Sonnie's Essentials - As gentle as a mother's touchMonday, March 01, 2021
TWENTY-EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Sonya Palmer knows first-hand that the changes a woman's body goes through during pregnancy will not always be typical or predictable. Although she was expecting her newborn to have sensitive skin when he arrived, she was quite surprised to realise early into the pregnancy that her own skin started changing.
“My skin was super sensitive and kept getting rashes,” the new mother told All Woman. “My midwife advised me to look more into the ingredients in my skincare products, and that was probably the scariest thing I've ever done.”
Palmer started investigating all the things that she used on her skin and scalp — soaps, body washes, shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers — and was horrified at what her research revealed were some of the ingredients contained in a number of these products.
“I was shocked that most had chemicals such as formaldehyde and diethanolamine, which are both carcinogenic,” she related. “I needed an alternative… something healthy, safe and affordable, because I'm frugal as hell.”
While she tried various natural cosmetics on herself, Palmer also decided to put her nesting instincts to good use by learning how to make her own vegan, cruelty-free, handmade products.
“I was tired of my skin looking horrible, and I needed something to use on my newborn once he was here,” she said desperately.
After months of playing around with DIY recipes on herself, friends and family, Sonnie's Essentials was launched in Palmer's third trimester.
“Sonnie's Essentials offers a wide range of products that are safe for everyone, from babies to adults, at an affordable price… handmade soaps, body butters, rose water, hair oils, and facial serums,” she said proudly almost a year after birthing both business and a baby boy.
“I grew up with my Jamaican grandmother and mother, who were both nurses and had a cure for literally every household ailment you could think of,” the Jamaican-born woman who resides in Tampa, Florida explained. “They showed me that many of the things we treat as common bush are powerful herbs, and they had a use for just about every plant in the yard.”
When Palmer, who also works full-time as an auto claims adjuster, launched sonniesessential.com, she was not motivated by the money. She was just happy to have found solutions to her own skin problems and wanted to share them with other women, especially women of colour who may have a hard time finding products best suited for their skin.
“I just wanted something that I could use on both myself and my munchkin without having to fear a bad reaction,” she said. “All my products are 100 per cent organic, and I'm happy to be able to share them with others.”
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