Meet Jasmine Abena Colgan

  Founder of @Tough.Skin | Vitiligo Activist

Tell us about yourself and your company Tough Skin:

Jasmine Abena Colgan developed Tough Skin from the advice of her late grandmother who reminded her, “you gotta have tough skin,” shortly after she was diagnosed with Vitiligo by her dermatologist. She became an activist and philanthropist who has globally travelled to meet Vitiligans all around the world to hear their journey and create life long friends who are family.

Vitiligo is a condition that is caused when pigment producing cells (melanocytes) of the body stop producing the melanin that gives your skin, hair and eyes their color, causing the affected areas to lose pigmentation or become white. The cause of vitiligo could be hereditary, related to an auto-immune issue, or be caused by a triggering event like a severe skin trauma, or by stress.

Colgan developed Tough Skin as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to bring an authentic voice to discussions on vitiligo from the perspective of someone with the relevant lived experience. Tough Skin is committed to empowering people to successfully navigate their own journey of evaluating the research, science, and available treatment options through accessible and accurate information, and a supportive community. Our mission is to display the variety of colors that skin can come in and empower the world to be more accepting and educated about what it means to be normal even if looking different.

Do you have any events or projects coming up you’d like people to know about?

Tough Skin will be hosting a Celebratory Summit the weekend of World Vitiligo Day, June 25, 2022. Our event, Discover Your Tough Skin : A Summit For All Skin Types will be held in Denver, Colorado and there will also be a virtual component for a global tune in.

What neighborhood do you live in? What neighborhood is your business in?

Most of my business is in Downtown Denver. I am working on getting Tough Skin’s skin care products into boutiques and apothecaries, spas and hotels.

Why did you choose to call your neighborhood home?

My neighborhood home was actually in Westminster when I was growing up. I have lived in a lot of part of Colorado, including : Federal Heights, Denver, Lafayette, Thornton and Westminster.

What are your favorite local places?

I love me some pho tai or the vermicelli noodle bowl with grilled beef and I substitute the fish sauce for peanut sauce. Asian food in Denver is so good. I am down to share my favorite places,  but please don’t crowd! Haha jk, bring them business.
Pho Kimmie
Hapa Sushi
Dae Gee Korean BBQ
Las Palmas
Noodles & Company
Boulder Pho
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Academy
The Denver Art Museum
Clyfford Still Museum
BRDG Project
Robischon Gallery
RULE Gallery
Platte Forum
Red Rocks
Haven’t been to Mission Ballroom yet, heard it’s dope.

Are you from CO?

I was made in Lartey, Ghana, born in Fort Morgan, and grew up in Westminster, Colorado. Colorado is my home, I love to travel and come back to somewhere familiar. 

What do you love about Denver?

Denver, is my home. This city has much to offer… Look to the West and there you find the mountains. Whether you are in the city or the outskirts of the suburbs, there is always a mesmerizing sunset that happens – every night. Looking up to the sky, the colors are vibrant and serine, makes any stress or worries from the day seem unimportant.

How would you describe the personality or “vibe” of Denver? Of Your Neighborhood?

To be honest, I am from Colorado and it is hard to pin point exactly where in this state that I am from. If I am trying to connect with which neighborhood that I vibe with more, I would have to say the heart of the city. Downtown, there is a mix of everything : business, hippie, rich, poor, culture, American, Colorado history.

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