How to Heal Scars for Children of Color

How to Heal Scars for Children of Color

  Scars form naturally after the skin is damaged by simple scrapes and cuts, surgery, or a skin condition like acne. Scarring may appear lighter or darker than your natural tone on dark-skinned children and adults. While some scars fade over time, other scars grow and develop into keloids and hypertrophic scars. These types of scars more commonly affect people with darker skin tones. Not all scar treatments can be used on children of color. Some therapies like chemical peels can cause dark spots and hyperpigmentation on darker skin tones. Always seek medical advice if you’re unsure. Instead of chemical treatments, consider treating your child’s scars with natural skincare for children. Melabebe offers skincare products for melanin-rich children that nourish and moisturize your child’s skin to heal and prevent scarring.   Healing Your Child’s Scars   You can reduce the appearance of scars on your melanin-rich child with scar management techniques. Scar management methods like massage, moisturizing creams, silicone gel, and sunscreen help break down scar tissue to make your child’s scar appear flatter and smoother.   Scar Massage This technique can be performed on any cut or incision after it’s healed. Scar massage is especially helpful after your child’s surgery to prevent thick scar tissues from forming. You can start massaging your child’s scar after the scab has fallen off. Massage the scar by rubbing it for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice per day. Rub it in the same direction as the scar and with enough pressure to see the color of the scar change. After massaging the scar for four weeks, change the direction of your massage. Move your hands up and down, from side to side, and rub circles around the scar. You can also criss-cross the scar and pull the skin together and apart. Massaging helps keep the tissue around the incision site loose, preventing it from sticking to other tissue and forming a thick scar. Use lotions while massaging the scar to help soften the skin and make massaging easier.   Use Lotions and Creams Moisturizing lotions and thick skin creams can help reduce the appearance of your child’s scar by softening their skin. It’s important to find the proper skincare for melanin-rich skin. Look for lotions, creams, or oil that include ingredients like Vitamin E and Vitamin A to promote healing and cell regeneration. Antioxidants in your green tea and thyme can help reduce inflammation and itchiness, helping your child heal faster and reduce their temptation to scratch the scab. Cocoa butter, aloe vera, and honey are other natural ingredients to look for in your lotions and creams. They moisturize your child’s scar and help soothe it while it heals.   Topical Silicone Gels Thicker scars like keloids and hypertrophic scars are more difficult to treat and may require silicone gels. Topical silicone gels are made from medical-grade silicone, and they help flatten the scar. Silicone gel also helps scars blend in more with the rest of your skin by reducing the discoloration of your child’s scar. Silicone gel products work best on new scars and can be applied when your child’s wound heals. You may need to contact medical professionals to find the right topical silicone product for your child.   UV Protection Scar tissue is more sensitive to sunlight, and using the right sunscreen can protect your skin from harmful UV rays and hyperpigmentation. Look for sunscreens that offer at least 30 SPF and cover both UVA and UVB spectrums.   How to Prevent Scars Good habits can prevent your child from scarring in the future. Make sure they never pick or pop pimples or scabs. If your child suffers from acne, contact your doctor for effective treatment options that prevent acne scars. Always treat cuts correctly. Wash the cut with soap and water and cover the wound with antiseptic ointment and a bandage so it can heal properly. Your child’s dry skin and healing wounds may feel itchy, leading them to scratch and cause scars. You can reduce itchiness by using melanin-rich skin nourishment like body creams and oils on your child’s skin.   Heal Your Child’s Scars with Melabebe Everyday cuts, acne, and skin trauma from surgery can leave your child with scars. Their scars may be more noticeable because of your child’s darker skin tone. Help fade scars on your child with Melabebe. At Melabebe, we understand how the skincare industry underserves our children by not making high-quality products that focus on the needs of darker skin. Our line of skincare for melanin-rich children focuses on natural products that are safe and effective. Melabebe’s rich skin cream helps heal and protect your child’s skin. Visit our online store to learn more about our line of clean, natural skincare products.  

