These Gender-Neutral Beauty Brands Are Redefining Skincare As We Know It
In a world that thrives on deepening divides along the lines of gender for their own benefit, the presence of organisations and brands that support gender neutrality are always a welcome relief. The fashion and beauty industry, specifically, have built empires by segmenting their market into ‘male’ and ‘female’. Clothes, accessories, beauty products have all been neatly categorised to cater to the needs of two specific genders — the man and the woman. The inherent bias in this system is glaring, but as businesses continue to flourish with this prejudice at the forefront, will gender inclusivity ever be a priority?
What is gender neutrality?
As a concept, gender neutrality is a movement that urges society to stop distinguishing roles solely based on gender. Gender discrimination that has been persistent for so long is a product of this strict adherence to gender roles. Moving away from these binaries, and viewing an individual as an entity aside from their gender and promoting equality is what lies at the heart of this movement.
The rise of gender-neutral beauty
In the last few years, as conversations about gender neutrality have gathered momentum, the beauty industry has begun to realise the importance of gender non-conformity. There’s been a visible shift in the kind of products that are available in the market. From a business stand point, a shift to gender-neutral beauty has broadened the consumer base and prevented the alienation of any one segment of the market. From a cultural point of view, the presence of these products in the market is an important step forward in the reimagining of the constructs of gender. Across the world, gender-neutral beauty brands are being recognised and applauded for their revolutionary, inclusive approach to skincare.
Below is a list of a few gender neutral beauty brands that have managed to create a niche for themselves in the industry and have brought gender-neutral beauty products to the forefront:
The story: Based in England and Wales, Jecca was founded by make-up artist Jessica Blacker. As a freelancer, Jessica received several make-up related queries from Transgender people. This is when she realised that there was a glaring lack of dedicated Trans make-up services and something had to be done about it. Believing in the transformative power of make-up and skincare, Jessica set out to formulate a unisex skincare brand that would help this community address their skincare needs. This resulted in JECCA, a brand that offers a varied palette of concealers for all individuals, irrespective of their gender.
The Clincher: JECCA has a unisex product range that was originally designed keeping the transgender community in mind; however, it has evolved to include skincare products that cater to the need of every individual who wants to feel empowered.
Non Gender Specific
The Story: Andrew Glass, the founder of Non Gender Specific was an executive at a men’s skincare brand, which is when he realised how segregated the beauty industry had become. Andrew then began envisioning a brand, which did not restrict itself to the confines of gender and provided expert skincare for everyone. Non Gender Specific was thus born, with a clear emphasis on individuality and gender equality.
The Clincher: Offering ‘The Everything Serum’, a product that addresses a variety of skin problems including wrinkles, skin fatigue and hyperpigmentation, Non Gender Specific considers itself to be a brand for all humans.
The Story: Panacea is a gender-neutral start-up brand that targets skincare needsfor specific skin types. It is a brand that wants to break free from the notion that beauty products and skincare are limited to only a certain group of people. Co-founder and CEO Terry Lee envisioned a brand that embraced an individual, irrespective of their gender. Building a lasting relationship with their consumers is what Panacea continually works towards.
The Clincher: The range at Panacea is inspired by the renowned K-beauty philosophy. Their minimalist approach to skincare led to the formulation of the ‘Essentials’ kit, which consists of a cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen — a three product all-encompassing collection that guarantees radiant, healthy skin.
The Story: With a completely natural approach to beauty and skincare, Asarai is a Los Angeles-based brand founded by Australian couple Jay and Patrice Rynenberg along with Jay’s mother, Trish Rynenberg. Trish studied naturopathy and herbal medicine, and her inclination towards everything ‘natural’ led her to start producing her own soaps and products, which eventually paved the way for Asarai. Their yellow packaging lends the brand an ambiguous tone, one that is neither feminine nor masculine.
The Clincher: Gender non-specificity isn’t their only USP, they also actively work towards saving the planet. Having partnered with ‘1% For the Planet’, they contribute a part of their sales towards helping conserve the environment. Keeping it simple and real is what defines Asarai.