Runako Inside Out with Melissa Mel

Inside Out is our weekly profile on people and all things personal care. Our profiles will look into different aspects of personal care including physical, skin, mental and health care. We want to know how you’ve been taking care of yourself inside and out and help us share tips, tricks and advice with others. 

Melissa Mel is a LA-based creative, designer & founder of The WoMi™ App, a digital directory of women & minority owned small businesses. The app is an evolution of Mel’s weekly series WoMi Small Biz. The is currently open for brand sign ups and set to launch later this summer! By day Mel works as a senior art director in social media marketing and is a founding member of In For 13, an initiative calling for equitable (13%) Black leadership in the advertising industry.

Runako: How are you? Especially now with the on-going coronavirus pandemic? 

Melissa: My answer for that depends on the day, but I’m grateful to have had enough good days as of late to be relatively well. Just doing what I can to make sure my loved ones & I are healthy & funded while affecting what positive change I can.

Runako: How have you been taking care of your mental health? Have you implemented any changes to your personal routine?

Melissa: I’m unapologetically finding joy in little victories & guiltlessly resting as much as feels right. Maintaining routines that compartmentalize my time between work, my own work & rest helps keep me focused & in some sort of “control.”

Runako: How have you been taking care of your physical health? If not, why?

Melissa: My relationship with food is directly affected by my level of stress - too time-stressed & I’ll skip meals, too world-stressed & I’ll have zero motivation to cook whole meals. So I’ve been looking at feeding myself nutritiously as a ritual of self love, part of which is snapping a pic to keep a gallery of mouth-watering motivation! And again, routines really help me build stretching, walks outside & workouts to be more ritual than nuisance.

Runako: We can’t forget about skincare, how has your skincare routine been during the quarantine? Any significant changes?

Melissa: I’ve definitely been more conscious of staying moisturized & hydrated to stay glowy - working from home means lots of time spent naked so I’m getting to know my skin more intimately & what effects it.

Runako: What are some products you’ve been loving and using?

Melissa: I’ve started using Shea Moisture body oils as lotion & my skin has never felt softer! I also swear by Smile Natural Products’ Black Soap body wash - the lavender scent is intoxicating in the best way.

Runako: Any natural skin care tips or products you’ve tried and are now part of your personal routine?

Melissa: I finally picked up a daily skincare routine for the first time in years thanks to Xicali Products - their 3-step cleanser, toner & serum kit has kept my face ultra smooth & mostly blemish free all of quarantine, even while PMSing which is usually when my skin gets wildest. The serum is my favorite product I’ve ever used on my face, so silky!

Runako: Do you have any go-to DIY skincare recipes or combinations that you can share? 

Melissa: Before I found a daily skincare routine, I’d often do honey & cinnamon masks to help exfoliate & revitalize my skin. Super simple too, just mix together 3:1 honey to cinnamon, apply & let sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing off. 

Runako: What’s a must in your personal care routine? (Don’t be shy)

Melissa: Daily endorphins by any means necessary ;)

Runako: Any advice, tips or tricks you want to share? Something you might have discovered recently that might help someone reading this?

Melissa:  Once I started viewing negativity as an addiction - there’s tons of science to support how our brains become addicted & wired to replicate negative thought patterns & habits - I was able to free myself from a majority of my nonsense anxiety spirals. A tip I picked up from my fav podcast, Boss Talk: say “change” out loud when you feel negativity seeping in. And the biggest skill I’ve cultivated during quarantine is self-grace - treat yourself as you’d want your best friend to treat herself when you’re not there to gas her up.

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