Fun fact: Black women are one of the most underserved markets in the beauty industry. To little surprise, African Americans spend the most money in the beauty industry.According to Nielsen, African-American spending account for almost 86 percent of the total dollars spent.
Unfortunately, there’s a clear deficit when it comes to the products that cater to the specific needs of the Black female body and all of the glowing melanin that comes with it, as well as the inside of our bodies.
Thankfully, we’re not completely forgotten.
Her Sister’s Keeper – In Beauty and Wellness
It just takes girl bosses like Dixie Lincoln-Nichols to put brands that are intentional about serving Black women on the market. With her Inner Outer Beauty brick-and-mortar store in Allentown, PA and her website, iobeautymarket.com, Lincoln-Nichols is not only spreading awareness, but featuring toxicant-free beauty and wellness products that are owned by her fellow Black women.
“I think there was a need for it in the market,” Lincoln-Nichols said during an exclusive interview with Aspire.TV. “First off, there is very little inclusivity—little to no inclusivity. I wanted to be in this clean beauty space, because I feel that all women deserve to have products that are healthier and safer for their bodies. There’s this shift that’s beginning to happen that women are becoming more conscious about products that we’re putting on and in our bodies.”
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Lincoln-Nichols added that her love for science and the female body is what gives her the credentials she needs to know which products are truly the best and healthiest, especially for Black women. Considering she’s been going strong for eight years, it’s obvious she’s on to something major. And while women of color are slowly but surely embracing these healthy products, many still don’t realize how powerful their dollar is, and why it’s vital for them to start embracing them sooner than later.
“When I looked at the statistics that were being presented, it was astonishing,” said Lincoln-Nichols. “Women of color spend approximately $7.6 billion cosmetics alone in the United States. This is basically 51 percent higher than any other ethnic group. Yet, they are sold the most toxic products with the most toxic ingredients. What are we getting? What are we doing for our health? So, although we’ve made a lot of [headway] in terms of having products for our skin type and our skin tone, we now have to take a look at what the ingredients that are in these products and how well they’re supporting our bodies.”
Serving Black Women With Toxic-Free Health Products
Inner Outer Beauty Market helps to not only fulfill that need by providing healthy products that serve Black women, but also offers much needed education on what to look for and what to avoid when purchasing beauty products.
“There’s this need to make more informed decisions,” continued Lincoln-Nichols. “Once you have the information, you can do so much for yourself. We really want to push educating and informing people of what they need to know and the benefits of toxic-free health and wellness products.”
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When it comes to Inner Outer Beauty Market as a whole, Lincoln-Nichols described it in four compelling words, “Inclusive, diverse, effective, and safe.” Just looking at those words shows why the brand is so needed. There aren’t many brands and companies that can tout these adjectives that are also intentional about serving the Black female community. Inside Outer Beauty Market goes above and beyond and literally inspects all of the products to make sure they live up to what the brand says it offers. They require their vendors to go through a checklist to guarantee there are not any toxic ingredients in their products and that they’re up to par. They also have multiple professionals in the beauty industry from hairstylists to dermatologists that test the products before they put them on the market.
What I love about Lincoln-Nichols and the Inner Outer Beauty Market is that she doesn’t just sell the products, she swears them. Like most women, she has experienced her own body issues from cystic acne to uterus fibroids (so the products go beyond just face creams), and Inner Outer Beauty Market has safe products to help treat them all, and more.
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“IO Beauty market refers to inside, outer beauty because we believe beauty has to be approached from both sides. So we carry products that address the inside and also the outside. The Beauty Chef carries a gut health set of powders and liquids for the body. Since I have uterus fibroids, I have a high estrogen content in my body, I have to focus on really supporting my gut and my liver, and so that supports that.”
She added she also loves Jacq’s Organics that provides three products Lincoln-Nichols uses for her skin – facial wash, toner, and moisturizer, that she said has really her cystic adult acne that she has struggled with. Another popular product is dermatologist Karite’s whipped shea butter that has the power to keep our melanin popping, especially in the cooler months.
By now, it’s no secret that Lincoln-Nichols is a boss in not only the beauty market but as an entrepreneur as well. She offered up a few words of amazing advice for any African American who is looking to be her own boss, open her own business, and/or launch her own brand.
“Love what you’re going to do… It’s easy to walk away from something you don’t love. Make sure there’s love and passion there in this venture you really want to put out into the world,” Lincoln-Nichols advised. “When you have passion, it’s easier to hang in there during those down times.”
Check out IO Beauty market’s website, iobeautymarket.com and its physical store located at 26 N 6th St. #150, Allentown, PA 18101, and be on the lookout for more locations around the nation.