At just 34 years old, Afro-Latina Priscilla Jiminian is on the path to creating a veritable skincare empire. Priscilla was raised in the Bronx and has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and it wasn’t an easy path to where she is today. After years of unsuccessfully attempting to cure her own skincare issues with store-bought products, the Dominicana entrepreneur began tinkering with making her own skincare products, and when she was finally able to improve the appearance of the dark spots and acne marks that had been the root of her personal insecurity for years, the course of her life changed drastically. In 2019, just two years after starting her business, officially registered her company, Skinergy Beauty.
“Before launching Skinergy Beauty, I did not have a formal education in the beauty industry or in skincare. But, I had a strong background in marketing, customer service and sales–and a passion for skincare,” Priscilla tells HipLatina. She connected with a 20-year veteran in the skincare industry in 2017 and learned from experts including estheticians and chemists and throughout the way she’s taught herself the skills necessary to run Skinergy.
What really impresses us though is Priscilla’s laser-focus on meeting some of the very specific skincare needs that many women of color face, and her ability to grow her business. Skinergy went from offering just one direct-to-consumer product a few years ago, to offering an entire line of effective, high-quality, top-selling products that actually meet the needs of their consumers.
Priscilla was working in real estate and knew virtually nothing about owning a business or the skincare industry at the time. From product development to funding, she’s now learned it all herself. How exactly? Priscilla stayed focused on her vision, inspired by Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez and Aisha Ceballos-Crump of Botaníka Beauty. Initially, she wanted to develop a product that could help with hyper pigmentation and razor burn scarring and marks, particularly in the bikini area. So she turned to her Dominican roots, and began working on the product that is now known as the Skinergy Beauty Dark Spot Correcting Cream.
Priscilla tells us she started at the most basic level: “finding the right high quality ingredients that were gentle for our skin, but were also potent and powerful to address these issues.” She worked with her team in the Dominican Republic to formulate their signature product with local botanical ingredients including Ferulic Acid, Waltheria Indica Extract, and Mushroom Extract (Kojic Acid).
Knowing that she could make a difference and receiving positive feedback especially in the early days, were big motivators for Priscilla. “Customer feedback, setting an example for my community to pursue their dreams, knowing that a Skinergy Beauty product has helped someone perhaps elevate their self esteem, and proving to the community that their environment and life circumstances don’t stand in the way of them finding their calling. These are all gratifying emotions.”
Priscilla was keen enough to use what she did know—her Caribbean culture—to get started in what she didn’t. By using ingredients sourced from the Dominican Republic, she was essentially tapping into some of the very resources that her ancestors may have used generations ago to address the issues she and other women of color still have today.
“Skinergy Beauty greatly benefits Latinas because each product is specifically formulated with our skin in mind,” she says. “‘By us and for us’ rings true, and our rich, beautiful, unique and melanin-rich skin requires the right skincare solutions—high quality products that provide results without having to wait months on end or breaking the bank.” But, that doesn’t mean her products don’t work for EVERY woman because they do.
Now Skinergy Beauty offers a line of products that are paraben-, sulfate- and cruelty-free, and can all be used together to create a complete skincare routine for women with various skin types and complexions. Their collection includes a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, facial oil, skin mist and a bronzer. Priscilla also emphasizes the importance of using sunscreen and regular checkups with a dermatologist.
In just a few short years, Priscilla has achieved her goal, completely shifting focus from her career in real estate to building a successful and responsible beauty business from the ground up. “I believe Latinos are extremely motivated to succeed and have a strong work ethic. I saw my father work long hours until the day he retired. This is very normal to witness in our community, and it has molded me to become a self-driven, highly motivated business woman who is pursuing her dream.”
Now that she’s achieved the level of success she dreamed of, she’s sharing her story and advice in the hopes she’ll inspire budding entrepreneurs to go for it. “Education is freedom. Study the industry extensively. Know your target customer. Be patient; nothing happens overnight. Affiliate yourself with like-minded individuals, and network with those in similar positions. Own your brand by trademarking, copyrighting, patenting, finding the right branding and hire experts — when you’re able to — to lead you in the right direction.”