Fashion Blogger and Cancer Survivor Mama Cax Talks Body Positivity, Self-Care, and The Skincare Products Behind Her Gorgeous Glow

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

As both a fashion blogger and disability advocate, Mama Cax is utilizing social media as a platform to change how we perceive and talk about people with disabilities and prosthetic limbs. Incredibly open about her own fight against cancer, she was diagnosed with bone (osteosarcoma) and lung cancer at the age of 14 and given three weeks to live. She survived the disease at the price of having her right leg amputated due to an unsuccessful hip replacement after chemotherapy treatments.

Mama Cax has partnered with Olay for a new campaign that encourages women to live fearlessly and have the confidence to be unapologetically bold and true to themselves—and this starts with skin that’s ready to #FaceAnything. “It’s a project that I’m extremely excited about, because for a long time a lot of skincare and suncare products were not being made with darker skin women in mind,” she tells ishonest.

Her go-to skincare products

In the morning, Mama Cax keeps her skincare routine simple. She splashes her face with water and follows up with a vitamin E serum and a thick moisturizer, because her skin runs extremely dry. She tops it off with a few drops of Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil ($72; sephora.com), which includes squalane to hydrate and lock in moisture, damascus rose extract to give a radiant glow, and vitamin C to firm and brighten skin tone. She also loves the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel ($54; sephora.com), which helps to reduce undereye puffiness and dark circles by hydrating and brightening.

Her evening regimen is a little more involved, beginning with a light exfoliating scrub. Afterward, Mama Cax applies Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Overnight Face Mask ($31 for a 12-pack; amazon.com), which uses a gel cream formula made of purified hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate skin overnight—this way, she wakes up with a supple and smooth complexion. (Travel tip: Mama Cax also loves throwing these Neutrogena mask pods in her carry-on to use in-flight, since airplanes tend to dry out skin.) She finishes with a special moisturizing cream before bed.

Protecting skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays is crucial to not only preventing sun damage and skin cancer, but also to keeping skin looking more youthful. For this reason, sunscreen is an essential part of Mama Cax’s everyday routine. Her go-to: Olay Regenerist Whip with SPF 25 ($26; amazon.com), which can help regenerate surface cells, minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and hydrate to improve elasticity and firmness, thanks to the formula’s ability to hold and release 1000 times its weight in hydration. Plus, the whip is super fun to apply—transforming from a cream to liquid on contact—and immediately absorbs into the skin, leaving behind no white cast or stickiness.

How she practices self-care

“Self-care is knowing when to put yourself first—taking care of yourself in whatever way works for you. For me, I know skincare can be very relaxing. It’s not only aiding my skin, but helping me mentally. It’s my way to unwind, whether it’s taking a bubble bath or doing my skincare routine while watching Netflix. It’s doing something for yourself that makes you feel good and that’s good for you.”

The journey to loving her body

“It’s a love and hate relationship—there’ll be days that you hate it and days that you love it. It’s mostly knowing that you’re probably not ever going to ‘get there,’ and to take it as more of a journey. As your body changes you’re going to have more insecurities, so it’s just knowing to appreciate your body for still being here and knowing to appreciate it for everything that it’s been through and the places that it’s brought you.”

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