Ann Dunning and Christina Kelmon, founders of Latinx skincare and haircarebrand Vamigas, want the beauty industry to recognize the cultural context of the ingredients it so often hails as miracles or cure-alls. It’s no secret that the market is saturated with fads and “it”-products, and very rarely do the brands marketing them acknowledge the history and provenance of the materials they’re using to craft the latest serum, moisturizer or supplement. Instead, purveyors often advertise non-European ingredients — whether they’re from Asia, Africa or Latin America — as “exotic” luxuries, a way for consumers to dabble in other cultures on a purely surface level. For Dunning and Kelmon, this is where the concept of “decolonizing skincare” comes in.
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