N8 Beauty Is the Nourishing 'Skinclusive' Brand That Belongs In Your Beauty Routine

After years of struggling to find a solution to her own skin challenges, Nikkia Jackson set out to create products that would work for everyone.

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When she reached her twenties, Nikkia Jackson started experiencing chronic breakouts. Never having dealt with acne up to that point in her life, she tried every solution she could find, to no avail.

"I started using kits from infomercials and seeing estheticians and dermatologists," says Jackson. "And, unfortunately, a lot of those techniques and products were making a bad situation worse. I would do the chemical peels and the lasers, and they caused a lot of scarring, hyperpigmentation — things that happen, especially to people of color, from using tools and techniques that are not necessarily designed with our skin in mind." (

Fast forward to her thirties, and Jackson craved a "creative refresh" after years of working in the entertainment industry. She decided to move to Paris and give her life a complete overhaul, leaving her job to join international artist communities throughout Europe and dropping the lifestyle choices she thought might be to blame for her skin issues.

"At that point, I was really starting to research not only what I was eating, but also what was going on in my body," she says. "And I found that a lot of the [products] I was using and a lot of the ones marketed specifically to people of color had toxic ingredients in them. So I decided to just stop everything. I cut the relaxer of my hair, and I moved to Paris."

Regarding her beauty routine, Jackson decided to take matters into her own hands, mixing together her own hair and skin products. She researched the benefits of Ayurvedic ingredients like ashwagandha (an adaptogenic root) and gotu kola (a medicinal herb from the parsley family) and started experimenting with formulas and testing them on herself. She credits a cleanser she created as well as changes in her diet to finally clearing up her acne: "The cleanser absolutely saved my skin, and helped rebalance it, even it out, and clear up my scars," she says.

Realizing she was onto something, she started a "mini business," and began selling her products from her home. Jackson saw the potential to grow it further, and teamed up with a cosmetic chemist to help perfect her non-foaming cleanser formula. Foaming cleansers have a rep for being drying, which is why Jackson was set on offering a non-foaming cleanser. "Now, it's a little bit more common in the market and in the culture, but in 2015, to find a cleansing cream that didn't have a mineral oil base and wasn't heavy was very difficult," she says. (FYI, mineral oil is an occlusive, creating a barrier on the skin surface and sealing in hydration, but it can be too heavy for some people's skin.) The end result would become the debut product of N8 Beauty, the skin-care company she launched in 2017.

Because she'd tried so many products and treatments that didn't work for her skin, Jackson set out to create ones that would suit as many people as possible — and especially people of color. "In my research, I found that, a lot of the time, brands would emphasize inclusivity in their marketing, but it wasn't really built into the formulation," she says. "Quite often, the ingredients in products don't really combat some of the challenges of hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, and other things that people of color tend to have."

Research suggests that transepidermal water loss (when water passes through the uppermost layers of skin to the surface and evaporates) may be higher and ceramide levels may be lower in Black skin than in Caucasian skin, which could be why dry skin is common among the Black community. Plus, higher levels of melanin — the pigment that's more abundant in darker skin — are associated with an increased risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, aka dark spots and scarring. To address these challenges, Jackson incorporated ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and vitamin B5 into her products, which all help moisturize dry skin. Shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties, and, as its name suggests, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation results from inflammation.

Beyond these concerns, Jackson wanted to make products that would help anyone regain balance in their skin, no matter whether you're prone to issues like acne, sensitive skin, or dryness. "I wanted to really be intentional about addressing those issues and choosing ingredients like shea butter, which is a healing powerhouse, or Ayurvedic ingredients that people have been using for centuries," she says. (

While N8 Beauty has since expanded their offerings to include two non-foaming cleansers (the original version meant for sensitive skin and a reformulated version for oily skin) as well as masks and a body butter, the brand still embodies a minimalist approach — a mentality that stems from an appreciation for simplicity Jackson picked up when she moved to France. "Parisian homes are very small," she explains, and the look is very much a "clean white Chanel shirt, classic pants, a red lip, and you pull your hair back, and it's all about the simplicity and the beauty of it."

This approach inspired her mission with N8 Beauty; the brand offers a streamlined selection of products and doesn't promote a complicated 10-step routine. It offers picks like a gotu kola and matcha clay mask (Buy It, $28, n8beauty.com) and a whipped body butter (Buy It, $20, n8beauty.com) with shea and mango butters and rose petal powder. Jackson returned to the states after two years in France and now lives in LA, where N8 Beauty is based. Still, she continues to appreciate a minimal approach as a mom who has a full-time job in addition to running her business, she says.

It took years for Jackson to finally find skin-care products that she was satisfied with, after she ultimately resorted to creating her own. Now, with N8 Beauty, she's created a way for everyone to benefit from her efforts.

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