Priyanka Chopra Jonas has one burning question for the beauty industry: "Most high-end, luxury products are not made for people of color, so why the hell are we buying creams for 'all skin types'?"
She posed this question when we sat down with her recently to talk about being the first face of her go-to skincare brand, Obagi. She's right: In a few short years, we've seen the much-needed expansion of makeup catered to women of color, but it isn't too often that skincare follows suit.
Chopra, an outspoken advocate for diversity and inclusion, says one of the reasons she trusts Obagi is because, "Each individual product has been tried and tested on all six Fitzpatrick skin types, as opposed to just one particular skin type. That makes you feel included."
The Fitzpatrick Scale she mentions is a numerical classification system that gauges how each skin tone responds to UV light. Dermatologists use it in their offices to determine treatments for patients. Obagi has been using it for the past 30 years to develop its products. It's only now that the brand, which relied on word of mouth recommendations, has now chosen to highlight their efforts with "Skinclusion," their first-ever global advertising campaign starring none other than Chopra.
"It really should make other beauty brands sit up and see that what Obagi has done is revolutionary," Chopra says. "If they have been doing it for 30 years, why is everyone else so far behind?"
Jonas was first drawn to Obagi when she was, believe it or not, experiencing "crazy breakouts" after moving to Los Angeles. After getting her skin analyzed and trying recommendations from Jamie Castle (Obagi's President), and seeing her skin transform before her eyes, she was hooked. And, it isn't just Jonas that has fallen in love with Obagi's products-Alicia Keys, Drew Barrymore, Ayesha Curry, and Sofia Carson have come forward as fans of the brand, too.
Ahead of her new role as Obagi's brand ambassador, Jonas exclusively spoke with ELLE.com about her past struggles with finding skincare that truly worked for her.
What are some challenges that you've had with knowing which products to use on your skin?
That was always confusing for me-I simply couldn't figure out what to use! I would just keep mixing products and trying whatever was advertising better. That's how I got all of my information. And, if it worked for my friends, it must work for me, right? It was all trial and error. That was the biggest hindrance that I had with beauty all of my life.
Why is Obagi a right fit for you?
What first stuck out to me was that Obagi is a brand that my dermatologist would recommend, so there was an immediate faith in that. When they approached me, I had just moved to Los Angeles and my skin was experiencing crazy breakouts. They analyzed my skin and recommended products that worked for me, and it cleared up my skin. I wanted to be associated with the brand because I could turn around and say the products will work with full faith and confidence.
Which products are your favorite?
When they approached you, what was your initial reaction?
I said that I wanted to test the products before becoming their spokesperson. I'm honestly really skeptical about the products I use because my face is my money maker. Only when I could say "This really made my skin great," is when we came to an agreement of me becoming their ambassador.
What more work do you think has to be done as far as making the beauty industry more inclusive?
It’s easy to remember a time where people couldn't find a compact, powder, or a foundation to match their skin tone. When thinking about how far we've come now, we've gone further, but there are so many parts of the world where you still don't have products, especially skincare, that are made to suit our particular individualities.
What is the main thing that you want people to take away from this campaign?
What I really hope that people take away from this campaign is that skincare can be extremely personal, and that skincare and inclusion are not "aspirational." It doesn't have to be an “all skin types” product with a beautiful bottle that costs hundreds of dollars. It doesn't need to be that.
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