August Alsina is on a spiritual journey.
The 29-year-old singer from New Orleans has endured a lot in his life between quick stardom with his debut album Testimony in 2014, an autoimmune disease that turned his life upside down and lost a brother to gun violence and a cancer sister.
The ups, downs and struggles drove Alsina to come to terms with himself and practice healing, which inspired his new business, Encina Wellness, a skincare line that represents healing from within. and personal care. Alsina hopes to make it a community initiative.
“Everything I do is a tribute to myself and my ancestors, because each time I am more equipped with more energy and wisdom,” Alsina said of developing her new line.
Encina is comprised of four products, Begin Again Facial Cleanser, 3-in-1 Super Elixir, Striped Powder Exfoliator, and Infused Wellness Cream. Encina is Spanish for holm oak (and the surname from the word Alsina is derived) and key ingredients include oak extract and vitamin E.
The facial cleanser serves as an entry-level product at $32, and the wellness cream is on the higher end at $52. The brand offers two sets that include the facial cleanser and elixir with either the exfoliator for $107 or the wellness cream for $117.
“As I researched oak trees further, I learned that they grow so big that they can look like they’re gaining a crown at their tallest height,” Alsina said. “Further research led me to discover the age of a tree by its rings. We incorporated this idea into the packaging.
Alsina also called on his family members to model the packaging. The boxes the products come in feature the star, his cousins Sneak and Teke and family members China, Zu and Heaven, and his niece Kayden LaBranch is on the website. The photographer of the shooting was an old family link with which Alsina reconnected by chance.
“God is so real,” he said. “The photographer was one of my cousin’s ex-girlfriend’s children and I grew up with them when we evacuated one of the hurricanes.”
Encina is completely self-funded and is currently available direct to consumer; Alsina is in talks to enter retail and is working on developing the product line. Upcoming launches will include articles addressing melanoma skin concerns and wellness products that support the mind, body and soul.
“I transform the pain to take steps towards a new journey,” Alsina said. “Skincare is that. I went through so many different insecurities when I got sick.
Alsina was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease that at one point caused her face to swell and threatened her ability to walk. He explained that his cortisol level was eating the nerves in his legs and he felt tingling in his legs and couldn’t move. After his diagnosis, he stayed in a rehabilitation center in Los Angeles and said that despite his condition, he had a smile on his face.
“I had a failing body, but my mind was thriving like never before,” he said. “I realized it was because so many people from different walks of life were there in that building with an intention.” He likened the experience to going to church and feeling the presence of God. “I believe in the power of intention, which was to heal.”
“We did different group and solo sessions to get to know people on a deeper level for who they are and with skincare, it was the same idea for me,” he continued. . “Skincare being an entry to form a community of people connected to something. As a black man, I had never felt drawn to a product that focused on wellness at a basic level in skincare and daily routine. After getting into skincare, there is a difference in putting time and effort into your skin.
Launching her brand is part of her rebuilding process.
Alsina burst onto the scene with the mixtape The Product in 2012 and achieved major success with his debut album, “Testimony”, in 2014, which went platinum, peaked at number one on the Billboard Top R&B and Hip-Hop Albums charts. and number two on the Billboard charts. 200.
But that was finding success in pain. He said seeing his stepfather beat his mother inspired his debut album, as did the death of his older brother Melvin La’Branch III in 2010.
Alsina was also in a brief romance with actress Jada Pinkett-Smith when he struggled with a painkiller addiction, as she revealed on her Facebook Watch show “Red Table Talk.” She said she sought to help him heal while estranged from husband Will Smith. Alsina remained silent on the matter but went public after becoming the legal guardian of his three nieces. Pinkett-Smith called the affair an “entanglement,” which inspired the title of her song “Entanglements” with rapper Rick Ross in 2020.
His latest mixtape, “The Product III: State of Emergency,” explores his upbringing and new role as guardian to his three nieces following the death of his sister, who began her rebuilding process.
“God struck me,” Alsina said. “I didn’t think she would die. What happens when you die with so much inside of you that you couldn’t accomplish everything you wanted out of fear? All this while I go paralyzed.
It would be worse. The IRS froze Alsina’s accounts while planning his sister’s funeral because old notices weren’t sent for three years after she moved from her old management to her new one. He spoke of living in an eight-bedroom mansion with no water or light and being unable to work, let alone walk, while mourning the passing of his sister.
“The universe was giving me signs to put out the fire inside of me,” he said. “The spiritual journey hasn’t been the easiest and hasn’t been pretty, but through the pain of it all, I’ve been able to recreate myself.”
Alsina believes years of trauma have manifested in pain and illness. He managed to create success through pain, he said, but now he embarks on a new journey with Encina focused on creating with love.
“It’s not a business for me,” he said of Encina. “People have asked me to be an ambassador or a partner and that’s not it. It’s not about the product or the skin – it’s about deeper levels of self-discovery and building purpose. harder skin, new layers of skin in the journey to find myself and myself.To do this I needed to be completely broken in order to receive from God.
He continued, “I am grateful to God that I was able to survive this trip. God always provides for me and I hope it’s a way that I can take all the pain I’ve been through and share it with other people and give them a mirror to look at themselves in.