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Give Your Skin The "Autumn Pampering Treatment" By Doing This

What plans do you have for your skin this fall, y'all?

Beauty & Fashion

Damn y'all. Where did the year go? I mean, I get that on some levels, 2020 has seemed like the longest decade ever—but then, on the flip side, it also seems kind of crazy that it's time to pull out our sweaters and winterize our house so that our electricity bill doesn't skyrocket. And then there's our skin. Fall and winter seasons are the time of year when it can be a little more challenging than usual to keep it moisturized and feeling super soft to the touch.

That's where today's beauty article comes in. If you want to give your skin the kind of TLC that, deep down, you know that it truly deserves, I've got some all-natural approaches that will make you happy that fall is officially here—no matter how much cold weather it brings right along with it.

1. Don’t Use Soap. At All.

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Off the rip, you would think that soap would actually be a good thing, right? Well, when it comes to washing your hands during a pandemic, it is. But when it comes to using it to clean your body overall, it's absolutely not. For starters, soap not only kills bad bacteria but also the good kind that protects your skin from microbes that are unhealthy. On top of that, soap also strips away the lipids that help to keep your skin soft while providing a protective layer on it. And third, soap is loaded with chemicals (like carcinogens), and since your pores absorb what you put into your skin, you can probably see why that is highly problematic too.

OK, but not washing is nasty, so what should you do? Cleansing oils are a great alternative. They're basically cleaning agents that have an oil base to them so that your skin doesn't end up dry and irritated (Allure has a list of some of the top commercial oil cleansers here). Something that I've been a personal fan of for years is Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap because it lacks unhealthy ingredients and it's got essential oils in it. Or, you can always step out and make your own body wash. When it comes to washing your body, you can get some tips on how to make a cleansing wash by checking out this video. As far as washing your vaginal area, check out "Love On Yourself With These 7 All-Natural DIY Vaginal Washes".

2. Exfoliate with a Homemade Coffee Scrub

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You end up shedding somewhere between 30,000-40,000 skin cells a day! Aside from that being a good enough reason to change your bedding on a weekly basis, it's also why you should incorporate dry brushing into your body maintenance route. It's also why you should exfoliate your body with a scrub as well. After all, the less dead skin you've got, the easier it will be for your newer layers to show—and to glow.

While a brown sugar scrub is a favorite of mine because brown sugar is a humectant that is able to pull moisture into your skin, today I wanna shout-out coffee scrubs instead. They're dope because coffee helps to increase blood circulation throughout your system, reduces the appearance of cellulite, contains properties that are anti-aging and is proven to even help to improve your skin's tone over time. This means that no matter how harsh the weather may be outside, your skin can still look amazing if you add a little bit of coffee to it.

If this is something that you'd like to try, all you've gotta do is combine one cup of coffee with a ½ cup of brown sugar, a cup of virgin olive oil (it's loaded with antioxidants) and two teaspoons of vanilla essential oil (it's loaded with anti-inflammatory properties). Mix well, apply to damp skin, massage gently, let it sit for five minutes and rinse thoroughly. Your skin will immediately feel super smooth and smell out of this world too.

3. “Seal” Your Skin After Stepping Out of the Shower

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A lot of times, in the area of beauty, whenever the topic of "sealing" comes up, it's usually in the context of sealing our hair's ends. But I'll tell you what—when I started "sealing my body", my skin started to feel next level! This process is extremely simple. All you've gotta do is make sure to have an oil like sweet almond, coconut, grapeseed, avocado or argan oil (all light oils that are packed with nutrients) nearby so that, once you step out of the bath or shower, the water that is on your skin will get "sealed in" by a layer of oil that you put on top of it. Just allow the oil to sit for a couple of minutes and then dry off like usual. Your skin will remain silky smooth until the next time you step into your bathtub.

4. Treat Your Face to Some Honey, Figs and Coconut Milk

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From what I've read, figs are at their best in two seasons—June and then August thru October. Since they're such a good source of vitamins A and K, along with potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper, that already makes them something that is good for you to eat. But as far as your skin goes, fig oil's got omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 in it which are fatty acids that can have your face and neck feeling off-the-charts soft and smooth. If you add to the fig oil some honey, its antibacterial and antiseptic properties will remove deeply embedded bacteria as its antioxidants will encourage the production of collagen. Finally, bringing coconut milk into the mix is smart because its Vitamin C will improve your skin's elasticity while its copper will help to keep your skin from sagging as it fades age spots and discoloration too.

A half-cup of coconut milk, two tablespoons of honey and a teaspoon of fig oil will create a mixture that you can apply to your skin with a cotton ball after washing your face. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then rinse with cool water (to close up your pores); your face will be ready for whatever the outdoor weather has awaiting it.

