The skincare industry is not subtle.

Stroll down the beauty aisle and you’ll see soft pinks, vibrant purples, and golden sparkles (read: women) on one side and military greens, matte blacks, and unassuming grays (men) on the other. “I always felt like that was so jarring,” says David Yi. “As a consumer, I shave, but I also sometimes like to put on makeup. Why do I feel like I’m not being catered to in any section?” So Yi, a fashion writer who lives in his hometown of Colorado Springs, decided to launch a beauty brand that was gender-inclusive and centered on nonbinary and trans communities.

David Yi
Good Light Cosmetics founder David Yi. Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Courtesy of Good Light Cosmetics

That mission is rooted in Yi’s adolescence, when, as one of the few Asian students at his high school, he often ate lunch alone in his Jeep Cherokee, dreaming of a world that would invite him to participate: “As an Asian American, I never saw myself on TV, in the magazines, and not in beauty, for sure.” But he eventually made it to the cool table, becoming, at 22, the youngest fashion editor ever at the New York Daily News, suddenly sitting next to Vogue editor Anna Wintour at runway shows.

Then, in 2015, he wrote a viral piece about transgender teens for Mashable. Talking with the story’s subjects convinced Yi there was a need for more diverse stories in fashion, and in 2016, he founded Very Good Light. One of the blog’s first posts was “The Fear Politics and Beauty of Men Who Wear Turbans.”

While most of his staff is located in New York City, Yi moved back to Colorado Springs during the pandemic and has since published a book with HarperCollins; launched the Good Light Cosmetics brand; and created a tie-in skincare set for Heartstopper, a Netflix series about a romance between two gay teens. Designed for a gender-inclusive audience, Good Light is now carried by Ulta Beauty, a cosmetics chain with more than 1,300 locations in the United States. “Sometimes,” Yi says, “you have to be what you don’t see.”

3 Good Light Cosmetics Products to Spark a Glow Up

1. It’s not enough to heal blemishes; a great acne remover needs to get them gone yesterday. Fortunately for prom-goers everywhere, Luna Pimple Patches ($8.50 for 24) were deemed the fastest-acting pimple patch on the market by Allure in 2023.

2. Vegan- and cruelty-free, like all Good Light products, Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion ($22 for 3.4 ounces) was lauded by the testers at Self magazine for its ability to keep skin moisturized through the winter thanks to hydrating ingredients such as ceramides and snow mushroom, which is known for its ability to retain water.

3. Along with standard ingredients like collagen (for plumpness) and vitamin B5 (to ward off dryness), the Taste of Space Lip Milk ($16 for .15 ounces) replicates the flavor of the center of the galaxy, which astronomers believe tastes like raspberries.