Melanin.. We have all heard of it. But what is it?
Melanin is a substance in your body that produces hair, eye and skin pigmentation. The more melanin you produce the darker your pigmentation will be. There are actually three different types of Melanin:
There are two types of eumelanin: black and brown. Eumelanin is responsible for dark colors in skin, eyes and hair.
This type of melanin pigments your lips, nipples and other pinkish parts of your body.
While eumelanin and pheomelanin control the colors of things you see (such as skin, hair and eyes), neuromelanin is responsible for the color of your neurons.
Your unique combination of eumelanin and pheomelanin is responsible for your skin, hair and eye color. Typically, all humans have the same number of melanocytes. However, the amount of melanin produced by these melanocytes varies. People with more melanin generally have darker skin, eyes and hair compared to those with little melanin. And this comes with some a-mazing benefits:
- Protection from UV rays. Melanin protects your skin by absorbing harmful rays, including UVA, UVB, UVC and blue light.
- Protection against reactive oxygen species (ROS). Reactive oxygen species are byproducts of your body’s cell processes. When ROS accumulate in your cells, they can lead to stress, premature aging and health concerns such as diabetes and cancer, Melanin scavenges for ROS, boosting antioxidants and eliminating free radicals.
- Aging more slowy. The more melanin you have, the more protection you have against photoaging, or skin damage from too much exposure to the sun’s rays. Melanin actually creates a strong barrier that keeps the skin tight. The more melanin produced, the stronger this barrier. This barrier results that wrinkles show more slowly. Black really doesn't crack!