Like many authors, Jane Wurwand had been thinking about writing a book long before she put pen to paper. The UK-born founder of Dermalogica has been in the beauty industry for 50 years, starting as a 13-year-old apprentice in a salon in the south of England, and had been thinking in recent years that she might have some stories to share.

“But I kept coming back to, ‘What would I write a book about?’ Skin care tips and hacks didn’t really hold my heart.”

Jane continued to focus on her brand, which she sold to Unilever in 2015, turning it into a global powerhouse that trains 100,000 skin therapists a year. A former student suggested she write down everything she’s learned. In late December 2019, Jane began talking to Harper Collins and a few months later, the world went into lockdown.

“If the universe was ever going to send me a sign, this was it,” said Jane. “I had nothing else to focus on, so I decided to focus on my book.”

The result is Skin in The Game – Everything You Need Is Already Inside You which launched in late October. Jane describes the book broadly as, “how to reset your life and your career when you don’t have any opportunities or money or a college degree or you’ve immigrated to a place where you don’t know anyone. It’s about all of those stories.”

Many of the stories are ones that Jane can personally relate to. She started Dermalogica in 1986 with $14,000 of her own money (the company remains headquartered in Carson, California), and is sold in 80 countries.  Still, Jane said she wanted the book to be relatable to those outside of the skin care and beauty industry.

“It’s more about the unique journey of being an entrepreneur and an immigrant and a woman – how do you start a business with no money? It’s for people that are asking themselves, ‘what’s my new next? Do I want to go back to what I was doing in exactly the same way, or do I want it to be something different, something that speaks to my heart?”

The book, which also contains personal photos of Jane, starts at the beginning, with Jane as a young girl growing up in Scotland, losing her father at the age of two, being raised with a wardrobe of hand-me-downs, a “disastrous first marriage” and then arriving in the U.S. with a suitcase, a beauty school diploma, and empty pockets. Throughout, the book is peppered with tips – not just life hacks, but reminders about how to become a better human – cues such as “we don’t grow by shrinking others,” “be perfectly imperfect,” and “never apologize for being you.”

But Jane also wanted to weave in an ode of sorts to the beauty industry.

“So much of what we do is unseen and unrecognized,” she said. “Especially now with social media, everyone is a skin care expert and a makeup artist. We want to make sure there is a space carved out to understand that when you do this work as your career, and you’re qualified and licensed and you’ve spent your life learning about it, that’s different from being a skincare enthusiast. And that there is plenty of room for both. What our industry is really about is human connection, kindness, and nurturing. Every single one of us should have a place at the table, because, without every voice, we’re not actually experiencing the full depth of our humanity.”