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. 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.
Looking back over the arc of my life I am reminded how my parents empowered me. They provided the tools, I invested my passion. Guided by our wise dermatologist on natural ingredients and holistic wellness in my pursuit of healthy skin, today I pay forward through Previse.
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 to start Previse. I remember sitting with her and discussing the concept of collaborating 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.”