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Hidden Gems: Meet Vanessa Asahi of Dragon Fruit Skincare

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Asahi.

Vanessa Asahi, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve had sensitive skin since I can remember. My skin hates most makeup and I have to be cautious with over the counter personal care products. I break out, get rashes, etc. I used to think it sucked, but I now consider it my superpower 😉 I subconsciously started Dragon Fruit Skincare after experiencing recurrent skin issues. I started questioning and researching some of the ingredients in my daily routine. I learned that the United States Cosmetic Regulations are notorious for being lenient compared to other countries. The European Union law has banned over 1300 chemicals suspected of causing cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive harm or birth defects. The US in comparison only has restrictions on 11 ingredients. The amount of chemicals and synthetics our bodies are constantly exposed to is detrimental to our collective health and environment. I began experimenting with botanicals and incorporating holistic methods into my skincare regimen. I was raised by immigrant parents that preferred to incorporate natural modalities over western medicine so the change felt easy. I began educating myself further on the powers of medicinal plants using my mom, sister and I as guinea pigs. Dragon Fruit Skincare was born in late 2019. Our main goal is to highlight the importance of non-toxic living and the power of plants! I wanted to create a brand rooted in plant-based ancestral knowledge, providing a natural alternative for those who experience chemical sensitivities or angels interested in gentle products.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has definitely been hard operating as a small business during a global pandemic… Vending opportunities being canceled has had a real effect on businesses everywhere, including us. It has definitely slowed down the pace. Events were a great place to meet new people and get our name out. Photoshoots have also been pushed back. We’ve had to improvise and organize virtual alternatives. We are also a small team of two and are constantly fulfilling multiple roles throughout the business. Juggling my part-time job along with dragon fruit. This is also completely self-funded. With limited funds, we have to be strategic and resourceful. However, it’s been fun and I feel like what we lack in money, we make up for in creativity. I enjoy a challenge.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Dragon Fruit Skincare is a plant-based personal care brand. All our formulations are 100% vegan, handmade, and inspired by superfoods. We use organic, botanical ingredients. No chemicals or synthetics involved, ever. Sustainability is important to us. Every aspect of production is curated with intention, minimizing waste streams any chance we get. Our shipping material is 100% recyclable. Products come in glass bottles and jars to encourage reuse. We are also more than just a skincare brand. DFSC is a mesh of herbalism, art, and community. We publish a quarterly digital zine, Love Letters. It is filled with BTS shots, art, writings, but mainly love. Our goal for the future is to be a resource to those interested in the low-impact, non-toxic, vegan lifestyle.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
Dragon Fruit Skincare would have never been born if it wasn’t for my sister, Mel. She was the one that started recommending and selling my products to her coworkers when I was formulating simply for fun. I call her my #1 sales girl. She models for me, lets me style her whichever way I want + always helps with the vision. She is literally my angel. We’re opposites but we balance each other out. I am extremely grateful for her <3 My partner, Dylan is my right hand and helps with a lot of the back of house things. Graphic design work, inventory, etc. I call him my numbers guy. Mi Madre for the emotional support and the constant reminder to practice patience throughout this journey. She helps keep things in perspective when I’m feeling frustrated. I am also blessed with hot and talented friends. Most DFSC projects are collaborative. From photography to modeling and even writing. We are a small business and can’t afford to do big-budget productions. It’s always nice to work together though and create art.

Pricing:

  • $25 and under

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Photography: Daniela Fuentes, Vanessa Asahi, Starpebby Models: Azure Skye, Melissa Yang Havadjia, Jeannette Barajas Madeline Shih Graphic design: Starpebby, Vanessa Asahi, Dylan Watters

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