In About Face, xoNecole gets the 411 on IGers who give us #skincaregoals on a daily. Here they break down their beauty routines on the inside and out, as well as the highly coveted products that grace their shelves and their skin.
Candice Sabiduría is a woman of many interests. Not only is the 21-year-old a model and an actress, but she is also the founder of the vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand, SABii SKiNCARE. The budding entrepreneur decided to take her affinity for clean beauty into her own hands by throwing away store-bought products that only seemed to wreak havoc on her skin. She found that formulating her own products with special care and attention to the ingredients in them reflected in the overall health and clarity of her complexion.
Though SABii SKiNCARE targets skin concerns like texture, hyperpigmentation, and acne, Candice has a personal mission of upholding "good skin" as healthy skin. "Healthy skin has hair. It has hair, it has pores. It even has dark marks [and] discoloration. It has fine lines and wrinkles," she explains to xoNecole. "We're all going to have these things, which are the hyperpigmentation, dark circles under your eyes. All those things are healthy skin. I think once people realize that, people's standards of beauty are going to change drastically."
Courtesy of Candice Sabiduría
Her own relationship with beauty strengthened once she started doing little things outwardly that made her feel differently about her beauty inwardly. Things like self-care days, reciting affirmations, starting her mornings with calm instrumental music, taking bubble baths that scream "indulgence," and treating herself to meals alone impact the way she feels in her skin overall. "I just love being alone and finding that comfort and that beauty and just being able to do things for yourself," she adds.
As far as her most significant beauty lesson, Candice is all about hydration. "Always hydrate. Not just on the inside but the outside. People say drink water, which is great. Do that, but also hydration from the outside," Candice shares. "I love steaming my face. That's something you don't need to go out and buy anything. You can literally boil some water and put in some essential oils if you want and steam your face. That's a big tip for me. Hydrate. Just hydrate, hydrate, hydrate."
Keep scrolling for more insight into Candice Sabiduría’s morning and night skincare routines.
Candice Sabiduría’s A.M. Skincare Routine Looks Like…
Step One: Cleanse
"I start out with cleansing my face. I use my cleanser, which is Once You Go Black. It has a black soap base. When I cleanse my face, I like to cleanse my face for one to two minutes to really activate the juices. I do that while I'm in the shower. I come out. I like to pat my face to dry it. Always pat. Always, always, always pat."
Step Two: Toner
"Then, I go in with my toner. I use the Jucii Drop Toner from my line and it's a niacinamide toner with pomegranate extract, which really helps any dark marks I have and dullness in my face. I like to let that dry. This is also an important step. For my skincare, I wait 60 seconds between each product application to really let my skin absorb the product properly."
Step Three: Vitamin C Serum
"Then, I like to go in with a vitamin C serum. That's also from my line, it's called Orange You Clear, which is like a cute little play on words. It's a gel serum, which I love. I love the way a gel cream applies."
Step Four: Collagen Gel
"Once the serum's absorbed into my skin, I use this. It's a collagen all-in-one gel. Fun fact, collagen doesn't absorb into your skin topically, which I know, but I love the way that this feels, so I don't care."
Step Five: Moisturizer
"My morning time moisturizer is Clinique. Their Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion."
Step Six: Sunscreen
"My final step is a sunscreen. I have three sunscreens that are my favorite and I pick them differently depending on my mood that day. My number one favorite is this one. It has 30 SPF and is also a dark spot corrector. I just love the way it makes my skin glow.
"Sunscreen is always going to give you that extra glow factor. I think it's important to wear sunscreen because it locks in all the work you did before and it makes sure that the ingredients that you're using that are active to fight hyperpigmentation are allowed to work. So, without that, you're kind of stuck in the same place for a while."
Courtesy of Candice Sabiduría
Candice Sabiduría’s P.M. Skincare Routine Looks Like…
Step One: Double Cleanse
"In my nighttime skin-care routine when it comes to cleansing, I like to double cleanse. Now, double cleansing, you can do it in so many different ways. I usually do two different ways of double cleansing depending on what my skin needs. The oil cleanser I use is Deep Cleansing Oil."
"Then, I usually go in with a non-moisturizing face wash, nothing that's like milky. You're not going to want to do that with double cleansing oil. The one that I like, I use either the Once You Go Black or recently start using this Urban Hydration Bright & Balanced Aloe Vera Leaf Face Wash. This is good, but I wouldn't recommend using this more than two or three times a week. The other way I like to do a double cleanse is, I'll do a non-moisturizing cleanser first. So, I'll usually use Once You Go Black, and then I'll add a cream cleanser."
Step Two: Toner
"Once I'm done with that, then I will pat my face dry and start my skincare prep. To start the skincare prep, I go in with my toner, which is Jucii Drops."
