What is Melanin and How Does it Affect My Skin?
Melanin is a naturally occurring pigment in human skin responsible for the variety of skin tones seen throughout the world. A darker skin tone indicates a higher concentration of melanin, while a lighter skin tone means the person has less melanin in their skin.
If you are a parent to a child with melanin-rich skin, it is helpful to learn about melanin and how it affects your child’s skin. Discover the purpose of melanin in the skin, the benefits, and special skin care considerations for those who have a melanin-rich skin tone.
What is Melanin?
Melanin is a skin pigment that produces different skin tones. There are two types of melanin located in the human epidermis: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Pheomelanin produces yellow-reddish pigmentation, while eumelanin produces black-brown tones.
Melanin production is carried out by large cells known as melanocytes. Melanocytes produce melanosomes, which synthesize for pheomelanin and eumelanin, which are then distributed to the skin cells throughout the body. The higher number of melanocytes your body contains, the darker your skin color.
What is the Purpose of Melanin?
Melanin is a genetic trait that evolved as a protection from harmful UV rays. It is believed that as early humans lost extra body hair that protected them from the sun, their bodies began to produce melanin to keep their skin protected from UV light.
As populations migrated from Africa to Europe, melanin levels adjusted to the amount of UV radiation that reached their skin. This is why lighter-skinned populations typically appear in colder, less sunny climates, and melanin-rich, darker-skinned populations are seen in warmer climates.
Benefits of Melanin-Rich Skin
Melanin offers two main protective benefits to children with a rich concentration of melanin in their skin, including UV protection and antioxidant benefits.
Melanin offers your child a small amount of protection against all forms of UV light. Melanin protects the outer layer of skin by absorbing UV light. It does this before the UV rays damage cells on your child’s skin, which gives them slightly more protection than children with lower amounts of melanin in their bodies.
Melanin is a reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger, which means that it scours the body for ROS caused by UV sun damage and interacts with them to neutralize oxidative damage to the cells.
The extent and exact amount of melanin that promotes these benefits in your child’s body are unknown, so make sure to take care of their skin with melanin-rich skin nourishment and use sunscreen with a high SPF as part of their daily skin care routine, as prolonged sun exposure can cause skin cancer over time.
When it comes to your child’s skin, there are a few special considerations to consider. The most important is that children with melanin-rich skin can be prone to eczema, a skin condition that creates dry patchy areas on the outer layer of skin. Eczema can cause itching and discoloration in darker skin tones.
Another special consideration that children with melanin-rich skin face is scarring. In dark skin tones, scar tissue can appear much darker than the surrounding skin, causing discoloration.
If you are concerned about these issues for your child, invest in quality skin care for melanin-rich skin. Skin care products for melanated children focus on natural ingredients that provide moisture and soothe itchy, dry skin.
Where to Find Natural Skin Products for Melanin-Rich Skin
When it comes to natural skin care for children, opt for a company with products that use natural ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, vitamin E. oil, and aloe. Melabebe features products that are specially formulated for your little one with melanated skin.
Our moisture & hydration crème is made to hydrate your child’s melanin-rich skin and keep it smooth and soft. Melabebe’s skin care for melanin-rich children is the perfect combination of natural and effective when it comes to protecting your baby’s skin.