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You are a Nubian Queen and deserve to be pampered like one. Our ancestors, queens who ruled lands, bathed in the best elixirs, purest waters and most exotic oils. With your big day fast approaching, give yourself the royal treatment.

Beauty Direction: Candace Corey
Photography: Joe Vandehatert
Hair by Ndjetti

SUN PROTECTION

All brides hope for sunshine on their big day. But sometimes the sun can be your worst enemy. Use sun-screen daily to protect your skin and prevent sun damage.

According to the American Dermatology Association, the new standard for sun protection is SPF 20 – SPF 30 for daily use. SPF, which stands for “sun protection factor” is a rating system that measures how long you can stay out in the sun, while using the product, without burning. Dermatologists Fran Cook Bolden, MD; Jeanine Downie, MD, along with Barbara Nevins Taylor, the authors of Beautiful Skin of Color, agree with this new standard. They advise that you apply sun protection 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours if you are outside for long periods of time. If you will be swimming on your honeymoon you should reapply more sunscreen each time you exit the water (after you have dried off your skin).

Dr. Bolden and Dr. Downie suggest seeking an oil-free non-comedogenic sun block that contains both UVA and UVB protection with an SPF of at least 20, as well as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or parsol 1789. Use a higher strength if you are in hotter climates. Try Neutrogena’s non-comedogenic and oil free Visibly Firm Face Lotion with active copper SPF 20. Copper is a natural ingredient found in the skin that increases cell renewal and collagen. For the body, try Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sun Block UVA/UVB SPF 30. This non-greasy, oil-free, water resistant product contains just what the doctor ordered.

HYDRATION

The human body is comprised of about 65% water. Therefore, it is recommended that you consume 8- 10 glasses of water a day. Dehydrated skin may have a sufficient amount of oil but still feel dry and flaky due to a lack of water in the skin. This skin type is also prone to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Yes, Black does crack. But with the aid of an enriched emollient like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E, your skin will snap back into shape in no time. Another product you may want to get your hands on is LA ROCHE POSAY’S Thermal Spring Water. Great for all skin types, a gentle mist of 100% pure natural spring water soothes the skin while providing the antioxidant protection of selenium. This product is also an excellent refresher that can be used throughout the day.

AM/PM SKIN CARE

For a radiant glow, you must invest some time during the AM/PM hours to properly cleanse your skin. Remember to use products appropriate for your skin type. When in doubt, over the counter brands Clean & Clear and Neutrogena have a great skin care system. For ultimate results, treat yourself to a monthly facial administered by a state licensed skincare practitioner. Since planning a wedding can be stressful, it’s not uncommon to experience sudden breakouts. To quickly dry out those pesky pimples try Aveeno’s Clear Complexion Correcting Treatment. It clears up and helps prevent blemishes with the aid of salicylic acid and moisture-rich soy. For corrective care, seek professional help six months prior to your wedding date.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

Have you ever heard of the saying “you are what you eat?” It’s the truth girlfriends. We tend to over-indulge in food high in fats, sugars and preservatives. According to the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association our ethnicity has the highest number of people affected with heart disease and diabetes. Fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and lean meats do the body good. Go organic if you like. Say so long to sodas and enjoy the sweetness of juices, fruits and vegetables. In addition to being healthy for you, these foods can help you shed unwanted pounds before your wedding date as well as maintain your weight after you say “I Do.” NOTE: Consult your physician before you make a nutritional lifestyle change.