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Obagi Launches #Skinclusion: 3 Key Takeways

Posted by Kristin Clark on

Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Priyanka Chopra Jonas has teamed up with Obagi to promote diversity in skincare.

Earlier this month, Obagi launched its SKINclusion™ initiative alongside ambassador, actor and activist, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and, take it from us, its got the skincare world shook. We are proud to support the initiative and welcome its call for all of us in the skincare industry to celebrate global diversity and recognize implicit bias as it affects our own beauty standards and protocol around product development. Yes, they went there - and we're here for it.

We explore 3 key takeaways from the beauty campaign that's making a difference. We'll try to breakdown what Chopra means when she says: "Most high-end, luxury products are not made for people of color, so why the hell are we buying creams for 'all skin types'?" 

Priyanka Chopra Jones is Woke

If you're not aware of Priyanka Chopra Jones - and after her and fiance Nick Jonas' stunning Cannes red carpet debut got social media buzzing, we're a little surprised if that's the case - now you have even more reason to follow the illustrious and beautiful multi-talented actor, director, two-time UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights and now, champion of inclusivity.

Throughout her 20 year career, Chopra has had a lot to say about various causes - now she's taking on the broader skincare industry. As she notes in her interview with Elle, "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 skin care, that are made to suit our particular individualities." 

Chopra admits that the makeup industry has taken the correct steps in better catering its products to people of color but she decries that the same still cannot be said of the skin care industry as a whole - Obagi and other industry innovators aside.

The Obagi #Skinclusion initiative, for Chopra, represents a moment to call attention to how diversity can be celebrated by ensuring inclusivity-sensitive measures are taken by the skincare industry. Obagi serves as the prime example of this kind of leadership in formulating products that cover all six Fitzpatrick skin types. Chopra pushes us to keep going further by confronting the very unconscious biases that lead to exclusivity around the globe.

Unconscious Bias is Everywhere

The research is plentiful and it doesn't lie: unconscious bias, or implicit attitudes against certain skin colors, is everywhere. Science has gone a long way to show us this is true without degenerating the conversation into finger-pointing - it's not our fault if we have certain inherited biases but it is our fault if we choose not to do anything about it. Chopra puts it elegantly, "We all have unconscious bias, and it’s up to all of us to recognize it and be the change we want to see in the world.”

This is the second takeaway of the Obagi #skinclusion campaign: it compels us to look at our own biases as they color our experience in the world. Chopra encourages us to take the Project Implicit Skin Tone online test, the brainchild of Harvard researchers over two decades ago. 

For Chopra and the Obagi team, this isn't just about skincare, it's about our common humanity. As she remarks, "We all have the power to become the change we want to see in the world. It starts with understanding ourselves and making conscious choices about everything we do…from how we see and interact with others to the brands we choose to support."

The FitzPatrick Skin Spectrum is Key

Finally, we take away the importance of the Fitzpatrick Scale, the numerical classification system of different skin types that dermatologists can use to determine skin-color-specific treatments. 

Obagi has been the leader in pushing for the integration of Fitzpatrick skin types with the development of new product types for over 30 years. Chopra cites the reason for her trust in the Obagi brand precisely 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."

Now it's up to the rest of the skincare world to respond. Chopra fires up the challenge when she says, "It really should make other beauty brands sit up and see that what Obagi has done is revolutionary...if they have been doing it for 30 years, why is everyone else so far behind?"

We applaud Obagi, Chopra Jonas and the #Skinclusion initiative and encourage everyone to join the dialogue. If we needed any more incentive, Obagi pledges to donate $1 to support International Cultural Diversity Organization (ICDO) and Project Implicit for every social share posted with the hashtag #Skinclusion. Let's get to it.


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