May 19, 2024

MedicalCentre

Great Health is a Choice

Inside John Legend’s New Skincare Line, Loved01

JOHN LEGEND might be one of a handful of stars to achieve EGOT status, but his latest venture has him entering a much more crowded club. The 44-year-old singer is the latest celebrity to come out with a skincare brand, following in the footsteps of Brad Pitt’s Le Domaine and Pharrell Williams’ Humanrace.

On February 1st, Legend launched Loved01 (pronounced “Loved One”), a unisex skincare line available online and in-stores at CVS. Men’s Health caught up with the EGOT winner and celebrity skincare founder over Zoom to discuss the issues facing melanin-rich skin, what makes Loved01 different from other celebrity grooming products, and how he plans to solve the skincare industry’s inclusivity problem.

Formulated in partnership with dermatologist Dr. Naana Boakye, the line includes a Face + Body Wash, an Exfoliating Cleanser, a Shave Cream, a Toning Mist, a Face + Body Moisturizer, and a Face + Body Oil. All products range in price between $10 to $15, and were developed to address the unique needs of melanin-rich skin.

 

“One of the things I learned from Dr. Boakye as we were developing our products was that we lose moisture more quickly,” Legend tells Men’s Health. “When we were kids, we would joke with each other about being ashy, which was basically us losing moisture and being able to see that visibly. [It’s] something that is unique to our skin that needs to be treated and cared for.”

Face + Body Moisturizer

Loved01 Face + Body Moisturizer

Loved01 products are made using natural ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil—all of which have been historically used by people with darker skin tones. We’re most excited about the Toning Mist, which features chamomile, lavender and aloe vera, and can be used after cleansing or shaving to sooth irritated skin. The alcohol-free formula also utilizes witch hazel as an astringent to help minimize the appearance of pores.

Loved01 is a cut above other celebrity brands in a few ways. First, and arguably most important, is price. Loved01’s Face + Body Moisturizer is $10, which is a steal compared to The Fluid Cream from Brad Pitt’s Le Domaine, which will set you back $209. But based on the ingredient lists we’ve seen, Legend didn’t compromise on the formula to save a few bucks.

“We wanted it to feel like a luxurious product,” says Legend. “Here’s the kicker that I think makes it very special: doing all that at a price that’s affordable for everybody and accessible to everybody.”

lovedo1 john legend skincare line

At launch, Loved01 is available online and in retail stores, which is something we don’t typically see from celebrity brands. The brand is available on Loved01.com, at CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide, and on CVS.com. Loved01 is also set to launch in select Walmart stores and on Walmart.com in March 2023. Stocking his brand in stores where people are already shopping in their local stores was important for Legend, who wanted to make Loved01.com accessible to as many people as possible.

To make this happen quickly, he partnered with A-Frame, a Los Angeles based brand incubator that’s helped launch BIPOC celebrity-led brands including Kinlò, a skincare line from tennis sensation Naomi Osaka and Proudly, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s baby care brand.

“I didn’t want it to just be a celebrity brand,” says Legend. “It wasn’t until A-Frame approached me that I really saw the vision for why I would want to do this: one, meeting a need that really wasn’t being addressed very well in the marketplace, formulating for melanin rich skin, and two, making it accessible.”

john legend skincare line

Legend with his children, Luna and Miles.

The dermatologist-approved line of face and body products was intentionally created with a bigger message in mind. Full stop: skincare has an inclusivity problem. Many BIPOC guys don’t see themselves represented in grooming, and their needs are often overlooked—even at the highest level of the industry.

“We came into it with a thesis that not enough research was being done on melanin-rich skin and not enough products are being formulated for melanin-rich skin and we said we want to do something about that,” says Legend. “We want to be a force for change in the industry. Even when folks are going to dermatology school and and learning how to treat skin, we want to make sure that they’re not ignoring the needs of darker skin tones.”

Legend may be late to the celebrity skincare business, but the careful and purposeful launch of Loved01 shows that he didn’t enter into this industry blindly. He knew how to marry the market opportunity with his platform as an artist and activist to create something truly compelling in an overcrowded marketplace. Given Loved01’s affordable price and accessibility, the brand is off to a great start.

“That combination I felt made it special, and not just another celebrity brand, but something that needed to exist in the world; something that didn’t exist in that way in the world already,” says Legend.

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Headshot of Cristina Montemayor

Cristina Montemayor is a freelance writer and journalist living in Austin, Texas, covering beauty, grooming, style, and culture. Her work has appeared in Very Good Light, BRIDES, Elite Daily, among others.