For as long as I can remember I’ve battled my skin.
I was the kid who easily sunburned. I had eczema patches and unsightly warts. In my early teens I developed mild acne, which got progressively worse. Neither of my parents suffered from skin problems, nor did my younger siblings. I remember my parents researching, and struggling, to find solutions that might help me.
I was around eleven when I started seeing our dermatologist regularly. Dr. Bell wrote prescription after prescription, but he also treated me holistically. He had me use a gentle, unscented acne wash. I learned to make compresses out of chamomile and aloe for my face. I was told to avoid wheat, dairy, red meat, and citrus.
Basically store bought products were off limit. So at twelve I became the family vegetarian, making homemade peanut butter, oat bread, natural scrubs and salves.
By eighteen things were under control. Yet I was still dependent on prescriptions and my homemade food and skincare. Once I started college, and later a full-time job, it was almost impossible to keep up. When I was too busy to manage my complex self-care care rituals my skin flared up and reminded me of those days I did not want to leave the house, and when my face hurt so badly I couldn’t sleep.
Life isn’t what we plan, it’s what we make of it. It was my grandmother who ultimately convinced me to take a leap of faith and start Previse. I remember sitting with her and talking about my idea to work with others to create skin care products unlike everything else. My Gran was not convinced. Raised during the Great Depression, she was very conservative. She counted every penny. We chatted about the physical and psychological pain I had as a kid, and about how there are too many chemicals in the products we eat and use. After some time she paused and said,
“If I’d known then what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing.” She was referring to her youth. She was ninety-six at the time. She then took my hand and said, “We have one life. Don’t live with regret.”
Success by her measure was living life to the fullest, and doing something that gave your life meaning. She passed away six months later, knowing I was on my way to Previse and she the catalyst.
Gran, I have no regrets.