Smokey Robinson has created hundreds of hits over his five-decade career, but for his latest, he traded the studio for a research lab.
That’s right. The iconic singer-songwriter, 79, and his wife Frances have launched Skinphonic skin care, formulated with the goal of “finding your skin’s natural harmony,” according to the website.
The collection is specifically for skin of color, a demographic the duo felt were underserved after years of experimenting with the latest, greatest and dermatologist-prescribed products available.
“We did this very selfishly. We did this for ourselves in the beginning because my husband and I were using many products — and nothing worked,” says Frances.
While the couple’s complexions look flawless, both admit they’d suffered from serious skin issues when they met with scientists a few years ago.
“I go through a lot of things that are detrimental to skin. My job is grueling,” said Smokey. Added Frances, “Like Smokey, I’ve had many problems with my skin, such as hyperpigmentation from sun poisoning.”
After being unsatisfied with “harsh” products and inferior regimens, they began developing skin care, using their own faces as the litmus test for effectiveness.
“My wife Frances and I, we were the guinea pigs. Every time they’d come up with something, we’d try that [and say], ‘this is not quite right,’ [or] ‘this burns!’ It took us over two years, but [in the end] they got it exactly right.”
How It’s Done: Dewy Skin
The star of the line: retinol, which the brand’s chief medical Director Dr. Dickerson explains they were able to include in higher concentrated levels without causing harmful reactions.
“With retinol, if you start increasing the concentration, you can irritate the skin, we were able to balance that so you could get results quickly, but most important, safely,” he says.
The line is comprised of six products, which pay homage to his hits: Get Ready, Cause Here I Come cleanser, moisturizer and treatment for men, and My Girl cleanser, moisturizer and treatment for women. The products are sold as sets priced at $89.99 each.
For Smokey, it was critical that they launch a “simple” men’s line to encourage them to take better care of their skin. “I’ve always been conscious of taking care of myself. I get this one body this one time, so I want it to be cool for as long as it can be.” And thanks to the collection, his skin’s officially as smooth as his songs.