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This Storyteller On The Skincare Routine That Alleviates Her Hyperpigmentation Woes

Sammy Approved dishes on the routine that both brightens her skin and gets her hyperpigmentation all the way together.

About Face

In About Face, xoNecole gets the 411 on IGers who give us #skincaregoals on the 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.

Keeping your glow-on-go can feel like a full-time job, but LA-Based creative storyteller, Sammy Approved isn't about to let adult acne steal her shine. The 27-year-old digital content creator recently sat down with xoNecole and spilled the tea on the brightening skincare routine that she can't live without and we have all the details.

With adulthood comes the need for an effective beauty regimen and according to Sammy, although she's somewhat new to the skincare game, she's true to it. Sammy shared, "My view on skincare has changed significantly because as I've approached my mid-late 20's, my skin calls for different products and more attention."

Instagram/@SammyApproved.

With an arsenal of products discovered through trial and error, Sammy says that she has now developed an effective routine that both brightens her skin and gets her hyperpigmentation all the way together. She told xoNecole, "Adult acne is a thing. I never had serious acne breakouts until adulthood. I don't have the luxury of not 'being on' 24/7. When my job calls for lights, camera, action, I have to snap into it and my skin should be the least of my worries. So finding a skincare regimen to practice twice a day has yielded in great results for me."

In our chat, Sammy also broke down why a DIY Aztech Clay Mask, blotting papers, and a fresh set of pillowcases are all essential to leveling up your self-care game.

My earliest beauty memory...

"My earliest beauty memory was when I was 16 years old preparing for senior photos with a local photographer. This was a pretty big deal because I had signed up to be an ambassador for his company to encourage other seniors to book with him for senior photos. I remember my mom taking me to several department stores to find a few different looks to wear. We stopped by the makeup counter in the mall and suddenly it was time to make one of the hardest decisions of my young life: What brand of foundation would I choose for the first time?

"My mom had been using MAC foundation for as long as I could remember but that day she mentioned how heavy it can be on the skin and that I may not need that product as my first product in the makeup game. I agreed and we continued looking. The next encounter happened to be Lancôme. I remember being enticed by their makeup stand. It was bright and inviting. Someone matched me for the foundation and I remember my skin looking and feeling so smooth, light, and flawless. It was the perfect first foundation."

My most significant beauty lesson...

"Wash your face! No matter how lit the night was, how tired you become, or if you fall asleep at someone's home without your must-have products, find a way to wash your face. At this point, I carry makeup wipes with me just in case. That pimple will rise to the surface if you don't rid your skin of the sweat, dirt, and makeup you built up throughout the day. Also, it helps to wash your pillowcases often. I'm a natural girl so I use a number of products in my hair. If you don't think that sits on top of your pillowcases and slowly finds its way on your face, you're mistaken."

For my skincare routine in the AM...

"I wash my hands first. Then, I use Ren's Ready Steady Glow AHA Toner to get rid of that first layer of dirt. Your face will thank me for this toner! Next, I wash my face with Ancient Cosmetics Even Skin Hyperpigmentation Turmeric Face Wash. I have issues with scarring from terrible breakouts here and there so this particular face wash helps with getting that even skin tone we all want. After cleansing, I moisturize my skin with Fresh Vitamin Nectar Moisture Glow Face Cream. It's not a heavy moisturizer and you don't need to use too much. I like that it's light and does the job. If I am preparing to go out, I'll finish with Glossier's Futuredew Oil Serum Hybrid. You will glow effortlessly! I also started using these blotting films from Sephora after traveling on tour for a few months. My best friend suggested these to use throughout the day so that the oil and build up doesn't sit on your skin all day."

For my skincare routine in the PM...

"At night, I follow the same morning routine but I use one additional product under my eyes before I moisturize. The Body Shop's Drops of Youth Bouncy Eye Mask reduces puffiness under the eyes and fades dark circles which is something I struggled with from lack of sleep. It's a little on the pricier side but you don't use a lot of the product––just a small dab for both eyes."

My go-to makeup look consists of...

"I wear makeup here and there but it's definitely not a daily practice. My go-to makeup look consists of Nars Weightless Luminous Foundation, Nars Concealer, Anastasia's Dipbrow Pomade, Maybelline's Classic Great Lash, Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighter and a little Glossier lipgloss."

What self-care looks like to me...

"I'm an environment person. I need incense, candles and essential oils to create a comfortable and inviting ambiance in my space. I live for a good mask like the Aztec Clay Mask or any other sheet mask I may find in my local grocery store. I must also have my journal and bath salts to soak in."

My approach to beauty from the inside-out...

"I practice meditation. I speak daily affirmations to myself that encourage and motivate me to turn on the light within. You can shine on the outside once you glow internally. I also write often to release any emotions I may hold onto throughout the day. This is also a practice that helps you look and feel less stressed and uneasy. Having control over our emotions translates to how our skin looks and feels so it's important to have an outlet or two to maintain the internal as well."

How I do skincare when I travel...

"Most of my current daily routine I use while traveling because I was on a two-month tour across the country and many of the products I use now were purchased on the road. When traveling, I am just a lot more conscious of how often I wash my face and pillowcases. I definitely would recommend traveling with your own pillowcases. The blotting films are essential when you're moving from place to place on the road to prevent that dirt buildup in your pores throughout the day."

For more of Sammy, follow her on Instagram!

Shop Sammy's Beauty Staples: 

*Some links are affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an affiliate link, xoNecole might earn a small commission.

Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

image.goxip.com

$49

Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara

Target

$5

Featured image courtesy of Instagram/@SammyApproved.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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