Sunscreen Advice for People with Melanin-Rich Skin

Sunscreen Advice for People with Melanin-Rich Skin

Spending time in the sun, whether you’re at the beach or in your backyard, is one of life’s pleasures. However, the sun’s harmful rays can cause a lot of damage to your skin like dark spots. Wearing sunscreen every day, and topping it up regularly, is one of the best ways to protect you and your child’s skin. Unfortunately, a lot of the advice about sun protection is aimed at people with light skin; how does sunscreen work best for your child’s melanin-rich skin? Don’t Fall for the Myth that Melanin-Rich Skin Doesn’t Need Sunscreen Melanin is a complex polymer responsible for the color of your skin, hair, and eyes in tiny cells known as melanocytes. The higher the percentage of melanin you have in certain parts of your body, the darker your skin, hair, and eyes. In addition to affecting your skin tone, melanin absorbs UV rays, protecting the skin cells from UV damage. The more melanin in the skin, the more UV rays it can potentially absorb. However, although a high presence of melanin in your skin may delay the signs of aging caused by sun exposure, it does not protect your skin from UV damage or medical conditions such as skin cancer. Children’s sensitive skin is particularly vulnerable to sun damage. The idea that people with melanin-rich skin do not need to protect themselves from the sun is a dangerous myth that causes people with darker skin tones to take risks with their health when spending time in the sun. Because darker skin does not tend to show the tell-tale signs of sun damage as clearly as pale skin, people of color often don’t get diagnosed with conditions like skin cancer until it is in its later stages. Build Sunscreen Application into Your Daily Routine You can protect your child’s melanin-rich skin from UV damage by building sunscreen into their daily routine. Skin care for melanin-rich skin often focuses on hydration and other issues that tend to affect darker skin, such as hyperpigmentation. While these are extremely important, it is also essential for your child’s health that they use SPF regularly. One of the most common reasons people give for not putting sunscreen on their kids is that they forget. The best way to combat this problem is to make sunscreen application a daily habit for the whole family. Although it might be a bit difficult at first, putting sunscreen on your kids will become second nature, like making sure they thoroughly brush their teeth and apply daily moisture & hydration crème. Try putting it next to the front door and apply it before your kids leave for the day. Don’t skip this step during the winter because, although sunscreen is extra important when the sun is at its strongest, your skin can still be damaged when it is overcast.   