The first and only Black-owned brand has officially been approved by The National Eczema Association.
The idea of being an entrepreneur was something that was embedded into Jocelyne Firmin’s mind from an early age. She grew up in Haiti with a single mother and despite being faced with poverty, her mother made it clear that education and entrepreneurship would be her only way out. To get an idea of what entrepreneurship looked like, she would often accompany her mom and work in Haiti’s open markets.
The launch of Kiyamel
It is this exposure that prepared her for her skincare line, Kiyamel. Kiyamel is a skincare brand for people who suffer from eczema. It is based in Millsboro, Delaware and is easily accessible online and in stores without a prescription. Firmin, who migrated to the United States via a full scholarship, founded the company in 2019, but it didn’t officially become functional until January 2021.
Currently, 31.6 people in America suffer from some form of eczema, according to the National Eczema Association. Black children are 1.7 times more likely to develop eczema than white children, however, they often go undiagnosed because doctors are primarily trained to diagnose eczema on white skin. Additionally, Black children are thirty percent less likely to see a doctor for their eczema than white children, and those who see a doctor have more visits and prescriptions than white children.
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Most descriptions of eczema refer to how it appears on lighter skin, but for people with darker skin, it may cause darker brown, purple, or gray patches with the affected areas being swollen, warm, itchy, and dry or scaly.
After several years of research and development in preparation of Kiyamel, Firmin discovered these disparities and the fact that 50 percent of people suffering with eczema have trouble finding an adequate solution. She knew the goal of her skincare line would be to close that gap because many eczema products aren’t created with Blacks in mind. Despite its focus on serving the African American market, Kiyamel works for all ethniticites.
“I’ve always suffered from severe acne and dry skin so I set out to find a solution for myself since nothing under the sun could work. Being a native of Haiti and a lover of nature, I knew I wanted a clean formula. However, when my daughter was born and developed eczema at only six weeks old, the premise of the formula was immediately switched, from acne to eczema. With the help of a chemist, the eczema product line was born,” Firmin says.
In addition to closing the gap, these products can potentially bring back