Step Three: Serum
"I will sometimes I'll either do the Orange You Clear or I'll use my hyaluronic acid [from my line], which is Bouncii. I like using hyaluronic acid at night as well as in the morning, just because I feel like it gives my face that plump, I need. Especially if you do it at night, you see the results in the morning. So, I love that.
Step Four: Moisturizer
"For my moisturizers, the one I've been really liking is by Versed and it is their Skin Soak Rich Moisture Cream. It's for dryness and anti-aging. I like to go to bed with something thick on my face."
Step Five: Eye Cream
"I do use eye creams as well, but I don't use eye creams every day. When I do use eye creams, I never put them on the inner part of my eye. Your skin has pores that are very sensitive there. For most people, if you continuously put eye creams on the inner corners of your eyes, you're going to see acne flare-ups or enlarged pores, or inflammation in that area. So, I never recommend people do that. When I do use eye creams, it's usually in the morning.
"I like to use OLEHENRIKSEN, their Banana Bright Eye Crème. And also, I like to use this one. I have like dark circles. It has a little tint to it. I don't use a lot of this. This is a very thick eye cream. And again, don't put it on your inner eye because this a hundred percent will make my pores inflamed because it's just moisture overload."
Bonus Step: Face Mask
"I love doing face masks. I'm a face mask girl too. I love the avocado mask [from my line]. My favorite. It gives me the hydration I need. When I do my wash day, I put my mask on, and then I'm also in the tub and it gives me everything I need. It exfoliates my skin very gently. I have sensitive skin, so I'm not able to do the harsh exfoliations, even chemically. So, it gives me the new, fresh feeling that I need and it starts my week off perfectly."
For more of Candice, follow her on Instagram @candicesabiduria.
Featured image courtesy of Candice Sabiduría / Illustration by Kyra Jay
This post is in partnership with Amgen.
The seemingly simple task of taking a breath is something most of us don’t think twice about. But for people who live with severe asthma, breathing does not always come easily. Asthma, a chronic respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, affects millions of people worldwide – 5-10% of which live with severe asthma. Severe asthma is a chronic and lifelong condition that is unpredictable and can be difficult to manage. Though often invisible to the rest of the world, severe asthma is a not-so-silent companion for those who live with it, often interrupting schedules and impacting day-to-day life.
Among the many individuals who battle severe asthma, Black women face a unique set of challenges. It's not uncommon for us to go years without a proper diagnosis, and finding the right treatment often requires some trial and error. Thankfully, all hope is not lost for those who may be fighting to get their severe asthma under control. We spoke with Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq. and Jania Watson, two inspiring Black women who have been living with severe asthma and have found strength, resilience, and a sense of purpose in their journeys.
Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq.
Juanita Ingram has a resume that would make anyone’s jaw drop. On top of being recently crowned Mrs. Universe, she’s also an accomplished attorney, filmmaker, and philanthropist. From the outside, it seems there’s nothing this talented woman won’t try, and likely succeed at. In her everyday life, however, Juanita exercises a lot more caution. From a young age, Juanita has struggled with severe asthma. Her symptoms were always exacerbated by common illnesses like a cold or flu. “I've heard these stories of my breathing struggles, but I remember distinctly when I was younger not being able to breathe every time I got a virus,” says Ingram. “I remember missing a lot of school and crying a lot because asthma is painful. I [was taken] to see my doctor often if I got sick with anything so I was hypervigilant as a child, and I still am.”
Today, Juanita says her symptoms are best managed when she’s working closely with her care team, avoiding getting sick and staying ahead of any symptoms. Ingram said she’s been blessed with skilled doctors who are just as vigilant of her symptoms as she is. While competing in the Mrs. Universe competition, Juanita took extra care to stay clear of other competitors to ensure she didn’t catch a cold or virus that would trigger her severe asthma. “I would stand off to the side and sometimes that could be taken as ‘oh, she thinks she's better than everybody else.’ But if I get sick during a pageant, I'm done. I had to compete with that in mind because my sickness doesn't look like everybody else's sickness.”
Even when her symptoms are under control, living with severe asthma still presents challenges. Juanita relies on her strong support system to overcome the hurdles caused by a lack of understanding from the public, “I think that there's a lot of lack of awareness about how serious severe asthma is. I would [also] tell women to advocate and to trust their intuition and not to allow someone to dismiss what you're experiencing.”
Jania, a content creator from Atlanta, Georgia, has been living with severe asthma for many years. Thanks to early testing by asthma specialists, Jania was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child after experiencing frequent flare-ups and challenges in her day-to-day life. “I specifically remember, I was starting school, and we were moving into a new house. One of the triggers for me and my younger sister at the time were certain types of carpets. We had just moved into this new house and within weeks of us being there, my parents literally had to pay for all new carpet in the house.”
