How 1 Woman Brought Her Dominican Republic Skin-Care Secrets to the US Market
Too often, the best beauty stories go Untold, solely based on a person's skin color, religion, gender expression, disability, or socioeconomic status. Here, we're passing the mic to some of the most ambitious and talented voices in the industry, so they can share, in their own words, the remarkable story of how they came to be — and how they're using beauty to change the world for the better. Up next: Priscilla Jiminian, founder and CEO of Skinergy Beauty.
I would describe my brand, Skinergy Beauty, as very inclusive. I always try to make sure everyone understands the story behind it and why I started; that my acne scars and darks spots were an insecurity for me and it's something that women don't like to talk about a lot. I like to make sure that people know that the foundational part of my brand and its core is inclusive of us, women of color.
I worked in real estate for 11 years, and in 2017 I took a trip to the Dominican Republic, where my family's from. From my experience, products from the DR — from hair to skin — worked a lot better for me, so I asked a cousin of mine randomly if she could direct me to an aesthetician or someone who could help me out with some problems I was having with my skin. Since I was shaving for so long before getting laser hair removal, I had a lot of ingrown-hair scarring and razor bumps, as well as dark spots on my face from picking at my pimples. I was connected with a formulator there who I told about my issues, and she gave me a sample that I brought back to the States with me, but I didn't end up using it until a few months later.
I started documenting my journey with that cream on Instagram. I would post a lot of before-and-afters and a lot of women who had the same issues were intrigued. My dark spots were a big insecurity for me and I realized it was something that a lot of other women dealt with as well, though they wouldn't talk about it much. I started selling it to them — it was unbranded, and I told the formulator to make a few more batches for me so that I could sell it. Naturally, because I was in real estate, I'm really good at customer service and sales, so I thought it made sense to turn it into a brand and make an exclusive product out of it.
By 2019, I launched Skinergy Beauty. I started off with just the Dark Spot Correcting Cream, which, to this day, is still my bestselling product.
I always wanted to have that Jennifer Lopez natural glow where you wake up and your skin just looks bright and even. My forehead was always darker than the rest of my face, but I always felt like I had dull skin. When I was making the Come Correct Serum, that was something I wanted to target — to have that inner glow. It was so important for me to make sure my skin was hydrated from within. I was so used to trying out the 10- to 12-step methods that incorporate all kinds of products like essences and toners and sheet masks. When I did that, my skin got super congested.
"Sometimes it's a bit uncomfortable to enter a field and feel like you're not being represented."
At that time, while I was thinking about launching Skinergy, I said to myself, "It can't be that my skin needs this many products." It may work for other people in other countries, but for me, an American woman, and a New Yorker at that, I don't want to wake up and have to do a 10-step routine just to have bright, hydrated skin. I figured there had to be a way to do this with minimal products. When I created the Come Correct Serum, I made sure we included ingredients that targeted many different skin-care concerns.
I didn't see a lot of women who looked like me in beauty. I think it's important to know that your identity is out there so you can have something to relate to, and it's important for me to feel like I'm being represented. Sometimes it's a bit uncomfortable to enter a field and feel like you're not being represented, and I feel like it matters when women like me pave that way for other people, especially when you don't come from money and you don't grow up with the handouts that other people might get. I was born in New York City and raised in the Bronx, and my parents don't come from money. These kinds of stories need to be out there so that we can inspire younger people and help them understand that this is kind of normal now and that it's OK to go after your dreams.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, it's so important to know the difference between having an idea and executing an idea. A lot of people have great creative ideas but never really see them through. There are so many obstacles, but those should never deter you from wanting to continue. Nothing in life is easy, and you learn so much as you go. For you to be able to see your idea through, you have to learn how to execute and understand that it takes so much time to get there.