By Jess Cole
The ‘whitewashing of wellness’ and myths about darker tones make beauty shopping harder for people with melanin-rich skin. Niche labels are filling the gaps, though
We have had snail gels, vampire facials and Oprah once even endorsed a skin cream made with human foreskin. The global skincare industry is set to be worth $180bn (£140bn) by 2024, but according to a report by Superdrug, 70% of black and Asian women in the UK do not feel that the high street caters for them. Systematic racism, the whitewashing of wellness and skin-bleaching scares all make it more difficult for people with melanin-rich skin to find and trust products that work.
I am a caramel hue that browns easily in the sun and greys quickly in the winter, which has given me an uneven skin tone. Skincare shopping is a mirage of one-problem-fits-all labels, and I have blown a small fortune on an arsenal of products that only create new problems, such as drying my skin out, or causing the white bumps of milia to develop. It wasn’t until recently, when I burnt my skin using facial acids and experienced discoloration from a laser treatment, that I finally realised melanin-rich skin can be sensitive, and not “magically resilient”.