of SPF is normally twelve months, and since it’s important to use it daily, the best way to avoid waste is to wear a layer of that summer leftover sunscreen on your face before heading out the house, even in winter.
It's important to remember that we should switch up our skincare products regularly, as our skin can become tolerant to products over time and we need a different level of moisture depending on the season. Generally, we would need to increase our moisturizer usage during winter, and switch to a lighter consistency during summer.
If you have struggled with finding a skincare routine that works for you, visiting a specialist would probably be a good investment; that way you can verify what type of skin you have and research the best products and treatments for you. It should be noted that wrinkles and sun damage will probably not go away with cosmetics; if you are looking for a specific treatment, you should use medical-grade products prescribed by a specialist.
When choosing our skincare routine, we aim for it to be perfect. To make our face feel and look flawless, to be lightweight, to protect us. These brands promise to do just that – and they come with a plus: they are all either LGBTQ+ owned, socially and environmentally conscious and/or target people of all genders.
Selfless by Hyram
Skincare products from Selfless by Hyram
Photo courtesy of Selfless by Hyram.
If you ever googled skincare-related questions, you might have watched in response some videos by queer YouTuber Hyram; he is known for exposing the truth behind the brands and teaching the viewers how to break down an ingredient list, other than for his crusade against scented products. The skincare guru has launched his own line in 2021, explaining that he “wants to connect the beauty industry with social change”, in collaboration with the brand The INKEY List. They haven’t used any fragrance, essential oils, alcohol, and palm products, creating a minimalist yet effective ingredient list that is also vegan. Every purchase contributes to raising funds to build wells in the Kingdom of eSwatini and to protect the Bolivian rainforest from deforestation; additional information can be found on their website.
Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion
Photo courtesy of Good Light.
Good Light does Very Good Light ring any bell? The website is meant to redefine masculine beauty for the younger generations, and co-founder David Yi developed this line of beauty products that target all genders. Its mission is explicitly “beyond the binary”, focusing on moving culture forward by promoting a more inclusive definition of beauty through product and purpose. Their skincare products are vegan, cruelty-free, sustainably produced, and clean to EU standards, which means they do not include any of the 1.300 banned ingredients and have been tested and approved for sensitive skin.
Alder New York
Skincare products by Alder New York
Photo courtesy of Alder New York.
Alder New York is “a queer and woman-owned independent skincare brand that makes products designed to work for all skin types, no matter your age, gender, or ethnicity”. Founders Nina Zilka and David Krause combined their eye for design with high performative essential care products when creating the line in 2016; their skincare products are vegan and dermatologist-approved and they also follow clean EU standards.
Noto Botanics THE SKIN EDIT SET.
Photo courtesy of Noto Botanics.
Gloria Noto started the company after a “mini-life crisis vacation in Thailand” wanting to celebrate the identities she didn’t see represented in the clean beauty industry at the time: queer, non-binary, trans, BI-POC bodies. With a background in fashion and beauty, she was well aware of what she didn’t want to find in her own products: pollutants, cocktails of chemicals and fillers. The key to Noto products is that they are multi-use, made with uncomplicated yet high-performing ingredients that are vegan and cruelty-free and sustainably sourced. A percentage of their sales is donated to Planned Parenthood, The Okra Project, The Transgender Freedom Fund, Black Mama's Matter, The Love Land Foundation, The Trevor Project, and others.
Skincare products by Jecca Blac
Photo courtesy of Jecca Blac.
This brand is mainly known for its makeup products, but it is worth mentioning due to the support and tools they have given to the transgender community. Founded in 2018 by Jessica Blackler, the Jecca Blac studio in London, UK, offered a safe space for trans women to learn and experiment with makeup. All of their products provide effective coverage, from skin imperfection to beard shadow; they target all genders, offer tutorials and free makeup help, either via chat or video call and ship in discreet packaging. Their foundation and concealers offer a great option also to people who don’t normally wear makeup but want to include a covering product in their routine.
Volition Beauty Spring/Summer Survival Kit.
Photo courtesy of Volition Beauty.
Volition Beauty is basically a queer and woman-led crowdfunding beauty brand. Anyone can submit or pitch an idea for a product, and if it is loved and accepted by the community, you work with their experts to make it real. They say only the best ideas are made, and you won’t find any nasties in their ingredient list: no parabens, no sulfates, and no animal cruelty.
W3ll People Plant Power Skincare Starter Mini Set.
Photo courtesy of W3ll People.
Founded by lesbian make-up artist Shirley Pinkson, this brand offers skincare and makeup completely plant-powered and ethically sourced. They guarantee clean, multi-tasking, and cruelty-free ingredients, offering a wide range of skincare products as well as essential workers discount after lockdown, showing they really care.
Roots and Crowns
Roots and Crowns Daily Face Care Bundle.
Photo courtesy of Roots and Crowns.
Roots and Crowns is “a queer-owned small-batch apothecary based in Portland, Oregon” offering skincare products as well as essential oil rollers, blends, herbal teas, tinctures, and witchy vibes. They harvest the ingredients themselves when possible, and when it’s not, they purchase them from “places that focus on organic, ethical harvesting practices”.
Pure for Men
Pure For Men Face Care Kit.
Photo courtesy of Pure For Men.
Targeting mainly cisgender gay men, this company is based in Austin, Texas, and was born out of a group of friends in college. They started out with a line of fiber supplements, which they now sell with a vegan formula (and in smaller sizes targeting cisgender women with the line Pure for Her), then moved on to offer skincare products as well. Although they are mainly a sexual wellness brand, they promise their face products are botanical-extracted, cruelty-free, non-toxic, and non-comedogenic.
Non Gender Specific
Non Gender Specific Everything kit.
Photo courtesy of Non gender specific.
Born in 2018, this company was founded by Andrew Glass, aiming to create products that didn’t target either women or men, but people in general, as they say, “for all humans”. They wanted to simplify the beauty routine, while cutting down on consumer waste, creating products that target different concerns in one formula. Their products are vegan and cruelty-free, bottled in recyclable glass containers, and they use eco-friendly sourcing methods.