Meet Melanie, Founder of Moon Beings and our third #cleanbeautyspotlight! Melanie has a love for formulating new products, and developing new, and creative ways to integrate everyday ingredients into our skincare. She created Moon Beings out of a need to solve her own skin issues and wanted to share her products with her community. Her aloe-based products are perfect for all skin types, especially sensitive skin!
What values do you have that you believe you carried into your brand and company?
Moon Beings believes in healthy skin, not perfect skin. It is important to convey & promote this message to our consumers. Equally important are sustainability and community consciousness. It's time to expect more from the brands we buy from and this is why it's critical for us to place products into the market that are produced sustainably and ethically. We want consumers to take part in our value culture while also loving the product benefits. We promote transparency, sustainability, inclusivity & science. Our ethos statement, ‘One Moon - All Beings’ is a calling for us to be united protective stewards of Earth.
What inspired Moon Beings? (how/why you started the brand, also the story behind the name!)
Moon Beings wasn't planned initially. It was an evolution of ingredients through testing and formulation that I was using to heal my own skin from painful rosacea. I wasn't able to find effective solutions on the market with the simplicity and sensitivity my skin needed. Onward I went towards formulation certification where I pleasantly found it similar to cooking. While I never satisfied my dream of becoming a chef, I fell in love with formulation and the excitement of the potential of creating amazing products that should exist in the market. I found a lot of repetition in the skincare industry which is what led to our unique formulations.
The name, Moon Beings came out of a conversion I had with my husband. Many people don’t know that I’m also an earth child of sorts. Some say “hippie”. I see myself as a universal spiritualist. On this Earth we are all connected by the Moon. It's what runs our tides, weather and ecosystem. When we look up - we all see the same moon. We are all Moon Beings and that's when I knew I had created the name of the company. It represented everyone and everything that our brand embodies. Be the Moon - a Moon Being.
We love your Space themed branding. What prompted this design and branding?
I'm fascinated with space travel, space exploration and its strangely beautiful unknown and uncharted lure. Space is our reminder of our beginnings, our origins and therefore a reflection of Earth. There are no borders in space - only beauty. The design of our packaging is also an extension of me - which rarely do we have the permission to be completely ourselves.
Your products feature Aloe Vera as their base, what’s special about this ingredient?
We minimally use water in our products due to the fact it's not a sustainable practice. We view water as a luxury. Many people do not have access to clean water including some states in the USA. With the growing concern of water toxins, and water processing plants using energy, we felt it was safer and better for the environment to limit water use as much as possible. Aloe, being a clean water constituent, is considered to be a miracle plant and a superfood for skin around the world. Aloe vera is an example of simple but sensitive formulation which is the backbone of Moon Beings Skincare. Aloe is used as a potent ingredient and also an excellent delivery system for all skin types. Aloe vera is considered to be a powerhouse of antioxidants, enzymes, with vitamins A and C and is great coupled with other actives and botanicals.
What’s your favorite part of creating your products?
Selfishly, I'm making new products based on what I'd like to have for my own skin. Ultimately what our buyers would want or are asking for. I'm also a consumer. So many times have I picked a product up on the shelf and said to myself “I wish it didn't have that in it” and the cost is astronomical. As a formulator - you’ve seen behind the curtain and you forever see ingredient labels differently. I'm disheartened by the filler & adders that are added to make larger profits. This leaves the consumer with a product with little benefit for a big price. My favorite part is knowing we are giving our customers the best ingredients, with the most effective concentrations and without the filler. This is why our customers return - they work - they're affordable.
What has been your most exciting moment with Moon Beings so far?
Many have asked me this. Many think it's the awards or accolades but it's not. It's when I first saw my line in its bottles and boxes. We lined it all up and there it was, my creation! An extension of me. It was hard to not feel like I needed to conform to the aesthetic most commonly seen in skincare when designing the line. When you manifest your future - that's exciting!
What was your biggest hurdle in creating Moon Beings?
