is not one-size fits all, especially if you’re a Black or brown person. Determining what products will be effective for your complexion can be challenging. 

Priscilla Jiminian had this issue when treating the scarring left over from her adult acne. The products she tried weren’t potent enough to fade them, so she took matters into her own hands. This Dominicana began her premium skincare side hustle, Skinergy Beauty, in 2017.

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Global consultants McKinsey and Company recently did a study on how represented Black consumers are in the beauty industry. They found that Black beauty brands constitute just 2.5% of profit, while Black consumers form 11.1% of total spending. The gap didn’t sit right with Jiminian. Her brand’s mission became being the “go-to solution” for Black and brown skin concerns.

The skincare entrepreneur spoke to mitú about how she got started, navigated the growing indie beauty world, and what her community’s support means to her.

Jiminian’s journey took a few twists

The native New Yorker is from the Dominican Republic but raised in the Bronx. When she attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, she worked as an administrative assistant at a real estate company. 

As an adult, she developed hormonal acne, which affects about half of women in their 20s, according to WebMD. The acne left her with dark spots from scarring for many years. Her search for a product that would fade her scars to nothing was unsuccessful. 

Top two photos show Jiminian's acne in December 2020. Bottom two photos show an improvement by January 2021.
Used with permission from Priscilla Jiminian

“As a Latina from the Dominican Republic, I couldn’t find a highly effective product in the U.S. market that did not contain hydroquinone to lighten hyperpigmentation,” said Jiminian. “And because Latinos are susceptible to having melasma and dark spots, I took this opportunity to fill in a space in the beauty industry.”

While working full-time managing the real estate company as an agent, she dedicated her free time to her side hustle. Skinergy Beauty was born in 2017, and Jiminian’s debut product was the Dark Spot Correcting Cream. The award-winning product combats signs of aging reduces acne scarring, and more.

Skinergy Beauty's Dark Spot Correcting Cream in the center of the frame.

Two years later, her real estate broker retired, and she took a risk to focus on Skinergy Beauty full-time. “Through the pandemic, it garnered lots of attention, and it is now my full-time career,” said Jiminian.

Using self-reliance to overcome challenges

When Jiminian left her career in real estate, she had to bootstrap for Skinergy Beauty’s debut. She calls the experience “incredibly isolating” because she didn’t belong to the beauty industry community. 

“Before the indie beauty boom, I had no roadmap to navigate this newfound career I started,” shared Jiminian.

Bringing awareness to her brand was another complication for her. In addition to not having any colleagues in her corner, she felt minimal support for small business owners and even less as a Latina. Jiminian tasked herself with learning as much as she could about running a small business to get a strong footing in the industry. 

She lives by a quote from an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson on self-reliance: “Ne te quaesiveris extra,” which translates to, “Look to no one outside yourself” for solutions to problems. Jiminian had luck participating in entrepreneurship programs, business accelerators and was most recently awarded the 2022 Chase For Business Luminary Fellowship.

Being Latina made her a confident business owner

Although she had to start Skinergy Beauty without support from the beauty community, her loved ones have been there from the beginning. “It’s truly what makes this dream of mine worth it,” said Jiminian.

She did what many of us would be afraid to do: leave a stable career in favor of a nontraditional one. In a Latino family, no less! It’s all because her Dominican culture taught her to be unapologetic about her mission and dreams.

“Being the first female in the family to take a very different path than my siblings and cousins have taken is pure pressure,” said Jiminian. “But I’ve seen how amazing my parents and the rest of my family have been throughout these [past] six years.”

Jiminian hopes Latinas interested in starting a business know that their stories matter and they need to be expressed. She recommends stopping the self-doubt and celebrating every step they take towards fulfilling their dream.

“This is your life, and you are behind the wheel,” offers Jiminian. “Start somewhere, anywhere.”