Melasyn(tm), A Synthetic Melanin Developed by Yale Researchers, Reaches National Market

Melasyn(tm), a water soluble, synthetic melanin that was first developed as a skin cancer preventative by Yale School of Medicine researcher, John Pawelek and his colleagues, has now hit the national cosmetics market as the key ingredient in a make-up line that self-adjusts to individual skin tones.

Melasyn(tm) is part of the Dermablend Group’s Reflections make-up line, which has been launched in department stores nationwide. This synthetic melanin was derived from the aloe vera plant, and was developed and patented by Pawelek, senior research scientist in dermatology, and his team at Yale.

“Melasyn’s(tm) ability to adjust to an individual’s own skin tone is truly remarkable,” said Timothy Hogan, President and CEO of the Dermablend Group. “Samples from the same bottle appear different on different skin, adapting to a person’s own complexion. People are always amazed when they see it.”

The self-adjusting phenomenon, Pawelek explains, is a result of Melasyn’s(tm) unique ability to reflect colors around it, while at the same time providing the underlying brown-black hues of melanin itself.

“Not only does it have a cosmetic quality,” Pawelek said, “but our studies with mice showed that Melasyn(tm) gave excellent protection from ultraviolet (UV) light, probably through a combination of its ability to absorb UV and its outstanding free radical scavenger abilities, both being characteristics of natural melanin.”

It is well-recognized by dermatologists that the more natural melanin in one’s skin, the less sun damage one accrues, such as wrinkling, melanoma, and basal and squamous cell cancers. Pawelek said Melasyn not only boosts the skin’s melanin, but has a natural appearance on the skin.

Reflections’ opening product is a water-based foundation with Melasyn(tm), in six shades of color intensity for virtually all skin types. Additional products to be launched in the spring include a concealer, a self tanner, and a face and body bronzer.

Melasyn(tm) is licensed by Yale University to Vion Pharmaceuticals, New Haven, CT.

Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326