Use Sunscreen Made for Melanated Skin Another reason people give for not using sunscreen regularly is because their kids complain that it’s unpleasant to wear. Many sunscreens on the market are greasy, sticky, or leave a white cast. The sunscreen issues people with highly melanated skin face are often different to those with lighter skin tones. For example, creams that leave a white cast are much more noticeable if you have darker skin, meaning that sheer, lightweight sunscreens are preferable. If your child has melanin-rich skin always use sunscreen that is made specifically for dark skin. Just as skin care products like Melabebe hydration crème are specifically made to provide melanin-rich skin nourishment, sunscreen created with the needs of children of color in mind is more likely to work well for your kids. Find Sunscreen that Suits Your Lifestyle If you haven’t explored your different sunscreen options recently, you might be surprised to discover how far these products have come in the last few years. From fragrance-free and oil-free creams and gels to powders and sprays, however, your child prefers to get their SPF protection, there is a product for them. One of the great things about the wide variety of sunscreens is utilizing different products for different occasions. For example, if you’re spending the day on the beach and can’t get your kids to stand still long, use a quick application SPF spray. Or, if your child gets sweaty playing sports outside, use sunscreen specifically made for sports so that it won’t rub off. The main two types of SPF protection are mineral and chemical sunscreens. While mineral sunscreen offers better protection, chemical sunscreen is often more user-friendly, spreading and soaking into the skin better. Ultimately the best sunscreen for your child is the one they use with minimal complaint, so find one or two that you and your child love and concentrate on using them every day. Children Should Use Sunscreen Made for Them It is crucial to use specially designed skin care products for melanated children as they are formulated for the specific needs of kids with dark skin. The same can be said for sun protection. In addition to needing a sunscreen that suits their dark skin, children of color should use protection that is sensitive to their young skin and offer a high level of broad-spectrum UV protection, ideally no less than SPF 50. Natural skin care for children has many benefits, so it’s a good idea to seek out sunscreen that is made for kids with natural ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Looking After Your Child’s Skin After Sun Exposure There are numerous steps you can take to protect your child’s skin from the sun’s damaging rays on top of wearing sunscreen, such as wearing a hat, wearing UV-protective clothing, and, most importantly, keeping out of the sun as much as possible. Unfortunately, avoiding the sun altogether is not always possible, depending on your family’s lifestyle and where you live. For this reason, how you take care of your child’s skin after being exposed to the sun is crucial. After being in the sun, skin needs two key things: hydration and cooling. Use natural, non-irritating products with moisturizing and cooling ingredients such as shea butter and aloe vera, both of which are present in Melabebe, natural skin care for melanin-rich children. Protect Your Child’s Skin The myth that melanin-rich skin doesn’t need sunscreen is dangerous. Protecting your kid’s skin from damaging UV rays should be a priority, and the best way to do that is to find products that work for them and build them into their daily routine, including regular top-ups every few hours or after swimming.

