Skin 101

Skin 101

Firstly, Melanin: The Ultimate Protector.

Melanin is a remarkable molecule that functions as the body's built-in UV protection. Every one of us, regardless of skin tone, has countless melanin molecules in our skin. Exactly how many depends on our heritage - specifically how close our ancestors lived to the equator, and how their skin adapted to protect them from the sun.

Melanin is produced in the outer layers of the skin (epithelium), and becomes directly infused into almost every epithelial cell.

Ustawi products use ingredients that stabilize and control the melanin pathway to produce even-toned, radiant skin

Different Levels, Different Challenges

The human spectrum of melanin pigment leads to different challenges in skincare. Across the globe, higher levels of melanin are also associated with differences in oil gland (sebum) concentration, reduced skin hydration, increased skin thickness and uneven skin tone.

Most of todayʼs skincare products are not focused on melanin, but on wrinkle reduction. While treating wrinkles is all well and good, the current skincare market does not adequately focus on the global skin diversity challenges we believe are critical to todayʼs woman.

By combining the Science and Art in Nature, we are shifting the skincare paradigm to focus on the attributes of skin with higher melanin concentration.

“Dewy, even skin tone is prized by women of all cultures.” - Tanuj Nakra, M.D


Q: Why is it important to have skincare that addresses melanin?

A: Nakra: Dewy, even skin tone is prized by women of all cultures. Unfortunately, genetics, hormones, sun exposure, and other environmental factors can cause melanin disequilibrium—leading to uneven skin tone and patchy pigmentation. Melanin-focused skincare should feature ingredients that control the melanin pathway to produce even-toned, radiant skin. It should contain antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients to target the melanin pathway and create overall brighter, healthier skin. The secret to effective melanin control is developing a comprehensive regime that is suited for your skin type

Q: Whatʼs the role of melanin in our skin?

A: Nakra: Our human biology responds dynamically to sun exposure. The skin cells arrange the melanin granules just above the cell nucleus, protecting our vital DNA just like a sun shade.

Lighter skin has lighter melanin, and so it is more susceptible to cumulative DNA damage—which can lead to skin cancer. The darker melanin in dark skin tones is protective against DNA damage, but darker skin is more susceptible to cosmetic pigmentation irregularities. Nature's active botanicals is encapsulated in proprietary microscopic cocoons called Qusomes that protect and provide deep dermal penetration.

Q: What kind of person is typically affected by melanin?

A: Nakra: We all have an equal amount of melanin, but differ in the darkness of the melanin. Historically, in cooler, less-sunny climates, lighter skin allows more UV light through, allowing the skin to produce essential Vitamin D. In sunny climates, where Vitamin D deficiency is not a worry, darker skin prevents DNA damage. The melanin pathway in each of us is affected by our genetics and the environment, potentially leading to patchy, uneven complexion.

1. Blockade of ultra-violet (UV) light

To protect the skin from UVA and UVB environmental damage.

2. Non-comedogenic moisturizer

To hydrate the epidermal and dermal layers, which in turn reduces fine lines.

3. Retinoid

To improve complexion by increasing turnover of the epithelium (the biological equivalent of microdermabrasion).

4. Melanin control agent

To reduce melanin irregularity that can lead to patches of pigment irregularity. (Regulating the melanin pathway in all skin tones leads to improved complexion.)

5. Antioxidants

To reverse the skin injury caused by sun exposure and improve skin tone.

6. Low-detergent gentle skin cleanser

To remove dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping or drying skin.

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