The Brand Launches a Complete and Inclusive Skincare Range
By Melissa Magsaysay
Since the early aughts, Nyakio Grieco has been a passionate beauty founder driven equally by her purpose to uplift others as much as her interest in uncovering the latest peptide or powerful plant-based antioxidant, and then thoughtfully introducing it into her products. Her beauty evolution has unfolded alongside her growth as an entrepreneur and she’s been able to create more space and representation for Black business owners who follow her journey, from funding to formulation, as a blueprint for how the beauty industry and their place in it can be a catalyst for change.
“Relevant: Your Skin Seen is an evolution of all I’ve learned as a beauty founder coupled with finding places in the market where we can serve all consumers.”
In her latest venture, Relevant: Your Skin Seen, Grieco introduces a comprehensive skincare regimen that builds off of the success of the line’s first hero product, One & Done Everyday Cream with SPF 40. The roll out of this inclusive skincare brand has been intentional from inception taking her 20 years of learnings and creating multi-tasking, easy to use, clean products that contain efficacious ingredients sourced from all over the world.
Here, Grieco shares the details of what brought her to develop this brand and how it is an extension of her goal to create a more inclusive and equitable landscape for all to feel seen and served within beauty and beyond.
Get to Know - Nyakio Grieco
What was the impetus to start your brand?
I will always and forever be inspired by my family when it comes to creating and that is certainly the case with Relevant: Your Skin Seen. I have taken family secrets and inspiration from my grandfather who was a medicine man and whose legacy taught me about the restorative power of plant botanicals and efficacious oils to treat the skin. And my grandmother’s wisdom of using coffee and caffeine to stimulate skin cells. 20 years after launching my first brand Nyakio Beauty, I was still inspired by those family beauty secrets, but now for the first time have the autonomy, capital and support to create the brand of my dreams.
Relevant: Your Skin Seen is an evolution of all I’ve learned as a beauty founder coupled with finding places in the market where we can serve all consumers. When I look at highly innovative brands in the marketplace there are still places where people of color are left out. For instance, in cases where certain acids and ingredients can be harmful to our skin and cause the skin to hyper or hypo pigment. The industry hasn’t been set up for all consumers starting with how dermatologists study our skin. I was able to work with the best chemists of color to do a deep dive into people of all skin types in order to be able to serve a customer who has been underserved for so long.
When looking at key ingredients, I was able to marry ingredients used for thousands of years, from all over the globe and which are steeped in timeless efficacy and tradition, and marry them with more recent advancements in science to deliver on not only products that work, but done in a safe way that serves all. Unfortunately, some people forget that people of color are prone to sensitivity. I know as a Black female founder and beauty consumer, if it works for us, it works for everyone.
Do you have a beauty philosophy? What is it?
Beauty comes from the inside out and every single person deserves to treat their skin with the greatest products and attention. I also believe that everybody deserves to see themselves in their beauty purchases in a truly inclusive and authentic capacity.
I started formulating Relevant: Your Skin Seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and a pandemic of systemic racism, so when it came to creating the packaging and formulations, I looked to evoke joy and come from a place of joy. I knew deep down that no matter the challenges to get to this point, this was going to be a brand that speaks to all as well as inspires hope.
What does self-care look like in your life?
Self care in my life is a reflection of knowing that when we commit to performing in service of others, that it evokes peace, love and excitement for all we pour ourselves into.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
What inspires me the most is the focus on true inclusion within the beauty landscape and the power the industry has to do better when speaking to all. Also, I’m inspired by clean innovation, the move towards cleaner and good for you ingredients being incorporated into more products. And last but not least, I am inspired by the next generation of truly sustainable brands.
What was the biggest challenge in starting your business?
Beyond the challenges of creating both thirteen lune and Relevant: Your Skin Seen during 2020, which for so many of us that survived was the hardest year of our lives. For me personally the biggest challenge was also an opportunity to pull myself up and start again. So much of the entrepreneur journey for Black and entrepreneurs of color entails challenges like access to capital and breaking the barrier which is historical retail, but also really having the resilience to pull yourself up after what you can perceive as a failure. When we fall off a bike we don’t consider it a failure, the only failure is not getting back on. We have to be conditioned to use that metaphor when it comes to the starts and stops. The moment I realized I was about to experience a huge transition moving onto my next chapter with now my 2nd and 3rd businesses, was probably the first time I permanently put imposter syndrome and the idea that I couldn’t start over again on a shelf. Thirteen Lune and Relevant: Your Skin Seen have truly shown me for the first time in my life that the moment I got back up led me to the best chapter of my life.
What has been the biggest win thus far?
When I was finally aligned, matching up my passion and an industry that I have been in for the greater part of my adult life. I’ve aligned beauty with my purpose to not only help other consumers feel truly seen through Relevant: Your Skin Seen, but also to bring along all the amazing founders we have partnered with to get to success much quicker than I ever did.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
While the industry has more work to do when it comes to true diversity and inclusivity at shelves, my hope is this becomes the norm in everything from formulators, brands and products to our board rooms, c-suites and other retailers.