Brilliant. Innovator. Trailblazer. These are just a few words to describe a woman who has made one of the most impressionable marks in the skincare world. Known for having founded The Institute of Skinnovation, Dangene has had her hand in the esthetics industry for over two decades creating a visionary presence that continually impacts the future of skincare. Fueled initially by a personal journey with her own skin, Dangene has impressively merged state-of-the-art technology with customized, head-to-toe skincare programming to create the Institute. As she continues to evolve and transform the industry with what feels like a fervor that won’t stop, we are curious, what’s next?
January Olds: When you were a young girl, what was your earliest memory around beauty?
Dangene: Oh, I have no idea how far back you want me to go, but when I was two years old, my family was visiting my aunt in Chicago and somehow I managed to get ahold of her manicure scissors and decided to give myself some bangs! So, I guess I’ve had ideas about how I wanted to look, or how to go about creating a look, since I was about two years old.
JO: What were your dreams?
D: When I was young, my dream was to move to New York City, live in a high-rise and own my own business… I had no idea what the business would be really, but I knew that’s what I wanted. My Grandfather was from Brooklyn and self-employed and my Father was self-employed so I never imagined working for someone else.
JO: We know acne played a key role in your interest with skincare but what other factors gave you the passion to pursue a life around skincare and beauty?
D: They’ll think it’s so funny that I’m telling this story but, I used to dress up my friends for their proms and dates and even just because! I used to treat them like they were live dolls. I made some of their clothes, I did their hair and makeup and nails. I just had a vision for each of them and wanted to make that vision come to life. I always feel lucky that I ended up with this amazing group of friends that let me do that with them.
JO: What’s the hardest part about starting your own business?
D: When you have this idea and you start developing it without anyone else to help facilitate its growth, it can be lonely sometimes. I knew I was building something great. I was learning what worked and what didn’t and developing a business all on my own so I worked for 12 or 15 hours at a time and my friends and family didn’t really understand what I was creating or why I wasn’t around.
JO: The easiest?
D: When you love what you do– like really love it– it never feels like work. Even your worst day is still a really great day.
JO: What do you use daily when it comes to skincare?
D: I use a bubbly cleanser, gentle toner, and a serum that helps reduce redness and promote hydration. Then at night, I use the January Labs Retexturizing Night Cream. I’ve found that it really helps to brighten my face and gives me a beautiful morning glow.
JO: Is there anything you believed twenty years ago about skincare that still rings true today?
D: “Well I’ve been using eye cream since I was 12 (and I mean that in all seriousness!) and I am sure it’s made a difference–there’s no such thing as ‘too young’ for eye cream. Also, we have proven that consistency is key in any skincare practice and that every person should be on a program for their individual needs. Skin rejuvenation are for people of all ages and skin types and will always be my go-to treatment.
JO: If you had a billboard and could put anything on it, what would it say?
D: We Change People’s Lives by Making Them the Perfect Version of Themselves.
JO: You’ve helped thousands of people with acne, how does that impact you?
D: I don’t really think in terms of what I’ve done–I think mostly of all we have yet to do. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to help so many, but I’m always looking forward to the people we haven’t met yet… the faces and lives we haven’t changed–and that’s what keeps us going.