SKIN

Those who know me well, know that I am a skin care junkie. I mean from hoarding products to endlessly spending money on anything skin. My love and passion for skin care and grooming has grown tremendously over the years and at this point I think I am qualified enough to give my two sense.

A disclaimer before I go any further; I am not medically trained or qualified to give medical advice on any product that I mention during this post. Also be aware that whatever products have worked for me may not necessarily work for you. Be sure to do your research, consult your dermatologist or esthetician for more information or clarity. You will also notice that whatever information I share with you will be biased to folks with an oily skin type. This only because my skin is oily as well. All in all, I am just a skin care guru talking from experience and my continuous journey in battling acne and fighting my way for even skin tone, blemish free, and clear moisturized skin.

I once read that Good Skin is no miracle. Either you been blessed with good genes and your just flawless or like the rest of us you work and take care of your skin the best way you know how. Like many of us, I started focusing on my skin care during my early teens because I had the worst case of acne. Out of desperation, I tried every product on the market. All ranging from drug store brands like Neutrogena to high end like proactive and Michael Todds. It’s funny because today these products are available in most drug stores whereas back in my day, they were only offered online. I even tried the DIY skin care hacks and some natural skin care brands but those didn’t do much for me either. It was only up until I decided to see a dermatologist and that is when I began seeing improvements on my acne prone skin.

The notion and stereotype that skin care is only considered to be a woman’s “thing” and the idea of what ‘perfect’ skin looks like, which is constantly influenced by what we see in the media and from brands (pore less, super clear…etc) had caused me to shy away and hide my enthusiasm about skin care. Hence why this post took me forever to publish. Truth is, there is no such thing as perfect skin. Real Skin is textured no matter how healthy it is. At this point if you are one of the few that still hold on to such outdated views, I suggest you keep it pushing because this post is certainly not for you. But for those who are looking for tips on how to better your skin care, get some basic knowledge on some of my favorite products or just looking for a good read, you are right at home.

Finding the right dermatologist is a story for another day. But seeing a dermatologist, I was able to not only know my skin but learn how to take care of it and have the basic knowledge on what to look for when buying a product. The rest of my research I have gained for skin care has come from YouTube University. Shout Out to all the skin care Gurus and influencers on YouTube and social media.

Having an oily, acne prone skin I tend to look for products that are gel based and contain salicylic acid especially when it comes to cleansing. Anyone who has oily skin knows that this type of skin can be a little high maintenance. Apart from constant build up from oils and dead cells, we require endless supplies of products on hand at all times to get grease under control on the go. But with the right products, one can reduce the excess oil which minimizes your shine and reduces the size of your pores.

Some of my favorite cleansers are from Urban Skin RX. Whatever skin type you may have, this brand not only caters to folks with melanin, but all their products include ingredients to correct and prevent uneven skin tone which tends to be the most common concern for people of color. This is one of the few brands that I literally invest in their whole line. Cleansers, serums, masks and moisturizers.

To my fellow brothers, don’t be shy if you want to step up your skin care regimen. We as men also do get insecure about our skin. I can’t tell you how many men I know use their wives, girlfriends or sisters skin care stuff on the down low. Allow me to introduce you to Ceylon Skin Care Set. It is scientifically formulated to create accessible, easy-to-use products to help men of color achieve the best possible skin through its 3-step process (cleanse, tone moisturize). This is the only skin care brand that I have come across that’s created by a black man for the black man. A brand that’s clean, cruelty free and paraben free. I personally use Ceylon products when I travel because of their easy travel sized packaging.

When it comes to toning, this isn’t a must in one’s skin care regiment, but I use this is an extra cleansing step after washing my face. I tend to go for toners that exfoliate and brightens with the use of Glycolic acid, AHA & BHA. Some of my favorite toners are Glycolic acid from the ordinary which I only use at night because of its high concentrate, The Versed Toners which I just started using recently and I am loving it so far. Last but not least, my regulars which are mild but very effective. Witch hazel and Rose water.

For moisturizers, I go for the ones that already contain Sunscreen otherwise known as SPF. This saves me time by not adding another step to apply sunscreen. Also, they must be oil free because the goal is never to look like a grease ball especially since I already have oily skin. I don’t care what anybody says but sunscreen is very important regardless of race or skin type. Since I use a lot of AHA’s & BHA’s formulated products, my skin is more prone to the sun’s UV rays that can cause skin cancer hence why it is very important to use SPF. Having darker skin, it’s been quite a struggle to find the right SPF. Y’all know what I am talking about. The white cast thats leaves you looking ghost like when using sunscreen that’s not formulated for us. Some even take it as far as calling it a dead corpse walking. So, here are some of my favorite SPF’s that I use and swear by. Supergoop, Cerave and our very own, Black Girl sunscreen

As much as I have educated myself on all these skin care products and routines, what I consume or ingest has also proven to playing a huge factor on the outcome of my skin. Being the foodie that I am, I do not discriminate but appreciate all kinds of foods. The downfall to some of these foods that I love are considered unhealthy and tend to affect my skin in a negative way. Long story short, I try as much as possible to avoid dairy and greasy foods.Consuming a lot of veggies, fruits and water has played a role in my journey to good skin care.

