The Brand That Provides Perfectly-Dosed Products For All Skin Tones and Types

Brand Spotlight

The Brand That Provides Perfectly-Dosed Products For All Skin Tones and Types

By Amanda Slomovitz

Filed Under

A Q+A with Common Heir co-founder & CPO, Angela Ubias 

Q: What inspired you to start Common Heir?

A: Common Heir was largely inspired by the women and humans of color in my everyday life: family, friends, simply the diversity of faces I saw anytime I stepped out into the world. 

Around that time in my career, I’d spent close to 8 years developing formulas ranging from luxury skincare to mass personal care for dozens of other brands, none of which were designed to be safe and efficacious for deeper skin tones or even sensitive or aging skin. I knew I could take all of my expertise and pour it into something fresh, innovative and inclusive

Q: What achievements are you most proud of in the growth of Common Heir?

A: I’m always proud that we’ve made hit after hit with all of our core formulas and products. Getting to say every product is multiple times over a major beauty award winner is kind of a huge deal, especially as a career product developer. More than that though, it’s the impact I’ve been able to make, however slight, in representation in beauty and luxury beauty specifically. Anytime our community reaches out to share how seen they feel by the brand or that they’ve seen a skin transformation that’s boosted their confidence...That’s what we set out to do! 

Q: With your previous experience formulating and developing beauty products for other brands in the industry, what challenges or shortcomings did you observe in the process of creating skincare products for the needs of the Black community in skincare? 

A: Clinical trials is a huge one! More often than not, when you see brands advertising that “99% of participants saw improvement in XYZ”, that participant pool includes a small amount of folks with my skin tone as one of the deeper ones in that study. That means that we haven’t historically tested for efficacy or safety of skincare formulas on more melanin-rich skin. 

Overcoming this as a small brand was no easy feat, but we’re proud to have conducted some of the most inclusive clinical trials in market, at times at the sacrifice of launching more quickly. 

Q: What do you want Common Heir to add to the skincare conversation?

A: I like to think of us as a gateway to rethinking the status quo. Luxury doesn’t have to feel boring, nor does it have to be exclusionary. We make skincare for all, not just some. 

Q: Tell us about the development of your Retinol serum, from initial development, to trials, to launch. Would you consider this your “hero” product? 

A: I think all of our formulas are hero products in their own right! Retinol was a no-brainer second formula to launch, because our customers demanded it right away and we saw benefits in encapsulation for retinol that added to efficacy and potency. I knew this one would be challenging, not only to make it feel approachable, but also sensitive skin friendly and melanin-safe. A lot of us don’t realize that retinol can actually have really gnarly results on more melanin-rich skin and actually worsen things we’re trying to treat. Folks with deeper skin tones are more likely to see increased hyperpigmentation, scarring, and drying/flaking. This is where retinol type, dosage, and base ingredients were key to a stand out formula. 

As mentioned, clinical trials require additional time to ensure we have a full range of skin tones and types. Because of this we found ourselves pushing back our launch date not once, but twice! 

It all feels worth it though, as reception was great and this formula continues to rack up accolades. 

Shop Common Heir

Keep Reading

Product Finder

  • any product
  • any condition