Social Enterprise 'Melanin Essentials': Products for a Natural Body

Social Enterprise 'Melanin Essentials': Products for a Natural Body

In the quest to take care of their dark skin and straighten their hair, Saba Williams and Olayinka Credle felt as though society hadn't come up with a good solution. Their hair and skin—rich with brown and dark brown eumelanin—were ruined by chemical treatments.

What is Melanin?

Melanin is a natural pigment that colors hair, skin, and the iris. It is the same naturally-occurring chemical that turns a body tan to protect the skin from UV light. Skin color is in the epidermis and is determined by a pigment called melanocytes. All ethnicities have melanocytes, but they group together differently. For example if many are grouped together, it can cause freckles. As they're made up of different shades, our varying skin colors emerge.

Melanin in skin is photo-protective, which means it shields the body from the harmful UV rays from the sun. Those with darker skin colors have a higher factor of UVB protection than others with a lighter skin tone. A high melanin content can dissipate nearly 100 percent of the UV rays' absorption. Many people who have more melanin in their skin find they appear younger for their age, and are protected from sun damage, deep wrinkles, age spots, and rough skin texture. However, it isn't always a miracle worker. Scratches, pimples, inflammations, and rashes may leave dark marks on skin and may also show up during pregnancy or when Addison's disease is present.

Melanin is said to scavenge free radicals, but all skin colors are susceptible to skin cancer. It's a best practice to always wear sunscreen, hats and glasses, and use gentle skin care products like Melanin Essentials Body Butter.

So Credle and Williams, best friends, co-founders, and Millersville University graduates, decided to work together to create beneficial hair and skin care products without harsh chemicals. And they succeeded! We at Flower & Home Marketplace are delighted to offer their body butters which feature healthy, natural ingredients, care for the environment, zero chemicals to harm your skin, and responsible hiring practices at their company.

These body butters are rich with ingredients like:

  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea butter) Fruit
  • Cera Alba (Beeswax)
  • Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil
  • Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter
  • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil
  • All-Natural Plant-Based Fragrances

All-natural plant-based ingredients come from Mother Nature, so they bring benefits without putting harmful chemicals into the environment. They aim to help the body heal, and not injure it. They are free of harsh chemicals and fake colors that could otherwise increase skin sensitivity, cause further redness, make the skin feel irritated, and even cause breakouts.

The sweet aromas of Melanin Essentials skin care are from Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Mango Seed Butter, and Jojoba Seed oil.

Shea butter is ideal for softening skin; it is rich with anti-inflammatory and healing benefits including conditioning, toning, and skin smoothing. It moisturizes dry skin, reduces stretch marks, treats acne, stops itchy skin, and reduces razor burn, scars and bruises.

Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial, moisturizing and anti-fungal and is high in lauric acid. This acid makes monolaurin, an antimicrobial agent that fights pathogens, bacteria, yeast, insects, and viruses. It's an excellent cleanser, exfoliant, and moisturizer, protects the skin from premature signs of aging due to the sun, removes makeup naturally and helps to reduce wrinkles. The saturated fats, lauric, caprylic and capric acids it contains make skin smooth to the touch.

Mango butter is a rich moisturizer heavy in vitamin C that brightens and boosts the skin. This soothing and healing body butter also contains Vitamin A which enhances a youthful appearance by reducing fine lines. It can help with eczema or psoriasis, minor cuts, bug bites, sunburns, prevent stretch marks, heal scars, acne and age marks. It's a wonderful conditioner for hair and a great source of fatty acids, minerals and vitamins that leave skin soft, acne free and exfoliated. Best of all, mango eases sun inflammation and increases collagen production.

Jojoba seed oil will tame chafing, reduce redness, and ease rosacea. This oil is best known for its deeply hydrating properties, but is free of the oily residue some others might leave behind. Best of all, it's anti-microbial and won't make allergies worse. It's great news for those who suffer from acne as it helps to regulate sebum production. Jojoba oil will help repair damaged skin without irritation. It helps to calm redness, treat fungal infections, moisturize the skin and treat cradle cap in babies. It can also be used in the hair to promote the thickening of the strands through vitamins E, C, and B, plus zinc and copper.

How is Melanin Essentials Different?

Melanin Essentials products are eco-friendly, non-toxic, and come in zero-waste containers. The company intentionally hires marginalized workers such as single mothers so they can earn a living wage for their families while working flexible hours.

Williams and Credle’s vision is to have their employees live the value they’re creating: they want healthy, flourishing women making healthy, sustainable products.

Their vision is gaining traction.

The duo won the top prize in The Great Social Enterprise Pitch and received $7,500 in prize money from the Lancaster County Community Foundation and Assets to push their vision forward.

Melanin Essentials' raw, unrefined, and organic products celebrate natural skins' beauty while helping others in the community. 

Check out their body butters in various fragrances at our Boutique, here at Flower & Home Marketplace!