All Skin Care is Not Created Equally. Different Pigments May Need Different Solutions

All Skin Care is Not Created Equally. Different Pigments May Need Different Solutions

While all skin is beautiful, the pigment of your child’s skin matters because it may require unique care to keep it healthy. Unfortunately, the skin care industry has long been dominated by products geared toward mainstream, white skin. However, as more minority-owned skin care businesses enter the industry, we are starting to see more diversity in products to ensure you can maintain your child’s beautiful complexion without mixing multiple products to create what works for your family. At Melabebe, we believe melanin-rich skin, like all skin colors, is beautiful. So, we strive to provide natural skin care for children that hydrates and protects their skin to maintain their beauty. Factors that Impact Skin Several factors impact your child’s skin’s color, resilience, and vulnerability to different skin conditions, including: Genetics Diet Exercise Skin care routine Environment The Role Melanin Plays in Skin The amount of melanin in your child’s skin plays the most significant role in their skin’s color, resilience, and vulnerability to certain conditions. In addition, their genetic makeup and family heritage often determine the amount of melanin in their skin. Melanin is a pigment that naturally occurs in everyone's skin, but the amount you have determines your skin’s color and natural protection from UV rays. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin. There are two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. If you have more eumelanin in your skin, your skin darkens as the sun activates it. If you have more pheomelanin, the sun causes your skin to redden. Dermatologists use the Fitzpatrick Skin Prototype (FSP) to categorize skin’s melanin level, with FSP1 being the least melanin-rich and most prone to burning and FSP6 being the most melanin-rich with most natural sun protection. Melanin-rich skin is any skin rated FSP3-FSP6 and usually includes Asian, Hispanic, and Black skin tones. Within each ethnicity is a beautiful range of skin tones. Skin Care Basics for Kids Children have thinner layers of skin than adults, which makes it much more sensitive and is often why children often suffer from rashes. So it is critical to be careful when choosing which products to use on their skin. Keep the following guidelines in mind when selecting skin care products to use on your child’s skin: Avoid fragranced skin care products, which easily irritate a child’s sensitive skin. Avoid harsh and abrasive products, which can cause microtears in the skin, and if they have melanin-rich skin, can cause dark spots and scarring. Avoid bar soaps, which are astringent and dry out a child’s skin. Avoid irritating ingredients like chemicals and even some natural ingredients like menthol, mint, eucalyptus, and lemon, which are often added to children’s skin care products for fragrance. Ensure your child wears broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, no matter how melanin-rich their skin is. Specialized Solutions Melanin-rich skin nourishment is different from that of fairer skin and requires specific products to maintain optimal skin health. Fair Skin Fair skin tends to have less eumelanin and more pheomelanin, so it is more susceptible to sun damage and rosacea. Sun protection and products with natural ingredients will help protect your child’s skin from UVA rays that break down the skin’s proteins and UVB rays that cause burns. Fair skin is often highly sensitive to astringent products like alcohols and benzoates commonly found in skin care products. For kids with fair skin, use gentle non-drying products with humectant ingredients that seal in moisture. Melanin-Rich Skin Skin care for melanin-rich skin can often be more diverse than skin care for fairer skin because it has different characteristics. As a result, it can be challenging to find one product that addresses them all. It’s also vital to start skin care for melanin-rich children early to prevent scarring and pigmentation variances as they grow. Melanin-rich skin is also more prone to post-inflammatory pigmentation variation. Melanin will often settle where the skin is damaged through bug bites, acne, or cuts, leading to darker scars, all of which are common in children. It’s also prone to general pigmentation issues resulting from dry skin or melasma, hyperpigmentation, and eczema. To prevent this, apply a skin care product with anti-inflammatory agents daily to your child’s skin and gently exfoliate dead skin cells regularly. Uneven skin tone can be pronounced in dark undereye circles for people with melanin-rich skin. Genetically, some people may naturally have more melanin content in the skin surrounding the eyes, which creates these dark circles. While they may be more challenging to treat, a good sun protectant can go a long way to preventing them from forming later in your child’s life. Moisturizing skin containing more melanin is crucial. People with melanin-rich skin often have fewer naturally occurring ceramides in their skin, so the skin struggles to balance its water content, which results in dry, ashy skin, or, in some cases, oily skin. When skin dries out, the sebaceous glands increase their oil output to compensate, resulting in greasy skin. Ensure you apply a moisturizer rich in antioxidants and ceramides, like Melabebe’s moisture and hydration crème to your child’s skin daily. Even though melanin-rich skin is naturally more protected from harmful sun exposure, your child should still wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day for added protection. Unfortunately, many mainstream sunscreens can leave a white cast on the skin, so look for sheer sunscreen whenever possible to keep their skin looking bright and healthy. Asian skin is more likely to have sensitive skin than any other skin type, so be especially careful with ingredients. Pay attention to what products aggravate your child’s skin and avoid irritating ingredients. The early signs of skin cancer are not easy to see in melanin-rich skin, so it’s essential to keep your child’s annual exams and ensure their doctor checks their skin carefully. Melabebe Understands Your Child’s Needs At Melabebe, we strive to provide quality skin care products for melanated children that you’ll be able to use from birth to protect your baby’s unique and beautiful skin.