Going on a Cruise? Be Sure to Protect Your Melanin-Rich Skin

Going on a Cruise? Be Sure to Protect Your Melanin-Rich Skin

  As cruise lines across the United States resume their routes, people tired of not traveling throughout the pandemic pack their bags and head out on the high seas. You may be tempted to skip the sunscreen as you pack. After all, doesn’t the melanin in your skin protect you and your children from harmful UV rays? Unfortunately, not. While melanin-rich skin provides some protection from UV rays, it isn’t enough, and it can have deadly consequences for people of color. The best way to protect your child is to start a daily sunscreen regimen. Melabebe’s Protect is natural skincare for children that offers sun protection and moisturizers all-in-one to make skincare for melanin-rich skin easy. The Proper Way to Wear Sunscreen Regardless of skin tone, dermatologists say the most SPF naturally present in the skin is equivalent to SPF 13, which means everyone should apply sunscreen every day. Current medical advice recommends that everyone wear SPF 30 or higher UV protection every day, but it’s especially true for children, who have thinner skin than adults and are more likely to suffer sun damage. You should also look for broad-spectrum sunscreens, so they protect your child from both UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen to your child at least 15 minutes before they go outside, so it has time to absorb into their skin. You should reapply sunscreen to your child every two hours or more frequently if they are swimming or sweating. Sun Damage in Melanin-Rich Skin As with any skin, sun damage leads to fine lines and wrinkles in people with melanin-rich skin; it just may take longer to appear. In addition, people with melanin-rich skin who experience sun damage have larger pores. Melanin-rich skin is prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, so sun damage can lead to dark spots and other pigmentation issues. Skin cancer is a concern for people with melanin-rich skin, even if they don’t get a sunburn. While it is less likely in people with melanin-rich skin, the outcomes are bleaker for people of color. According to a recent study, the average five-year survival rate for skin cancer for Black people is 67%, compared to 92% in white people, a drastic difference that seems to be related to the fact that skin cancer in Black people is often not diagnosed until it reaches its later and more deadly stages. The best way to protect your child’s melanin-rich skin from future damage is to start using sunscreen right away.   Finding the Perfect Sunscreen for Melanin-Rich Skin Conventional sunscreens often contain ingredients that aren’t friendly to melanin-rich skin, making skin look ashy or leaving a white cast on your child’s skin. If your child has dry skin, which is a frequent concern for melanin-rich skin, apply a moisturizer before applying sunscreen. Chemicals in sunscreens often rob the skin of moisture, which can increase the likelihood that your child’s skin will turn ashy while wearing sunscreen.   Chemical Sunscreen Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin, where they react with UV rays to convert UV rays into heat, which then leaves the skin. Since these are absorbed into the skin, this type of sunscreen doesn’t leave a white cast like other formulas. Many chemicals in chemical sunscreens are currently under review to determine their safety for humans and marine life when the sunscreen washes off while swimming.   Mineral Sunscreens Many people with melanin-rich skin can’t tolerate chemical sunscreens because they irritate their sensitive skin. If your child has sensitive skin, it’s best to use a tinted mineral sunscreen, which blends better with your child’s melanin-rich skin. In mineral sunscreen, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or iron oxide sit on top of the skin, serving as a barrier that prevents UV rays from reaching your skin. Mineral sunscreens, because they contain clean and natural ingredients, also tend to cause less irritation to those with sensitive skin, but they are thicker than chemical sunscreens, which means they may be more likely to clog pores, trapping sebum (which melanin-rich skin tends to over-produce) and causing acne. Don’t Forget to Moisturize! While on a cruise or other vacation, not only do you have to contend with the sun, but you also have to consider other environmental factors, like wind and humidity levels. Melanin-rich skin is prone to dryness, so your child’s skin will need protection from dry climates with moisturizers containing occlusive ingredients like beeswax and lanolin. These create a protective layer on the skin to trap moisture and repel environmental pollutants. Melabebe’s Protect: All-in-One Moisture and Hydration Créme Melabebe understands skincare for melanin-rich children doesn’t need to be complicated. Our products contain only natural, toxic-free ingredients to provide the ultimate pure melanin-rich skin nourishment.  

