In Jones’ words, the three Humanrace products endeavor to fulfill the most basic requirements of a skin-care routine: Prepare, repair, protect.
To prepare your face to receive skin care, you wash it. Jones and Williams might hope that you’ll use Humanrace’s Rice Powder Cleanser, which arrives dry. A dime-sized dusting of the stuff, mixed with water, produces a milky, lightweight emulsion that gently exfoliates using fruit alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) — compounds that dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells until they can flutter away like snowflakes into a passing breeze. (More of these to come later). (The acids, not the needlessly descriptive language!) Over half of the cleanser formula is kaolin clay, a common skin “detoxifier” mined for centuries for the manufacture of porcelain.
To repair your face from all of the general damage it experiences, you exfoliate, using a chemical peel like the Humanrace Enzyme Exfoliant. Formulated foremost with glycolic acid — a favorite ingredient of Williams, I am told from a press release — at the relatively high concentration of 8 percent, the cream invites new and fresh cells to the skin’s surface.
The last product, the Humidifying Cream, is inspired by the downy atmospheres of the places Williams has lived and loved — his hometown of Virginia Beach, his now home of Miami, the mist-covered Japanese archipelago. It is a dense and creamy blanket of moisture, formulated foremost with snow mushroom extract, a moisture-binding organic ingredient with roots in Chinese medicine that behaves similarly to hyaluronic acid. (According to board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, however, the snow mushroom particle size is much smaller than that of HA, allowing it to absorb into the skin’s layers more easily.) And anyway, the cream has HA, too, plus soothing rice water and niacinamide. At the time of our interview, Williams also wears a sunscreen that he confirms is not yet available for purchase.
A review of the full ingredients list for each product by an impartial cosmetic chemist reveals: They are formulated beautifully. (In Ni’Kita Wilson’s words: “It all checks out!”)