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The Dermatologist-Approved Way To Give Your Quarantine Skin A Summertime Glow

You may want to read this before your next Zoom meeting.

Beauty & Fashion

It's no secret quarantine has done a number on our mental health, but what about our skin's health? Summer may be in full effect, but we might not have the same glow we're used to having by this time of year since we've been indoors waiting out COVID-19. Women of color should also be giving their skin some extra TLC this season regardless or not of the pandemic since our skin suffers more from hyperpigmentation, scarring and more. So, what do we do about it?

Here at xoNecole, we take glowing skin and anything that tries to get in the way of it seriously. We chatted with Dove Dermatologist and leading skincare expert Dr. Mona Gohara on her advice and favorite products for prepping Black and Brown skin to emerge from quarantine like a goddess.

Keep reading if "glass skin" was on your 2020 vision board.

The effects of quarantine on skin, Black and Brown skin especially:

"Not so much quarantine itself but the whole pandemic does create unique concerns for brown skin. Mask-wearing can lead to acne, referred to as 'maskne'. This is much more likely to lead to hyperpigmentation in brown skin. Actually, one component of quarantine that is unique to darker skin is the hyperpigmentation that can come from Zoom-ing all the time. Blue light from our devices create hyperpigmentation, melasma and skin damage. This is much more likely in Black/Brown skin. I recommend a gentle cleanser and of course a lot of SPF. Nothing overly aggressive or harsh."

​What we should have done all quarantine-long to prep our skin for "the outside" and can still do:

"Wear sunscreen! Especially if you spend your days sitting by a window or in a room with lots of sunlight as UV light penetrates right through window glass, so sunscreen is useful even if you're inside. Many people of color tend to believe they're invincible when it comes to the sun and needing sun protection, but you should wear sunscreen every day! Your skin is the largest human organ, and it is the most visible. No matter what season we're in, know that the skin constantly absorbs ultraviolet aging rays like a sponge, which then damage your DNA, collagen and cause pigment abnormalities later in life.

"As you start transitioning back to normalcy and going outside, use makeup with SPF in it as well as a separate sunscreen. You can never have enough. Also note that sunscreen is the last product you put on your face after your moisturizer, right before your makeup."

Ways can we refresh skincare routines for the summer on a budget:

"Just as we transition our wardrobes to hotter weather, the shift in seasons necessitates a refresh in our skincare routine. I recommend using a gentle, moisturizing, all-in-one cleanser like the Dove Beauty Bar ($6) . With its signature cleansing ingredients and 1/4 moisturizing cream, it effectively cleanses the skin without leaving behind that dry, tight sensation. It's also gentle enough to use on your face and can be used for handwashing as it removes dirt and germs while nourishing the skin, making it the ultimate all-in-one cleanser.

"For all skin types, a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher (Black Girl Sunscreen, $16) which is essential for those with melasma or skin discoloration. Remember even light bulbs worsen melasma, so SPF 30 is essential. If you do experience sun damage [add on] a Vitamin C antioxidant like La Roche-Posay Vitamin C Face Serum ($40). For those with dry skin, use a gentle hydrating cleanser (Aveeno Ultra-Calming Hydrating Gel Facial Cleanser) and follow it with a petroleum-based ointment (Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment, $10) on top."

*Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, xoNecole may earn a small commission.

La Roche Vitamin C Face Serum

Target

$40

MUST-have ingredient(s) in skincare products this season for WOC:

"In terms of ingredients, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from products that have the word "fragrance" on their ingredient label and look for "fragrance-free" alternatives, products that contain a lot of "alcohols" can also be irritating on the skin. Look for ingredients like glycerin, ceramide, etc. Also avoid long hot showers, as they strip away your skin's natural moisture barriers, instead opt for shorter, warm showers."

Advice for treating skin irritated from wearing masks in combination with the heat:

"Gently cleanse, if you over-irritate the skin with a lot of scrubbing or exfoliation, it will just stoke any inflammation. If the skin is irritated in the form of eczema, a little over-the-counter cortisone cream may help. If it is breaking out in the form of acne, I like to put Benzoyl peroxide spot treatment right over the affected area."

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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
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