Protect Your Melanin

Hi there! I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for checking out my blog. You could be doing anything, anywhere but here you are with me and this brings me so much joy. Also, I have some affiliate links listed in this blog. If you so happen to want to try these items out and you purchase it from this blog you will be supporting me so that I can keep doing what I love.

Spring is here, which means summer is right around the corner. The sun is out and shining bright and after a long and cold winter, I know I’m ready to step out and enjoy that sunshine while ensuring that my body gets to produce vitamin D naturally. However, being outside doesn’t come cheap. I do what I have to do to protect my melanin.

What is Melanin?

Melanin is the pigment on your skin, hair and eyes. Melanin is made by melanocytes. In this blog, I’ll be talking about the melanin in your skin. Most of us see melanin simply as the colour of our skin, our complexion. Some produce more melanin than others which is why their skin colour will look darker than others.

Unfortunately, the production of melanin has been used often to justify unjust and unfair practices. For a long time it was believed that skin with lots of melanin production didn’t need sun protection. But clearly that is not true. It’s true that less cases of skin cancer are found on folks with more melanin it doesn’t make us invincible to UVA & UVB rays.

Perfect Protection

When we talk about skin protection the number one thing that will always come up is SPF. SPF has not always been so mainstream due to its lack of workability. It would often leave a white cast. It was hard to rub into the skin and if your had acne prone skin, then sunscreen would add to those breakouts.

Back in the day, finding a sunscreen that would actually do its job without compromising the way you looked was not happening. I have first hand experience.

However, now there are options commercially available. They also range in price from drug store to high end luxury price points. You can have a lotion or spray. There’s also options between physical and chemical. It’s all based on your skin needs and wants.

Is SPF The Only Way?

Short answer, no.

When we’re talking about skin protection there are many other factors to consider. The sun’s rays is one of them, but it’s not the only thing we need to protect it. Since our skin is the first line of defence against all potential toxin, then we must do our part to keep it in optimal working order.

One way of protecting our skin is to set up a good morning and nighttime routine. It doesn’t need to be extensive or complicated but it does need to get the job. Removing dirt, grimes, pollutants off of our skin consistently prevents the spread of bacteria into our bodies. So yes, being a good hygiene is important. It is also essential to provide our skin the necklace moisturizing and conditioning agents to maintain and/or repair the skin barrier.

If you’re on TikTok, I’m sure you’ve been tempted to shop for Chlorophyll. In all honesty, before TikTok, the only thing I knew was that it was useful for plants for them to undergo photosynthesis. For those of you who don’t remember high school biology, it’s the process for plants to get their energy.

Turns out eating your green leafy vegetables and drinking water will do wonders for your skin as well. At the end of the day no matter how impeccable your skin care routine is, nothing will replace what you eat and drink.

Skin Care Regimen

In order to secure the integrity of skin barrier, a good skin care regimen is essential. An effective morning and nighttime can do wonders for your skin. Overall, a good skin care routine will improve the appearance of your skin as well as minimize effects of damage that our skin is usually susceptible to.

Here are some of my favourite routine.

Vichy Skin Care Routine

Nighttime Routine

I hope you liked this post and that it was helpful. If so, leave a comment and check out another blog post.

Spring Clean Your Circle

Hi there. Thank you so much for checking out my blog. Today, I will be doing things a little differently.

I believe that part of living my life has always included my faith in God. As a Christian woman who grew up in a Christian home, I have always been told to forgive and forget. I saw many loved ones get hurt over and over again following this advice. Some of them have been abused and traumatized and had it not been for the grace of God, I believe that I would be continuing the cycle of abuse. I am not a professional and I do believe in therapy. I believe that there are some things that prayer alone can’t fix. Especially when dealing when traumas that continuously interfere with your ability to enjoy YOUR life. I capitalized your because sometimes it’s easy for us to become so influenced by other people’s counsel (even though they mean well) that we lose our identity in other people’s validation. I urge you to seek professional counselling if you’re ready to change but find yourself unable to.

