Desi Perkins shares the origins and inspiration of her skincare brand DEZI Skin, and why representation in the beauty industry is important.
Why do you think it’s important to redefine beauty standards in the Latinx community?
As a Latin woman, I recognize how important inclusivity is within the beauty industry, and how for so long, there’s been a lack of diversity in beauty publications and beauty campaigns, which contributes to the Latin community feeling underrepresented. I resolved to curate my own world of what should be celebrated and infuse my roots and culture into a brand that makes everyone — especially the Latin community — feel accepted, embraced, and recognized. Using product names like “Claro Que C” and “Agua Fresca” creates familiarity within our community, but also encourages others to be immersed in our culture, too.
A few years ago, you spoke out about those who doubted your Mexican identity. What did people mean by this, and what does Hispanic and Latino empowerment mean to you?
People have always challenged my Mexican identity — they don’t think I’m “Latina enough.” With my husband’s last name, Perkins, people have doubted my Mexican roots. But I’ve been so grateful to have been raised with such strong family values, with our family being at the center of everything I’ve ever done — the food, the language, the culture — it’s always been such a big part of my life, and it’s made me so proud to be Mexican. To me, Hispanic empowerment means to embrace our culture and be proud of where we come from, and have a strong sense of self.
How did your Mexican American roots inspire your career?
I’ve drawn inspiration from my Mexican-American heritage throughout my career, and my cultural identity is a key element that fueled my creativity to start making makeup videos online. Everything I love about skincare was instilled from my family and their Mexican remedies, which is such a big part of my brand, DEZI Skin. I loved learning about self-care and could see that beauty regimens were really meaningful to my family. Specifically, I found inspiration from my mom. She has always been a strong influence in regards to inner andouter beauty. I remember aloe vera was the answer to everything. We always had aloe growing somewhere in the backyard, and we would cut them open to use on our body or face. My family also used to boil guava leaves and use the water on our skin. These moments from my summers in Mexico inspired DEZI Skin’s ingredients, such as Mexican plum fruit, mango, guava, and avocado.
What’s a message that you’d like to share with young Latina readers today?
As a young Mexican American, I couldn’t help but notice there wasn’t really anyone that looked like me growing up. I had a lot of identity issues, not quite checking the Mexican box or American box. I want young Latinas to know that there’s no perfect formula or ratio — you can balance both and just uniquely be who you are.
What can fans expect next from Desi Perkins?
After recently giving birth to my new baby girl, Harley, I’m enjoying being a mom and being present for my family. But DEZI Skin isn’t slowing down anytime soon — we have some exciting holiday launches and a spring launch mothers specifically will be excited about — stay tuned!