Skincare has taught me so much about myself. It has taught me self-acceptance. It has taught me self-preservation. It has taught me just so many lessons about who I am."  

- Jadel H. Davis, @thejaidai

Jadel discusses why changing your perspective and questioning toxic beauty ideals leads to better skincare practices.


Videographer: J. Millhouse

Patrick: Can you introduce yourself for us?

Jadel: I am Jadel Davis. I'm a chemical engineer, I'm a student esthetician, and I'm a skin enthusiast, born and raised from Detroit, Michigan.

Patrick: Can you tell us why you became a chemical engineer? 

Jadel: I became a chemical engineer because I love skincare. But I didn't love skincare for the right reasons when I first started. I really had a toxic relationship with skincare. I approached it from a perspective of I want to change the way I look, I want to be different. It was because I had insecurities about being dark skinned. But as I learned more and I went through progression as a high-schooler, I was in the course for AP biology and I learned about differences in genetics. And I understand that my dark skin is just like a phenotype and it's just an expression of my DNA, and it has no other meaning than that. So that was just the beginning of me saying, "I'm okay with being dark-skinned," and I wouldn't have learned that without skincare because skincare is the reason why I was able to figure that out,

Patrick: How did skincare help you to figure that out?

Jadel: ..because I went back home and looked at one of my [skincare] products for one of our AP biology projects. And they asked us what ingredients were in our products, and I was like, "Oh, okay, I'm going to go grab my bleaching cream," because that was the thing that I love the most. That's crazy.

Jadel: But I brought it into class and I was able to see what all the ingredients were and I found out that there was tons of [carcinogens] in it, which cause cancer. And I started to realize how damaging my perspective or my insecurities could have been for me. And that's what really lead me to say other people need to know this and how can I get involved in creating things and making sure that other people are safe and protected.

Jadel: I started to learn that race is kind of like a construct of our society and biology kind of is a Russian roulette of whether or not we're going to be dark, light, fair. And we all have the capability to be any of those colors depending on our genetics. And so I started to start my journey of really accepting my skin and that's what really gave me my passion for skincare. Because without it, I wouldn't have went through that transformation.

Patrick: If you had any advice for anyone out there who wanted to get in to skincare, what would it be?

Jadel: I would say experiment and try things out. I remember when I first started saying that I wanted to do something in skincare, and at the time, I didn't even know what a chemical engineer was. I was making masks. I would make avocado masks. I would [put in] eggs and things and throw in some almond milk and some oatmeal, and it was crazy. And I’d create my own little scrubs, and I don't think that you should stay there. I see a lot of people staying in that place. I think we should progress with that and ask more questions. And the more questions you ask, the more things you're exposed to, and you'll be able to find what truly calls you in that area.

Interviewer: PATRICK SAINT-tulias
Videographer: J. Millhouse


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