Alicia Cleveland’s final year of college was stressful. This led to acne breakouts on her face, which then stressed her out more when she tried product after product to no avail. After switching to a plant-based diet around the same time, she thought a greener approach to skin care might be the solution. (It was!) Her Promises to Care line of skin care products features serums, cleansers and face masks made, mixed and infused by hand with natural ingredients.
Last June, Promises to Care was featured on Beyonce’s website in an index of Black-owned businesses. The Beyhive responded and Cleveland started getting thousands of orders on her site. The business was great, but meeting demand was hard. “I wasn’t prepared,” she says. “I got shaken up a bit.” But the experience also solidified a drive to keep going with the business.
Cleveland’s healing serum ($25), which helps ease acne and hyperpigmentation, is made with oils such as grapeseed and tea tree, fruit extracts and vitamin E before being infused with rose petals for two to three months. “We’re pulling the benefits out of those petals for different antioxidants that are good for your skin,” she says.
When it comes to developing a new product for Promises to Care, Cleveland looks to life experiences. On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., a kayaking adventure inspired her to make a cell repair face mask ($35). “While I was in the water, I just kept thinking it’d be great to have a face mask that felt like you made it while you were out on the river,” she says. “I wanted to create that experience.”
Sharing is Caring
On the surface, Promises to Care is a skin care brand. But it’s more than that for Cleveland. It’s a lifestyle focused on being holistic, sustainable and spiritual. “I’m sharing that lifestyle and experience with every customer,” she says. “I do reiki on all of the bottles and make sure that they’re full of love, wellness and healing.” promisestocare.com