3 AAPI Beauty Founders Share How Their Culture Inspires Their Brands

By learning to love his heritage.

“I grew up as an Asian American, and for a really long time when I was a kid, I didn’t really like my Asian background. I was kind of ashamed of the background that I had,” shares Connie Lo, co-founder of Three Ships Beauty with mbg.

For years, Lo felt disconnected from her heritage and longed for something she considered “normal” at the time. To her, it meant something other than the natural practices her mother had taught her. “When I was a kid, I thought it was really frustrating, because I was like, ‘Just give me normal medicine’ or ‘Just let me use normal shampoo,'” Lo says.

When she began to struggle with acne as a teenager, Lo was faced with two options: she could follow her mother’s advice and opt for all-natural remedies, or she could try to figure it out herself and search for other resources. She chose the latter.

Lo went to the drugstore and bought all the acne products she could find, but she was irritated and dry. Store-bought items that promised to lighten her skin had done the opposite and created even more problems for her skin barrier.

After a while, Lo decided to try the natural options, and to her surprise, her skin responded gracefully. One hero ingredient she used was green tea which she says is important in Asian cultures for all sorts of purposes. This transition is where Lo began to explore natural remedies as an individual and began to love her heritage as a Chinese woman.

Now, as the co-founder of a natural skincare company, Lo taps into her mother’s wisdom of natural remedies to create effective yet gentle skincare products for everyone. One product that has a special place in its heart is their Dew Drops Mushroom Acid Hyaluronic and Vitamin C Serum due to a haha moment she experienced when formulating.

Lo sat down with her mom to discuss the new serum she and Three Ships co-founder Laura Burget had in the works. When she shared that the hyaluronic acid in the new serum came from the tremella mushroom, her mom was surprised. Lo didn’t know that her mother had been using these mushrooms in recipes since Lo was a baby. His mother then pulled out a huge bag of tremella mushrooms from the kitchen cupboard: “Look, look!”


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