Building a skincare brand was never on Davlyn Mosley’s vision board. However, the former head of marketing and advertising felt the beauty industry lacked products to meet the unique needs of people. skin color — so she decided to take matters into her own hands. In 2022, Mosley changed industry by faith and founded Namesake, a skincare line designed for melanin-rich skin, with her mother, Dr. Lynn McKinely-Grant. Currently, the brand has a flagship product: a daily moisturizer that plumps, hydrates and illuminates the skin.
Although Mosley didn’t start her career in the beauty industry, she’s no stranger to the skin care area. As the daughter of a Harvard- and NYU-educated dermatologist, Mosley credits her unwavering passion and inspiration for Namesake to her mother, who taught her lifelong skincare lessons from a young age. “I discovered skincare very early. Going to conferences with my mother, I felt like I was part of the process. She always says she didn’t realize how much it touched me, but it was really cool,” Mosley told TZR. “When my mom had a practice, I would go into her office to help out and along the way I learned the ins and outs of skincare.” Mosley adds: “Because only 3% of dermatologists are blackthey’re highly sought after, so it’s really special to have a black dermatologist at the center of the community.
And while community building and skincare accessibility are brand pillars, the duo never expected to build an audience on ICT Tac. Over the past year, Mosley in particular has become quite the skinfluencer on his personal account, with videos going viral on a number of skin problems including traction alopecia, botoxand you guessed it, skin care the do’s and don’ts she learned from her dermatologist mom. Her TikToks serve up relevant skincare content for Namesake’s target customer, but they also serve as an introduction to the brand.
When you scroll through her account, it’s easy to see why she’s built a hyper-engaged legion of over 60,000 followers. Mosley and McKinely-Grant (who often makes appearances on TikToks) cover an array of topics that specifically affect people with melanin skin in a digestible way, which is a game-changer for black and brown women who don’t have the luxury of visiting a dermatologist’s office in person.
Ahead, the entrepreneur discusses social media stardom, working alongside her mother, and how she hopes to create equity for those who have long been underrepresented in the beauty space.
You founded the namesake with your mother – describe your working relationship?
“My mum is our advisor, which is really invaluable. Her first-hand knowledge of treating patients of color over her career has driven many decisions about the ingredients we included in the moisturizer. She saw some preservatives cause irritation in patients, so we made sure to avoid them. You should see the spreadsheet where we obsessively analyzed every ingredient included in our first product.
Why did you decide to start with a moisturizer?
“I always say that without moisturizer, the other products in your routine won’t work. It’s the least you can do if you’re trying to keep your skin healthy, plump, and non-irritated. wear moisturizer and start there. One of our biggest gripes for colored skin is hyperpigmentation or even dark under eye and shadow, so focusing on brightening and healthy skin is the goal. The main ingredient is three polyhydroxy acids that contribute to the smoothness you feel and rosehip oil. It’s a formula that you can use morning and night and impact your skin slowly without thinking about it.
You have developed a large loyal following on TikTok. What is the secret of this success?
“TikTok has been so much fun over the past year. Having a mom who is a dermatologist is a truly unique experience and at the same time feels relatable. It’s funny because the response was very similar to what it was like growing up with a dermatologist as a mother. I’m so used to people asking me things like, “Can you ask your mom what she thinks of Botox?” or ‘Can you send him this picture and ask him what it is?’ The account is a place where I share some of the skincare tips I grew up with as well as anecdotes about her preferences. People always search for “Black girl (insert skin concern)” because people want to see people who look like them. I haven’t had Botox or fillers, but my video about injecting Botox into the hairline and preventing sweating got a lot of engagement. As for Namesake, it was great to share the story of my founder and my brand with such a massive audience – something that would take years to build offline.
TikTok makes learning about complex skincare topics more accessible. How has that even helped the playing field for women of color?
“With so much misinformation (and confusion) about skincare, I think TikTok is a great opportunity to share factual information — especially directly from dermatologists. I love seeing how so many dermatologists of color have started following on the platform, and I love that expert advice is just a click away – but of course you have to seek it out.
How do you and your mom hope to demystify skincare for younger generations?
“The focus on simplicity is really key. My mom always said “less is more” (even when I got angry and tried five new products at once and then complained that my skin was freaking out). Although 10-step routines are always glorified because they offer great content, they can be overwhelming and even detrimental to your skin if it’s sensitive. I advocate experimenting with adding one new product to your routine at a time. Test the patch on your wrist for 24 hours and then make it a staple rather than trying three new things at once and trying to course correct.
What advice do you have for aspiring beauty entrepreneurs?
“Talk to as many people as possible. Connecting and learning from other founders is so huge. Also, be patient as things take longer than you think. The testing and product development stage takes time to get things perfect, and there are many hiccups that can push your schedule. Starting small allows you to learn along the way. I’m very glad I did this rather than launching a full collection.
What’s next for the namesake?
“I don’t want to rush out to release products just to get products. I want to continue to launch essential products for an innovative routine. I would also like to host more in-person community events so people can try out products in real life. Connecting with the community goes a long way.