I've been lucky enough to not have any real skin problems. Occasionally as a teen and young adult, I would get a terrible pimple or two. They were pretty rare, but when I got them, they weren't regular irritating pimples. These were "super pimples" that managed to stick around for days on end, extra large and we're always in the most conspicuous places. In the middle of my forehead, in the crease between my nose and cheek, on my chin...you get the idea.
Although I didn't eat really fast food everyday, I'd had my fair share of fast food between classes especially when I was in college. Back in the early 90's on Howard U's campus, my favorite food spot was a hotdog stand in front of The Wiz (...nobody beats the Wiz). I could get 2 hot dogs for $.60 and as a poor college student, I couldn't get much better than that. I was hotel management major so I worked at a hotel. On the nights I worked, I used my employee discount to get a hamburger or whatever the special was in the restaurant.
Over the next couple of years, I did figure out that soda was wrecking havoc on my skin. So when the choice came down to the "super pimples" and soda, as a young lady, on a HBCU campus and kinda into her looks, you already know which one I picked.
Skin care didn't become an issue again until years later I found my oldest daughter only 3 weeks old in her bassinet rubbing her face with her little baby mittens. You know the ones we put on them to avoid scratches? I picked her up only to find her face looked like a bright red little tomato. She wasn't crying, but I knew she was uncomfortable. Her skin was so red I panicked and called her pediatrician on his emergency line. I was probably so incoherent and inconsolable he agreed to meet me in his office on a Sunday. He diagnosed her with seborrhea. As she grew older, seborrhea was just the beginning of her skin and respiratory issues. She was later diagnosed with eczema, severe asthma and allergies all of which seemed to come together to create the perfect storm at least once a year, usually resulting in hospitalization.
I learned to be very careful with her skin which was a lot of trial and error, even acidic foods affected her skin. Orange juice, tomato sauce, it was amazing to learn how many things she could not have because the acid level affected her skin. I had to put her on a new formula that would break my bank because dairy was also a no-no. On top of that, we learned she had a peanut allergy. Mind you, I found these things out the hard way, usually after another bad reaction. It was so stressful as a new young mom, I was completed unprepared and ill equipped. Remember, all I had to do was stop drinking sodas to clear up my skin.
As she grew, so did my knowledge and experience of what would and would not work for her skin and how to take care of it. After numerous trial and error and recovery episodes, I had to really research ingredients and what about them helped or hurt her skin. Imagine my surprise when she couldn't even wear the best smelling, best selling lotion from the #1 big box store for bath and body? Of course I could, but I always felt bad because although she loved the scents, her skin was not worth the risk.
So I started thinking and when I discovered I could make my own lotion because it wasn't so complicated, the heavens opened up. After writing down the ingredients from the back of a few bottles at the store, I researched what the ingredients were for and what they did. Then I found some recipes I found online and from a book I bought, but there was always something I wasn't quite satisfied with. Either the lotion was too greasy or my skin still felt dry. For me, there's nothing worse than lotion that wears off or lotion that doesn't penetrate my skin so it's still not moisturized. After tweaking, adding and subtracting and making my family body cream Guinea pigs, I finally fell in love with what I created. The best part was my daughter could use it and her skin loved it. Better than that, she could stop being self conscious about scaly looking skin especially around her neckline and along the insides of her arms and legs. Her skin was moisturized and soft again. I was also able to find some fragrance and essential oils that were safe for her skin and she hasn't had a care in the world when it comes to her skin.
As a result, I literally haven't purchased lotion in years for myself or my family after being amazing by how different my skin looks and feels when it's fed natural and organic ingredients.
I'd love to know, what's more important to you when it comes to skin food, smell or ingredients?