Clean, Toxic-Free Skincare Products for Children of Color

Clean, Toxic-Free Skincare Products for Children of Color

  Children have thinner skin than adults, which means their bodies absorb personal care products you apply. This is troubling considering a lot of toxic chemicals are added to skincare products formulated for children. Natural skincare for children keeps your kids safe from harmful products by using natural and organic ingredients. Melanin-rich skin has different needs than skin with lower amounts of melanin. Unfortunately, most mainstream skincare brands have neglected melanin-rich skincare. At Melabebe, we create nourishing, natural skincare products for your melanin-rich child. Melabebe is an all-natural and clean brand that you can trust for all your child’s melanin-rich skin needs, and we are proud to be the 1st clean-positive skincare line for children of color. Why Children With Melanin-Rich Skin Need Specialized Skincare Melanin provides pigment for your child’s skin, and the more they have, the larger their melanosomes and the darker their skin. It helps to protect your child’s skin from UV light (but don’t skip the sunscreen) and functions as a natural antioxidant in the skin. Melanin-rich skin is often sensitive, so pay attention to how your child reacts when applying new products. To avoid painful and itchy skin reactions, it’s best to treat melanin-rich skin with skincare brands that have hypoallergenic natural ingredients suitable for sensitive skin types. Then, if you notice a rash, stop using it and make a note of the ingredients, so you know what to avoid in the future. Melanin-rich skin is prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This occurs when melanin settles in damaged areas around bug bites, acne, or cuts, leading to darker areas of skin. Since bug bites, acne, and cuts are all part of growing up, you want to make sure your skincare for melanin-rich children routine includes anti-inflammatory ingredients to prevent inflammation that may lead to scarring and hyperpigmentation later. Melanin-rich skin naturally produces more sebum, which can make it more oily. As a result, melanin-rich children often have acne-prone skin as teens. So, when choosing skincare products for your children as they enter their teen years, make sure you continue to select high-quality products that won’t dry out their skin, causing excess sebum production. Reduced skin hydration is a common concern for melanin-rich skin since it lacks many naturally-occurring ceramides - waxy lipids that form a protective barrier on the skin. So, melanin-rich skin nourishment must include a daily moisturizer with ceramides to lock in moisture. Ingredients to Avoid In general, stick to skincare products that are natural and organic. A good rule is to check the ingredient list, and if you’d feel comfortable eating the product, it’s safe to be absorbed into your child’s skin. You can also look for products labeled as certified organic. Avoid these toxic ingredients: Synthetic Fragrances: While it seems like all children’s skincare products are loaded with exciting fragrances to make bath time more appealing, those synthetic fragrances are potential skin irritants that should be avoided. If you are looking for pleasing scents, stick to those provided by natural essential oils. Parabens: These preservatives are added to products that create suds or bubbles, but paraben cells have been found in breast cancer tissue, suggesting they are absorbed into the body and stored. While there’s no direct link that parabens cause cancer, it’s best to be safe and just avoid them. Formaldehyde: A known carcinogen, formaldehyde may be added to beauty products such as lotions, shampoos, shower gels, and nail polishes as a preservative to prolong its shelf-life. The amount within the products is considered non-harmful, but it’s best to avoid it with a child’s thin skin. Sulfates: Added to increase lather in soaps, shampoos, and bubble baths, sulfates tend to strip skin of its moisture, so you should avoid them for children with melanin-rich skin, which is already prone to dryness. Artificial Colors: To make their products look more appealing to children, companies often add artificial colors in the form of dyes. These dyes can cause skin irritation for sensitive skin. Sunscreen Chemicals: Many sunscreens are filled with nano chemicals to block UV rays, but it’s better to use to clean beauty sunscreens for melanin-rich skin. Many of those harsh chemicals sit on the surface of melanin-rich skin, leaving a white or gray cast. Shop Melabebe Many concerned parents resort to making skincare products at home to ensure they put only clean and natural products on their children’s skin. Melabebe’s founder did, but it was too time-consuming when she had to return to work. She was disappointed that she had to mix and match multiple products to care for her daughter’s skin. Deciding that skincare for melanin-rich skin didn’t need to be complicated, she established Melabebe to provide clean products to melanin-rich children. Protect: All-in-One Moisture and Hydration Crème from Melabebe is the clean beauty product your child’s skin has been waiting for.  

