Dermatologist-Founded Brownkind Addresses Melanin-Rich Skin’s Unique Signs Of Aging

During their over 50 years of combined dermatological expertise, spouses and doctors Abhijit and Gauri Desai have discerned that skin aging can vary by skin tone. Their new brand, Brownkind, addresses the unique signs of aging people with melanin-rich skin experience.

“For dark-skinned patients, what they need to be worried about is pigmentation in the form of uneven skin tone, dullness or loss of radiance, patchiness and dark spots,” says Abhijit, who works with Gauri at Skinsense Skin and Laser Clinic in Mumbai. “That’s what they need to be worried about as the early signs of aging, not fine lines and wrinkles.”

He argues that big beauty conglomerates push consumers to one-size-fits-all anti-aging products intended for white consumers’ fine lines and wrinkles. In contrast, Brownkind is concentrating on darker skinned consumers’ skin tone, dullness, patchiness and dark spot concerns with a lineup of products priced from $39 to $72 that includes Cleanser, Dark Spot Corrector, Glow Moisturizer, Night Cream and Vitamin C Serum. The products are infused with an ingredient complex dubbed Even Tone Defender made up of Indian gooseberry, rainbow algae and cacao to ward off hyperpigmentation.

Gauri says, “While there are plenty of products available in the market to correct pigmentation after it has set in, we believe that the old-school concept of prevention being key is quite important, and we should go back to that.”

Brownkind co-founders, spouses and dermatologists Gauri Desai and Dr. Abhijit Desai. Todd Anderson

Gauri and Abhijit began developing Brownkind during the pandemic and turned to quarantined friends and family members to evaluate early samples. Once their clinic reopened, their patients became test subjects. Many requested more samples after running out of them, a tell-tale sign that Brownkind was onto something. Gauri says, “We joke that that’s the time when we decided to move from sourdough starters to skincare startups.”

Gauri and Abhijit’s medical background made it imperative that Brownkind’s formulation process was informed by scientific insights. Referring to natural ingredients it incorporates like gooseberry and algae, Gauri says, “They are derived in the form of actives in scientific proportions in order to harness the best out of that for our skin type.”

Brownkind’s product Glow Moisturizer and ingredient complex Even Tone Defender went through a clinical study.  According to the study, 80% of participants felt their skin’s natural glow improved after usage. The clinical study was financed by a private equity investment, but the brand declined to share financial details.

Glow Moisturizer is Brownkind’s hero product and a favorite of the Desai’s daughter, an attorney who lives in London and is in Brownkind’s target consumer group of people of color in their mid-twenties to mid-fifties. Abhijit says, “She finds it so convenient that, because of her hectic schedule being a lawyer there, she can just use this product when she’s in a hurry and doesn’t feel the need to put on makeup.”

Brownkind’s Glow Moisturizer is the new brand’s hero product.

Gauri and Abhijit describe Brownkind as a social media-led brand. At the outset, it’s focused on e-commerce and will be available on Instagram and TikTok Shop. “We are actively cultivating a robust social media presence across various platforms driven by our commitment to educate our target audience,” says Abhijit. “This allows us to dialogue more directly around education on why melanin-rich skin is unique and why it deserves a thoughtful and relevant skincare solution.”

Although Gauri and Abhijit are based in India, Brownkind is launching in the United States. Abhijit explains the reasons for its U.S. launch is that the country has vibrant diversity, particularly in brown and Black skin…We also know that the biggest beauty and wellness trends globally start in NYC.”

In the future, Brownkind aspires to partner with a global retailer that resonates with people of color, who Abhijit notes account for more than half of the nearly 8 billion people worldwide. “As a brand, we are on a mission to try and empower people of color to understand their skin better and to embrace its uniqueness,” he says. “So, it’s a large audience we need to really look after.”