LeToya Luckett and Kimba Williams on Partnership With KUSHAE to Promote Healthy Feminine Hygiene Products (Exclusive)

LeToya Luckett has been keeping busy these last few years. The working mother of two has been busy adding tons of acting credits to her resume, dabbling in reality television on shows like Friends and Family Hustle, and preparing new music to give to her beloved fans. And now, the Destiny's Child alum wants every woman to feel like their best self from the inside out, beginning with their lady parts. Luckett has partnered with KUSHAE, a Black-owned, women-led feminine wellness brand that promotes and educates women about vaginal health through their vast product line. The Greenleaf star knows all about the ever-changing woman's body, having had two children within two years. She says fate brought her to KUSHAE, and she couldn't be more proud to be attached to the brand.

Co-founded by Kimba Williams, an award-winning pharmaceutical sales executive turned best-selling author, national speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur – the line is the No. 1 recommended on the market by gynecologists. KUSHAE has a brand new product out that's a personal favorite of Luckett's. PopCulture.com spoke with Williams and Luckett about the brand, products, and partnership. And Luckett gave us insight into a potential reunion with her former bandmates that fans have anticipated since the group's hiatus. 

PC: Thank you both for taking the time to speak with PopCulture.com today. Kimba, I'll start with you. Before we get into the latest product that was just released, I want to discuss the full line. KUSHAE offers various products, including feminine washes, and there's a lot of misinformation about feminine hygiene products out there. Some doctors say that washes are unnecessary because of the vagina's ability to cleanse itself. Others say that you can use them, but because that area is so sensitive, sometimes it can cause more harm than good, depending on the ingredients that are found in them. So what have you found in your research to be true or not true in that department?

KW: I think it goes beyond my own research. I want to remind folks that KUSHAE is the number one OB-GYN created entire line of feminine health and hygiene products. So it's not just about research that others are depending on; it's the fact that we have a founder that is at the top of the food chain here, that is a board-certified OB-GYN and is the expert in women's health and hygiene. 

Outside of that, what we know based on Dr. McClaren's expertise is two things. One: the vagina, which is the inner canal, where the babies come out, is a self-cleaning oven. We do not suggest putting a feminine wash there. What we are actually talking about is the vulva, which is a word that most women are not absolutely familiar with, which is why we default to vagina. And when we say vulva, we mean the outer canal. So a feminine hygiene wash should absolutely be used for the exterior or the vulva area of a woman's inmost intimate area. And it's because, just like your underarms, it has oil glands, and it sweats. And it has hair typically, whether you wax it, shave it or trim it, it still has the propensity to build hair or to grow hair, which means that there are bacteria on that skin. And there are the issues around sweating and odors, and irritation.

Here at KUSHAE, Dr. Barbara McClaren and myself, we staked our entire company around being not only transparent, but making sure that we've created safe, effective, and absolutely gentle ingredients for women to use on their vulva and/or vagina. So you're looking for something that's all-natural, made with plant-based ingredients, you're looking for ingredients that you can potentially pronounce, or that you can find, like Dr. Barb always says, in your kitchen or your garden, and you're looking for something that's going to be gentle and effective and not contain anything that would disrupt your hormones like parabens and or cause very concerning outcomes, including sulfates, fragrances.

You mentioned that it's an all-female-created product line. What factors went into all of you wanting to start this line? 

KW: We couldn't find products that were backed by both science and mother nature. When you have a company that you're looking to scale and build commercially and really support women, both domestically and globally, you want to make sure that there are proper safeguards and know that they're going to be both safe, gentle, and effective. So we always started with the professional, not only an OB-GYN, but also chemists who understood natural ingredients and then natural medical practitioners. So we wanted to make sure that we had all the experts, and then, of course, mother nature speaks for herself.

We couldn't find an entire line of products that would do essentially all that women were asking them to do. We had women who said, "What can I do for ingrown hair?" And you'd have to search the earth over for that. And then they had women who said, "Well, I have odors down there, but I don't want to talk about it. What can I do?" There was nothing in the feminine hygiene, or deodorant space at all. So there were gaps. And you had women who said, "I'm looking for a wash, but everything burns me." So you're looking for a source over to the center. So we found that there was not a credible, reliable, and sort of one-stop-shop source for all things feminine health and hygiene that women could trust, and therein lies, the reason behind creating KUSHAE.

Can you tell us about your new vulva deodorant, how it works and what it's primarily used for since that is your newer product?

KW: LeToya loves it, so she'll chime in later, but the new vulva deodorant is the natural feminine deodorant stick. It is phenomenal for women who we say prefer to be bare down there. And when you're bare down there, and you are dealing with summertime heat, stress heat, just marinating in your own juices because of whatever the reason, you do have complications of odors. Over 55% of women experience odors down there associated with sweat, so external odors.

And so the deodorant stick is fantastic. It is all-natural. It is not made with aluminum or talc, or any of the things that people are now being more conscious about, even with their underarm deodorant, but it's specifically pH balanced for your vulva, so you don't have to try to use an underarm solution down there because that doesn't necessarily jive. And women are literally raving about it. It leaves no residue. It's creamy but it's safe, gentle, and highly effective and does exactly what it says, which is keeping odors at bay 24/7, which is fantastic.

LeToya, how did you first hear about the line, and how did the partnership come about?