5. Do an Herbal Tea Steam Treatment

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Speaking of giving your face an at-home spa treatment, when's the last time you steamed it? Steaming not only feels super soothing but it can also open up your pores so that anything that's clogged up in them will easily dislodge itself. Some other perks to face steaming is it increases blood circulation, hydrates your skin and also promotes the production of collagen and elastin. While you'll already be doing your face (and neck; don't forget your neck!) a big favor by using water alone, you'll be giving it an extra treat if you add 2-3 herbal tea bags to the water too. Some herbal teas that are excellent for your skin include rose (it contains lots of antioxidants); hibiscus (it fights off free radicals); dandelion (it's a great detoxifier); chamomile (it contains anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties); licorice root (it has amino acids that deeply moisturize your skin); Burdock root (it contains phenolic acid, luteolin, and quercetin that helps to prevent wrinkles), and green tea (its micronutrients will keep your skin looking young and fresh).

Matter of fact, if you want to give your entire body the herbal tea treatment, steep a combo of these bags and let them cool. Then pour them into your bathwater. Every inch of your skin will thank you for it.

6. Make a DIY a Scented Moisturizer

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Aside from the fact that fall already dips in humidity which means that your skin is subjected to being drier than usual, you need to moisturize your skin on a daily basis because it helps to keep your new cells healthy and thriving. While some dermatologists actually frown upon moisturizers, I'd venture to say that they take issue with actual lotion because of how thick it is and all of the chemicals that the commercial brands contain. But honestly, if you simply blend one cup of whipped shea butter, four tablespoons of virgin olive oil, two tablespoons of coconut oil and 15 drops of an essential oil, you've got all that you need to give your skin the additional moisture that it longs for during this time of the year.

As far as the essential oils go, if you want to smell like the autumn season, add some apple, pomegranate, sandalwood, patchouli or pumpkin. Pumpkin is really the lick because, studies have revealed, that combining it with lavender essential oil can speed up a man's erection by as much as 40 percent. (Exactly.)

7. Create a Lavender, Avocado and Jojoba Oil Blend (for Your Hands)

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Other than when you've got your gloves or mittens on, there's probably no other part of your skin that will take a beating from the fall and winter weather more than your hands. "Baby" them by applying a mixture of lavender, avocado and jojoba oil to them. Lavender essential oil is wonderful because it has antibacterial properties that will help to keep your hands clean, along with anti-inflammatory properties that will soothe your skin after you come in from the bitter cold. Something else that's cool about lavender oil is it's able to properly balance your skin's moisture so that your hands won't be too oily or too dry. Avocado oil is wonderful because it's high in Vitamin E, potassium, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and other monounsaturated fatty acids that are ideal for treating and healing chapped skin. And jojoba oil is a great source of vitamins B and E, as well as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that will pamper your skin. Plus, jojoba oil is really good for our nails and cuticles too.

Just combine a half cup of avocado oil with a half cup of jojoba oil and add 10 drops of lavender oil. Then apply it to your hands in the morning and evening. They'll feel baby soft and have a nice relaxing scent to them as well.

8. Massage Orange Oil onto Your Feet

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One of the reasons why I make sure to get a professional pedicure, year-round, is because the heels of my feet get all dried and cracked if they don't receive some extra special lovin' on a consistent basis. If you can totally relate but your budget is currently a little tight, I wrote an article on how you can do some DIY pedicuring that you can check out right here. Or, if you simply want something that will provide your feet with a little extra moisture, how about applying some orange oil to them? It has antimicrobial properties in it that helps to detoxify your system and pores; it deeply nourishes dry and/or irritated skin; it contains anti-inflammatory properties (if your feet happen have be slightly swollen from being on them all day) and, it's got anti-fungal properties if your feet are susceptible to fungal infections. Not to mention the fact that orange oil has an invigorating scent to put you in a great mood if seasonal depression has you feeling a little on the lower side.

9. Restore Your Skin's pH Balance with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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Did you know that the normal pH level balance of our skin is between 4.7 and 5.75? The reason why this is relevant is because, oftentimes, we apply things on our skin that are either way too high (above 7 is alkaline) or much too low (below 7 is acidic). So say, for instance, you purchase a product with a pH level of 9. If you continually use it, it can end up totally drying your skin out and stripping it of its natural moisture. While this is never good, it's especially not beneficial during the fall and winter seasons.

Something that you've probably already got in your kitchen cabinet that is great when it comes to keeping your skin's pH balance right where it should be is olive oil. It is brimming over with antioxidants that help to keep your skin healthy. Olive oil also has omega-3 and polyphenols that are able to deeply moisturize your skin without clogging up your pores in the process. It contains natural anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties if you happen to have skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. And yes, it helps to keep your skin levels well-balanced too. The reason why I mentioned extra virgin olive oil specifically is because it's made from pure olives and not a blend of cold-pressed and processed oils (like regular olive oil is). The purer your olive oil is, skin-wise, the better.

10. Sleep with Shea Butter on Your Lips

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I don't know about y'all but, personally, I don't know if there are too many things more irritating during the colder part of the year than freakin' chapped lips. And although I am definitely a lip gloss junkie, I have honestly not found a better moisturizer, lip protectant or even lip primer for lipstick than shea butter. Between its high concentration of vitamins A, E and F, antioxidants and fatty acids, shea butter really does provide all that you need for your lips to be kissable, soft and smooth. Apply a layer of it to your lips before turning in every night and they'll remain moisturized whether you've got a humidifier (which is also a good idea during the fall and winter because it will keep dry heat from drying you out) or not.

Welcome to the colder part of the year, everybody!

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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
Sign up

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