FROM CHEMIST TO SOAPMAKER

Paola Maldonado is the owner and proprietor of Piel Melaza. She is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Paola holds a Bachelor's degree in Applied Chemistry and a Master's degree in Environmental Chemistry.

Her business began in 2018 during her first semester of her Master's program. Dealing with medical issues with her mother, Paola's anxiety reached such levels that she started creating body products and teas for her. During this time, she discovered that soap-making became therapeutic and helped her manage her anxiety and stress while juggling university classes, research projects, and teaching chemistry. Soon enough, she had a surplus of soaps, prompting her mother to humorously ask what to do with them all.Paola started giving them away to friends, professors, and the department administration, and soon people started asking if they could buy them. After a month of contemplation, a friend surprised her with a private soap-making workshop. With the support of her mother and family, Paola embarked on the Piel Melaza adventure, growing gradually and continuously learning. Piel Melaza has become her therapy and livelihood.

This is a prime example that your purchase truly stays in Puerto Rico, and not only that, but it also helps fulfill a dream. Paola's next goal is to grow to a point where she can generate employment. Piel Melaza is just getting started.

What is Piel Melaza?

Piel Melaza specializes in crafting personal care products, including handmade soaps for all skin types, exfoliants, and more. These products are completely natural, free from fragrances and palm oil. They are meticulously handmade using vegetable oils and essential oils. Piel Melaza offers soaps for oily, blemished, dry, sensitive, and combination skin. Some of their soaps even contain 100% natural extracts commonly used for medicinal purposes to help relieve muscle pain, rosacea, and even psoriasis.

Piel Melaza strives to take care of every production detail to ensure an eco-friendly process. This effort extends to their packaging, which consists of identification cards made from recycled paper embedded with wildflower seeds. Customers can moisten and plant the paper in soil, which will germinate in approximately 1-2 weeks. Additionally, their exfoliant containers are made of aluminum, providing customers with the option to return them for refills. They also use cardboard and fabric bags, minimizing the use of plastic packaging.

Motivation:

The skin is the largest organ of the body, and therefore, its care is of utmost importance. However, the use of unregulated chemicals is common in beauty and personal care products, which can lead to adverse or unexpected results when using the wrong product for each skin type. Additionally, the use of these chemicals and non-reusable packaging materials contributes to the current levels of pollution. Recognizing the market's need for more natural and skin-specific products, Piel Melaza was created with an eco-friendly focus throughout its production.

Mission:

Our mission is to provide customers with natural solutions for their daily skincare needs, offering options free from chemicals, plastic, and polymers that negatively impact our environment and planet.

Vision:

Piel Melaza's vision is to raise awareness among customers about natural product management and alternatives for skincare. We firmly believe in the motto "Recycle, Reuse, Reduce" and have implemented it in our business by utilizing recycled and biodegradable materials.

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