The Beauty Brand Founder Who's Made Peace With Hyperpigmentation


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“My name is Trinity Mouzon Wofford (@trinitymouzon)—maybe you remember me from our weekend together? I'm the co-founder and CEO of Golde, a health and beauty brand powered by superfoods. I launched the company three years ago with my life partner and high school sweetheart, Issey. As a founder, I'm always short on time and money. (Goodbye, market-rate salary! I hardly knew ye!) Over the past few years, I've gotten really good at paring down my routine to just the essentials. I think it keeps my skin happier, too.

It’s been a little exhausting to not have that barrier between home and the office. I always make sure to actually get dressed instead of staying in my PJs until 3PM, which is tempting. Melissa Wood's pilates videos have been such a nice way to start every morning. I can already feel my posture and strength improving, and it's good to feel positive progress at a time when everything can feel so stiflingly stagnant. Then, a few times a week before I shower, I mix up Golde's superfood face masks with a little water and a drop of oil. We formulated the masks to be made with 100-percent real superfood extracts, which is why they're in powder form. Clean Greens is basically a green smoothie for your skin, with chlorella, spirulina and mango. Papaya Bright is a fruity exfoliator with papaya and sea buckthorn berry. I'm biased, but these masks cleared up a crazy acne battle for me. After I shower, I’ve made a ritual of applying Mondo Mondo's Cowboy perfume. It is a truly perfect scent—so much so that I'm hesitant to share it. It's extremely green and earthy and rich.

Working from home also means extra time for skincare! I dedicate up to five minutes of my morning to massaging F. Miller's Face Oil into my skin. The massage helps boost circulation and supports lymphatic drainage, and I like how the blend is packed with really nutritious oils like rosehip, pomegranate seed, and jojoba, which my skin really loves. I wipe the oil off with my gentle washcloth from Chidoriya. I think a dry washcloth instead of a damp one actually works better at removing the oil and dead skin. If it’s soft and you’re gentle, you won't injure your skin. Then I put on my typical WFH uniform of structured trousers with a slightly oversized sweater or blouse. It feels professional, but not stuffy (comfort = confidence). The worst thing is to be fussing with your outfit when you're meant to be working.

I work from the dining room table, while Issey's domain is our second bedroom, which has been turned into a proper office space. And centrally located between us is our Amazon Alexa, which keeps WBGO, our local jazz station with a cult following, playing all day. It's really nice to have some music in the background—since we’re not chatting it up with an office full of co-workers, it helps keep the mood light. Issey and I have gotten really into chlorophyll as a supplement. It's a natural deodorant, so it can be helpful for BO or bad breath, but the biggest difference we've noticed is an overall increase in energy levels. There's not a ton of studies on its impact, but anecdotally it works for us. We put a few drops of it in water in the morning, and it’s totally flavorless.

Relaxing used to mean long walks around the neighborhood, but I'm really doing my best to stay in my apartment as much as possible during this time. I've really been enjoying taking the time to cook. Issey’s always in the kitchen (usually while I'm still wrapping up emails for the evening), but now I find it valuable to shut work off and hang with him there. Bonus points for the knife skills I'm gaining.

To wash my face at night, I really like Ursa Major's aptly-named Fantastic Face Wash. It's very lightly exfoliating, it's got natural ingredients… but I mostly live for the smell. Cedar and spearmint! I'm also very into Palermo Body. The founder, Jess, is a sweetheart and all of her products are handmade with so much love. I like the Rose and Geranium bar soap, which is effective enough for your body and gentle enough to use on your face, and adore the Rosehip CO2 Serum, which is really more of an oil. It's packed with vitamin C to brighten and even my skin. Another oil I'm loving is Supernal, a richer option that’s somehow not greasy at all. The base is camellia oil, which I first got into through Issey's family because it's popular in Japan. I'll alternate between oils or just layer them if I'm feeling like I need the extra nourishment.

I've really come to appreciate my face and my body for what they are. I like to optimize, but I'm honestly just not all that convinced that I need to be entirely poreless, or have the eyebrow shape of a completely different human. I've gone to get a facial and the aesthetician has said things like, ‘You could be doing these 12 other steps to decrease your hyperpigmentation by 35-percent!’ And though that’s good to know, I’m not sure it’s actually going to make me happier. If you find a solution to something that's bugging you and it makes you feel good, great! But I don't worry too much about what others tell me I should be bothered by. When I feel good, I look like my best self. That's mostly what I strive for.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author