The other day, I was sitting in the living room by myself, (time alone is a gift from God, Himself!) watching the Baby-Sitters’ Club television series on Netflix. I used to read the books as a child and so watching this show brought back all the nostalgic feelings of my childhood. As I watching, I noticed that one of the characters, Kristy, was so annoying. When I was younger, I felt connected to her the most. We were exactly alike with similar familial circumstances. I could relate to her. But looking at her now, as an adult I realized something. She wasn’t assertive, she was mean. She needed to be in control all the time, regardless of who she hurt. She meant well, but her desire to control everything just left a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t until her character started freaking out about her absentee father that all the pieces fell together.

I was Kristy. I wasn’t a nice person and had a desire to control everything so I could control the outcome. That way I could avoid being hurt. I carried that way of living well into my adult years. I had developed a coping mechanism to avoid being hurt over and over again.

Once I got married to my husband and had my daughter, something clicked. Call it an epiphany, call it a revelation but something happened. I needed to change because I was not the same girl anymore. I didn’t want to be the same girl anymore. I was a mother who had to teach my daughter how to live a beautiful and fruitful life. But how do I that? I didn’t want her being like me. I wanted to be assertive, decisive and kind so she could take over the world without being selfish or mean. That’s when I had a conversation with myself, which is quite easy to do when you don’t have many friends to begin with. This mostly took place in the spring. That’s when I began spring cleaning my circle.

I started by loving me. I began to identify all the ways that I could love myself and affirm who I was as a human being. It’s important for my children to be loved by a parent who is full of love. I don’t need the validation of others to be amazing at being me. I need my daughters to feel the same way. I’m not perfect but I love myself the way I am.

Then I started showing up as the woman that I wanted my daughters to look up to. Like I said, I know I’m not perfect but that doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of improvement. Accidents happen and that’s ok.

I would say the key to my revolutionary spring cleaning was learning to set boundaries. There are comments that I hear from loved ones that I just let slide because, in all honesty, I don’t feel like censoring the elderly all the time. However, there are comments that I will censor. I will not tolerate comments that disrespect me or my family. I have the right to refuse and to remove negative and toxic speech from being spoken in my presence and the presence of my children. Words are very powerful and have a way to carry over well after the moment has passed. For years, I carried words spoken to me in my heart. These words were hurtful and manifested themselves into my life in a negative way. I will not be the access for this kind of behaviour for my girls. My hope is that they are led by example and they too, will set boundaries and develop a strong voice to advocate for themselves when I can’t.

Another part to setting boundaries, for me, was cutting off toxic family members. Some family members just happen to drift off and lose contact and that happens. Life happens and we all have our own families to care for. However, those that have continuously caused hurt to me personally without a change in behaviour, I no longer entertain. It is important to me that I stay healed. Forgiveness is hard enough the first time, but after a while it becomes debilitatingly oppressive. After living like that for years, I believe that the next course of action is to be free and to stay free. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s really hard. A lot of people don’t understand why I have chosen to go this route. But for the first time in my life, I’m advocating for myself. My voice is being heard. I don’t have to resort to controlling everything and, honestly, it feels good.

Whoever you are, if you find yourself just stuck and constantly feeling hurt, believe me it will get better. You have a voice and it matters. Speak up and get help. You may find yourself alone but it’s better to be alone and free.

Continue reading

Pandemic Parenting…a year later

What does parenting during a pandemic look like? To be honest it’s different for every single parent. Some have found their strides and are managing it quite well. For the rest of us that is not the case. I speak from a personal point of view, so it’s assume that I don’t speak for the majority of moms.

This time last year, I was on maternity leave for my second born. So my paycheck was guaranteed for the next few months. Mind you it wasn’t much but it gave me enough time to build my social media brand and to really come to terms with what I wanted to do. Did I want to be a full time stay at home mom? Did I really want to be a social media content creator? Could I thrive at both? But most importantly would I be good at it?

My husband I knew that if we both worked full time, the money we made would go towards everything except the life we wanted for our family, so staying home wasn’t that much of an issue. What worried me was whether or not I’d become a burden to my husband. Most mothers give up their careers to care for their children, not because we’re not independent, intelligent individuals but ultimately because it’s what’s best for our families. I knew that if we could do this together our family would thrive but most importantly our children would have the advantage of having one of us available without either of us worrying about out babies.

