N° 1 – What does your skincare regimen have to do with ending poverty?
Posted by Leila Janah on
Our vision for LXMI began over a decade ago, when I lived in a rural village in Ghana with people who earned less than $2 a day. There I learned that what poor people want most, more than food, shelter, or education, is work. Work is at the core of human dignity. It’s the way that people can afford basic necessities while also having choice and agency — with work and a paycheck, people can buy their own food, choose their own schools, and find the best housing available. Work is freedom for people living in poverty.
Most of you know of us through Sama, the organization I started in 2008 to move people out of poverty through digital work. We’ve now moved 6,900 families out of poverty, from an average income of $2 per day to four times that within three years. We even brought the model to the US, and this work collectively has come to be known as “impact sourcing,” a new method for ending poverty which has been taken up by organizations around the world.
Sama, which means “equal” in Sanskrit, offers a proof of concept of Impact Sourcing in tech. LXMI, named after the Hindu goddess of beauty and prosperity, brings the same approach to luxury. By leveraging the market economy, we can increase household incomes. This concept is especially powerful when applied to women. Evidence suggests that women reinvest money in the household. A living wage job for a woman means education, healthcare, and safety for her family.
LXMI’s philosophy is Beauty in Action™. We source rare, organic, and sustainably-harvested skincare ingredients (all safe enough to eat) from low-income communities, setting higher – let’s call it deeper – standards for the beauty industry. Deeper luxury means that if you’re paying top dollar for a luxury product, beauty should emanate not only from the final product, but from every aspect of how it’s made. This means our formulations are:
- crafted from the rarest skin superfoods, known for their clinical efficacy
- food-grade, containing no more than ten ingredients, and as safe for a baby as for mature women
- wild-harvested from low-income collectors in Northern Uganda, who make 3x the local wage and use sustainable sourcing methods
- as close to the source as possible, processed by organic and fair-trade certified family processors
- packaged in BPA-free, recyclable, and UV-filtering European Miron glass
We believe women should be able to buy skincare that's effective, AND beautifully packaged, AND safe enough to eat, AND created with care and compassion for people and the environment. We shouldn’t have to choose among these equally important things.
Join us — we’d love your support, your feedback, and most of all, your commitment to Beauty in Action.