Skin, Deep: Taking Pride in My Skin Has Been the Most Beautiful Learning Experience

Skin, Deep is a series that explores the ways in which our heritage, culture, upbringing, and life experiences impact the relationship we have with our skin.

My name is Gabriella Seviya and I'm half Israeli, half Dominican. I was born in Israel, grew up in central Florida, and currently live in Oakland, California.

My mother always took pride in her taking care of herself and her skin, and instilled that in me at a very young age. She taught me to love my skin without makeup and to take care of it rather than cover it. She taught me to always wash my face, every single night, no matter what and to let it breathe from products every so often.

How I Felt About My Skincare Growing Up

Growing up in a primarily white area, I wished my skin was a bit lighter and did things like stayed out of the sun, not to tan too much. Luckily, I never dealt with horrible acne until I was about a senior in high school. I knew it was bad to pop pimples but I couldn't stop myself! I would always prematurely pop pimples and pick at my face.

You could say I basically took my skin for granted. I was stupid—my skin color is beautiful, all skin colors are beautiful. The more I grow into the woman I am, the more I care about my skin and make it a priority. I never, ever go to bed without washing my face (thank you, Mom!) and I am always on the hunt for good products.


In terms of skincare companies, feel like they do the best they can. There are more and more companies coming up that have more of the customer in mind, as well as the environment, which is so important nowadays. Nothing's worse than a brand that cares more about money and a certain look than their actual products. Realizing everyone has such different skin is critical to be successful, because not everyone falls into the three or four buckets brands are used to catering to.

My Routine

I live by my morning and night routine. Every night I wash my face with my cleansing oil and then put on some oil or serum. For the morning, I always put on facial sunscreen! It became a routine when I started realizing what worked for my skin, and kept doing it.

I'm obsessed with acne products by Mario Badescu, Juice Beauty's Facial Mist, Cocokind's Turmeric Moisture Stick, and Radha Beauty Rosehip Oil right now.


The thing I love the most about my skin is how easy it can be when I treat it right. It's all about balance and my skin and I have learned how to work with each other.

We only have one body and it's important to love it and take care of it! Taking pride in my skin and body has been the most beautiful learning experience, and has helped me become the woman I am today.

As told to ILLUUM.
For more from Gabriella, follow her
on Instagram.

Images via Instagram.