Name: Patrick Boateng II

Age You Fee: I feel 30

Where You Grew Up: I grew up in the Washington, D.C. Area

Hobbies: Playing soccer, reading, spending time with friends

Photo by Peter Roca

Photo by Peter Roca

Tell us about where you grew up

I grew up in the Washington, D.C. Area. It’s definitely an interesting place to grow up in because of the way in which local, national, and international intersect in the city due to it being the political center of the US and, in some ways, the world. That always influenced my perspective and encouraged me to look far and wide for ideas to engage with. 

Who have been the most influential men in your life and what did they teach you about masculinity and being a man of color

The most influential men in my life are definitely the men in my family, from my dad to my uncles and cousins. The biggest lesson they taught me about masculinity is that it’s up to you to define, however that definition is going to reverberate in all that you do and the lives of those around you. 

They say no one builds anything alone. How have you found folks to help you along the way and how have you known they were the right people to work with?

It’s true! I’ve been really fortunate to have family, friends, and mentors in my life that continue to help me every step of the way. There’s definitely a healthy mix of luck, coincidence, and having a solid network through my education and work experiences. Honestly, you never know if anyone is necessarily the “right” person to work with until you’ve tried [ out the relationship and work dynamic].

Tell us about Ceylon Skincare and what made you want to start this business

I experienced my own challenges dealing with skin problems and figuring out how to solve them, including going through constant experimentation, and having trouble understanding the basics of dermatological care. From my perspective, it’s important to find a way to make skincare accessible for people like me who are new to it and previously didn’t have anyone looking to serve them. Additionally, I wanted to provide the type of product that could easily become part of anyone’s daily routine without too much disruption.

Photo by Megan Rogers

Photo by Megan Rogers

What has been the most difficult and gratifying parts about starting Ceylon

The most difficult part is saying no to certain opportunities that seem great but often end up being distractions. The most gratifying part is definitely when people reach out and share how they’ve seen positive results from our products. That above all else makes us incredibly happy. 

Photo by Cat Costa

Photo by Cat Costa

Packaging and branding are so important, how did you choose the look and feel for your brand and was the name always supposed to be Ceylon?

The core concept is pharma-meets-hardware. Think scientifically developed tools for skin repair and upkeep, to be used frequently. There’s another stage through which the brand will evolve visually to reflect that concept further but we think we’re part of the way there. Our manufacturer sources some raw natural ingredients in the formulations from farms in Sri Lanka, which is from where the brand borrows its name. 

What's one big goal you have for Ceylon in the coming year OR which is one accomplishment you would love to achieve in the coming year

Next year will see us release a few more products that focus on more of the chronic skin problems that our community faces. We’ll also look to introduce a bunch of new initiatives that give our community the opportunity to be a greater part of our story. 

What are some of your favorite wellness routines and or activities to do when unwinding

Spending time with friends is my number one wellness routine. I don’t have much free time these days, so it’s always a priority for me to see friends.

What have the women in your life taught you about self-care and self-reflection

Mostly that you have to make space for it in your life, otherwise you’re just going along responding to everything that happens without actually healing or learning.

How has taking care of your skin translated to the way you take care of your spirit?

There’s something really nice about using a simple, understandable, and repeatable process. So when it comes to spiritual healing, I tend to use the same techniques over and over much like the way I take care of my skin. 

Joshua Tree - Via Patrick’s Instagram

Joshua Tree - Via Patrick’s Instagram

Finish these sentences:

The best place to relax is anywhere outdoors with a healthy dose of sunlight.

The 3 things I pack for travel are my Kindle, sunscreen, and a small notebook.

If Ceylon had a celebrity spokesperson it would be hmm, too many to name! Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba, Ozwald Boateng, Riz Ahmed, Mahershala Ali, Hasan Minhaj, John Boyega....the list goes on.

Being a man of color is always having family, somewhere on this earth.

Women are supportive and the ones in my life are a blessing 

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