Beautiful Black Skin Care Tips

Beautiful Black Skin Care Tips

Taking good care of your child’s melanin-rich skin will make them look and feel healthier and more comfortable. However, finding the best kid-friendly products and the right skin care routine for your family can be challenging, especially since many options are on the market. Every child has individual skin issues and properties, from dry skin to acne, but certain concerns are common among children with highly melanated skin. Fortunately, there are several tips you can follow to ensure your child’s skin is hydrated and nourished. Use a Gentle Cleanser Cleansing your skin twice a day is recommended for all skin types, but you have to be careful about the kinds of cleansers you use on children with highly melanated skin. As with all skin care for melanin-rich skin, your cleanser should be nourishing rather than astringent. Stick to mild, hydrating cleansers such as micellar waters. Face washes are notorious for being filled with stripping ingredients such as sulfates, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol, and artificial fragrances that dry out the skin. Always read the labels on your child’s skin care products and avoid drying ingredients. All skin types have specific concerns, and melanin-rich skin tends to be prone to hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and acne scars. Certain ingredients in skin care products are better at tackling these issues. For example, cleansers with glycolic acid are great for hyperpigmentation and discoloration because they even out skin tone and resurface the skin. However, these should not be used on children without first talking to a dermatologist. If you use glycolic or any other exfoliating acid, you must be extra vigilant about sun protection, wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. It is always a good idea to use products that have been made specifically for dark skin, particularly if you are looking for skin care for melanin-rich children who have much more delicate skin than adults. Moisturize Thoughtfully Hydration should be a key part of any skin care or beauty regimen for kids with melanin-rich skin, particularly because research suggests that dark skin loses moisture more quickly than skin with less melanin. However, not all moisturizers are created equal, and you need to make sure you are using child-friendly products that offer melanin-rich skin nourishment but don’t clog pores. There are several different types of ingredients you should look for in your skin care products: Humectants These ingredients draw moisture from both the environment and deeper layers of your skin to hydrate and soften your skin. Examples include honey, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and aloe vera. Oils are not humectants. Occlusives Occlusive ingredients help keep your skin hydrated by forming a protective layer on your skin’s surface that prevents moisture loss. Occlusives are very powerful but can be too heavy for oily or acne-prone skin, meaning they are usually best avoided by teenagers. Examples of occlusives include cocoa butter, petrolatum, and lanolin. Emollients Emollients also smooth and soften dry skin and have some occlusive properties, meaning they are protective. However, they also help heal already damaged skin and decrease inflammation, so they are often used to treat skin swelling conditions such as eczema. Examples of emollients include shea butter, jojoba oil, and squalane. Some ingredients, like vitamin E, have both humectant and emollient properties and can draw out moisture and seal it into the skin. Most people do well with a skin care routine that includes a combination of humectants, occlusives, and emollients. Melabebe’s moisture & hydration crème uses a mixture of ingredient types to perform multiple functions effectively. Natural skin care for children and adults is crucial for your skin’s health, and this gently nourishing cream is the ideal daily moisturizer. However, you should be aware of what your child’s skin needs. For instance, if they have dry, irritated skin, you should include emollients in their routine, while if your child has oily skin, you should be careful about the amount of occlusives they use. To get a perfect balance, pay close attention to how their skin reacts to different products and stay natural and mild when in doubt. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen It is a common myth that people with dark skin do not need to wear sunscreen. However, this idea is both misleading and dangerous. While it is true that having a high presence of melanin in your skin can help protect your skin from some of the signs of sun damage, such as fine lines, it does not protect you from serious conditions caused by exposure to harmful UV rays, like skin cancer, and children are particularly vulnerable to sun damage. Sunscreen is one of the most crucial skin care products for melanated children. To protect your child’s health and skin, they should wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, even when it is gray and cloudy out. Opt for a sunscreen that is sheer or has been made specifically for dark skin as this will be less chalky and won’t leave a white cast. Avoid Exfoliating Exfoliation involves removing the dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. There are two main types of exfoliation; mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliants are probably what most people think of when they think of exfoliating, scrubs, and skin brushing, while chemical exfoliants are typically acids such as salicylic acid, AHAs, and BHAs. Gentle exfoliation can have fantastic effects on adult skin, leaving it smoother, brighter, and even reducing signs of dark spots. However, children do not need to exfoliate as their skin is great at regenerating. When your kids hit their teenage years, they can think about trying some mild exfoliants but remember, darker skin can be extra sensitive to drying, so it’s best to seek advice from a board-certified dermatologist before experimenting especially on sensitive skin. After exfoliation, make sure you have fully washed away all product residue and then use a gentle, natural moisturizer such as Melabebe All-in-One Moisture And Hydration Crème. You should never exfoliate when your skin is damaged, for example, if you have sunburn. Seek Products and Advice Made for Melanated Children Melanin-rich skin comes with huge benefits, but it also has its challenges. Use products specifically tailored for dark skin to keep your child’s skin looking healthy, nourished, and silky smooth.

Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis in Children of Color

Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis in Children of Color

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory dermatosis of childhood that typically improves during adolescence but can be lifelong. Black and brown children are at 6-times greater risk for severe atopic dermatitis than white children, and atopic dermatitis may lead to a greater negative impact on quality of life in patients with skin of color.  The appearance of atopic dermatitis usually begins before age 5 but adults who did not have the condition as children, can develop it at any time in their lives.  Environmental factors and allergens may influence atopic dermatitis in children of color who are predisposed to it as a result of family genetics.    How does eczema look in darker skin?   For children of color, eczema does not always appear as a red, dry or itchy rash as commonly described. In the case of brown or black skin individuals, eczema appears as a darker brown, purple of grey colored area. The itchiness caused by eczema has proven to show greater impact and general discomfort in children of color.   Unique cases of atopic dermatitis are often observed in darker skin complexions. These individuals often develop tiny bumps on the legs, arms and torso areas.  The skin dryness that accompanies eczema may cause consistent rubbing and scratching, encouraging the skin to develop thickening and raised skin surfaces.  Eczema is generally followed by skin pigmentation changes, thus leaving the affected skin darker than surrounding areas.    Eczema treatment in children of color   The treatment of eczema in children of color should include a gentle, but proactive skin care regimen that considers delicate and consistent skin moisturizing efforts.  The texture of atopic dermatitis and eczema-prone skin types tend to be dry and sensitive. The use of hypo-allergenic and fragrance-free products with high moisturizing content is critical to preventing flare ups of atopic dermatitis. The use of unscented, heavy emollients should be applied to the skin daily after baths while the skin is still damp. Thick creams tend to provide greater moisturizing benefits and natural butters such as cocoa and shea butter are excellent for locking in hydration. The use of warm water and not hot water is recommended as it prevents over-drying of skin, encouraging dryness and itchiness in children of color.   Source: https://nationaleczema.org/eczema-in-skin-of-color/

10 Kid-Friendly Super Foods that Support Great Skin

10 Kid-Friendly Super Foods that Support Great Skin

Did you know that great skin starts with what you feed your little one? Many skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis can be linked to poor diet and nutrition. Kids love eating new and interesting meals so why not try to incorporate fun foods that not only taste great but support healthy skin too?   Read below for 10 kid-friendly superfoods.    Water Ok, so maybe water is not its own food group, but water is essential to supporting healthy and well-hydrated skin. Offering your child water throughout the day is one of the best ways to keep skin (and tissues) functioning at their best. To encourage steady water consumption, try squeezing fresh fruit or even offering a small amount of sparkling water for a fun treat!    Oatmeal Oatmeal is a fantastic option that allows you to be versatile and add a range of options for even the pickiest eaters. Oatmeal is rich in selenium, vitamin B, fibers, and is great for balancing blood glucose levels and iron. Although often eaten as a breakfast item, Oatmeal is a great snack choice and can be topped with kid friendly items like blueberries or nut butters.    Tofu Tofu is an excellent food rich in plant-based protein, fiber, nutrients, and minerals for kids. Tofu encourages the growth of our growing kids. Parents can easily use it in stir fry, with eggs, or you can even become highly creative and use them to make nuggets.     Berries Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries and blackberries are beneficial as they promote strong digestive health and protect the nervous system and blood vessels. Berries can be used in smoothies, muffins, jams or jellies or quick and easy finger foods! You can even use this time to teach them the different colors and texture!   Avocados Avocados are a great option that can be eaten by themselves or mixed into smoothies, puddings, or spread on whole-grain bread. Avocados contain monounsaturated and healthy fats that support the growth and development of growing kids and may contain compounds that help to protect skin from sun damage.    Sweet Potatoes  Sweet potatoes are a year-round food that can be incorporated for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and beta carotene which helps the body make vitamin A. One serving of baked sweet potatoes contains enough beta carotene to provide more than six times the daily dosage of vitamin A.    Nuts and Seeds Nuts and seeds are filled with healthy fats, fibers and protein that can be used to make nut butters, smoothies, or just eaten as a snack. This superfood helps to limit inflammation with its antioxidant properties, which can also prevent oxidative stress. Nuts such as walnuts contain dense amounts of Zinc which are essential for skin to glow and to function properly as a barrier. It’s also necessary for wound healing and combating both bacteria and inflammation.   Beans and Lentils Beans and lentils are a primary source of vitamin B, folate, iron, protein, fiber and other minerals. When making the patties you can ground and blend other nuts and seeds with the beans and lentils for added nutrients and to create a super-super food!   Dark Leafy Greens It is very important to incorporate leafy greens into a child’s diet because they are so loaded with folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber. Kale, spinach, swiss chard, and collard greens are among the popular ones be creatively incorporated in smoothies and stir fries. These powerhouse plants boost the immune system, ward off the common cold, and can help support against sun damage.    Fatty Fish  Fatty fish such as salmon are wonderful foods to support growing skin. These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to help keep skin thick, supple, and moisturized. These fare also are rich in vitamin E and can support skin inflammation reduction from falls or scrapes. 

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