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Melanin skin care – what you need to know

  • 4 min read

Everyone's skin is unique, needing different skincare ingredients to address specific skin concerns. It’s no surprise that acne-prone skin needs a different skincare routine to dry skin – but many people tend to forget that melanin-rich skin also needs its own routine full of nourishing ingredients. 

Common melanin skin care concerns

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a condition that encompasses any dark marks and blemishes that remain visible on the skin after a spot or acne breakout. While hyperpigmentation can look like scarring, there are key differences to note: acne scars are caused by damage to the tissues and veins, which can lead to pitting and scarring – unlike post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation where the follicles are not damaged. 

Triggered when melanin production is heightened following inflammation, the symptoms of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are flat patches of discolouration on the skin. These range in colour and tone from red to black, depending on the severity of the hyperpigmentation.


Causing redness of the face, as well as burst blood vessels and sometimes small red spots and bumps, Rosacea is a common condition among people with melanin-rich skin. Rosacea often comes with individual triggers such as sunshine, heat, stress and alcohol that can make the condition worse. 


Typically characterised by dark blotches or spots on the face and skin, melasma causes discolouration but is not painful, itchy, or uncomfortable in any way. Impacting females more than males, melasma usually appears on the forehead, nose, upper lip, and cheeks. 

Several things can trigger melasma, from sun exposure and genetics to birth control and pregnancy – with many people who are pregnant experiencing facial melasma. 

Melanin skin care routine

When it comes to caring for melanin-rich skin, using products that are natural and gentle is essential. Opt for vegan and cruelty free skincare, without any added artificial fragrance. 

Skin care for melanin-rich skin typically focuses on hydration, exfoliation and protection in order to combat skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, rosacea and melasma. Discover how you can create a melanin skin care routine using our UpCircle range.

1. Double cleanse your skin

We’re 100% on board with the concept of double cleansing. Using an oil-based cleanser before a water-based cleanser in your routine helps to ensure that not only is your makeup removed and any dirt on your skin, but also any excess buildup of sebum and bacteria from deep in your pores. 

Use our dermatologically approved Cleansing Face Balm as the first cleanse. This multi award-winning cleanser is formulated with the finely-ground powder of discarded apricot stones, a natural by-product of the apricot oil industry which is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E.

Opt for our water-based Cleansing Face Milk as your second cleanse. Formulated with oat powder, this cleanser helps to repair and restore the skin’s moisture barrier. Nourishing the skin while gently cleansing it, this is the perfect second step in your cleansing routine.



2. Use a coffee face scrub

Regularly using a facial exfoliant that is rich in vitamin E can help to reduce the signs of melasma. Our fan-favourite Floral Blend Coffee Face Scrub contains both vitamin E and vitamin B, which also helps to lighten dark spots on the face. 

Exfoliating regularly removes dead skin and encourages cell regeneration, which can hasten the time in which melasma fades. This also helps to fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a common skin concern in melanin-rich skin. 



3. Paint on a face mask

Use our award-winning Kaolin Clay Face Mask to detoxify the skin. Made with the finely-ground powder of discarded olive stones, a natural by-product of the olive oil industry and a powerful anti-inflammatory, this face mask helps to fight blackheads, minimise pores and prevent breakouts.

Turmeric oil helps to refresh and brighten the skin as aloe vera soothes and calms. Olive powder helps to reduce redness and irritation of the skin, as Kaolin clay draws impurities from the skin.



4. Spritz an uplifting toner

Use an intensely hydrating and nourishing toner to refresh the skin. Formulated with BHA salicylic acid to cleanse and hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin, our Hydrating Face Toner helps to revitalise the skin while bringing balance back. 



5. Add some moisture back to your skin

Replenishing and maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier is an essential part of melanin skin care. That’s why the next step in your melanin skin care routine is to add some moisture back to the skin using creams and serums. 

Start by dabbing some Eye Cream with Hyaluronic Acid and Coffee under your eyes. This plastic negative product is formulated with caffeine to help minimise the appearance of dark circles and hyaluronic acid to plump fine lines. Upcycled maple bark extract helps to boost collagen production and strengthen the skin barrier. 

In the mornings, use our vegan Face Moisturiser with Vitamin E. This is formulated using vitamin E rich argan powder combined with skin-soothing cocoa butter and aloe vera. In the evenings, opt for our Night Cream with Niacinamide to help replenish the skin. 

After applying your moisturiser, use our Organic Face Serum to further nourish your skin and lock in the moisture you’ve already added. Formulated with naturally-occurring caffeine and vitamin C to hydrate and brighten the skin, this is the ideal way to boost your skin’s complexion.




6. Never forget your SPF

One of the best skincare products for melanin skin is the humble SPF. Choose a reef-safe, mineral SPF that is formulated using natural ingredients. 

Our lightweight broad spectrum SPF 25 absorbs within 15 minutes to create a natural finish with a subtle glow. Made with skin-soothing aloe vera to calm inflammation and quench the skin’s natural moisture barrier, and glycerin to seal in hydration, this SPF leaves your skin hydrated as well as protected.

The plastic-free sunscreen is formulated with non-comedogenic sunflower oil as well as breakout-busting lavender oil, making it a great natural sunscreen for those with acne-prone skin.

We know it can be hard to find an SPF that works well for melanin-rich skin, without leaving a white cast. That’s why we took more than 20 iterations of this sunscreen over three years to make sure it’s suitable on all skin tones. 



Discover our full range of skin, hair and body care at UpCircle