Combining bath bombs, CBD and social justice


Kate Zinke

Some of the skincare products that Johannah Hamilton, the CEO, produces for Melanin Minerals. These products feature CBD as an ingredient to help provide a natural alternative to pain relief, skin issues, and anxiety.

Emma Coke, Copy Editor

The idea to start her own business specializing in CBD-infused skincare came to Johannah Hamilton, owner of Melanin Minerals, during her Master’s program, when she began practicing self-care as a way to de-stress.

Additionally, as a woman of color, Hamilton said she wanted to start her own business in the cannabis industry to combat the disparities that exist for Black and Indigenous people of color.

“I was like, wait, I can infuse CBD into bath bombs and sell them and have a business,” said Hamilton. “That’s how it started, with the social justice component and then love for long relaxation.” 

The combination of self-care and cannabis thus became Hamilton’s way in. Not long after, she got started. 

“I just started watching crazy YouTube videos about bath bombs and making better bath bombs, and the correct tools for it,” said Hamilton. “And so then I hopped on Amazon and I bought my first bath bomb molds.”

In February of 2019, Melanin Minerals products first went on sale. Kawaiala Husen, a customer of Melanin Minerals and marketing associate at Orange Media Network, came across the small business shortly after February at the Corvallis Saturday Market.

“The owner had a booth there and I was able to meet her and she was so sweet and passionate about her products that I wanted to give it a shot,” said Husen. “It makes all the difference to know that when I purchase anything from her store, I am contributing to the success of a businesswoman in Corvallis. She inspires me and I’m happy to support her small business.”

Now, almost three years later, the company has experienced a lot of growth, according to Hamilton. 

“It has grown a lot I think,” said Hamilton. “The first year we had like 25 five-star reviews, and then after the second year, we had like 200, and then after the third year we had over 300. I have even been able to get into some local stores; I’m in the [First Alternative Natural Foods] Co-Op and CBD Scientific sells my bath bombs.

According to Hamilton, CBD-infused skincare products are quite beneficial.

“CBD’s claim to fame has been, it’s anti-inflammatory and it has soothing properties. So that’s why you see it mostly in products geared towards pain relief,” said Hamilton. “But the thing is a lot of issues with our skin stem from inflammation–like rosacea, for example, is just inflamed blood vessels. So that’s why we have CBD hydration serum, CBD toners and sugar scrubs for people with eczema for the soothing properties.” 

Husen can attest to the benefits of CBD-infused skincare products, stating that fruity foaming cleanser is “the only face wash that keeps [her] skin clear.” 

Hamilton is heavily involved in the process of making her products, which include a wide array of skincare products including bath bombs, sugar scrubs, cleansers, toners, salves and more.

“I still handmake, I would say, probably 90 or 95% of all my products,” said Hamilton. “There’s a couple products that are ‘white label’, which just means I get them, I bottle them and then I put my label on them. But I get them all from the same lab.” 

When it comes to starting and running your own business, Hamilton said the best part about it is seeing your full potential and what you’re capable of.

“You hear people say entrepreneurship is hard,” said Hamilton. “You hear people say running your own business is hard. And then you actually do it and it is hard because it’s like you have to be self-motivated. You have to have that same drive and that same passion and hunger in year three that you had in year one–or year five, that you had in year one. I’m starting my fourth year right now. So, I think it’s just seeing my full potential and what I’m capable of.”

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