Meet Jessica Jade: The Afro-Latina Organic Skincare Artisan

Skincare is extremely prevalent to many of us, it is instilled into our everyday lifestyle. It is incorporated into our self-care regimes and routines. Having our ski n glow and our melanin shine so wonderfully contributes to us feeling beautiful. Let’s admit it if we have a bomb skincare day or week that makes our days better. However, to achieve these days we must be mindful of what we are putting on our skins especially as Black/Brown women.

We want that glowy and gorgeous skin, so we have to protect and nurture it with products that work for us. Jessica Jade, an Afro-Dominican and Puerto Rican Skin Coach and organic skincare artisan is focused on empowering individuals to heal their skin. Through Sunkiss Organics, she is working to properly hydrate and solely protect our skin. It takes someone who has been through it herself to create the best products for us by us to aim for the preservation of better skincare amongst our community.

Sunkissed Organics is breaking barriers that are needed to change the way the skincare industry operates solely around Eurocentric beauty. This topic and conversation around inclusion for safer skin treatment and products for Black & Brown women is one that needs more awareness. This is the work Jessica Jade is doing, check out her interview and start your skin healing now.

How do you celebrate your Afro-Latina identity? I celebrate being an Afro-Latina by fully enjoying both sides of my identity. 

I celebrate my Blackness and Latinx culture by incorporating both of my cultures in everything that I do. The most profound way I can celebrate my Afro-Latina identity is by fully allowing myself to embrace all of me.

What are your fondest memories of growing up both Dominican and Puerto Rican? 

The constant battle between who made the better morro, pasteles en oja, or tres leches! I mean what child doesn’t enjoy being considered a bipartisan judge for the yummiest food?!

What does Afro-Latinidad mean to you? 

Afro-Latinidad means having a unique perspective. It means moving in between worlds seamlessly and embracing both sides of my culture and my identity. It means rejoicing in my Blackness and Latinx culture! 

Have you ever faced any challenges with your cultural identity? 

As a child, I didn’t fully understand my Blackness. I was always referred to as the “negra bella” of the family but a part of me didn’t want to be different from one part of my family. Despite my Blackness being celebrated by my family, I felt like an ‘other’. I felt different. I felt less beautiful. It was definitely related to the messages I saw in the media about Eurocentric beauty standards being the epitome of beauty.

What inspired SunKiss Organics? 

SunKiss was inspired by my great-grandmother who co-created the original SunKiss line when I began suffering from eczema at 21-years-old. She orally passed down recipes consisting of herbs, plants, butters, and oils that healed my eczema. She’s my sous-chef so to say from the beginning!

How has does your Afro- Latinx roots tie into your business? 

Once I began crafting the line, I realized one major thing! I wanted SunKiss to represent Black women/Afro-Latina’s. I wanted them to be at the center of everything SunKiss. I wanted them to feel represented, included, appreciated, considered, and not just an afterthought. That’s why they’re not only at the forefront of my research but members of the SunKiss Squad always dictate the next product in my skincare line. Oh, and they even model for my shoots because who best to represent the brand than my SunKiss girls?! 

How essential was it to create a product that focused solely on protecting and healing skin, preferably women of color? 

Empowering Women of Color to protect and heal their skin means everything to me. Black and Latinx women are more likely to be exposed to harmful chemicals and toxins in our skincare. The brands that market to us are in the beauty industry do so to tap into our multi-billion dollar buying power but could care less about our health. Every single product I formulate centers around the idea of protecting and healing our skin with non-toxic and effective ingredients, and if it doesn’t meet that requirement I scrap the product and start from scratch.

What are some skin regimens and routines that have been successful for black and brown women? 

Simple, easy-to-use skincare routines with high-quality ingredients are the most effective skincare routines for Women of Color. Doing the most with a 10-Step Skincare Routine just doesn’t fit our lifestyle! We need skincare that gets to the point, and works! To me, that means using an oil cleansing balm, a liquid cleanser, hydrating toner, facial oil, and an SPF for the day time or moisturizing cream for the night time. A routine like this could easily take 3-minutes to apply and your skin will thank you for it!

How do you use your platform to shed light on the importance of taking care of your skin? 

I have a few series that center around healthy skin and healthy skin practices. Some of those include skincare routines, products, and tools that can benefit our skin. Others include ‘non-skincare’ skincare tips that involve diet, movement, and mindfulness.

The beauty industry is dominated by Eurocentric brands that do not create products for our women.

What is your advice for black and brown women who are still utilizing these products? How has this been damaging to our minds emotionally?

I would ask Black and Latinx women to research the ingredients in their favorite products. Simply google the ingredients and their possible side effects. 

I think what they find would truly shock them! Then I would recommend that they support Black and Latinx brands that fully support their health, their skin, and their wellbeing. At the same time, these same brands that market to us, do so by showcasing women that look nothing like us. Women who embody their Eurocentric standards and convince us that our beauty is non-existent. The lack of representation makes young girls like myself believe that their beauty is subpar.

Did you experience any obstacles being an Afro-Latina beauty business owner?

 The main obstacle I’ve experienced is a lack of funding to further promote and craft my skincare line. It’s a known fact that despite making up 38% of businesses in the U.S.A., Black & Latinx women receive less than 1% of venture capital funding. This creates a huge obstacle for businesses ran by Afro-Latinas. For example, a nationally syndicated morning show reached out to me for a feature but when I informed them that I could only provide 6K units on backorder for when the episode aired, they completely stopped communicating with me. Funding from grants or investors would have facilitated a backorder of 20K units allowing me to have national recognition and a large influx of sales, which small Black-owned businesses like my own desperately need.

What is one of your favorite SunKiss Organics products and why? 

My favorite SunKiss product is the Aloe Rose Toner. It’s so refreshing, hydrating, and leaves my skin feeling extremely soft! It’s the first product I apply after cleansing and my skin just soaks it allowing me to apply other products more seamlessly! It’s truly perfect for every skin type! There’s this huge misconception that hydrating products are only from dry skin and that couldn’t be further from the truth. All skin types need hydration! We are all different and dehydrated skin appears differently depending on your skin type, so it may present itself as oily skin or combination skin or dry skin! But the key to healthy skin is hydration and the Aloe Rose Toner imparts just that!

Keep up with Jessica + Sunkissed Organics

Instagram: @sunkissorganics + @jessicajade.co

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