Top Tips for Black and Brown Skin Care

Top Tips for Black and Brown Skin Care

 As a parent, you want to make sure your child is happy and healthy. You can teach your child about drinking sufficient water, eating nutrient-rich foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising. But it is also essential for your child to have a skin care routine that addresses the specific needs of their melanin-rich skin. Black and brown skin requires special attention and specially formulated skin care products. You can teach your child to maintain their skin health by using natural skin care for children. With these tips for black and brown skin care, your child can learn how to properly take care of their skin and boost their self-confidence. Tips for Black and Brown Skin Care Melanin is a pigment that makes your hair, eyes, and skin dark brown or black. Higher levels of melanin in your black skin provide protection from UV rays and decrease the risk of skin cancer. But increased melanin production also contributes to skin sensitivity and dry skin. To keep your child’s skin healthy, you'll need to invest in the correct products and create routines using products made for melanin-rich skin. Using skin care for melanin-rich children to develop a routine can help prevent future problems with your child's melanin-rich skin. 1. Know Your Child’s Skin Type To find the right melanin-rich skin nourishment, it is crucial to understand your child’s skin type. Knowing your child’s skin type enables you to select products that address their specific skin concerns. Oily Skin The pores secrete natural oils that keep your skin hydrated to combat dryness. Oily skin types still need to moisturize daily to prevent excess sebum production, but they need a lightweight product that won’t clog their pores. Look for formulas with oils high in linoleic acid and other mild emollients. Sensitive Skin Sensitive skin is frequently prone to dryness and itching. Bathing sensitive skin often results in it feeling clean and dry. pH-balanced skin care formulas are the best option for sensitive skin and products with humectant ingredients to draw in and trap moisture in the skin. Dry Skin The skin will feel tight and dry if it lacks the necessary ingredients to retain moisture. Flaky patches and cracks are common for this skin type during the winter months. Dry skin needs creamier moisturizers with occlusive ingredients that form a protective barrier on the skin. Combination Skin This skin type has a combination of oily and dry patches on the face. It is prone to drastic seasonal changes, with oiliness in summer and dryness during winter. 2. Use Sunscreen Regularly A high level of UV exposure can overstimulate melanin-producing cells, leading to dark spots and uneven skin tone. When your child has bug bites, scars, or acne, they can turn into post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or discolored spots on their skin. Wearing sunscreen regularly can mean fewer dark spots, a brighter complexion, and an even skin tone. Your child wearing sunscreen can also foster the habit of putting on sunscreen regularly to prevent skin issues later in life. Melasma is a common skin condition among women of color, especially Black women between the ages of 20 to 40. Wearing sunscreen can reduce the intensity of melasma by 50%. Another important preventable skin issue is skin cancer. A study has found that Black people with skin cancer are more likely to die because of a lack of understanding and access to medical resources. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you and your child should use sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days, with an SPF of 30 or higher. Chemical sunscreens are safe to use because they turn UV light to heat and don't leave a white residue (white cast). 3. Wash with a Gentle Cleanser People who have oily skin or acne may be tempted to use harsh, soap-based cleansers to help with their skin issues. Using these cleansers can also harm sensitive skin due to their harsh ingredients. Because of the amount of melanin, darker skin tends to dehydrate, resulting in problems such as dryness and flaking that can lead to further breakouts. Use mild cleaners on your child. The cleanser should gently remove dirt and excess oil from the skin without stripping it of natural oils. Your child can learn to wash their face twice a day, once in the morning and again before bedtime. To prevent breakouts, you can have them gently wash their faces with their fingers or with a clean washcloth in small circular motions. 4. Apply a Moisture-Rich Lotion Keeping your skin moisturized will not only keep it healthy, but it's an excellent way to avoid dryness. It is especially important to moisturize immediately after bathing or showering to lock in the water. It is helpful to look for natural skin products that contain beneficial ingredients for melanin-rich skin, such as aloe vera, jojoba oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter. You can also look for moisturizing lotions that contain hyaluronic acids and ceramides that can protect the skin’s natural barrier. For melanin-rich skin, you may want to look for a skin care solution that can meet all your child’s needs. 5. Address Hyperpigmentation Using skin care products that contain perfumes, artificial dyes, and other chemicals can cause your skin to become irritated, resulting in hyperpigmentation. Skin care for melanin-rich skin should contain simple ingredients to allow the skin to be gently moisturized without irritation, such as shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera. You can also look for Vitamin C as it can help brighten your child’s melanin-rich skin tone while also improving its health. It can heal wounds, make your skin look better, help you stay safe in the sun, and protect you from pollution. It can also reduce the appearance of dark spots from forming on your skin. Use Melanin-Rich Skin Care for Your Child Getting your child involved in a skin care routine early on can help to protect their skin and prevent future problems. You can consult a dermatologist for more information on how to use skin care products for melanin-rich children. It can be a confidence booster to set up a skin care routine with your child that addresses the main concerns of melanin-rich skin. These skin care tips for brown and black hues can help your child enjoy their skin and be happy with the way it looks.  

