One of only 17 artists to ever achieve EGOT status, singer-songwriter John Legend is also a man of many business ventures, such as wine, fashion and now skin care. On this week’s episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast, he shares all the details of his newly launched brand, Loved01, which debuted in CVS on February 1 and enters Walmart in March. Speaking to Glossy not long after welcoming his third baby, he talked about the process of developing the brand, including how it caters to melanin-rich skin, including how it caters to melanin-rich skin, what inspired him during the creative design process and why he chose the brand’s accessible price point. He also talked about the gender-neutral concept of the brand, as well as the state of gender in culture these days. Listen to hear him weigh in on why men are taking better care of their skin, sharing their feelings and embracing the “soft life.” He also discussed the backlash from patriarchal forces and the impact that’s having on politics. Some highlights from the conversation are below, and be sure to listen to the whole episode for more.
What’s been missing in the market for melanin-rich skin care
“A lot of it is just [now] being paid attention to, when it comes to research, when it comes to even the science of dermatology. If you look in textbooks for our future dermatologists as they’re in school, they’re not even learning that much about what’s different about darker skin tones and how to recognize certain conditions that may exist in darker skin tones. There’s not as much attention being paid to our skin, when it comes to even FDA approval. You’re not even required to test on darker skin tones to say that your product is effective and safe. And so all of those issues, I think, require attention and development, specificity when it comes to formulating products. And that was missing. And doing that in a way that is effective, but also accessible and affordable, is the sweet spot for Loved01.”
Men’s embrace of skin care
“It’s a good thing that all of us feel OK with telling people, ‘We take care of our skin, and we have our own skin-care routine and our own beauty routine.’ Maybe 10, 20 years ago, you might not have seen a lot of men talking about that publicly. But I think it’s great; it’s OK that we talk about those things, and we share those things now. Everybody has skin and everybody deserves to care for themselves deeply and have products that are made with them in mind. Men, women, non-binary, everybody should feel comfortable taking care of themselves.”
Masculinity in a changing culture
“There’s a lot going on, because there’s that shift toward embracing the idea of men being vulnerable, caring for themselves, taking care of their skin. But then there’s also been a backlash to that, too, where some people are like, ‘Men need to be more masculine and fit into more traditional roles.’ If you think about it, a lot of the cultural change is also driven by economic change, where we become more of a service economy versus a manufacturing economy, and jobs that traditionally men did, like construction and manufacturing, are less and less of the economy than they used to be. And so there’s a lot of discussion about what kind of impact that’s had on people, with more women in the workforce and the jobs that traditionally men did being a smaller percentage of the workforce — like, ‘What does that mean?’ It’s above my pay grade to really know how to analyze all of that. But I do think it’s an interesting thing to consider and think about what the future is like for men.”