BeautyRx Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50 is a Must for Your Summer Beauty Routine

Listen, I know that you're tired of hearing me talk about this but wearing sunscreen is the one beauty non-negotiable that I have in my everyday regime. Whether I'm wearing it on its own or wearing a moisturizer with SPF in it, somehow I'm slathering it on my face and body. I mentioned this before when we talked about fighting hyperpigmentation but I went through a large part of my 20's without wearing any protection - and it was a bad idea. Wearing sunscreen properly and applying it the right way will not only protect you from the suns' harmful rays but it will also help you fight the signs of aging and help in the prevention of dark spots. But oh what's that? I'm black and I don't have to wear sunscreen? Yeah no.

According to the National Cancer Institute, over one million people are diagnosed each year with skin cancer. On top of this, many African Americans assume that due to their darker skin tones and the melanin in the skin (which does provide a natural SPF), they can skip sunscreen altogether. No matter what race or color your skin tone is, you are still susceptible to skin cancer, wrinkles and dark spots, so let's just be proactive ok?

When it comes to finding a good sunscreen, as a women of color, there are a few essentials things that you want to look for.

  1. Always remember that the SPF - sun protection factor - refers to the amount of time that your skin can be exposed to the ultraviolet rays from the sun without burning (not the strength of the sunscreen). The SPF protection does NOT double as the numbers increase. For example, a sunscreen containing an SPF of 15 will block about 93% of the sun's radiation, while a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 will block about 98% of the sun's radiation.
  2.  Look for a sunscreen that is broad spectrum which means that it will protect you against the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays. Look at the ingredient list and see if it contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide - you want it to have either of these in it.
  3. Liberally apply sunscreen to your face and body 15 minutes before sun exposure. Once you hit the sun, remember to reapply the sunscreen at least every two hours; unless you're swimming or heavily sweating then you want to apply it even sooner.
  4. Wear sunscreen all year- round. Just because it is cold or cloudy out doesn't mean you get to take a break. Maintaining your beautiful skin is a job.

One of my current holy grail sunscreens that I have been using for the past 3 months is the Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 From BeautyRX by Dr. Schultz ($42).

IMG_8260 copy IMG_8271The ultimate in protection from the sun’s damaging rays without the traditional heavy feel of sunscreens. The Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50 applies easily and sets invisibly. It also makes a great base for makeup. Containing micronized zinc oxide, this cream provides instant SPF 50 sunscreen protection, without having to wait 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Lightweight, it's appropriate for the driest skin to the oiliest.

The Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50 has Active Ingredients of:

  • Zinc Oxide (10.5%): Provides both UVB and broad spectrum (short-wave and long-wave) UVA protection as soon as applied by reflecting harmful UVA ray and;
  • Octinoxate (7.5%): Provides UVB protection by absorbing harmful UV rays
  • Click here to read a full list of Inactive and Key Ingredients

Now the thing that really drew me in was the fact that this is similar to a creamy lotion and applies so smooth that it literally disappears into my skin (not leaving that white film or residue on it).IMG_8276 IMG_8278

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Three quarters of the way rubbed into my skin IMG_8281

Fully rubbed and blended into my skin in under 1 minute IMG_8282 copy IMG_8283

Right hand without any sunscreen protectionIMG_8284 - right hand no sunscreenI love that I also get a subtle glow to my body and face when I apply this sunscreen. It's lightweight and as you can see it blends right into my skin without that annoying white film or residue.

Bottom line: This wears beautifully under makeup and fully protects your skin so there's no reason why you aren't investing in this and protecting yourself.


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How to Get Naturally Glowing Skin

Naturally Glowing Skin: It's one of those phrases that gets thrown around so much in the beauty industry but do you know that the easiest way to get the most natural looking glow is to take care of your skin? As easy as that sounds, taking proper care of your skin requires a little bit of effort on your part. Yesterday, I was talking to my boyfriend about his lack of using lotion. It baffles me that he can moisturize his hands and feet but neglects the middle part of his torso. His response to me: "when shorts season comes around, I'll make sure to lotion my legs". After preaching about the need for daily moisture, my face went to emoticon-25516_960_720 and I left it alone. He would learn one day.

Later that night, we were at a Game of Thrones premiere party and [SPOILER ALERT] the final scene with Melisandre aging with her skin sagging really threw him for a loop. "That can't be her, she looks like she belongs with Smeagol."