The Best Ways to Reduce Ashy Skin

The Best Ways to Reduce Ashy Skin

  Ashy skin can happen to anyone who gets dry skin, even children. This condition appears more obviously on people with darker skin tones. Luckily it’s not a serious skin condition, and it’s easily treated with proper skincare. If your melanin-rich child has ashy skin, make sure you’re using products with their skincare needs in mind. Melababe offers rich moisturizers and other natural skincare products to keep your child’s melanin-rich skin soft and ash-free. What is Ashy Skin?   Ashy skin describes extremely dry skin conditions on people with melanin-rich skin. Everyone experiences dry skin, but dry skin’s white and gray color is more noticeable in people with darker skin tones. Ashy skin can occur anywhere on your child’s body but is most commonly found on knees, elbows, arms, and legs. Along with appearing white, gray, or ashy, your child’s skin may also: Have bumps or feel rough to the touch Have thin lines along your skin that can peel, crack, or bleed A lack of moisture causes dry, ashy skin. Your child is more at risk of developing ashy skin if you live in dry climates, including the Southwest and southern California. The lack of humidity in these climates can make skin dry out faster. Cold, winter weather and taking prolonged hot showers or baths can also make your skin dry out. Certain medical conditions like eczema, contact dermatitis, and psoriasis can cause or worsen the appearance of ashy skin. If your child has one of these conditions, you may need to work with a doctor to treat and reduce inflammation from the underlying condition to improve your child’s ashy skin. How to Reduce Ashy Skin There are simple actions you can take to keep your child’s melanin-rich skin healthy and ash-free. Use Natural Skin Care Products Some personal products, including shower gels, deodorant soaps, and lotions, contain chemicals that are harsh on the skin. Ingredients like alcohol, hard detergents, and salicylic acid can dry skin out. Try using natural skincare for children instead. Natural products avoid moisture-stripping ingredients. They gently cleanse and moisturize your child’s skin. Use Lukewarm Water for Your Baths and Showers Reduce the time your child spends taking hot showers and only use lukewarm water for their baths. Prolonged exposure to hot water dries skin out by stripping it of its natural oils. Try limiting your child’s time in the shower or bathtub to 10-15 minutes to help prevent dry skin. Stay Hydrated and Consider Using Humidifiers Skin can dry more easily if you’re not drinking enough water. If your child doesn’t like drinking plain water, try adding fresh fruit, fun ice cubes, or calorie-free flavoring to their water to improve their hydration. Changes in temperature and humidity can worsen dry skin. You can use a humidifier in your child’s bedroom overnight to help their skin stay hydrated. Humidifiers increase the moisture in the air and help combat drier air in winter. Don’t Scratch Dry Skin It can be tempting to scratch dry, itchy skin to relieve the discomfort. But scratching dry skin can worsen inflammation and the ashy appearance of skin. When dry skin feels itchy, apply lotion or use moisturizers with occlusive ingredients, like petroleum jelly, beeswax, or lanolin to seal in moisture and act as a physical barrier against irritants. Exfoliate Healthy skin requires occasional exfoliation. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, allows moisturizers to penetrate more efficiently, and lessens the appearance of ashy skin. You don’t need to use harsh materials or ingredients to exfoliate your child’s skin. Try having them use a textured loofah or scrub once a week while showering to exfoliate. Apply the Right Moisturizer Skip using lotions and instead apply moisturizers like creams or oils for better melanin-rich skin nourishment. Using a body oil or body cream after your child bathes helps their skin retain more moisture than lotion. This is especially important in the winter months when the air is drier. Apply body oils directly after a shower or bath while the skin is still damp. This helps it absorb quickly and penetrate the skin deeper. A body cream can be applied to the skin at any point and added to the body oil for extra skin nourishment. Establish a Skincare Routine Teaching your child how to properly care for and moisturize their skin is just as important as other habits, like brushing their teeth. Proper skincare for melanin-rich children means showing them what products to use, the order to use them, how much of each product to use, and how often they should be using each product. Treat and Prevent Ashy Skin With Melababe Avoid ashy skin by keeping your child’s skin moisturized. Dry skin is the reason behind your child’s grey ashy appearance and is easier to see on darker skin tones. Keep their skin properly moisturized by using naturally emollient ingredients and avoiding skin-drying ingredients like alcohol. Melababe offers natural skincare for melanin-rich skin. Our products are designed to heal and protect melanin-rich skin. Explore our skincare products and find the right ones for your child.  

