At Because, it's been our mission to champion the brands that may have gone under the radar in the sea of stuff available to us. In light of what's been happening globally over the last few months, we've noticed this is needed now more than ever, and have been wondering how best to continue this. 

Hence the start of our latest feature, Pass the Platform, where we'll be sharing a selection of interviews who would have been picked by the interviewee prior, starting a thread and community of brands that are doing good within the fashion and beauty worlds. We hope this will bring attention to different voices that aren't always heard within these realms, as per our pledge to do better.

Next up is Roselyn Annor, founder of skincare brand, Bowë Skincare. After being nominated by Nyree from Mum Bub Hub, Roselyn tells us how Bowë incorporates her Ghanian heritage, and describes her entrepreneurial beginnings.
Read on to find out how Bowë Skincare - with its powerful ingredient list -might be the skincare brand you've been needing...

How did Bowë start?
Bowë as a concept, started way back in 2011, that's when I first started messing around with ingredients and seeing what worked best for my skin, before I even knew that what I was doing was 'formulating.' My mother would buy body creams and lotions she liked and then mix them together, she would melt and add shea butter, or olive oil, or whatever she felt like she needed to get exactly what she wanted. So as a young woman wanting the best moisturiser for my skin, it was second nature to mix 'a bit of this' and 'a bit of that' to come up with what I needed.
I took this seriously in December 2018 when I decided I wanted to birth Bowë as a skin and body care brand properly and I had a formulation for the Body Moisturiser that I, my family & friends were obsessed with!

Could you tell us more about the Ghanaian influence behind the brand?
Both my parents are Ghanaian, so the ingredients I know and trust and had to include in my products came through my heritage. So ingredients like shea butter were an absolute staple in my house. I mean, there wasn't a thing that shea butter couldn't solve as far as they were concerned! Scraped your knee? Apply shea butter. Got an aching back? Massage it with shea butter! When it came to learning about great skin-loving ingredients, it started there.

Did you experience any setbacks in launching Bowë as a skincare brand catered to women of colour?
What immediately comes to mind was stock imagery. When starting out, there isn't always the budget for lots of photoshoots. You need to pay the photographer, stylist, assistants, models, make up artists etc. So you look for stock images to use in blog posts, newsletters and so on, but it's not easy to find the right ones. That can be frustrating. 

That aside, I would say no if we're specifically discussing a brand for women of colour. If I had the intention of wanting to be in retail stores, then I'm sure I would have struggled. But those barriers to entry are why I was determined to stick with selling directly to my customer base.

What is special about the ingredients in the Bowë Body Moisturiser that make it high-performing?
The High-Performance Body Moisturiser that you're referring to is a blend of 10 vegan butters, oils and waxes that work together to help keep your skin barrier in-tact and keep your skin supple. I think due to things like the clean beauty movement (that I'm not a fan of), some of us look to the next 'superfood' or 'trendy' ingredient and don't look at why and how they help the skin.

HPBM is bursting with antioxidants and vitamins A, E, C & F. These all work together to reduce dullness in the skin and keep it plump and supple. The fatty acid profile works to minimise transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which is crucial now as we're hitting the serious winter temperatures outdoors and central heating indoors. 

For example, our argan butter is high in antioxidants to help reduce signs of aging in the skin (yes, it doesn't just happen to our faces!), the baobab oil is very emollient, our organic coconut oil that most of us know and love has antimicrobial benefits. As well as that, the texture when all those ingredients are brought together is exquisite. It's like a mousse that melts beautifully into the skin on contact, the blend is easily absorbed so you don't feel greasy. It's a gorgeous product and I'm incredibly proud of it.

What are some of the differences in skin care needs between women of colour and caucasian skin?
Most of the studies done in the differences in skin structure between caucasian skin and the skin of people of colour are very small and so it's difficult to offer blanket statements in this area, melanin aside. I chose to focus on my own experience as black woman and the skincare needs of women of colour around me. 

The biggest area that I honed in on was keeping the skin moisturised. Many mainstream moisturisers don't create an effective barrier on the skin and so they seem to 'evaporate' from the skin and we end up looking ashy. The ones that do create a great barrier either has us looking like casper the friendly ghost or we looked like we had just jumped out of a tub of cooking oil. I focused on making a body moisturiser that would provide an effective barrier against TEWL, would be easily absorbed and not leave a sticky white cast.

How do you think we can see more diversified shelves in big retailers?
I think black owned beauty brands have pushed for many years for space on the shelves of retailers to no avail. The few we see now in stores aren't even black owned. So a lot of us have stopped trying to prove our worthiness with these retailers and are taking our products directly into the hands of the women that need them. 

Who would you like to Pass the Platform to next?
I would like to pass the platform to Luxemore London, which is a premium wellness brand founded by Annie Beatson.

Shop Bowë Skincare here.