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All in for Melanin: A moisturizing, mattifying solution developed specifically for Black skin

It’s high time for skin care products to offer effective ingredients that are designed to address the needs of Black skin. Here’s how to do it:

Published On: 11/08/20

When Rihanna launched the now-iconic Fenty Beauty back in 2017, it dropped an unprecedented 40 shades of foundation for a diverse range of skin tones. An instant hit, the brand made $100 million in its first 40 days of sales, sending a resounding social message that reverberated around the beauty industry. It was dubbed “the Fenty effect.

Beauty brands such as L’Oréal, NARS, Tarte and many others followed suit with more inclusive and personalized products. Skin care brands are now beginning to attend to this need.

Consumers are calling for more personalized skincare that addresses issues unique to melanated skin. That’s a fancy way of saying we need targeted skincare ingredients and claims for Black consumers and all consumers of color. More on this topic.

And it’s critical that products and ingredients proclaiming that they are for Black consumers are tested on and with Black consumers to demonstrate safety, efficacy, and acceptability. With all that in mind, let’s talk about formulating for healthy, hydrated and all-around beautiful melanated skin.

The cycle of shiny, yet dry, skin

Black skin has specific physiological properties that impact its health and appearance. In particular, Black skin tends to have higher levels of sebum and lower levels of ceramides. This combination is what creates the conditions for skin that is simultaneously shiny (from the sebum) and dry from moisture loss (caused by lower levels of ceramides). The personal care industry is beginning to catch up to this fact.

Hydration is, of course, a requirement for healthy skin. Beyond the physiological, factors such as climate, over-washing and products formulated with the incorrect pH can all contribute to a loss of hydration in the skin. When Black skin is less hydrated, it compensates by over-producing sebum, which then leads to oily skin.

The wrong skincare routine — in other words, one that is not adapted to the specific needs of Black skin — can feed into this rebound effect, reinforcing a seemingly never-ending cycle of dryness and oiliness.

This led to us to evaluate our portfolio search of two ingredients that would complement each other to help us deliver the desired results for Black skin: hydration and mattification.

Instant, long-lasting hydration with minimized shine

To promote minimized shine and hydration in Black skincare formulations, BASF developed a new blend of two of our active ingredients, mixed in just the right proportion. It is called “Moisture and Mattification for Melanated Skin,” a combination of two COSMOS-certified active ingredients – Hydagen® Aquaporin & Mat-XS™ Bright.

Hydagen® Aquaporin provides immediate moisturization that lasts for 24 hours – outperforming glycerin. Particularly suited to dry, damaged skin, Hydagen® Aquaporin helps maintain proper skin barrier function and is 100% naturally derived.

Shine from within (not on your skin)

Working in tandem with Hydagen® Aquaporin, Mat-XS™ Bright is BASF’s solution for better mattification – that is, reduced shininess and oiliness in the skin. Sourced from the soothing orthosiphon flower originating in Java, Indonesia, Mat-XS™ Bright stems oily skin at the source.

Testing, 1, 2, 3

Critically, the formulation combining both ingredients, was tested for efficacy on consumers who self-identify as Black. Our clinical study showed a 36% reduction in sebum, a 12% reduction in shine and a 10% improvement in hydration after 14 days.

Let’s get formulating

The skincare industry is overdue in addressing the needs of Black consumers, and BASF Care Creations hopes to help you expand your existing portfolio, or grow your product offering to be more personalized and inclusive.

Contact us to ask about how to use our ingredients to formulate for Moisture and Mattification for Melanated Skin, additional hydrating and mattifying ingredients, our testing processes and data packages, as well as additional solutions we have on hand to help with your next big launch!

Click here for a product sheet.

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