Top Products to Never Use on Kids of Color

Top Products to Never Use on Kids of Color

Since melanin-rich skin is prone to dryness, it’s not unusual for parents to seek out products for their child’s skin that increase hydration, but sometimes new parents spend so much time searching for the ingredients they want to see that they forget to check for ingredients to avoid.  Unlike mainstream-brand products that aren’t formulated specifically for melanin-rich skin, Melabebe products consist of natural ingredients that won’t harm your child’s skin. Many personal care products contain ingredients that aren’t healthy for anyone but are especially harmful to children with melanin-rich skin.  A skincare product can be labeled as “natural,” with only 1% of its ingredients consisting of natural ingredients. We recommend you avoid the following skincare products on kids to protect their sensitive skin. 1. Synthetic Fragrances Manufacturers often add fragrances to their products for children to make them more appealing. They also entice tired parents who hear phrases like “relaxing scent” and think the products may help their baby sleep at night. However, those fragrances are often synthetic, meaning they do not naturally occur. The chemicals used to create these synthetic fragrances often dry out the skin and irritate sensitive melanin-rich skin and have also been shown to cause hormone disruption with prolonged use. ​​ But it’s not just the fragrances themselves that cause problems. Diethyl phthalate, a known endocrine disrupter (a chemical that interferes with a body’s natural endocrine system), is a chemical often added to synthetic fragrances to help it last longer. Instead, opt for light fragrances from essential oils and other natural ingredients like chamomile. 2. Mineral Oils If you search any beauty magazine, you’ll see a bitter debate between enthusiastic proponents of mineral oils and their passionate detractors. It is often referred to as a useful moisturizer for dehydrated skin, but there is evidence that it does more harm than good in the long term.  Mineral oils are often not absorbed into the skin, leaving it sitting on the surface and clogging pores. Mineral oils often irritate melanin-rich skin, causing it to produce more melanin (leading to dark spots) and sebum, a naturally occurring protective layer of your skin, creating oily skin that’s prone to acne. Since acne scars cause dark spots in melanin-rich skin, it’s best to avoid mineral oil altogether. Coconut oil is a powerful moisturizer alternative and can help with eczema; a condition melanin-rich skin is prone to. It can also be used as part of your child’s hair-care routine to keep their hair healthy without weighing it down. 3. Titanium Dioxid A natural mineral, titanium dioxide, usually shows up in sunscreens because it is a natural UV filter. It’s also often in loose powders, lotions, toothpaste, and diaper creams. It is safe in sunscreens and lotions, but it is considered a carcinogen when inhaled in powder form. Until further research has been done into titanium dioxide, avoid using loose powders on your child’s skin, but since it is safer than traditional sunscreen ingredients because of its natural occurrence, don’t be afraid to use sunscreen containing it. 4. Harmful Chemicals like DEA, MEA, and TEA Diethanolamine, monoethanolamine, and triethanolamine are chemicals with many uses found in various skincare products. They often used to: Help cosmetics reach a certain consistency Serve as pH balancers Create suds in soap or shampoos At their best, these chemicals irritate the skin or eyes, but they also cause certain types of cancers. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to spot DEA, MEA, or TEA in the ingredients lists since they are often ingredients within other ingredients. The FDA does not officially deem them a threat to consumers but urges you to avoid the following derivatives if you are concerned: Cocamide DEA Cocamide MEA DEA-Cetyl Phosphate DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate Lauramide DEA Linoleamide MEA Myristamide DEA Oleamide DEA Stearamide MEA TEA-Lauryl Sulfate Triethanolamine 5. Microplastic Beads When your child reaches puberty, it’s not unusual for them to experience some acne. Today’s trendy acne products often rely on exfoliating, microplastic beads identified in the ingredients list as polyethylene or acrylates copolymer. These beads are harsh exfoliators and dry your child’s skin, are often considered carcinogens, and do not break down in water, so they are polluting our water supply. Instead, choose products that include natural exfoliants like baking soda, and encourage your child to use them sparingly. 6. Silicones Often an ingredient in high-powered moisturizers, silicones do more to mask dryness than treat the source of the problem. They work by forming a breathable coating on the skin that looks and feels soft, but they don’t actually fix skin’s dryness, and as soon as you wash your skin, the problem is evident again.  