Patrick Boateng on Creating an Elevated and Effective Grooming Brand Informed by Travel and Design
“My philosophy is ‘keep it simple,” the founder of Ceylon, a skincare regimen geared for men of color, Patrick Boateng, tells thirteen lune. “My goal is to use as few products as possible to achieve the desired skin outcomes. Whether that’s an easy 3-step process or up to 5 products, whatever helps my skin get to where it needs to be.”
The former U.S diplomat and now Los Angeles resident was inspired to create his skincare brand when struggling with some skin issues while serving in Mainland China. After an extensive search for products that would quell breakouts and address hyperpigmentation, Boateng came up short in finding any brands that spoke to him or addressed his concerns (even in the robust Asian beauty market).
“Though I tried hundreds of brands none were tailored to guys like me, seeking simple and effective formulations that help deal with the specific issues more likely to occur in pigmented skin. I suspected that I wasn’t alone in this struggle and that’s what led to creating Ceylon.”
Men’s skincare is valued to be a $1 billion plus industry by 2024, yet it largely overlooks men of color and their specific hair and skin needs. Brands like Ceylon are delivering products that are effective on sensitive skin and with issues like ingrown hairs and scarring, while also using versatile formulas that can be used by a variety of skin types.
“The most inspiring thing is the excitement and energy from our community about seeing the industry evolve to serve people like them. There’s real optimism about the future of grooming and the opportunity to have products and experiences that reflect their truths.”
Get to Know – Patrick Boateng
What were some of your first memories of beauty/grooming growing up? What are some early influences?
I was really fortunate not to have bad acne growing up. My earliest memories were of using drugstore products if and when I had a tiny pimple here or there. I didn't know anything about building a skincare routine! My mom definitely had an early influence since she bought products for me to use, even though I had no clue how to use them.
What does self-care look like in your life?
For me, it’s taking an opportunity to get on my bike and clear my head in the mornings before starting my day. By the end of the ride, I’m usually pretty relaxed and able to take on whatever comes my way.
What inspires you most about the grooming landscape and industry today?
From my perspective, the most inspiring thing is the excitement and energy from our community about seeing the industry evolve to serve people like them. There’s real optimism about the future of grooming and the opportunity to have products and experiences that reflect their truths.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
As the business evolves, so do the challenges but I think the biggest one has to be saying ‘no’ to certain opportunities, no matter how good they might seem.
What has been the biggest win thus far?
Our biggest win so far was our brand update, which gave us an opportunity to explore our core visual identity and interrogate our underlying views on our own products.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty/grooming industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
More early-stage funding that doesn’t look like charity.