Not to toot my own horn, but 90% of the time, my skin is flawless. My most recent revelation of this? Being featured by a popular site in a video segment and the entire comment section asking, "Green sweater, what's your skincare regimen?" They completely ignored the takeaways of self-love and wellness that I shared with them. My point? Outside of that time of the month, my skin hardly ever fails me unless I'm suffering from intense anxiety.
The last time I recall having breakouts, was during finals in my first semester of grad school. I woke up, and the right side of my face was covered in acne. Nothing helped until after exams were finished, and weeks later, all of the acne disappeared.
COVID-19 has impacted my life, and my skin, and unlike the weeks of discomfort that I endured last winter, the highs and lows of my skin breaking out have lasted for months this time and I needed answers. Due to the dermatologist offices being closed in quarantine, I had to get creative and explore alternative methods of getting my skincare game, and life together.
If the Rona is messing with your skin, explore these options to bring it back to life.
Evaluate your skincare routine pre-pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, my skincare routine included sunlight, additional water intake due to cycling workouts, and swimming three times a week followed by the sauna, a place where my skin was nurtured with heat and jojoba oil. If I'm lucky, these days I get outside 1-2 hours a day and that can't compare to the environment my skin was used to. Additionally, your skin feels the pandemic's stress, and when our bodies feel that pressure, it releases cortisol.
When this occurs, it lowers the estrogen production, which can lead to a spike in androgen levels. And as androgen plays a role in connecting with the sebaceous glands when they feel stressed, those glands overproduce oil. That oil clogs our pores and leads to inflammation that causes breakouts - it's a never-ending cycle of stress that shows up on your skin. Consider what products you used to use to show your skin a little extra love previously, and do more of that to see change.
When complying with PPE rules, find a face mask that doesn't irritate your skin.
For weeks, I'd seen adult acne form the corners of where I place my face mask on daily when I work out, and even though I didn't pop the pimples, they left dark marks (as most acne scars become due to melanated skin.) Weeks into quarantine, after realizing that washing my sheets weekly versus. bi-weekly hadn't helped, all roads pointed to my mask, so I opted to work out in an area where I'd hardly ever come in contact with anyone, without a mask - versus the park, where I'd work out in days prior to. Unfortunately, some instances of "maskne" aren't avoidable, for more info on how to avoid mask-related breakouts, check out "8 Tips to Prevent Acne Caused by Face Masks".
I increased my water intake.
While I only drink water and coffee daily, I still have to admit that social distancing hours will pass and I'll forget to take a sip. And due to sitting at my desk most of the time, working for hours on end forgetting to do basic things such as stretch, and take adequate water breaks, my skin was impacted. Intentionally stopping to drink water in intervals daily has helped me hold myself, and my urine color accountable. My skin has also flourished because of it.
Steam your skin (I repeat steam your skin).
About two months into being met with skincare woes, I decided that I'd call in for skin reinforcements in the form of re-upping on my favorite products and steaming. Steaming your skin by way of a steamer, a pot of boiling water and a towel, or a sauna helps to unclog your pores. I have access to a sauna and I've noticed that the weeks I steam and go visit the spa, my skin recuperates and glows more as a result.
If you're like me, the first few weeks of quarantine were filled with snacks and Netflix. And while that escape from reality felt good initially, our bodies and skin are asking for a detox when acne shows up on our faces. Consider a cleanse with a natural detox tea, green juice, or supplement with adding probiotics, and leafy greens to your diet to improve the clarity of your complexion.
Shop Yasmine's Skincare Finds:
*Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, xoNecole may earn a small commission.
Pooka Wild Crafted Sea Moss Facial Beauty Bar
Pooka pure & Simple
Glossier Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30
Vanity Planet Aera Facial Steamer
Want to talk more about beauty, wellness & self-care with like-minded women? Join the xoTribe members community today to start your glow-up journey.
Featured image via Yasmine Jameelah/Instagram
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Dubbed one of the "21 Black Women Wellness Influencers You Should Follow" by Black + Well, Yasmine Jameelah continues to leave her digital footprint across platforms ranging from Forever 21 Plus, Vaseline, and R29 Unbothered discussing all things healing and body positivity. As a journalist, her writing can be found on sites such as Blavity, Blacklove.com, and xoNecole. Jameelah is also known for her work shattering unconventional stigmas surrounding wellness through her various mediums, including her company Transparent Black Girl. Find Yasmine @YasmineJameelah across all platforms.
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Sabrina Dhowre Elba Admits To Not Initially Knowing Who Idris Elba Was When They Met
Model and entrepreneur Sabrina Elba recently recalled the intimate moments surrounding the fateful day she first encountered her husband, Idris Elba.
The couple, who have been together since 2017, met at a jazz bar in Vancouver when Idris was working on his film Mountain Between Us. Years later, in April 2019, following a whirlwind romance, Sabrina and Idris would tie the knot in Morocco.
Since then, the pair's love story has become "couple goals" among many for various reasons. The list includes the numerous times Sabrina and Idris have showcased their love on social media. Another factor contributing to the duo's likability is that Sabrina and Idris have displayed over the years that being with the right partner can elevate one's career or passion in life.
