“Nopal is thought to have some benefits for the skin as it is anti-inflammatory and also rich in antioxidants, which help to fight free-radical damage,” says Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “It is also rich in vitamins, including vitamin A, which is known to have benefits for skin cell renewal as well as vitamin C, which can help to brighten the skin.”
Velasquez says that at the forefront of Nopalera’s conception was celebrating and uplifting her culture while taking on the Eurocentric beauty industry. With a background in sales of consumer-packaged goods but with no outside investments, she decided to fill a niche she believed to be lacking: getting Latinx-branded products on store shelves.
“My mission from the start was to create a high-end Mexican bath and body brand that could sit on the shelves of premium clean beauty retailers alongside the historically Eurocentric brands with French and Italian names, demonstrating that Latina can and does equal luxury,” she says.
Despite being the largest minority population in the U.S. with 62.1 million people identifying as either Hispanic or Latino in the 2020 Census, there is still a considerable gap between the rapidly-increasing Latinx demographic in America and the number of Latinx-owned brands across beauty.
“We’re always working to partner with new and emerging brands that share our values and represent the customers we serve,” Autumne West, Nordstrom’s national beauty director, tells Allure. “We are committed to serving our customers and communities with a goal to deliver $500 million in retail sales from brands owned by, operated by, or designed by Black and/or Latinx individuals by the end of 2025 across all categories. As part of this, we look forward to adding more Black-founded brands, Latinx-founded brands, and brands created by other people of color to our Inclusive Beauty category in the months ahead.”
While the number varies, Nordstrom currently carries over 15 Latinx-owned beauty brands, including Beautyblender, Bomba Curls, Spice Beauty, Costa Brazil, Joaquina Botanica, and Vamigas. The luxury retailer plans to continue to expand its Latinx-Owned & Latinx-Founded Brands hub on nordstrom.com, and other retailers have joined the push for more BIPOC-owned brands across fashion, beauty, and home categories. In 2021, Target launched an entire Latinx-owned storefront in 2021, featuring beauty brands like Rizos Curls, Luna Magic, and more.
Velasquez wants everyone to feel comfortable shopping her brand. “We are in the business of elevated self-care rituals and self-worth,” she says. “We are not trying to fix anyone. You will not see any anti-aging messaging in our brand. Our customers care about clean ingredients, efficacy, and culture equally,” Velasquez says. [Editor’s note: Allure no longer uses “anti-aging” in its lexicon.]