GlowRx is a Black, physician-owned skincare brand founded in 2018 that prioritizes the needs of melanated skin. Founder Lorraine Beraho struggled for several years to find products that could nourish and balance her skin. Her frustration with that search ultimately resulted in her creating her own line of skincare products.
A board-certified pediatrician and practicing physician by day, Beraho regularly addresses patients’ skin conditions.
“My teenage patients often complain about their ‘bad skin;’ blemish-free, perfectly even skin [are] their ‘skin goals,’” Beraho said. “I created GlowRx Skincare to change the narrative: Healthy skin is good skin and proper nourishment with hydrating, clean ingredients can result in glowing skin.”
Many of the skin concerns her patients had were the result of overly-complicated skin routines with products that contain harsh ingredients, which often serve as root causes for dehydrated and inflamed skin.
“These routines are particularly damaging to those with melanin-rich skin due to hyperpigmentation, dryness and other effects of skincare overload,” Beraho said.
While on a work trip in Libera to test a child vaccine for the Ebola virus, Beraho discovered the power of natural remedies and ingredients. She had run out of her favorite hair oil and decided to test out what the locals used: cold pressed baobab oil.
Beraho found the results from using baobab oil as being “immediate” and “impressive.” The experience made her curious to look into the benefits of other natural ingredients found in Africa. This would become the foundation that GlowRx would be built on.
GlowRx currently has five products made with sustainably sourced vegan ingredients and mild botanicals, designed with sensitive, melanin-rich skin in mind. The products are available online and at Target stores.
“[As someone who is] half Ugandan [and] half Rwandan, I’m no stranger to the unique challenges of melanin-rich skin,” Beraho said. “Hyperpigmentation and dry skin especially impacts Black folks. Many products on the market are formulated without our specific skin needs in mind, and GlowRx addresses these issues to serve as a trustworthy source for our skin concerns.”
In Beraho’s opinion, there are several benefits to using vegan skincare products. She thinks that buying products with vegan ingredients is a way to self-regulate what people are putting on their bodies.
“In general, U.S. beauty products aren’t heavily regulated, so vegan products minimize the risk of toxic ingredients that other products could expose you to,” Beraho said. “Animal products bring in additional risk factors like contamination, bacterial growth and more. Water-based products with animal byproducts can have heightened risk of spoilage as well.”
Although Beraho has enjoyed the journey of starting and growing a business, it has been difficult at times to be a business owner and a practicing physician. It wasn’t easy balancing her patients with trips to East Africa to build relationships with farmers, but Beraho is proud she showed that it could be done.
Beraho is currently working on having clinical trials done to test the efficacy of GlowRx. The high cost of the testing was a barrier, but Beraho believes that gaining more data is worth the cost.
In the future, she would like to expand the product line and its distribution to more stores to expand the brand’s domestic reach. Beraho also hopes for collaborations and partnerships with other Black-owned brands in the time to come.