LL: So how I got linked up with KUSHAE, I kind of feel like I manifested it a little bit because I was also, as an African American woman or just a brand new mom period, looking for a product that would work for me and had all natural ingredients. Well, boom, my management team, they kind of asked me questions of, "Hey, what are you looking for? What would you want to be an influencer?" A lot of times, people come to us with different things, but I love that my team like to say, "No, what are you actually interested in? What do you use? What will you use instead of just getting a check for it?" I'm not into that. I want, when I put my face on something, when I put my name on something, I want it to be something that I feel good about and something that I actually use for myself or my kids.

So they introduced KUSHAE and of course, I did research on the brand as much as I possibly could. And then they sent the product before we actually said, "Let's go with it." And after using the product, I was like, "Are you serious? This is what I have been looking for." I don't want to name any names, but I've been to all the natural stores, looking for this and that. But I finally feel like I've found a product that works for me. And with them, of course, one of them being an OB-GYN and Kimba being so educated, it was a no-brainer.

And I love that with this brand, we're able to have conversations that people are so terrified to have regarding females and their private parts. So I said, "Okay, this is an opportunity for me to represent a product that I believe in, but also, let's have a conversation. Let's get some questions answered." We're out here, and in today's America, our rights are being taken away from our private parts. So why not have some real dialogue and educate our sisters on a product that could work for them and things that they would probably be afraid to ask their doctors, that they go to probably Google and all the scary answers come up. But you have someone who's educated on many products that the brand carries, and you can get your questions answered as we do on (Instagram) Live sometimes.

LeToya, what were you taught growing up about feminine care for that area? As you mentioned, you've tried natural products, but up until you found KUSHAE, what were some of the issues that you were running into?

LL: I was always told not to use a lot of products because we've all been taught that the area is a self-cleansing situation, but I think, once you hit your 30's, once you've had a baby, you need a little assistance. And I would prefer all-natural assistance because honestly, until the last, what I'm going to say, what 10 or 15 years, maybe 20, I don't even know – we just started looking at the ingredients of products. People just started filing lawsuits because of talc, all these different things that we didn't know were in these products that we've been using our entire lives, or our grandmothers were using, our mothers were using them. We didn't know. And we just assumed that everything was OK. So now we're paying attention, and it's wonderful to know that KUSHAE is a brand that everything that you find in their products, you can find in your kitchen, or you can find in the garden.

Now you've spoken obviously about things changing with motherhood, and I've noticed that KUSHAE offers products for pregnancy and post-pregnancy as well. Kimba, can you elaborate on the products that you offer for women who are expecting and then in postpartum?

So we have both a pregnancy and postpartum, new mom kit, and then the mommy-to-be kit. I am a boy mom of three. So I feel like I know all the things. They range in age from 10 to 19. And I feel like I've been through it all with vaginal births and the whole nine.

And so, a lot of what women are experiencing is new sensitivities that they've never had before. So things burn where they didn't burn; they're itching and rashing where they didn't use to itch and rash. I think making sure that you're moving to something more gentle, you are changing your raging hormones, and your changing skin will be important. So we definitely offer the gentle two-in-one foaming wash. That's going to be your staple.

The next thing is that mom-to-be is hot and bothered all the day and time because they're literally carrying life and creating this whole new big ball of energy. And so you're sweating all the time. So many moms can't even get to the areas that are now sweating, much less shave them, trim them, or take care of them. So the deodorant spray and or stick is going to be good for a lot of moms who are experiencing pregnancies, particularly in hotter summer months. 

And then whether you are gaining weight, which most moms do, because we have to support the new life that we're bringing into the world, often those thighs are high-fiving ways that they never did before. And so the answer to that, one of our products that is fantastic and universal is the protective skin balm. It is literally an anti-chafing solution for wherever is rubbing and tugging.

LeToya, outside of this new partnership, what other projects have you been working on? I noticed that you have some clothing that's out via your Instagram, and you've been busy working out and keeping your body tight and right. 

LL: I am be getting back to music soon. So I am excited about that. I have Raising Kanan, which is Power Book III coming out in August. And so I am super excited about that role. It's something completely different. I've always been a fan of the show, and so to be a part of the cast this season, it's awesome.

I have two Christmas films coming out. And I think of course, you seen the partnerships with Jay Bolen, the clothes and everything, but that's mainly it for right now. There are some things in the works that, of course, I can't talk about until it's actually done. 

I have my YouTube channel, Leave it to LeToya, in which we have a new episode that releases every Tuesday. I am having so much fun with this show. We have a lot of great subscribers who love it an leave wonderful comments, and ask great questions. The show has been just a blessing in disguise. It really has.

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And you said that you're working on new music. So obviously, the DC Four original fan gang want a reunion. I would be remiss if I did not ask. All of these '90s  groups and our favorite nineties artists, they're doing all of these revival tours or these joint ventures or these albums – do you foresee a DC reunion in the future with the original four and Michelle Williams?

LL: I don't see it not happening. I don't ever want to say never. It would be a beautiful thing. That group just changed our lives completely. Whether you were in it for however long, that group was something special. And I'm just blessed and honored that I got to be a part of it. And all the girls, we're cool. Shout out to all of them. But it's nothing but love. It is nothing but love. So I can't see it not happening. It's just maybe when, but we are all moms now. So finding the time. Beyoncé just put out a dope single, and I think she's about to release an album soon if she hasn't already. So everybody's busy doing their own things. And I respect that, for sure.