As Jania grew older, she was suffering from fewer flare-ups and thought her asthma was well under control. However, a trip back to her doctor during high school revealed that her severe asthma was affecting her more than she realized. “That was the first time in a long time I had to do a breathing test,” she describes. “The doctor had me take a deep breath in and blow into a machine to test my breathing. They told me to blow as hard as I could. And I was doing it. I was giving everything I got. [My dad and the doctor] were looking at me like ‘girl, stop playing.’ And at that point [it confirmed] I still have severe asthma because I've given it all I got. It doesn't really go away, but I just learned how to help manage it better.”
Jania recognizes that people who aren’t living with asthma, may not understand the disease and mistake it for something less serious. Or there could be others who think their symptoms are minor, and not worth bringing up. So, for Jania, communicating with others about her diagnosis is key. “Having severe asthma [flare-ups] in some cases looks very similar to being out of shape,” she said. “But this is a chronic illness that I was born with. This is just something that I live with that I've been dealing with. And I think it's important for people to know because that determines the next steps. [They might ask] ‘Do you need a bottle of water, or do you need an inhaler? Do you need to take a break, or do we need to take you to the hospital?’ So, I think letting the people around you know what's going on, just in case anything were to happen plays a lot into it as well.”
Like Juanita, Jania’s journey has been marked by ups and downs, but she remains an unwavering advocate for asthma awareness and support within the Black community. She hopes that her story can be an inspiration to other women with asthma who may not yet have their symptoms under control. “There's still life to be lived outside of having severe asthma. It is always going to be there, but it's not meant to stop you from living your life. That’s why learning how to manage it and also having that support system around you, is so important.”
By sharing their journeys, Juanita and Jania hope to encourage others to embrace their conditions, obtain a proper management plan from a doctor or asthma specialist like a pulmonologist or allergist, and contribute to the improvement of asthma awareness and support, not only within the Black community, but for all individuals living with severe asthma.
Read more stories from others like Juanita and Jania on Amgen.com, or visit Uncontrolled Asthma In Black Women | BREAK THE CYCLE to find support and resources.
We love a good book list over here, especially when we're looking for a boost in motivation and inspiration for a new year. Whenever I read a profoundly written story about a Black woman who is able to overcome challenges in order to be the fullest version of herself, it gives me the kick in the pants I need to continue striving for greatness. (And we can't take that for granted since many of us are bombarded with world news and other life struggles that can negatively impact our mental health and drive.)
Dr. Mariel Buqué is an amazing Afro-Latina woman who is dedicated to seeing us overcome trauma, find our higher selves, and live the lives of our dreams. If you need a bit of guidance on how to tap into your higher self and how to attach trauma, this is the perfect book for you. Go ahead and add it to your Amazon wish list and make things official come January when it's available.
Sheila Johnson played a major role in the culture, cofounding BET and becoming an icon in business. Her story of resilience in an environment of male domination is one to be admired and you can learn a lot about resilience, business acumen, and confidence from this memoir.
This book was written by Black Girls Golf founder, Tiffany Mack Fitzgerald who spent years working in Corporate America before launching the platform to make learning golf more inclusive.
'Naomi Osaka: Her Journey to Finding Her Power and Her Voice' by Ben Rothenberg
This biography of the tennis star serves as an inspirational look into her life building a career in tennis, finding success as a champion, and standing up for her own wellness and self-care despite naysayers and critics. Naomi Osaka's powerful stance to own her life and her career is one to be admired. Take a nod and be inspired in your own life with this one.
Set to be released in May 2024, this book has themes of resilience and faith from gospel powerhouse Tasha Cobbs Leonard. If it's anywhere near as transformative and powerful as her voice and music, you're in for a treat next year. It's definitely worth checking out for tidbits on the singer's firsthand experiences in ministry, navigating a blended family, and more.
This book, written by entrepreneur and income strategist Nicole Walters, is all about her life's journey of overcoming challenges and advocating for herself in order to build her business and thrive, including her experience with an appearance on Wheel of Fortune, adopting children, and strategically going for the life of her dreams.
Our favorite vegan auntie, Tabitha Brown, is back with the inspiration and high vibrations with this book, all about her 30-day challenge to try something she'd "never done before." And we all fell in love with her when she decided to do something new---go vegan---and take charge of her health, catapulting her into the well-deserved stardom she enjoys today, so we know this will be nothing but goodness. This read will be released in January.
Written by a WNBA star, this book includes stories and insights that affirm being your truest self and got a co-sign from Gabrielle Union. Set to release in February 2024, you'll want to go ahead and get your copy via the pre-sale, as A'Ja candidly shares her experiences as a young Black girl finding herself and growing into a professional basketball champion.
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