Sabrina and Idris have collaborated professionally in several businesses, including their Coupledom podcast and skincare brand S'Able Labs. In a June interview on Jemele Hill's Unbothered podcast, the 34-year-old opened up about the events leading up to when she met Idris and how she initially didn't know who he was.
Sabrina Dhowre Elba on Meeting Idris Elba
Sabrina, who was living in Vancouver at the time, said that the same night Idris was in town, she went out to a jazz bar for an event called Slow Jam Sunday for a friend’s birthday.
Around that time, the model was getting over a breakup and claimed she wasn't interested in a relationship because of how badly her previous one ended. In a past interview, Idris revealed that he, too, just went through a breakup before meeting Sabrina.
"This is so funny. I [had] just gotten out of a really bad relationship, so I was not this person. I was like 'men are trash. They suck.' I'm literally ready to switch it on up or something because I was so over it," she said. "I come to this party with a night off at work that I prebooked because I was working literally every weekend. But it was my girlfriend's birthday party, so I was there kind of by chance."
Sabrina also revealed that, coincidently, the night she took off for her friend's birthday celebration was the same night Idris had the day off and was convinced by his stunt double to attend Slow Jam Sunday.
"Slow Jam Sundays is an amazing night in Vancouver. It's the one night I would probably go to, but you wouldn't see me out often because I was a weekend worker. I was working at restaurants and service industry, your weekends are taken up," she stated.
"Idris was filming this film in Vancouver and had one night off in Vancouver because most of it was filmed sort of up north in the mountains. His stunt double convinced him to go to Slow Jam Sundays. By chance, we were both there."
Further into the interview, Sabrina disclosed that her friend was interested in Idris at first and went to flirt with him. However, the Daddy's Little Girls star dismissed the friend's advances because Sabrina had caught his eye.
When Sabrina's friend informed her about what happened, she admitted that although she tried to put up a front for her friend's sake, the S'Able Labs CEO was happy because she thought he was also attractive. Following the discussion, Sabrina and her friend went to the section where Idris was, and the couple realized how much they had in common, from the music choices to their background.
"So I go over, and we have like one of those conversations that you just feel like you've known this person for ten years because we're singing the same songs. When a song comes on that I love, he's like, 'I love this song.' I'm like, 'what?' Like I just had this like cultural connection. He's African. I'm like,' Where are you from?'" she said.
Sabrina On Not Knowing Who Idris Was After Meeting Him
As the topic shifted to Idris' celebrity status, Sabrina explained that she didn't know who he was until after it was brought to her attention by a few people she met outside of the bar.
"When I went outside, I realized because there's a group of people there, they're like, 'Oh, you're talking to Idris Elba,'" she stated.
When asked about how well-known the actor was when they met, Sabrina shared that Idris was widely famous in America but not so much in Canada and that the one film she saw him in was the 2009 thriller Obsessed.
Sabrina would add that even after being told who Idris was, she couldn't recollect where she knew him from until her friends mentioned the movie.
"Well, so the film that I had seen was Obsessed... I feel Idris Elba now he gets recognized so much. In that moment, unless you were kind of in that zeitgeist, he was definitely a lot more popular in America," she said. "I don't think I would've known it even when they said that was him. I was trying to remember, like, my friends were like, 'yeah, he's from Obsessed.' We're like, 'Oh, yeah.'"
After figuring out who Idris was, Sabrina shared that when she re-entered the venue, she doubted a relationship would form between them given his occupation, the short timeline he would be there to shoot his movie, and the constant temptation that could flock around him due to his status. But despite Sabrina's uncertainty, they would exchange numbers before she left.
"So I went back inside, we started chatting some more, and he was like, 'Let me take your number.' I was like, 'Alright,' and then I left," she stated.
The model explained the reason why she left the event was that her friend, whose birthday she was celebrating, wanted to check out other spots. When the night was coming to an end, Sabrina hailed a taxi to go home when she received a phone call from Idris. The entrepreneur revealed that the Takers star stopped her from entering the cab and urged her to get in the car he was driving, and they spent the whole night talking until 8 a.m.
"I got in his car, and we spoke till like 8 a.m. easy. It was probably like 2 [a.m.] at that time. We just had the most intense, amazing conversation," she said. "It was the first time I ever connected with someone to the point where I was like, I went home the next day called my friends, I was like, 'I think I found my soulmate.'"
Sabrina revealed that from that fateful night, she and Idris became inseparable. The couple would be long-distance for a brief stint of their union until they acknowledged how difficult it was to maintain that type of relationship. Sabrina ultimately decided to move in with Idris although she was skeptical at first, she claimed it was one of the best decisions she's made because she found her "soulmate."
Sabrina Elba's First Night with Idris Elba Sounds Like a Romance MovieModel and philanthropist Sabrina Elba joins Jemele to discuss her marriage to actor Idris Elba, and their heartwarming, love at first sight origin story.SUBS...
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Feature image by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Space NK