By Judy Piersall 

Healthy-Living-Better-Product-SmellsI came of age in the days when sunbathing was the norm. We would go to the roof of our three-story sorority house, getting as close to the sun as we could, and lay on silver reflective blankets. If we didn’t have baby oil, Crisco would do. Could we have been more stupid? At age 26, my skin rebelled and I sought my first dermatologist.

I learned two invaluable things from him. First, he prescribed something so simple – Vaseline and water. For over 30 years that has been my moisturizer day and night. I can almost hear the collective gasp from medical and beauty professionals but: 1) apply the Vaseline while your face is wet and 2) if you can see it, you’ve used too much. Exfoliating, extracting facials every six weeks also work wonders.

The second thing the doctor told me all those years ago is, “The better a product smells, the crappier it is.” And was he ever right. Fast forward 30 years to the billion-dollar organic/natural products industry. How can you gauge their efficacy?

Labeling laws regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandate that a product’s main ingredient is listed first, and the rest of the ingredients grouped in descending order. Start by looking at the cosmetic products in your home. What is the first ingredient listed? Whatever it is, there’s more of that in the product than anything else. Likewise, the last ingredient listed means there’s the least amount of that in the product. Oftentimes you’ll find water (agua) or something you can’t pronounce as the primary ingredient. Therefore, you could be paying for glorified water or a bottle of chemicals. Conversely, what you think you’re paying for is often the last ingredient listed.

At 58, not having had a  knife or a needle on my face is amazing considering the abuse leveled on it in my youth. While I have nothing against those procedures, I do marvel at those who don’t know when to back away. Over the course of many years, taking steps everyday to keep my skin healthy, including drinking a gallon of water a day have proven beneficial.  Discipline over time yields positive results, as it is with everything in life.

Till next time, here’s to healthy living and remember you always have choices.

The information in this article is intended solely as a sharing of information and knowledge based on real life experience. It is not a substitute for professional care, but a complement to it. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem; always consult your healthcare provider relating to any suspected health issues you may have.