However, they often stick to your skin, clogging pores and causing breakouts. Silicones are also bioaccumulative, which means they do not break down in water, contributing to pollution in your local water supply. If you can, only use silicone-free natural skincare for children. 7. Bar Soaps No matter how many natural ingredients it may have, bar soap can be damaging to melanin-rich skin. A high pH level holds the bar soap together, and when applied to the skin, it disrupts the natural pH balance of your child’s skin, which can cause dryness and cracking. Once the natural pH level is modified, it can take some time to repair. Balanced pH levels are important for your skin to help it naturally fight off microbes and free radicals, but irritation, acne, and other skin issues can result when it is too high. Cruelty-free liquid soaps with natural ingredients are the best options for melanin-rich skin nourishment and cleansing. 8. Loofah Exfoliation is important to avoid ashy dry skin, but it’s possible to over-exfoliate. While they remove your dead skin cells on the surface layer of the skin, loofahs also harbor bacteria in their folds. When you exfoliate, you’re removing the dead cells and introducing potentially harmful bacteria to the fresh skin cells. This leads to irritated and dry skin, which increases the need for exfoliation, creating a vicious cycle. Avoid breaking out the loofah to remove dry skin, and instead concentrate on powerful moisturizers like shea butter to prevent dry skin in the first place. 9. Alcohol-based Products Most makeup products and other skincare creams and ointments are alcohol-based, even when they claim to be moisturizing. However, alcohol strips the skin’s natural moisture, making it more likely you will need to continue using the product in the future while also irritating sensitive skin. Stick to water-based products rather than alcohol-based options for skincare for melanin-rich skin. 10. Phthalates Phthalates, nicknamed “the everywhere chemical,” are man-made compounds common in plastics, cosmetics, nail polishes, deodorants, and fragrances. They have been linked with some cancers through prolonged exposure. It can even be absorbed into a product from a plastic container it is packaged in, so in addition to reading the ingredients list, you’ll want to check the makeup of the packaging. Fortunately, there is an easy way to avoid phthalates despite their many names: simply check the packaging for the number three within the recycling icon. If you see the number three, the product contains phthalates. 11. Parabens Parabens are a chemical product added to many beauty supplies like soaps and moisturizers to prolong their shelf life. Parabens have been linked with breast cancer and reproductive issues because they are absorbed into the skin, where they can live potentially forever and often show up in breast cancer tissue. They also show up in marine animals, likely because they have entered our water systems and are not degraded.  While many companies advertise their products as paraben-free, be aware they may have switched to utilizing other harmful ingredients to preserve their products. 12. Surfactants Like Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are often used in hair care products like shampoos and hair color as a foaming agent. While the chemicals themselves are safe, they can cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin, especially if the product is left on the skin for an extended period.  Since melanin-rich skin is prone to sensitivity, you may want to avoid products that list sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate as an ingredient. 13. Formaldehyde Formaldehyde is an irritant and a carcinogen, so it should be at the top of your “avoid” list. Unfortunately, this preservative ingredient is tricky to spot because the formaldehyde itself is not an ingredient in the skincare product.  Instead, it is a byproduct released by certain chemical combinations or an ingredient within an ingredient, so it doesn't need to be listed. Try to avoid products containing the following: 2-bromo-2 nitropropane-1,3-diol Diazolidinyl urea DMDM hydantoin Imidazolidinyl urea Quaternium-15 Melabebe is an Easy, All-Natural Alternative Melabebe products are free from all the ingredients on this list, and more because we know skincare for melanin-rich children is complicated enough without needing a chemistry degree to understand the ingredients in the products you purchase. Upset by the inclusion of harmful ingredients in skincare products for babies and children, our founder made her own but found it too difficult to do while working full time. Quickly realizing that other Black mothers had the same difficulties while caring for their melanin-rich children, she set out to create Melabebe, producing skincare products that are inclusive and natural. As a result, Melabebe’s products are all-natural, including quality ingredients like shea butter, aloe, honey, jojoba oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E, safflower oil, coconut oil, glycerin, beeswax, water, and xanthan gum. No parabens, sulfates, or phthalates here, so you can rest easy knowing you are providing the best skincare for your melanin-rich child.

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