As summer winds down and the LA heat surges on, I felt what better time than now to talk skincare, hydration and protection. Whatever the season, there’s always a reason to protect and repair.
I have vivid memories of watching my mom wash her face at her vanity and applying an assortment of gold-capped creams in various shapes and sizes. Whether she realized it or not, her nightly ritual undoubtedly set the tone for me at a formative age to care for my skin. This was my first memory of beauty as well as learning from someone who led by example.
It’s safe to say beauty has always grabbed my attention. As I’ve grown, my definition of beauty has evolved with my experiences, which have shaped my affinity for the elusive concept. A newer understanding that came with maturity was the notion of a beautiful mind. I often look to nature for answers. Like a rose in full bloom, life has taught me through the temporary and ever changing essence of evolution, that external beauty can only last so long. In order to endure and find lasting beauty, we must go beyond the bottle, beyond the facade to the root.
Having experienced problematic skin this year for the first time ever, I was blatantly faced with the duty to explore beauty deeper than skin. Where this journey began was with the external. Because let’s face it, as humans we care about the physical. This idea of ‘keeping up appearances’ intrigued me. I sought to understand humanity and why we’re so quick to find resolve in a bottle before doing the true work of checking in with ourselves to see what gives.
With patience, diligence, positive habits and the help of a few good brands, I can tell you I’ve begun a healing journey to natural beauty rooted in nature. I’m positive I’m not alone, as I’ve talked to numerous people dealing with similar skin issues. So lets jump into part one of a series dedicated to skin care, health and beauty, working our way from the outside in by peeling back the layers.
Introducing my quick fix saviors that understand the importance of results without forgoing your skin’s health. These bad gals go beyond the pretty packaging to deliver quality performances and optimal health with honest ingredients.
Products shot and digitally designed by Morgan Ryan. (Left to right).
MDSolarSciences, Mineral Creme (50 SPF): Regardless of your whereabouts, there’s always a need for SPF. Living in the outskirts of Chinatown in LA has posed some serious cultural conditioning in terms of skincare; like watching women shield their skin from the sun with umbrellas on the reg. Although I haven’t gone that extreme, I have upped my sunscreen game whilst learning a thing or two from these folk.
MDSolarScience has got sunscreen down to a science, seriously. This cream is nearly perfect and speaks to all skin types and personalities (especially those wary of the typical SPF smell and finish). It’s oil-free/fragrance-free plus mineral/ antioxidant enriched to create the perfect base for your everyday look as it aims to repair and protect. I personally love to use it as my primer as it additionally creates a soft and smooth matte finish.
SheaMoisture, Jamaican Black Castor Oil: Ah, restoration to the rescue! This powerhouse has been used for centuries because of its high concentration of Omega-9 fatty acids. I can tell you hands down, castor oil is my secret weapon in my beauty arsenal. Castor oil can be used alone, which I often do for an occasional scalp and eyelash treatment to promote growth. It can also be used in conjunction with other oils to create an oil cleanser for acne-prone skin (a recipe I’ll be sharing next time). Word of advice, a little goes a long way as it’s super drying.
SheaMoisture, Hydrating Mud Mask: Typically I enjoy getting my hands dirty and concocting my own homemade masks. In those rare occasions where I need a quick treatment, this little guy has me covered. Plus anything travel size seems more fun than the original, or at least it does to me. (Mini M&M’s and fun size candy, I’m lookin’ at chu).
The scent is comprised of the healing aromas of shea butter, myrrh and frankincense. This trifecta comes together to create a rich blend that is soft and feminine. Despite most mud masks, this one doesn’t seem to harden like most, making it easy to remove with a damp washcloth. Skin is left smooth and supple with noticeable improvements in radiance and youthfulness.
SheaMoisture, Olive & Green Tea Body Wash (w/ Avocado): My grandma’s evening ritual was a lavender bubble bath. Apparently rituals run deep, as I’ve definitely acquired the habit of partaking in a regular epsom salt bath. My current obsession has been to elevate my experience by running a capful of SheaMoisture’s Olive & Green Tea Body Wash under running water. Skip the lotion; these ultra-moisturizing ingredients got you covered, every inch.
That’s enough about me ~ what are some of your favorite skin care brands? I’d love to hear about your regime/journey to natural beauty in the comments below!
Photographed by Marc Sacro in partnership with John Paul Mitchell Systems.