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When skincare and art converge

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

‘Hey Ellen’ and Rites illustration

South African-developed teen skincare brand, Rites, has collaborated with local artist, Ellen Heydenrych of ‘Hey Ellen’ fame, to launch the #NormaliseAcne campaign.

Rites and Heydenrych hope to help teens accept that blemishes, pimples, scarring and 'imperfect' skin is normal and acceptable.

The brainchild of Renate Klass of Futurethis Consultancy, Rites was created to specifically target teenage acne. When Klass tasked her niece, Gaby Isabelle, to take over social media for Rites, the latter decided to contact Heydenrych.

Says Isabelle: “I was at Rhodes University with Ellen and although we never officially met, I followed her work because of how upbeat, honest and progressive it is. When I started doing the social media for Rites, I contacted Ellen as I thought her honesty would appeal to the youth who use Rites, as Rites is all about being comfortable in your own skin, and being natural, honest and kind to yourself too.

“Ellen is open about mental health, body-image and political issues, whilst keeping the delivery gentle and easy to digest – perfect for young, inquiring minds. I thought Ellen would be a great, relatable role-model for teens and tweens alike.

“#NormaliseAcne was Ellen’s idea. Together, we made the point that scarring, pimples and blemishes are completely normal and okay. Overall, Rites is making way for a different kind of beauty; for authenticity, for self-acceptance and self-love expressed by looking after your own body and mind. This is the message we want to send to our young clients, which Ellen has portrayed through her artwork beautifully.”

(Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)

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