Rachel Roff, founder of Urban Medspa and Weight Loss Center in Charlotte, NC, has witnessed the lack of industry knowledge and training for people of color first hand. “Darker skin tends to be more sensitive,” Roff explained to me in an interview with the beauty exec, “[and as I studied to further my beauty career], instructors were hesitant to practice on all races.”
It was this gaping hole in the marketplace that inspired Roff to open Urban Medspa. And after seeing the impact the company was making within the BIPOC community, Roff then decided to launch a clinical skincare line to further deliver on her promise to provide people of color with better ways to care for their skin.
As the self-proclaimed melanin experts, UrbanSkinRx’s products use high concentrations of active ingredients to focus on correcting hyperpigmentation resulting from things like acne scars, pregnancy or the skin-darkening condition melisma.
“We call ourselves the melanin experts because melanin is the pigment which causes the darkening of every human’s skin,” Roff told me. “The amount of melanin varies depending on the skin tone, so often, darker skin is more vulnerable to hyperpigmentation, or dark marks.” She went on to explain that since everyone produces melanin, we’re all susceptible to hyperpigmentation. “What sets [our brand] apart is that while we still create products for common concerns like aging and dry skin, we also concentrate our efforts on using ingredients that’ll correct hyperpigmentation—a widespread skin concern amongst people of color,” stated Roff.
Since launching in 2010, Urban Skin RX has become available nationwide at Target, Ulta and CVS. The products are free of parabens, toxins, fragrance and sulfates, and they’re never tested on animals. Below, my top ten recommendations for getting started on your new journey with Urban Skin Rx, including my two personal favorite products from the line.
1. HydraFirm Serum
Packed with hyaluronic acid, lactic acid and niacinimide, this serum is basically the holy trinity of glowy skin. I added it to my nighttime routine about a year ago and have seen my acne scars practically fade away. Plus, the hyaluronic acid really helps my dry skin retain its moisture.
2. Pumpkin Pore Mask
A mask that also acts as a scrub? Sign me up. This self-warming formula delivers a refreshing tingle as it detoxifies and exfoliates your pores. I love using it in the colder months because of its warm sensation. Plus, the microbeads really help exfoliate dead-skin.
3. Dermapeel Smooth & Glow Treatment 2 Step System
In need of a facial? This 2-step system was designed and formulated by aestheticians for the perfect DIY spa treatment that’s safe to do yourself. Complete with three dermaplaning tools for getting rid of fine hairs and eight chemical peel pads for deep exfoliation, this kit has everything you need for at-home pampering. “I used to pay for spa visits. However, this product and tool have saved me so much money,” touts one reviewer.
4. Retinol Rapid Repair and Dark Spot Treatment 1 fl oz
If you’re on the hunt for a highly formulated product intended to correct dark marks, then this is for you. Double the points for its added anti-aging benefits. This reviewer can attest to its power: “I’ve tried various brands and this product by far has replenished the look of youth (the days before kids and a husband) lol.”
5. Clear & Even Tone Clarifying Pads
These easy-to-use pads are a triple threat: They're a mix of glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid. Add them to your routine when you’re in need of a little something to help control excess oil and pesky breakouts. One reviewer raves about the effects, stating, “This formula is strong, yet effective! I’ve seen results in less than three weeks.”
6. Vitaleyez Retinol +Vitamin C Complex
Got designer bags under your eyes? This treatment has an improved formula combining retinol, vitamin C and caffeine to firm and brighten the delicate eye area. It also targets fine lines and puffiness, so you can say goodbye to crows feet. “With my stress levels and lack of sleep at the moment, my dark circles are almost too much. Used this product for two weeks and I see a dramatic difference,” says one satisfied customer.
7. 3-in-1 Combination Skin Cleansing Bar
Ready to try a new cleanser but don’t want to spurge? This 3-in-1 bar provides a deep cleanse by exfoliating, smoothing, and hydrating the skin. Gentle enough for those with eczema, the combination bar is free of harsh chemicals and fragrances that dry you out. “Love this stuff! I have combination skin and where I am dry... it's dry... so I really like how hydrating this is,” says one fan of the product.
8. Complexion Protection Mineral Moisturizer
Finally, a moisturizer with SPF that goes on clear. The Complexion Protection moisturizer combines skin-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalene and vitamin E to protect and hydrate your skin from dark marks and sun damage. “It's lightweight, not greasy at all, dries quickly, and doesn't have a strong smell,” one reviewer explains.
9. Acne Spot Treatment
“Had a pimple on my chin that was pretty painful. I applied the serum, and by morning it was starting to dry out. No more pain and should be gone completely by tomorrow.” This review says it all. It's a fast-acting product that works to reduce breakouts practically overnight, while fighting redness and reducing the chances of scarring.
10. Even Tone Resurfacing At-Home Peel Pads
This pocket-sized spa treatment is the latest product in the line, and it was specially formulated by aestheticians as a DIY solution to a variety of skin concerns. The resurfacing pads contain lactic acid, retinol, and arbutin to chemically exfoliate, brighten and firm the skin while reducing your pores from virtually anywhere.
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