Career Diaries: Founder of Cocokind Priscilla Tsai on Her Struggles With Acne and How She Finally Cleared Her Skin
Priscilla Tsai knows firsthand the challenges that come with having acne. After testing various prescription treatments, including retinol and birth control, in an effort to control her breakouts with little success, she decided to create her own products using natural oils and superfoods. Amazed by how much they helped her skin, she wanted to share her formulas with the world. The result is her clean skin-care brand cocokind.
Read on to learn more about Tsai’s journey and how she continues to make a difference one skin-care product at a time.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I grew up in Michigan and my parents are from Taiwan. I went to the University of Pennsylvania and then started working in equity research on Wall Street after graduating. I put in a few years there, saved as much as I could, and then moved to San Francisco to start my own skin-care company.
What are some of the natural ingredients you use in your products?
At cocokind, we’re all about plant-based ingredients that are nourishing and gentle, but still effective. Some of our favorite natural active ingredients include bakuchiol, a gentle, plant-derived retinol alternative, turmeric, which helps reduce inflammation, and sea grape caviar, which helps hydrate skin by using moisture absorbed from the air.
What’s the cocokind Impact Foundation and why did you start it?
I understand all of the unique struggles that come with starting your own business because I’ve experienced them firsthand. Once cocokind was off the ground, I wanted to pay it forward and help out other female founders who were struggling just like I once was. Today, the cocokind Impact Foundation awards both financial grants and mentorship to female-identifying founders in the health, wellness and sustainability industries, who are working to create greater social change through their businesses. I believe that having a supportive network is just as important as having money.
What's your favorite part of your job?
One of the things I’m proudest of is the community we’ve been able to build with cocokind. It’s such an incredible group of accepting, supportive individuals. One of my favorite parts of my job will always be interacting with them.
What’s your daily skin-care routine?
I start out by cleansing with the cocokind Oil to Milk Cleanser, then I spritz on some Rosewater Toner to help balance my skin’s pH. I’ll dab a little turmeric tonic on breakouts and then moisturize with any of our oils. At night, I usually double cleanse with oil to milk and our facial cleansing oil, then I’ll tone, and finish with our resurfacing sleep mask.
What do you want the world to know about clean beauty?
Skin-care doesn’t have to break the bank and it doesn’t have to hurt to work.