Yes, it’s winter but sunscreen is still a must. There are folks who would have you believe that Black people don’t need sunscreen, but I am here to tell you that according to science, they are liars. These are probably folks who don’t like puppies, their mother and routinely vote against their own self-interest — they can’t be trusted!
In recent years I have been making it a point of duty to support brands and companies that are black owned. I don't support or encourage mediocrity so I am not only supporting these companies because they are black owned, I am supporting because they are black owned AND they have amazing products.
Olay recently introduced a collection of eye creams formulated to treat the concerns affecting 95% of women. Check out my review and enter to win all 5 eye creams.
Mario Badescu is one of my favorite skincare brands. I have reviewed and recommended several products over the years. Pair that with Clarisonic, the sonic care cleansing brush that started it all, and it's a match made in skincare heaven. This match seems like a no brainer so my only question is why did Mario Badescu and Clarisonic take so look to hook up? (I need answers!)
Now that the Mario Badescu and Clarisonic celebrity hook up is official, let's look at what we get out of this union: (Of course it's about us. Duh.)
Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush
Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush has two speeds, and like all other Clarisonics, it gently oscillates back and forth over 300 times per second providing a clean that is clinically proven to be 6 times better than cleaning with hands alone. When you use the Clarisonic, all your lotions and potions absorb better into the skin so you get more from your skincare products. The Mia 2 is waterproof, so feel free to get your cleanse on in the shower. It also features a proprietary T-Timer to help you to not over cleanse -- it goes for a minute: 20 seconds on the forehead, 20 seconds on the nose/chin and 10 seconds on each cheek. I know plenty of people who think longer is better, so, a timer is a genius move. The brush comes with the Clarisonic pLink Charger, Sensitive Brush Head and White Protective Travel Case.
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel
Not only is this one of my favorite cleansers of all time, it just so happens to be Mario Badescu's best selling cleanser. This non-foaming gel cleanser thoroughly removes dirt, grime and makeup without drying out the skin. It contains papaya and grapefruit extracts that provide very gently exfoliation that lead to more radiant skin. [Kit will include a 2 ounce bottle.]
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum
If you use this Vitamin C serum on its own you'll more than likely notice a change in your skin in two to three weeks. It contains 7.5% Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) to help protect the skin from pesky free radicals and it also reduces discoloration to reveal brighter skin. The Hyaluronic Acid in the formula helps the skin to hold on to its moisture. (This is great when used before sunscreen -- especially as the weather warms up.) [Kit will include .3 ounce bottle]
Mario Badescu A.H.A. & Ceramide Moisturizer
Is described as "a gentle, AHA-based moisturizer formulated with Lemon Extract and soothing Aloe Vera Gel helps rejuvenate dull, congested and pigmented skin." (I haven't tried this yet but it sounds promising.) [Kit will include a 1 ounce bottle.]
Some celebrity hookups seem to be about hype and tend to fizzle out leaving losers on both sides. Not this one. The Mia 2 Mario Badescu Skin Favorites Set is the start of something special, I can feel it! The set has everything you need to be super hydrated and radiant this spring! It is available at Clarisonic.com and retails for $149.
Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase melanin production and can affect all skin tones. While it can take only a few days for a dark spot to form, it can take months to get rid of them (trust me, I know). Though we all know we shouldn't pop those pimples, it can be hard to resist when they are literally staring you in the face. While hyperpigmentation as a result of broken skin (popped pimples, cuts and scrapes) is common, so is darkening of the skin due to age and sun exposure. Whatever the cause of your hyperpigmentation, there are products that can help fade those dark spots and return skin to its natural, even tone. Here are a few that work for me:
Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum uses three key ingredients to treat dark spots - Glycolic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells and allow other actives to penetrate, hydroquinone (2%) to help fade the spots and hexapeptide-2 to help lighten skin and prevent excessive pigment formation. The serum is lightweight and works well under other moisturizers and sunscreen. Simply apply the serum and allow a few minutes before added another product. (Sephora.com, $60)
Ambi Fade Cream also uses three active ingredients to deliver results - Alpha Hydroxy Acids to exfoliate and facilitate maximum absorption of other actives, vitamin E as an antioxidant to soothe and moisturize skin, and hydroquinone to fade dark marks. Hydroquinone is also used in 2% concentration. The maximum amount allowed in over the counter treatments for hyperpigmentation. (Walgreens, $6.49)
Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair uses Accelerated Retinol SA and vitamin C to brighten skin. According to Neutrogena, “Retinol SA combines the highest concentration of Retinol with Glucose Complex and Hyaluronic Acid.” This is done to stabilize the retinol and make it gentler on the skin. I saw a difference in my skin after about two weeks of use. If you are currently not using any products to even tone and texture, you may see results even sooner. (Ulta.com, $23.99)
What I have noticed is that the effectiveness of all these products depend on how you use them, the condition of your skin (the age and kind of dark spots you have,) and whether or not you are using an effective sunscreen in conjunction with each product. If you suffer from hyperpigmentation, one of the first lines of defense is to wear a broad sunscreen everyday...seriously, everyday! Here are a few basic tips to follow when treating dark spots:
- Start treating spots the minute they form. The older the dark spot, the more difficult it is to fade.
- Follow the directions and usage amounts -- more doesn't always equal better and less might mean delayed results.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen every single day and reapply as needed. Dark spots get even darker when exposed to the sun's rays.
We all want flawless skin, hopefully these products and tips will help you get there that much sooner.