Finding the right skin and hair products can be challenging for anyone - but what if you had a condition that made it even harder? If you’ve ever felt hopeless as you’ve scoured the stores for a routine that works for your specific set of needs, you’re not alone. And for people suffering from PCOS, the challenge to find the right products is even more difficult.
Concerns about the safety and effectiveness of beauty products are common for women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a medical condition that can cause symptoms like excessive hair growth, acne, skin discoloration, baldness, and obesity. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects hormones in people with ovaries during their childbearing years and unknowingly impacts a large percentage of the population. Between 2.2 and 26.7 percent of people with ovaries in the age group of 15 to 44 have PCOS, but up to 70 percent of people who have PCOS are unaware and undiagnosed. This syndrome primarily affects a person’s ovaries and ovulation, causing cysts in the ovaries, high levels of androgens (commonly referred to as 'male hormones'), and irregular or skipped periods. The abundance of cysts causes a lack of ovulation resulting in lower levels of estrogen and progesterone and higher levels of androgen. This alteration in 'female hormone' levels drastically disrupts the menstrual cycle and results in high levels of androgens.
“I made something for myself and it had a great result, so now I am sharing it with my community.”
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is both a widespread and an often overlooked condition. While the medical field focuses primarily on treating more severe symptoms such as infertility, other symptoms can also drastically alter one’s life. Jasmine Nelson has been fighting PCOS for almost her entire life, spending countless hours (and dollars) on different skincare products and medicines to help reduce the amount of excessive hair growth she experiences. She spent years trying different options and even when the answer wasn’t clear yet, she was determined to keep trying.
Eventually, Jasmine began to dig into her own research, studying essential oils, aromatherapy, and herbalist methods. She even studied ancient Chinese medicine to strengthen her data, creating a product that would not only help herself but other women who were also struggling with excessive hair growth.
“It can be depressing and make your self-esteem very low.”
Jasmine Nelson is the founder of Umber by J. Lenay, a small business centered on helping women redefine their beauty by naturally reducing excessive hair. Through her own research and development, Jasmine has not only created a reliable product, but she has positioned herself to run the business as well. Starting from textbooks on business, Jasmine has since been able to grow her network and connections to get people to see first hand the beauty of her product. Even through the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jasmine has still been able to build upon her clients with social media outreach and marketing. She still hosts virtual meetings and sessions to help get her product to the people who need it.
As an entrepreneur entering the second year of her business, Jasmine is looking ahead, working on increasing her knowledge around all aspects of business growth. From mentoring to building capital to digital marketing, she's looking forward to making her product line more expansive. Her main goal? Getting these products in the hands of women, especially Black women, who are looking for more natural ways to deal with excessive hair growth outside of expensive routines and procedures.
“I don’t want other people to feel hopeless about it, like how I was. If you are dealing with PCOS or any condition, just know that you are not alone. There are other people out there trying to figure it out too… you just have to find them.”