If you’ve ever felt that the skincare industry failed to cater to your skin as a Black woman, you’re not alone. In 2018, beauty industry pioneers Esi Eggleston-Bracey and Sarah Irby said what most of us have been thinking regarding the industry’s failure to meet our skin’s unique needs: they can do better. As a result, MELĒ was born. Launched just two months ago, MELĒ is a skincare brand especially and scientifically designed for those of us with melanin-rich skin.
“It’s extremely important for women with melanin-rich skin to have skincare products designed specifically for them because our skin is different,” Dr. DiAnne Davis, dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, told MadameNoire. “Even down to the cellular level, our skin is thicker, oilier, ages slower, wrinkles less, and does have some minimal built-in sun-protection due to our melanin. But that also means that our skin has unique specific needs that must be addressed including oil production, moisture balance, dark spots, uneven skin tones, enlarged pores, and undetected sun damage. So it is imperative that we have products that address these unique concerns.”
Here’s a look at how MELĒ’s products address those concerns.
EVEN Tone Post Cleanse Tonic
“The EVEN Tone Post-Cleanse Tonic is recommended to calm and revitalize the skin,” Dr. Davis advised. “It is not to be confused with a toner that I find patients will often use to “clean their skin” or to help with oily skin. The EVEN Tone Post-Cleanse Tonic is a hydrating tonic that can be used AM and/or PM with a cotton pad to provide hydration and support the skin’s natural renewal process. Again, it can be used daily or twice daily after you wash your face and before applying your other products. ”
EVEN Dark Spot Control Serum
Melanin-rich skin has a tendency to produce dark spots, which makes uneven skin tone a common issue faced by Black women, which is where the EVEN Dark Spot Control Serum comes in handy.
“We recommend that it is used nightly,” Dr. Davis said of the thin, non-sticky liquid serum, which contains no parabens, alcohol, mineral oil, or phthalates.
“Black and Brown women are major consumers and enthusiasts of all aspects of beauty, yet there is a lack of science-based knowledge and skincare that put the beauty, concerns, and solutions of melanin-rich skin at the center. So it’s been a privilege and a pleasure to bring my whole self to work, as a marketer and Black woman, to drive this needed change,” said Iry, MELĒ’s Brand Director. “Leveraging the power of Unilever science, hand-in-hand with a collective of dermatologists and consumers of color, we’ve co-developed a brand designed to give melanin-rich skin the attention it deserves. We hope you enjoy it, and welcome your feedback, as the journey has just begun.”
SMOOTH Pore Minimizing Serum
While women of all races may struggle with the appearance of pores, Black women may notice that their pores are especially visible, which is actually a result of the way light reflects. To combat this issue, MELĒ offers the SMOOTH Pore Minimizing Serum.
“This mattifying serum visibly tightens pores and rebalances oil all day for beautifully smooth, primed, and more even-textured skin,” the product description explains. “Packed with high-performance ingredients including a blend of Tri-Peptide to noticeably reduce pore size, Rose Hip Extract to decrease excess oil and 13% Blur Technology to smooth the appearance of skin texture.”
DEW THE MOST Sheer Moisturizer SPF 30
“Although Moisture is in its name, the DEW THE MOST Sheer Moisturizer is an SPF 30 and it is a sunscreen that is essential in every skincare routine,” Dr. Davis explained. ‘It has light hydration that blends without a trace to provide sun protection and is perfect for daily use in the AM. As we know with skin of color, it can be challenging to find sunscreens that blend well with different skin tones. MELĒ Skincare has developed this lightweight moisturizing SPF that I know consumers are going to love.”
And while many of us who were blessed in the melanin department have been led to believe that we do not require sunscreen, this couldn’t be more wrong.
“I can never speak enough about the importance of sun protection in all skin types,” Dr. Davis admonished. “While skin of color does have an SPF factor of 13, sun protection is essential for helping to maintain an even skin tone. If someone has dark spots or blemishes, the sun can actually stimulate those spots to get darker, hence sun protection is important. Also, as we age, often I will see skin of color patients who report blotchiness in their skin tone. That is also due to years of unprotected sun exposure. So it is just as important for darker skin types to use sunscreen as fairer skin types.”
PLUMP IT UP Nourishing Cream
Last but not least, the PLUMP IT Up Nourishing Cream will help your skin to stay hydrated while preventing those dry patches that have a tendency to appear during colder months.
“The Plump It Up Nourishing Cream is essential for hydrating the skin and helping to regular oil production, we recommend using this nightly,” Dr. Davis explained.