“Smoove” skin is on the horizon at Deon Libra.
The brand, founded by Devin McGhee Kirkland and Brit Kirkland, is bringing its first new product to market since launching in November 2022. Smoove, $38, is an exfoliating cleanser for the face and body.
For McGhee Kirkland, who is also the brand’s chief executive officer, cleanser was always part of Deon Libra’s road map.
“We’ve been formulating cleanser for two years,” she said. “Big Up [the brand’s oil body serum, $63] was always going to be our hero product, but I always thought if you’re going to give somebody a skin care product and a self care product, you should give them a foundation. For me, I always say, ‘Smoove gives you the best canvas for Big Up.’”
In typical Deon Libra fashion, the formulation contains several adaptogens including turkey tail, which addresses redness and inflammation, and snow mushroom, which boosts the skin’s moisture. Other actives include plant-derived alpha hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate the skin.
“We wanted to keep the exfoliation really really low so that people with sensitive skin could still use it,” McGhee Kirkland said. “All of our chemical exfoliants, the AHAs and beta hydroxy acids, are plant derived.”
The product was specifically developed for the face and body, so that consumers won’t have to purchase several products to care for their skin, according to McGhee Kirkland. “It was important to us to put quality face ingredients in full body products because a lot of times body washes and body lotions are either watered down or they get lower-quality ingredients, which we consider non-clean or -toxic ingredients,” she said.
Along with the new launch, Deon Libra was also recently named a member of the Ulta Beauty Muse Accelerator, a program for BIPOC brands to prepare for retail. Through the program, the Deon Libra team will work directly with mentors’ Monique and Melvin Rodriguez from hair care brand Mielle Organics. Deon Libra also received $50,000 in financial support.
“We always say Black brands are over mentored and underfunded,” McGhee Kirkland said. “I appreciate that they’re also putting their money where their mouth is…because it’s one thing to get the knowledge but if I can’t apply that and have money to do all of these things, then you get stuck.”
While retail is top of mind through this program — McGhee Kirkland said the goal is to be in retail by the end of 2024 — product innovation is also in the pipeline. She also hinted that each year the brand will focus in on a certain category or need state. This year revolved around general wellness and sexual wellness is on the horizon.
The brand declined to share specific sales figures for this product. However, at the time of launch, the brand had raised $111,000 from friends and family, $800,000 from Dyrdek Machine and $10,000 from the Glossier grant program and was expected to amass $865,000 in first year sales, according to industry sources.