Like any science-minded person would, the creators behind the new skincare brand MELĒ first had to identify what was missing in the beauty industry and on shelves before they could fix it. And, according to Dermatologist and MELĒ Co-Creator Dr. Mona Gohara, "That was a brand rooted in science, that is accessible to all." Ideated by two Black female Unilever executives — Esi Eggleston-Bracey, Unilever North America Beauty & Personal Care EVP and COO and Sarah Irby, Unilever North America Brand Director — the goal is to give melanin-rich skin attention, care, and amazing products.
The fact that the inaugural launch all happen to be under $30 is a perk, too. Unveiled on Target's website Sept. 13, the Smooth Pore Minimizing Serum and Even Dark Spot Control Facial Serum are both $23.99, while the Plump It Up Nourishing Cream is $18.99 and the Even Tone Post Cleanse Tonic is only $17.99. That means, for the shopper who does pick up the entire first drop, your new skincare routine will only run you right under $90.
Don't count out the science that went into creating each product, though, even if they're affordably priced. MELĒ was created in tandem with dermatologists, including Dr. Gohara, as well as consumers and Unilever scientists. "Our formulations represent skin of color preferences, and our products target UV protection, hyperpigmentation, pore minimizing, and oil production — all common concerns in skin of color," Dr. Gohara tells The Zoe Report over email.
Since, as you're probably well aware, having more melanin translates into having what Dr. Gohara calls "a different skin biology," adding that this involves having "more collagen-producing cells" as well. "This means we are more protected from the sun, but more likely to pigment after a pimple, rash, or scrape," she explains. "This is just one example of how our differing skin biology can translate into differing skin needs."
To explore the new skincare brand — and its just-launched products — keep on scrolling down. All four of the first launches from MELĒ available at Target are ahead.
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Think of the Even Tone tonic as an AHA treatment that works to even out your skin tone overall, including diminishing dark spots. "In general, I prefer treatments not to be spot treatment unless there is inflammation," Dr. Gohara explains. "This can benefit the skin in general by adding moisture to a freshly clean face."
No, you can't get rid of your pores forever — and you wouldn't want to, since they help your skin function. However, this serum will minimize the appearance thanks to the added dimethicone/vinyl-dimethicone-crosspolymer. Which means that you can consider this oil-controlling serum as a primer, too, if you want to follow up with makeup.