Clip of Game of Thrones scene

I laughed and immediately looked over to him and said, "well take that as your warning because that is what happens when you don't moisturize." The look on his face was priceless but I wasn't the only one who took note of that hidden message from GoT. A few hours  later, Clarins' Instagram page won the internet and posted this meme.narsI almost fell to the floor when I saw it pop up in my timeline but you know what, they're right. I spend at least 15 minutes every morning and night on my skincare routine. If I'm in the mood for a full spa treatment, it can take at least an hour. It sounds like a lot of work but by maintaining a proper skincare routine, you won't have to rely on using foundations and concealers everyday. Another bonus is that by taking preventative measures early on and establishing a healthy skincare routine, it will help to ward off wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and sagging.  Sounds worth it right? Here's what you want to do.

Start off by finding a skincare line that interests you. If you can, try heading into the department store or your local Sephora or Ulta for a quick consultation. Their skin care specialists can give you the background behind what's new and can advise you on the best products for your particular skin care concerns.IMG_7105 copy wateredI start with the One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser because it washes away all of the dirt and dead skin without irritating my skin. The orange extract will soften your skin while the gentle silica microbeads will help to clear your pores, and the moringa seed extract purifies and refines your skin leaving it feeling refreshed. I absolutely recommend this is you have acne prone skin. IMG_7175 copy ccc IMG_7158 copy cccNext, I use the Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner. You can use any toner that fits into your routine to even out your skin tone, however, I would stay away from alcohol-based toners or toners that have heavy fragrant extracts which can irritate the skin. You should try to find a toner that is full of antioxidants, skin-repairing substances and cell awakening ingredients such as niacinamide.

I prefer to use the Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner because it brightens, smoothes, and balances my skin while helping to prevent the build-up of pore-clogging debris which can lead to acne. Also, I use this as an added step in caring for my hyperpigmentation. The Tamarind extract rids the skin of dry, flaky surface cells, while the White Nettle extract refines enlarged pores.

When applying your toner, remember that you want to dab or press the toner into your skin with a soft cotton ball or face pad. Do not make the mistake of swiping and dragging it across your face. IMG_7170 copy cccAfter letting the toner dry down for about a minute, I apply the Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate. I love using this as it has a high antioxidant-rich formula and contains a much higher concentration of active ingredients which helps to heal and smooth my skin. With this product, a little bit goes a long way so try using two pumps of it to start. Remember to apply this before your sunscreen and before your daytime or nighttime moisturizer.IMG_7163 copy cccFor my day moisturizer, I use the Multi-Active Day Cream. Even though I'm not 30...yet...I like to be pro-active about my skin care so any steps that I can take to ward off wrinkles is good for me! The multi-active day cream contains active plant ingredients that are combined to restore elasticity to the skin .IMG_7119 copy cccIMG_7189 copy cccAnd lastly, for my night moisturizer I use the Multi-Active Night Cream. Paired with my daytime moisturizer, this encourages skin renewal with the kiwi extract and helps to reduce the signs of wrinkles with the natural carb extract. IMG_7124 copy watered IMG_7190 copy wateredDon't forget about your lips - yes they need moisture too! I literally swear by the Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm. It took me forever to find a lip moisturizer that I could put on a night, sleep for 8 hours, and wake up with my lips still feeling soft and not chapped. This one contains essential rose wax to calm and protect your lips while Ceramide 3 hydrates and replenishes them. IMG_7091 copy cccI know this may seem like a lot to do but remember that the better condition that your skin is in, the better your makeup will apply and look throughout the day.


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Discover the Mystery of Korean Beauty with Leaders for Half the Price!

Have you ever been interested in learning more about Korean beauty or better yet, letting it become your next skincare addiction? K-beauty has exploded onto the US beauty and skincare market and with good cause - we can't cover up blemishes and bad skin with makeup forever so why not work on creating healthy and beautiful skin from the inside out? Well at least I know that's what did it for me - hellooo sheet masks! A sheet mask is a cloth or paper that has been designed to be saturated with top of the line ingredients and formulated so that your face can absorb all of its moisturizing nutrients and sometimes there is a little bit leftover so that you can rub it into your neck and décolletage. All you have to do is take the mask and place it onto your face for 10-15 minutes. Occasionally,  you may want to lightly tap it all over your face just to ensure that your face is absorbing as much as it can be.

Sheet masks can costs anywhere from $2-$150 - yup $150! So it's best to know exactly what you're looking for or at least want to try before purchasing any. Lucky for us, Leaders Cosmetics have put their sheet masks on sale for a buy one get one sale right now at Ulta Beauty.IMG_6639 copyLeaders has freestanding mask stores all over Seoul and was brought over to the US by Ulta beauty. The brand offers affordable masks in cotton, biocellulose, and coconut gel that will help calm, soothe and nourish the skin.