My husband was able to retain his job during the pandemic and all the uncertainties it brought with it. He worked and I stayed home. At first it wasn’t so bad. I had a schedule for me and the girls. Of course I was exhausted. All the places that we’d normally bring our girls to exert their energies were closed except for the park. So we got creative. We go on car rides and do car activities. My husband is very good at finding outdoor activities, like going to the zoo, outdoor picnics and going to the beach all while maintaining a safe distance.

Home life wasn’t so bad at first either. I started teaching my three year old to read and write as a way to prepare us for a possible homeschool life. We started baking banana bread like every family. We made a digital tv cooking show and even shot a Wal-Mart commercial. Things were going to be ok, after this wasn’t going to last long and soon life would be back to normal. Or so I thought…

It seems like month after month, the news got grimmer and grimmer. More and more my social media feed was filled with conspiracy theories, hate crimes and just another death inspired by racism. I was triggered by how normal it became to see another name becoming a hashtag. Trauma became part of the new normal and I hated it. I had seen enough trauma growing up and I don’t know why it seemed to be a continuous sight for me to see. But worse, is now I’m a mother and how am I supposed to raise well adjust Black girls in a world that is constantly telling they are not for us and our well-being?

A year later, I’m at home writing this post. I am four pregnant. I hate the cold so naturally I hibernate within my house like I do every winter. I still am teaching my girl to read, write and do arithmetic. She continues to impress me. I wish I could take them to an indoor trampoline park so my second born to jump around with her sister. I wish we could go to the McDonald’s Playplace where my girls would make a temporary friend while my husband and I would enjoy our cheap dates but alas now our time together looks different.

It usually takes place after the babies have gone to bed. We order something off of UberEats and catch up on the adult television shows on Netflix. During the day, I try to keep the schedule the same, keeping in mind that I need to schedule some time for myself, which I’ve been neglecting more and more lately. Some days I get my list done and I feel confident, other days I just want to crawl in bed and be taken cared of.

It’s not always pretty but we’re getting by one day at a time. Hanging on to the knowledge that this too shall pass.

Double Cleanse Routine

Hi there! Happy New Year! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

I’ve been loving the Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm. Check out how I use it as part of my double cleansing routines

Eczema skin relief toddler edition

Hi there! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

When my eldest daughter turned 1 year old, I started to notice a rash developing in the back of her knees going upwards toward in backside. So I did what any mother would do and turned to Google. Of course, after many blood pressure raising self diagnosis, I knew the right thing to do was to see what the doctor had to say. She reassured me that it was eczema and it was common and nothing to worry to about. Which is easier said then done when you’re watching your baby scratch herself to the point of bleeding.

Sometimes a headband is all you need. If your little is really against getting her hair done, a nice accent will do the trick. Here Mercy is wearing a white stretchy netted wide headband with a white blooming flower to the side.

Her symptoms were pretty standard. Her skin gets dry every winter and I mean really dry to the point that her skin gets really rough. She starts scratching like crazy and the rash appears. We got a prescribed ointment for the rash but unfortunately it doesn’t take away from the dry skin and itch.

After many attempts at find a treatment that works, I finally turned to Instagram to get some help from the mom community and they did not fail me. Some of the ideas shared with me I had already tried, some I did not and the ones that worked for my girl I still do now.

My main concern was getting her skin to behave like her skin should. For those of you who don’t know eczema is also know as atopic dermatitis. It is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It is thought to be due to a “leaky” skin barrier, where the skin is not holding in the moisture as it should causing it to be dry in the process. It’s also thought to be a immune system response to an allergy. Of course, you should seek a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

The most common response I received was the Aveeno Eczema Care Itch Relief Balm. I purchased the Aveeno cream from Amazon because it was the most convenient way to get it. I’d rather have it shipped to my house than to dress the whole family to go outside in the dead of winter. The balm is quite thick but applies nicely. It doesn’t linger on the body as much either. I find that it’s best for us to use it at night right she’s had her bath. It’s fragrance free, so that’s a bonus.