Capital and competition. I knew going in there would be fierce competition and those with a lot more money and bigger advertising budgets than I. Being self-funded and self run - it was going to be hard to penetrate the market. Of course - I hoped the packaging stood out in a good way but I found by aligning with other brands, you can market your brand even further as well as showcase and support brands doing good work. You need community and culture to be successful.
At the infancy of Moon Beings, I was living in a hospital with my son who had a brain infection. I was already a mom of a child with autism which has its own hurdles. When it then collided with our beginnings I wasn't sure how I could keep all of it moving but I did. It's a fine balance between being creative and self-care. I'm always formulating and wanting to make more products. I constantly have to stop myself. Still, I work daily to maintain balance and capital. I think this is a common theme for us all regardless of your industry or life.
What advice would you give people interested in starting their own skincare or beauty business?
Create something that is a need and is unique to anything else that exists. Use your strength and talents to guide you. It's okay to fail. Failure is only defined by how you can redefine any failures. You will have failures – it's ok. Also, learn how to pivot. In business things can change without warning but if you can find a way to pivot your business towards a new direction – you’ll make it. You also have to understand how to scale with as little risk as possible. Slow and steady wins the race. I started off with only 100 units per SKU and scaled from there.
What else? A lot of people say - do what you love! This to me is so overwhelming. I love a lot of things! You won't always love what you do! This is a fallacy. In essence you should enjoy your job, your company but there will be aspects of things you’ll do that you really don’t enjoy. It's okay. It will sharpen you like a knife and give you patience in other areas of your life, career & relationships.
What is your favorite beauty ritual that leaves you looking and feeling naturally beautiful?
Oil cleansing and oil moisturizing is so satisfying and effective. I love exploring all the exotic and wonderfully highly nutritive oils available for our face and body. It feels so luxurious. Not all oils are the same. Some are occlusive and others are not. When light steam is applied while using a dry or non-occlusive oil, it can really provide needed relief to dry dull looking skin. A 3,000 year old tradition just feels so transformative and grounding.
What’s coming up next for Moon Beings?
We’re excited to have some new products launching soon like, Watermelon Moon Serum coming this June. The base and royalty of this product is Kalahari Melon Oil also known as Mokate Oil. A prized oil from Kalahari Desert where we have also infused it with extracts of Mango, Guava and other humectants like Squalane Oil, Meadow Foam Seed Oil and the wild antioxidant, Blueberry Oil. This is a truly transformative product giving skin a glass like appearance without being greasy or heavy.
We have some boutique offers coming soon that will feature specialized and custom products that will be only available for a limited time.
Our big news is our coming Ambassador program launching in September 2021’ where we will be competing to offer influencers and content creators the best affiliate % earnings. We are striving to create the most competitive - highest quality of service Ambassadors from a skincare brand. A percentage of all sales will go to Charity:Water.
We’re featuring Moon Beings Celestial-C and Space Jelly in our Summer box. What prompted the creation of these products?
Celestial - C was created from the fact I didn't like any C products on the market at the time. They were irritating and/or sticky, besides being very overpriced in many cases. L-Ascorbic Acid is very effective, but not for everyone. I found that Blood Orange Extract and Stem Cell C Culture was tolerable and very effective as an antioxidant, glycolic with alpha-hydroxy like benefits. It was a game changer for my face and many others with sensitive and/or problematic skin. This is our most purchased product and highest repurchased product.
Space Jelly was another one of those products I saw that I wanted to make. At the time, Hydro-Jelly masks had made their way into the chairs of aestheticians and their clients asking for it. I loved it and I loved the premise. However, they were mostly made with PolyVinyl or micro-plastic variations and polymers to give it that jelly shake and feel. That wasn't going to fly with me nor our customers. We knew we could achieve this with aloe vera - making it a multi-benefit product that was a lot safer for the user and the environment too. I wanted Space Jelly to be unlike anything on the market and provide a consumer solution before they step up into a retinol product. Formulated with potent red algae and pre-peptides, we urge consumers to try products such as Space Jelly before you consider using any retinoids. We hope this with all our products. This also serves a community who choose to not use retinol products or who cannot tolerate them.