TMPL: The Inclusive, Caring Skincare Brand For Men Of Colour

There weren’t any decent grooming brands that catered to my needs as a black man, so I decided to create one myself,” said TMPL‘s Co-Founder, Raphael Babalola.

Prior to launching TMPL in 2021, the brand’s Founders, Adam Hutchinson and Raphael Babalola – spent a year working with dermatologists and manufacturers, to develop products that were designed for Black, Asian, and Mixed Race men.

Raphael (a former business analyst at Ernst & Young) and Adam Hutchinson (a brand designer from AppearHere) were passionate about self-care, but they felt as though there was a lack of products that suited their skin.

Raphael and Adam are keen to normalise the conversation about self-care in their community, which is why they landed on this message: ’Self-care for the Mandem.’ They started out by trying to understand the issues that men of colour wanted to address, including razor bumps and ingrown hairs, which affects about 85% of men with curly hair, acne, dryness, and hyper-pigmentation.

Key ingredients in their cleanser, moisturiser, and toner include rosehip oil, aloe vera, and avocado oil – which helps to address the issues typically faced by men with darker shaded skin, such as acne, scarring, hyper-pigmentation, dryness, and sensitivity.

“I was tired and frustrated with the lack of options for my skintone and bad retail experiences. We shouldn’t be marginalised because of our skin colour, or be treated as second class consumers in 2022,” said TMPL’s Co-Founder, Raphael Babalola.

For every sale, TMPL donates a portion to an organisation that supports healthcare, education, and entrepreneurial projects across Africa, and in the UK. TMPL has seen early success with major retailers in the UK/EU, and to date, they’ve sold 1,000 units. The business is currently valued at £1MIL, and they’ve just raised a £145k investment. Additionally, they chose Starling for their business banking after receiving multiple recommendations from fellow Black founders.

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“I like knowing where our money is going,” says Raphael as every time money moves in or out of their Starling account, both founders receive an instant notification.

TMPL aren’t just breaking boundaries on making skincare inclusive to different skintones. They also focus on encouraging self-care for men, too. “My eyes were opened wide to men’s personal care while living in South Korea, where men are super knowledgeable about skincare,” TMPL’s Co-Founder, Adam Hutchinson (who lived and worked in Seoul).

Also, Melanin-rich skin has a completely different skincare need to Caucasian skin. For instance, Black skin has 20 layers in the outermost layer of skin, whereas Caucausian skin only has only 16.

As well as this, skin cell shedding occurs at a rate that is 2.5 times more in darker skin than in lighter skin, causing a ‘duller’ appearance (Stylus Report).

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