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The Skincare Routine That Keeps This Media Maven's Skin Hydrated AF

Kéla Walker wants you to know that the real foundation is your skincare.

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.

If you're in your 20s or early 30s, you might not be checking the beauty shelves for any anti-aging products quite yet. In fact, you're probably reading labels for products that target excess oils and breakouts. But Emmy-nominated host, style influencer and now-author Kéla Walker will tell you, it's never too late to combat the effects of aging. The glow-getter with flawless skin creates content for emerging influencers, media outlets and major brands online as well as outside on-air, so her skin is often exposed to the elements. Protecting it so that it remains glowing and dewy are her main concerns. Her biggest skincare tip? "Hydration is key," Kéla told xoNecole.

Another tip Kéla shared may be one you've heard throughout the years but might not take much heed to in the present (and if you're not, you absolutely should). It revolves around an area of the body you shouldn't neglect when it comes to your complete skincare regimen. "Make sure you rub up on your neck, not down," the Brooklyn-based producer advised, "because you want to work against gravity and wrinkles." Don't skip or skimp.

In this installment of xoNecole's About Face series, Kéla talked to us about her beauty and self-care routines and gave us a peek into the skincare regimen that keeps her skin tight, glistening and smooth.

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

My earliest beauty memory…

"My earliest beauty memory is probably from when I was a little girl and you used to have these flavored lip glosses and wanted to collect all the flavors and all the colors."

For my skincare routine in the AM…

"Right now, for the last couple of years, I've been obsessed with Dr. Barbara Sturm's Darker Skin Tones Foaming Cleanser. It's really helped my skin come a long way. Afterwards, I always pat, not wipe, my face dry with a cold wet cloth. I make sure I do all the steps back-to-back to optimize the moisture of the products and everything in my skin. Because I'm in a dry climate right now, I've been using a toner from Decorte to help rebalance the pH of my skin.

"After toning, [I use] hyaluronic serum, also by Dr. Barbara Sturm, for hydration. After I hydrate, I lock in the moisture [with] Dr. Barbara Sturm's Darker Skin Tones Face Cream. But I like to add a little glow to it so I like to add Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator.

"What you can never, ever forget is your sunscreen. I've been using Unseen Sunscreen by Supergoop. [And another product] I use, because hydration is key, is the Renewed Hope Water in a Jar, which also has hyaluronic serum in it. I pat it into my skin so that it absorbs a little bit better."

"Hydration is key."

For my skincare routine in the PM…

"When it comes to my evening routine, I don't always wash my face at night. But I use a makeup wipe to remove any excess oil or dirt my face may have accumulated throughout the day. On the occasion I do wash my face at night, which is 2-3 times per week, I'll use Dr. Barbara Sturm's Enzyme Cleanser.

"I still have a little regimen that I do. I use a Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution from Kiehl's. I also use Midnight Recovery Concentration to keep my skin even-toned and bright. And I've been using the Intensive Brightening Treatment from PCA Skin."

My go-to makeup look consists of…

"I'm a girly girl so I definitely wear makeup. I do my brows, lashes, contour – because who doesn't want to look snatched – a great lip and a highlighter. But I find in the past couple of years, I've been minimizing the amount of product that I wear. I don't wear foundation because I really want my skin to shine through but I will spot-treat any dark spots I have."

How the seasons change my skin and routine…

"It's pretty consistent throughout the year. I make sure there's a cleanser, hydration and moisturizer. I will add or subtract some things because of the climate but it really all depends on what's happening with my skin."

What self-care looks like to me…

"Self-care is about daily practice and it comes in different forms whether it's talking to my girls on the phone, having a drink or just tapping into social and mindlessly scrolling. It's doing whatever I need to do in the moment to take care of me."

"Self-care is about daily practice. It's doing whatever I need to do in the moment to take care of me."

My approach to beauty from the inside-out…

"Sometimes it's just as simple as talking to yourself to make sure that your inside looks as good as the outside. Just pouring into yourself."

How I do skincare when I travel…

"When I travel, I still try and maintain my beauty regimen because it's all about consistency. I don't want to upset the routine. A lot of my products are travel-friendly and you'll also find that a lot of beauty items are under the 3.4 oz that are allowed in carry-on luggage. But I will add the Fresh Vitamin Nectar Glow Water [mist]."

To keep up with Kéla, follow her on Instagram @kelawalker! And if you're an influencer looking to "revolutionize your social media game," you can purchase a copy of Kela's book here.

Featured image courtesy of Kéla Walker.

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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Featured image by Shutterstock

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