Now for the sale. First, I decided to purchase the 7 Wonders Mediterranean Olive Brightening Mask ($6) to help with my dark circles and hyperpigmentation. Olive Oil, which was used by ancient mediterranean people as a remedy to troubled skin, will help to brighten dull, tired skin and help to even out skin tone. This mask is rich in healthy fats and phenolic antioxidant Vitamin E, which will help to smooth and brighten the skin, while the olive oil will help to rid skin of free radicals and repair existing environmental damage.IMG_6603 copyNext, I decided to try the 7 Wonders Tundra Cranberry Anti-Aging Mask ($6) to help improves fine lines and wrinkles and deeply hydrate my skin (kind of how I deep conditioner my hair for hours). Cranberry, which can be found in the arctic tundra, is a highly resilient superfood that contains the highest content of unsaturated oil. Its anti-aging properties will help to eliminate free radicals caused by oxidative stress to prevent premature aging. IMG_6640 copyAnd because I'm obsessed with rejuvenating my skin, I ordered the Daily Wonders What Happened Last Night Revitalizing Mask ($4) to help refresh my skin and give it a dewy and radiant glow. Its Ginseng and artemisia extracts will soothe and refresh your skin and increase the production of collagen.IMG_6642 copyNormally, all of these masks would have cost me $80 but I ended up getting them for $42 (plus 3% cashback from Ebates)! This sale is valid through April 23rd, 2016, so click here now and go order a few! I'll update you all in another post and on social after I use some of these.


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How to Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation and Get Glowing Skin with Murad

Today, I want to talk to you about hyperpigmentation and how much it sucks. I know that's a little bit more candid than I normally am but if you suffer from skin discoloration, dark spots or color imperfections then you know how much of a struggle it is. Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin due to the overproduction of melanin and or pigment. Melanin is a class of pigment that produces color in the body in places such as the eyes, skin, and hair. Hyperpigmentation affects women and men of all ethnic groups and will show up on your skin as tan, brown or black spots.

Causes of hyperpigmentation: - Hormones - Genetics - Sun damage - Picking at the skin - Hormonal changes (pregnancy; birth control pills) - Medications such as antibiotics, hormone treatments, and anti-seizure drugs - Inflammation and skin injuries

This is a lot of information but I want to make sure that you understand the backend of hyperpigmentation before we jump into skincare. Even though the majority of these causes are due to genes or other factors that are out of your control, there is one thing that you can do to protect your skin and help to repair it if you're suffering from hyperpigmentation.

First of all, you need to use sunscreen or at least SPF 15 everyday - yes, everyday. If you don't have a sunscreen in your routine already, I recommend trying the Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum with SPF 30. Second, make sure that you take care of your skin. Discoloration can sit on top of dead skin cells on your face so make so that you exfoliate at least twice a week - try AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. Lastly, you want to start a brightening treatment regime that is designed to treat this condition, minimize the dark spots and lighten the appearance of it. Cue the Murad’s Rapid Lightening Regimen.

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Step 1: Cleanse with the Murad Essential-C Cleanser The Vitamin-C rich Essential-C Cleanser removes skin-dulling impurities to renew your skin’s radiance.

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Step 2: Treat your skin with the Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum The Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum contains 2% Hydroquinone which lightens dark spots and skin discoloration.

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Tip: You can pair the Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum with the Intensive-C Radiance Peel and the Advanced Active Radiance Serum for maximum results.

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Step 3: Hydrate your skin with the Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 The Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++, rich in Vitamin-C and antioxidants, revitalizes and protects your skin from further damage.

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IMG_3355All of these products have a subtle citrus fragrance to it. You will notice it immediately when you open the product and squeeze it out. The scent does diffuse and die down once you apply it to your skin.

When you order, you will receive a rapid lightening tracker that will help you measure and track your progress as you use the treatment. IMG_3300 copy IMG_3361 copy

Overall, I'm so excited to have found this regimen because I have severe hyperpigmentation and dark circles.

 Photo taken indoors

Photos taken outside

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My dark circles are hereditary and my dark spots have pretty much just been popping up as I've gotten older and alas from sun damage. I'll admit it. In the past, I wasn't as proactive and aggressive in using sunscreen or skincare as I am now so I'm paying the price.

I'll report back over the next few weeks on my results so you can see! You can read more about the Murad Rapid Lightening Regimen HERE or HERE.

*PR Sample. Products were provided by BeautyStat for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*