The world of skin care is always evolving. New products are being introduced to the market every other day. Everybody skin is different but having that foundation to taking care of your own skin is very important. I can’t stress enough on the use of sunscreen and the importance of seeing dermatologist or esthetician to better understand and take care of your skin. Believe it or not, your skin is always talking to you and its advised to listen when it does. This was only a snippet of a conversation that needed to be had. Trust me, this is a topic as whole that I can go on and on about but for the sake of time I think it’s a safe place to stop. I hope you’ve gotten a chance to walk away with something from this post.

Until then, see you Next time.

My travel bug addiction is growing fast and does not seem to stop anytime soon. Every time I come back from a trip, I am already planning for the next one. Like I have always said, this is my therapy and my muse. We all have that one thing that we like to splurge on. For some, it could be cars, clothes, shoes and so on and so forth but for me, its my travel.

Many of you have inquired and asked how I am able to travel so much. Its not like I have a fancy job or as some of you would imply that I never work. The answer is pretty simple, this is where all my money goes to. If I am not paying a bill, I am putting it towards a trip. Planning accordingly has also made it way affordable where I am getting my full money’s worth and the best prices . Hence why y’all be thinking I live the lavish lifestyle. Again, don’t be fooled by social media remember, its just a highlight reel.

In my recent travels to Europe and Africa, I have learned to squeeze in a few trips within my lay overs. Sometimes its not by choice because believe it or not, I actually hate flying. I like to just get to my destination and that’s why I try book direct flights and red eye flights. Maybe once I start traveling first class, that might change. As of now, I will stick to always look for the cheapest flight tickets which most of them tend to have connecting flights that have layovers. Through this, I have been able to experience and enjoy other trips within a trip.

Also if a destination is either expensive or doesn’t really have much to offer, I have learnt to make the most out of it by fitting it in within my layover. For example, on my way to Kenya I had a 24 hour layover in Doha, Qatar.

Doha is one of the wealthiest cities in not only the Middle East but the world. According to an article by news.com in 2017, it was reported that the small nation of Qatar had officially become the richest country on earth. This was my first time in Doha and I really wanted to see the gem of this country. For those who like to shop, the renowned Venetian-themed Villagio mall allows visitors to sail through an indoor canal, before enjoying the indoor Olympic-sized skating rink. Not forgetting that Doha has man made islands which I got to walk on its beautiful boardwalk and stop for a coffee in one of the many cafes that line it.

The architecture in this modern city makes it perfect for photography and gives exhaling views. Although I didn’t do much, it was worth every minute spent in this beautiful country. Home to one of the world’s best airlines which also happens to be one of my favorite airline, I am definitely hoping for a round 2 to visit Doha in the near future.

During my Euro tour, my travel buddy and I had a layover in Munich, Germany for about 15hrs. Munich is known for its cluster of churches and museums. We were actually looking forward to Munich because my friend Michelle lives in Germany and we were planning to link up. Unfortunately, it was not the case due to her school schedule but she was a doll enough and pointed us to all the places worth checking out. From the research and friends who had visited, we got the vibe that there wasn’t really much to do. Munich is very rural and you could notice this as soon as you leave the airport. The weather was very cold which added to the gloominess of the environment. We took the train and went straight to Marienplatz where its always filled with locals and tourists who are out shopping or sightseeing. It is also a good spot to people watch or just watch the city go by in its true authenticity.

Due to the holidays, we were right on time when the holiday market was in full swing. Munich was quite an experience that I am not quite sure I will ever go back. Not sure if its the German culture but I found folks to be pretty rude and aggressive. I guess next time I hit up Germany, I will make sure I go to the city where there is a bit of diversity.

All in all, I’ve gotten to visit two counties within a period of a layover. To me that was worth a bucket list and a step closer to my goal. If your a global trotter, you will notice that this is the easiest way to visit places especially on a budget.

The thought of traveling to Tanzania is still a laughable joke. It was so spontaneous, I am very surprised with the turn that it took (Of course in a good way).

Initially, the plan was to visit Kigali in Rwanda. I mean we started planning this trip all the way in October of last year (2018). Ever since we had a lay over in Rwanda back in 2016 en-route to Dubai, we instantly fell in love and knew that this was a city that had to be added to the bucket list. Continue reading “Dare-salaam, TZ. 🇹🇿🌍”

You cannot visit London and not make your way to Paris. It doesn’t work like that and is completely un-natural. Paris is literally 2hrs away by train and even shorter by flight. During my Euro tour, these two cities were a must and literally the two main destinations.

I’ve always thought of visiting Paris in the winter time. Pictures and aesthetics wise, it just made sense in my head. Also the foodie that I am, I was eager and very excited to visit the cuisine capital. Paris is the capital of France. Just like London, it is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion,  and culture. Known for its major landmark like the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Continue reading “PARIS 🇫🇷”