Former magnificence editor creates “Of Different Worlds” skincare model specializing in sustaining pores and skin barrier

CHICAGO (CBS) — Black consumers spent an estimated $9.4 billion on beauty products in 2023, as reported by Nielsen IQ.

According to McKinsey, Black beauty brands only earned about 2.5% of that $9 billion, but one former beauty editor has a new cosmetics company that is helping to move that number up. 

It’s only been a year, but the founders are working to flip the script. With the help of other major names in the industry, having won grants from Glossier and Tarte, participated in the Sephora Accelerate Program, and it’s all being run by one person from a family home in Oak Park.

What was once Simedar Jackson’s childhood bedroom has grown up alongside them becoming somewhat of a headquarters for their small company of other worlds skincare.

“I wanted to add value to the beauty space. I didn’t want to just put out another product for people to be confused by,” Jackson said. 

They first entered the beauty space as a writer and editor for publications in New York.

“Over time, I was like, I want to understand beyond what a brand is just telling me,” she said. 

Jackson became interested in the why and how behind skincare, but they weren’t about to become a dermatologist. 

“I don’t have time for medical school. I’m so sorry. So I decided to pursue my esthetics license.”

Working with clients, Jackson immediately noticed a disconnect between the industry and their clientele. 

“I could very easily talk about peptides and advanced delivery systems, but when you’re trying to explain that to someone who just wants their acne to go away, they’re kind of like, I don’t really care, and I’m overwhelmed by this information,” Jackson said. 

Wanting their customers to both understand and love their skincare products, Jackson and a chemist she met on X, formerly known as Twitter, and began cooking up a clinically-conscious formula for their first product, “Light Beams.”

“We are looking at the data as it relates to diverse communities. So making sure we’re understanding how these ingredients are going to perform on darker skin tones in particular,” Jackson said. 

From the reviews and the grant money rolling in, the ingredients seem to work well on all skin tones. In just six months, Jackson’s sold over 600 bottles of Lightbeam, and they packaged them all themself.

“I do everything as a solopreneur. I have had to wear many hats, all of the hats. Yeah, it’s it’s giving one-person show,” they said. 

They track the orders, manage the social media, contact vendors, chat with chemists, and they’ve still got work after this.

“I was like doing the business full-time, doing nothing else for a while, but then obviously, you know, you got to make money.”

But with Of Other Worlds, making money doesn’t seem too far off. 

In February, Of Other Worlds’ flagship product, “Light Beams,” was named one of the best beauty products of 2024 by Essence Magazine.

They’re mostly online orders at the moment, but Simedar tells me we can expect to find Lightbeam at Sephora in the near future.

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