I also received SKN Moisture Retention Healing Face + Body Bar which I use on her body nightly during bathtime. This company is Black owned which is why I’m so hype about them. They are based in the United States but they do ship to Canada. I was overcome with their generosity and couldn’t wait to try their bar. The bar foams really easily and smells amazing. It’s the perfect way to calm my daughter. According to the site “This bar helps to treat eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and dry skin. It is infused with 5% Colloidal Oatmeal which is also an all-natural skin-soothing solution for bug bites, sunburns, poison ivy, and other itch and inflamed skin conditions. This bar is also infused with Eucalyptus oil that is great for wounds and skin infections; thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects” and I cosign this. I highly recommend anyone needing an alternative to commercial based soaps to check them out.

The results were night and day. Her skin felt like skin again and you would never know she had been scratching herself if it wasn’t for the scars. I was so impressed by both products. Her skin was once again soft. She doesn’t scratch anymore and my girl is no longer bothered by itchy skin. I’m a happy mom!

Have you dealt with eczema? What have you used?

HI My Name is Sandy

Hi there! Happy New Year! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

Lately, there’s been a few faces coming to my blog and I am so happy you are here. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance. Whether you’re here for my life hacks, my skin care, hair care and/or thoughts on life I’m grateful that you’ve made the decision to keep visiting my blog.

A bit about me…

My name is Sandy Esprit. I am a stay at home mom and full time social media content creator. I have mothered two girls and am married. I love what I do and am very grateful that I get to live this life. Of course I’m giving you the short form version of my life because well I always wanted to hide my past. However I want my life to inspire others and that can’t happen unless I open up that Pandora’s Box.

Into My Past We Go…

I grew up in a single parent home, where my mother was the sole bread winner. I understood the value of hard work and the value of a dollar. Growing up we didn’t have a lot growing up, but we always had food to eat and a roof over our head. It wasn’t always easy. In fact, my mother worked hard every day but at times it seemed like that hard meant nothing.

We never stayed in one place too long. I went through 13 different schools because we kept moving so much. I don’t have any childhood friends other than my little sister. Honestly, she’s my best friend by default. We were each other’s rock. I feared relationships growing up. I didn’t trust people. It was hard to open up and when I did I overshared.

I’ve been homeless at least three times. I’ve lived in a country illegally for a few years. I know what it’s like to suffer in silence. I had my first panic attack at the age of 13 and had to navigate it alone. There were times when I felt like I was put in situations where I was used as a means to bridge familial disputes. As a child, that’s not a situation that made me feel loved or appreciated.

But we got through it by God’s grace.

Here we are…

Eventually, my life levelled out. I went to school and graduated. I attended the University of Ottawa where I majored in Biochemistry and took a minor in music. I wanted to study music but I wasn’t allowed so I went with my second love, science. It took me six years but I did it.

I always wanted to help people and make them feel valued, like they could do anything. I hated that feeling of insecurity and instability. That became even more prevalent when I was pregnant with my first born. I loathed it and wanted to protect my daughter from ever feeling this way, which is why I started blogging.

I didn’t see anyone who looked like me articulating my likes just as much as my insecurities. Everyone looked so put together and well curated. Meanwhile I was hot mess. So, I became vulnerable and posted about my fears. It wasn’t always well received but I felt better owning my story.

People were relating to me. I was inspiring people get through their day-to-day and I wanted my daughter to see me as a woman instead of just mommy. Because one day they’ll be my age and they may face the same struggles I face today as a woman. They need to know that they’re not alone. Most importantly, they’ll be ok.

Post Holiday Struggle

Hi there! Happy New Year! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. After completing the #nablopomo challenge I tried to enter the #vlogmas challenge over on my youtube channel and I was completely burnt out. Turns out it’s easier for me to blog then it is for me to vlog. Or maybe I just wasn’t prepared. I knew however that I wanted to jump on here and get back to some sense of normalcy in my safe space. But it hasn’t been easy.

In fact, this holiday was just really tiring for me. There was so much I was trying to accomplish by the end of the year all the while still wanting to be present. At one point I just had to shut everything down. I knew the end result would be catastrophic. Now I’m just struggling to get into the momentum of work, despite being in yet another lockdown. It can be really frustrating trying to salvation a bit of excitement for the upcoming year when all I see isn’t too uplifting. I figured now would be the best time to start implementing the lessons I’ve learned in 2020.

