Over the past decade, Ayesha Curry has defined what it truly means to be a businesswoman. If you're like myself, you first met Curry circa 2014/2015 through her cooking series on YouTube where she would regularly showcase her culinary expertise through weekly videos. Or perhaps you purchased her 2016 best-selling cookbook The Seasoned Life where she shared roughly 100 of her favorite recipes along with some family traditions. Maybe you've reinvented part of your kitchen by snagging one of her valuable cookware sets, or have eaten at her restaurants in Las Vegas and San Francisco. However you've gotten your introduction, one thing is certain—Mrs. Ayesha Curry is a powerhouse that's still only just getting started. One of her newest ventures? Sweet July Skin—a modern skincare line that takes the traditional basics of caring for your skin and enhances that process with Caribbean superfoods. We caught up with Curry to hear a bit about the brand and how she's honoring her Jamaican roots.
Ayesha Curry Talks Skincare Brand Sweet July Skin and Honoring Her Jamaican Roots
We caught up with the entrepreneur to discuss the line
The goal of Sweet July Skin is made clear from its mission statement, which opens with Curry saying: "As you might know, my love for food and cooking has always been a big part of who I am. And it was this very passion that sparked my interest in skincare as well. I realized that just like quality ingredients can make a dish extraordinary, they can also work wonders for your skin—from the inside out." While Curry and I come from two different worlds, we actually have something in common that allows some of our experiences (especially with skincare and food) to be similar—we're both Jamaican.
It's that connection that jumpstarts our conversation as I ask Curry if the significance of skincare in the Caribbean is what prompted her to start the line. "I guess in that sense yes," she tells me before adding: "My mom and grandma were always heavily into skincare, so I grew up watching them and seeing all of these things that are natural and indigenous when it comes to skincare for Jamaicans." While Curry's background did play a role in the starting of the line, she also makes it clear that Sweet July Skin is something she's been yearning to start for a while—a natural extension of her entrepreneurship, and one that took a lot more time than she originally imagined.
I had to pump the brakes a bit and do a deep dive into really understanding what it was going to take to develop a skincare line—I didn't realize how much went into it.
- Ayesha Curry
The early makings of Sweet July Skin (which is a reference to the month that marks her wedding anniversary and the birth of all three of her children) dates back to roughly four years ago when she began the process of developing products and testing formulas. "I was a bit insane thinking that it was going to be a quick thing to do," she says. "I had to pump the brakes a bit and do a deep dive into really understanding what it was going to take to develop a skincare line—I didn't realize how much went into it."
Noting that all of Sweet July Skin's formula's are their own (meaning you won't find any other skincare product on the market quite like it), Curry expands a bit on the developmental process: "It was a big challenge in patience for me, and sometimes it still shocks me just how long things can take, but I'm getting used to it. I've had to realize that different people like different things, so it's a process to finding a common ground—even if it's something as simple as whether or not the product is going to have a scent."
Eventually, after years of rigorous testing, Curry and the rest of her Sweet July Skin team nailed down a winning combination to launch the line with: the Pava Toner ($32), the Pava Exfoliating Cleanser ($39), and the Irie Power Face Oil ($60)—each of which have its own distinctive properties and work in tandem with one another to have your skin looking balanced, refreshed, moisturized, and hydrated. "I knew I wanted to start with the basics," Curry recalls of the decision to roll out those three products first last summer. She continues: "The skin care products you implement into any system is something to cleanse and hydrate along with a powerful face oil. It's funny that we decided to end up going with those three products, because we were so heavily focused on serums early on."
The retinol we used is gentle so there's no irritation, and along the way you experience tighter skin with more hydration. You also get an immediate benefit from the turmeric.
- Ayesha Curry
In the months since the launch, the brand has continued to add more products to their catalog, and they've now arrived to the point where they've unveiled a new serum in their lineup. Launched in early January, the Good Youth Retinol Sleep Serum ($70) brings forth a unique and dreamy formula of lavender, papaya and turmeric paired with the firming power of retinol, and has soothing qualities of lavender water and turmeric root oil in the formula that provides comfort to the skin while effectively reducing redness and inflammation. "My family tested this product for months," Curry shares. "My mom, grandma, and aunties all tested it and are happy it's finally out so they can have it. The retinol we used is gentle so there's no irritation, and along the way you experience tighter skin with more hydration. You also get an immediate benefit from the turmeric."
"We didn't skip any steps here," continues Curry adding: "Really you're supposed to be using this serum at night, but it is gentle enough to fit underneath makeup, and the serum soaks into the skin to give you a brighter complexion. The Good Youth Retinol Serum is one of the ones we formulated that really roped us all in, and its super effective."
Speaking of retinol, there's an on-going debate in the skincare world regarding its usage, how effective it is, and whether or not it's too harsh on the skin. My next question to Curry was exactly about that conversation. "We made sure to make this serum gentle," she explains. "You have the lavender flower, hydroxyacetophenone, and the turmeric powers over immediately. With this serum we also did a bunch of consumer testing." The results of that consumer testing? After four weeks of use, 97% of the testers of the Good Youth Retinol Serum agreed that their skin felt more hydrated. Additionally, 92% agreed that the look of rough skin texture was reduced and brighter than before. "My mom, who loves the serum, claims she had laugh lines and that the serum tightened them up. I've always thought my mother had great skin and I didn't see what she was talking about, but she loves it!"
We all know that it takes more than just great skincare products for a routine to work—your diet plays a huge role in your overall skin health as well. So I asked Curry to put her chef hat on for a second to tell us the best foods we should be eating for her products to work to the best of their ability. "As simple as it sounds—hydration, make sure you’re drinking water and coconut water, and nurture your body with things like nuts, walnuts, cashews, and salmon—avoid inflammatories."
I want to nurture and foster that love in him as well because there's a stigma surrounding men in self/skincare, and I would love to do my part in my household at least of lessening that.
- Ayesha Curry
Those ideals are also ones she's instilling in her children: Riley (11), Ryan (8), and Canon (5). As women, we start having the importance of skincare drilled into us early, so I asked Curry specifically about her son Canon's skincare routine. "With my girls being a little older now, we do spa nights and make sure to include Canon. I want to nurture and foster that love in him as well because there's a stigma surrounding men in self/skincare, and I would love to do my part in my household at least of lessening that. Canon puts on the eye patches and I'll put his lotion on but we'll pretend it's a serum. I love the act that it empowers."
So what's next in the pipeline for Sweet July Skin? Curry tells me there's a lot more in store to look forward to. "We're heavy in development, and it's really exciting now that we've introduced people to the brand and have been able to fully develop and get feedback from our audience. There's a lot more to come!"
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