Being an associate lifestyle editor has allowed me to try the latest trends — everything from the Insta-bra phenomenon to celeb approved non-invasive plastic surgery — but skincare is my jam so I was super psyched to try Urban Skin Rx. If you’re not familiar with them, their tagline names them the "melanin experts" and you might have scrolled past a post or two attesting to the line's superpowers from stars like Teyana Taylor, Fantasia and Taraji P. Henson. The line was specially crafted by founder and creator Rachel Roff for melanin-rich skin, and unlike most lines with a couple products for different skin types, this one boasts dozens of products to tailor your skincare to you.
Rachel’s journey to creating a melanin-specific skincare line began when she realized there weren’t enough estheticians that knew how to treat people of color in North Carolina, where she’s based, which was ironic since there’s a huge population of Black people residing there. She went on to create Urban Skin Solutions, a medical spa in Charlotte, North Carolina, that catered to POC. After that success, she eventually started her own skincare line to the meet the needs of her growing clientele.
“I wasn’t very big into social media, we didn’t have a website that sold our products, but Fantasia started coming to us and she started Instagraming the products she was using. And then people would contact us a lot saying, ‘Hey we want to buy your products, where can we get them?’ So then we put a website together and that was maybe four years ago,” Rachel explained about Urban Skin Rx’s come-up.
So what’s everyone’s fave product?
“Oh my gosh, the Even Tone Cleansing Bar ($28) is my best friend and my worst nightmare. It’s my worst nightmare because we can’t keep it in stock right now and it drives me insane. Lord knows ever since Teyana Taylor posted it, we can’t keep it in stock and then Taraji is a huge fan of it too. Her hairstylist Tim Wallace and MUA Ashunta Sheriff both got her to start using it, and they were like, ‘Taraji says she’s going to post for you guys cause she loves it and wants everybody to know.” Like not paid at all, just like Teyana wasn’t paid and she has even more followers. So as much as I want her to post, I’m like, ‘Please don’t post for one more month so I can get more of my stock in,’” Rachel said with a laugh.
After speaking with Rachel, I knew that I needed to explore the wonders of Urban Skin Rx for myself. After taking my skin analysis quiz, Rachel’s team sent me the products that would fit my skin needs. Just to give you a little of my background as reference, I’m what you would call butter pecan Puerto Rican, 27 years young and have normal to oily skin. For the most part, my skin behaves, aside from the occasional period pimple. But as you get older, your skin can change, so I always like to stay on top of my skincare game. The Even Tone Cleansing Bar, HydraFirm Serum, HydraBalance Instant Moisture Infusion and pH Balance All Skin Toner were recommended to me. I did a month-long trial and I was impressed with my results. The Even Tone Cleansing Bar has a nifty little sponge pad that I feel really gets into my pores for a deep clean. And the serum and moisturizer left my face feeling so silky soft. “Hydrated” is the term I would use to best describe my results. With the summer heat in full effect, this regimen was just what my skin needed.
“I have extremely oily skin and am prone to breakouts around that time of the month (as most women are) so I’m very particular about what I use on my face. My typical skin care regime consists of washing/moisturizing my face 2x/day with a cleanser and exfoliating at least 3x/week. My Urban Skin Rx kit included the facial cleansing bar, a serum and a moisturizer. I’ve struggled to find a good moisturizer, so I was excited to see it in my package. It took a few days for my face to get used to the new products. While the cleansing bar left my face feeling very fresh, it did little to prevent or treat any outbreaks I experienced. I was a fan of the serum and the moisturizer but noticed that, after a few weeks, my face started to produce more oil throughout the day.” — Ashlee Graham, Senior Producer
“On any given day, my skin can turn from my best friend to my worst enemy thanks to a mix of sensitive skin and adult hormonal acne. Though it’s common knowledge that hormonal acne is best treated from the inside, I am still always on the lookout from a little topical help. I’ve seen a number of gorgeous Black celebs boast the power of Urban Skin Rx, so I decided to give it a try against my sworn frenemy. At first glance, the sponge packaged for the Even Tone Cleansing Bar seemed like a good departure from product-to-hand application, but it later seemed unsanitary. How exactly should I be cleaning these sponges in order to use them every day in good conscience?! Between the cleanser and serum, my skin was not taking too kindly to this skincare line. The only Urban Skin Rx product that my face actually liked was HydraBalance Instant Moisture Infusion, which gave my skin a light, supple feeling that did not leave my skin feeling greasy.” — Iyana Robertson, Music Editor
“My problems are fairly common: hormonal acne, uneven skin tone and lastly a problem that worsens in the summer with the sunshine, oily skin. I was sent the cleansing bar, the toning pads, a sunscreen that also doubles as a moisturizer, a night cream and an acne lotion. Morning and night I used the wash, which smelled amazing but it did freak me out that it had a reusable sponge. I wanted very badly to throw it away after every use, especially on days when I had more makeup on. I made it halfway through the month with one sponge before switching over to the other one that comes in the pack. Since I get regular chemical peels, the glycolic toning pads felt super mild to me. After a month, I am not sure that they did anything. As for the sunscreen moisturizer, sunscreen is super important to me and this went on very sheer and easy. It has SPF 30 as well, which is pretty good! This was my favorite product of the ones that I tried. The acne lotion was my second favorite, although again it was very mild for me. The night cream went on more like a serum and was very thin in consistency, which is good because I don’t like to sleep with too much on my face. I think that with more time and trying different product combinations I could have found something more overall effective but I did not see the results that I wanted right way. After a month though, I am still getting skin compliments so maybe it did do something to even out the tone!” — Danielle Prescod, Lifestyle Editor
While Urban Skin Rx didn’t cure all of the team's skin woes, we were all in agreement of it’s ultra-hydrating powers, and I think it’s a great line to maintain supple skin and really make that melanin pop. Someone with more serious skin issues may need to see a specialist or be in contact with the experts at Urban Skin Rx (they have an expert live chat) to answer any additional questions– like ordering additional pads on line as a solo item. Using the cleanser with a Clarisonic may be a solution if you don’t want to reuse the pads. But be sure to take your time filling out the skin analysis quiz to find the right products for you.
(Photo: Urban Skin RX)