A few moments into my Zoom call with Jennifer Hudson, I felt like she was the missing member of my girlfriends group chat. Hudson was radiant in a white gown, with her box braids tied up in a bun, while I sat clad in matching sweats cornered in my New York City apartment. We gathered virtually to discuss her latest project: an endorsement of Olay’s best-selling Regenerist moisturizer with SPF. The subject was familiar. Too often, Black women are left disappointed — even feeling betrayed — by a sunscreen that looks chalky or doesn’t blend well on our complexions. The aesthetic failures of countless sunscreens on the market steer many people with deep skin tones away from SPF altogether, leading to serious health risks. Studies indicate that Black women are significantly less likely to use sunscreen on the face and other exposed skin regularly compared to other racial groups, and research also shows that late-stage melanoma is more prevalent in Black patients. That’s why experts stress prevention measures, like regular skin checks, and committing to diligent sunscreen uses as the best precautions for early detection. Emphasizing the importance of representation in sunscreen, a famously unsexy category, might seem silly, but its impact can’t be overstated. “I learned how critical sun protection is for our overall health,” Hudson says. “It’s one part of life we can’t escape.” Having Black women like Hudson vouch for a sunscreen that isn’t only flattering on her complexion, but accessible to millions of people, could literally mean the difference between life and death. The Olay formula in discussion, which retails for $38.99 at drugstores nationwide, features all the fast-absorbing hydrating properties and nourishing ingredients of the OG whipped lotion, with SPF 25 for added protection. “I love it because it has everything that’s good for your skin built in,” Hudson says. “It’s lightweight and works well under makeup which is a bonus.” Hudson, an award-winning performer, is no stranger to being pampered in the finest skin care and painted in the best makeup, but she says that having access to easy, effective products has made life at home much easier. “When I’m at home on mommy duty, I need to make sure I have solutions that provide the nutrients I need and simplify my routine,” she says. “When you’re super busy, you don’t have time to be selective and pick through multiple steps.” For Hudson, this past year has required learning how to do nothing at all, a feeling she admits is occasionally met with discomfort as a person who was once always on the move. “I get frustrated sometimes, like what am I supposed to do with this small window of time when I have nothing to do?” she says. “But I think the pandemic has given many of us a sense of stillness where we have to allow ourselves just to be.” Hudson says the biggest life lesson she’s learned thus far is the power of being honest to herself and those around her. “There are some days when I feel like I don’t want to get up, and others where I’m ready to take on the world,” she says. “I’ve learned that we can’t control everything, but we can permit ourselves to feel. There’s beauty in embracing that.” At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
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A good SPF means more fun in the sun. Of course, no two skin types are alike, so we've gathered some of the best sunscreen lotions, sprays, sticks, serums, and powders that will work for everyone. Keep these sunscreens in your cart at Amazon, and then head outside for some serious Summer fun in the sun.
Sunday Riley is behind some of the most beloved skin-care products in beauty: the famed Good Genes exfoliating treatment (maskne doesn’t stand a chance against this stuff); the iconic Luna retinol oil; the C.E.O vitamin-C-packed brightening cream to end all brightening creams. And today, a new product has joined the brand’s cult-favorite ranks: Light Hearted, Sunday Riley’s first-ever sunscreen. Over the past few years, beautifully formulated SPFs have been enjoying a massive resurgence — coupled with a growing awareness of the importance of sun protection, the product has become a far cry from something you begrudgingly rub on at the beach. At the heart of Sunday Riley’s newest launch is a decadent lotion you’ll genuinely love applying. Below, join my deep-dive into the new drop as I slather on the SPF 30 formula packed with zinc oxide, octisalate, turmeric, and lutein. Sunday Riley Light Hearted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, $35 The Feel One of the many perks of my job is getting early-access to products — and sometimes, hush-hush drops will arrive in unmarked lab sample tubes. (It may not be IG-friendly, but I love feeling like I’m in on a secret.) You couldn’t tell from the plain exterior, but the lotion inside was velvety AF — and pink! (This is from botanical ingredients.) However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it blended in seamlessly on my olive skin with no trace of a dreaded white cast. It was also super hydrating without feeling greasy at all. As someone with an oily complexion, I sometimes struggle with finding sunscreens that won’t break me out. After a week of testing it in various conditions — out and about with my dog, on the (socially distanced) ski slopes in Vermont — it had yet to cause any problems. It absorbed readily, left a fresh-faced finish, and even wore well under makeup. There was no noticeable fragrance either, and it didn’t irritate my sensitive skin. The Ingredients Unlike other formulas that either use mineral (aka physical) ingredients (like zinc or titanium oxide) or chemical actives like oxybenzone and above zone, Light Hearted harnesses both; zinc oxide and octisalate (another chemical ingredient) to provide SPF 30 protection. For added skincare benefits, Sunday Riley snuck in ingredients like turmeric and lutein for antioxidant and blue light protection. I can’t say for sure whether it improved the appearance of my bare face in any noticeable way, but I’d be curious to see if anything changes on that front with continued use. For $35, it’s a step up from drugstore stuff, but one of the more affordable products in the Sunday Riley lineup, making it an accessible, practical option for someone wanting to try the brand. (And if you don’t already have your sunscreen game on lock, fix that stat!). Final Thoughts When my expectation for any new sunscreen involves a shiny forehead and 2-3 new pimples, I’m nothing short of blown away (honestly) to find a new formula I actually love. It’s perfect for adding a bit of much-needed hydration, making it perfect for most skin types. It may not replace my lightweight go-to SPF lotion (especially as we approach summer), but it’s still a solid everyday option for anyone with bougie taste in sunscreen. *Raises hand* At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
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If you suffer from dry skin, you know how frustrating it can be to constantly lather on the lotion but still feel flaky. That probably means it's time to stop using the same old moisturizer and try a new product that hydrates your skin and gives you that dewy glow you've always dreamed of. Shopping for moisturizer is not always easy, but before you head to a department store and spend a fortune, try visiting your local drugstore.
It's no wonder Amazon has already taken steps to becoming an even bigger player in the online beauty space. If you want to take care of your skin, there are plenty of bestselling products on Amazon that will brighten your complexion, help treat acne, and banish dark spots. It's a very underrated gold mine for beauty products, and we don't think you should sleep on these.
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