  1. Never stop investing in yourself; Honestly the best money spent has been on myself and I’m not talking about splurging on the latest trending items, I mean really making an investment in yourself. There’s something about putting your faith (or money) on your dreams and your passions. You almost never lose out on that investment. There’s always a reward in the end.
  2. Kindness is KING! Being kind is free and really easy to put into practice. It doesn’t mean that you let people walk all over you it just means that you are intentionally and proactively seeking to change the world positively. Your presence is influential in the way this society will end up for our future. Let’s do our part and be kind. Also kindness will get you into places that talent and work ethic never could.
  3. Boundaries are meant to be enforced- This year really taught me to enforce boundaries with people. Growing up I was often placed in a position where I was easily overlooked, gaslit and ignored. As a mother, to two young girls you better believe that this is not something I intend to pass on to my girls. Not everyone I know is meant to travel with me. Not everyone I have met is going to be helpful on my journey, and if they cause me more harm than good, then it’s time for us part ways. It doesn’t need to be hostile but it does need to be enforced
  4. I don’t know everything- I’m no expert. No matter how big I get I will always need to learn something new. Every step I take will require me to level up in my learning. One of the best apps I have been leaning on is Clubhouse to just learn.
  5. Be Yourself- This is cliche but it needs to be said. Your greatest superpower is the ability to be YOU. Not one person can do what you do and tell your story the way you do. Use that to your advantage.

I really hope this year brings you everything you desire. I think this year will be the reset that we need this year!

What have you learned in 2020 that you will be implementing this year?

I Don’t Know What I’m Doing, And That’s Ok

Hi there! I want to start off by saying thank you so very much for joining me here. I know that you could be doing anything and you are here. I appreciate that a lot. Just to let you know that this post may contain affiliates links. If you want to support me as a content creator, by all means purchase through the links provided in the post. You will never pay more, but you may save some money. At the same time, I will get a small commission. It’s a win-win for us both.

Here is my moment of truth, I don’t know what I’m doing. In social media or in real life, I’m just winging it day by day. I have an idea of what I want to do and how I want to spend my days. I know that I have a set number of chores that I want to get done so that my family can live in a home that is free of harm and toxicity. I know that I want to grow and thrive as a mother, wife, content creator, etc. I know that I want to impact everyone around me positively but I don’t have a road map to get me to point B. I believe that’s all part of being an adult.

As I’m writing, I am currently experiencing some light form of anxiety. My chest feels heavy and my heartbeat has increased. I have just put the baby to bed and I am afraid that the baby will wake up before I’ve had a chance to even finish this post. I don’t know if she will sleep through the night. Maybe she’ll wake up every two hours like she did last week.

Right as this thought runs through my head, I worry about the business deal that I’m going to have to present. I worry that I won’t be able to articulate to my investors why they should buy into this vision. Maybe they won’t be able to understand how it benefits them as much as it does me. I won’t let fear stop me but I do worry about being rejected.

I worry that despite all the research that I’ve done to unlearn the toxic traits from my childhood, my weaknesses may prevent me from being the wife my husband deserve and the mother my children need. I’ve been blessed with a beautiful and I’ve read and researched the best way to parent so that my kids won’t feel neglected and/or unloved. I’ve tried to implement the tools given to me but I still fail and come short more often than I would like.

As a content creator I worry that I am not effective. I worry that I’m not engaging and/or relatable. I wonder if I’m able to provide a service to my peers and communicate words of encouragement, wisdom and affirmations that ignite a desire for us all to succeed. I wonder if I’m doing this “influencer” thing right. I have the following but I can’t seem to do it like the others..

At the root of it all, I know I worry because I compare myself to others. I’m afraid of not being as “cool” as the others. I know I don’t have all the answers. I know my shortcomings and no matter how many “likes” I get, I secretly feel as though I will be seen what I lack instead of what I have. Maybe that’s imposter syndrome I don’t know.

The truth is I don’t know what I’m doing. But does anybody really know how to operate life? Isn’t that the point of living? To figure it out along the way and to enjoy every moment. What if there isn’t anything to figure out? What if we’re just here to do the best we can, the way we can?

I don’t know the answers to these questions…and that’s ok.