Through education, marketing, and product formulation, skin of color is often ignored.
The beauty industry sheds little light on skin of color. Even though traditional skincare education systems, a separate education must be attained to learn more about darker skin tones, whereas information about lighter skin toners retains a bulk of the textbook.
Melyon, a Swedish skincare brand that focuses on conditions commonly found among darker skin tones, looks to change these norms by bringing the under-represented minority to the forefront of beauty through marketing and product formulation.
Bringing inclusive skincare to an exclusive industry
Roger Dupé, the founder of Melyon, created his brand to change the ideal of beauty. From a young age, Roger’s mother taught him that “even if you can buy the most expensive clothes, you always need to take care of yourself,” instilling in him a love for skincare.
As a model for over a decade, Roger saw how the lack of inclusion and diversity plagued not only the fashion industry, but the beauty industry as well. The challenges within the beauty industry pushed Roger to develop his skincare brand, Melyon.
“My mission is to change the ideal of beauty, to lift the minority that are actually a majority in the world,” he tells Very Good Light.
The 360-degree approach to skincare
Melyon works to separate its brand from others within the industry through a 360-degree approach. The focus is on creating sustainable, carefully curated products with a unique, eye-catching design.
“We care a lot about our image and identity,” says Roger. “We’re trying to build a community, we’re trying to make people feel important, but also create something that people can feel like they can recognize themselves inside the brand.”
Inspired by the Baobab tree, Roger transformed this tree into his product packaging design. “It’s huge, you know, and I was like okay, when I have my products on the shelf, I want people to see it from miles away. I want the packaging to stand out. I want something that can be iconic,” he tells Very Good Light.
Formulating skincare for skin of color
Melyon focuses on formulating their ingredients to meet the need of problems that are common among darker skin tones, while still remaining suitable for all skin. Roger tackles skin concerns such as pigmentation, inflammation, and redness with ingredients that actually work to address those problems on dark skin.
Through his formulations, Roger utilizes the 70/30 rule: 70% pure ingredients, 30% synthetic ingredients.
“If you have that kind of balance, then it’s a good formulation,” says Roger.
He explains how humans have been using synthetic products for so long that switching to an 100% raw formulation can cause more harm than good. Having a balance between raw and synthetic reduces the possibility of breakouts or reactions.
Hidden inflammation in skin of color
“I didn’t think it [skin of color] was so sensitive,” says Roger, “even if you get a bite from an insect, it can trigger pigmentations.”
Through the formulation process of Melyon, Roger explains how he discovered unknown information regarding skin of color’s sensitivity levels and susceptibility to pigmentation. Due to the increased levels of melanin in darker skin tones, it is difficult to catch signs of inflammation or reactions in comparison to white skin. The lack of representation in the media and throughout education systems makes this process even more difficult for the daily consumer and people like Roger, who are focused on creating skincare products to suit skin of color.
“We need to learn that we are different. Everybody’s not the same. Everybody cannot use the same product. And I think the markets need to reflect our society in that case,” Roger tells Very Good Light.
Less is always more
Melyon maintains the beauty philosophy that less is more. “I don’t think you need to have a series of like 14 products, or 10 products. That was a trend before, it’s overwhelming,” says Roger. He explains how, throughout the day, we often forget the amount of products we use on or near our skin, like perfume, shampoo, lotion, hairspray – the list goes on. Using less skincare products, but focusing on using essential ingredients for the skin will actually produce better results.
“Many people have different kinds of problems. If you have problems with acne, just focus on that. Don’t focus on other things, just target the problem,” says Roger.
Why you need to change the way you are using bar soap
Melyon’s newest launch consists of a plethora of handmade bar soaps that are safe for every part of the body. These soaps are made through an innovative process that presses the soap cold instead of warm. This cold press method allows all of the ingredients to remain tightly packed within the soap, rather than disappearing under a warm press process.
“All of the ingredients and minerals stay inside, and you lose that when you do it in the hot way,” explains Roger.
Through the soap creation process, Roger also learned that most people are using soap in the wrong way. While many people leave their soap inside the shower after usage, Roger explains that you should not leave it inside. Instead, bring the bar outside of the shower, dry it, and let it sit on a soap dish. “If you have it inside your shower, a lot of bacteria can grow inside [it],” he says.
As an entrepreneur, Roger encourages those who are looking to start their own entrepreneurial venture to just begin.
“Just start, you know? When you start, you will get better. Even the highest, more luxurious brands are tweaking all the time,” he says.
He also explains how it is important to do your homework before diving into your business.
“Take in information and reach out to people that have actually done what you want to do because they have the recipe of how to do it.”