Chronic skin conditions can be confusing, costly to treat, and shameful to talk about. Bria Myers knows all about this. The 25-year-old was diagnosed with eczema at a young age and with hidradenitis suppurativa, or HS — a condition that causes painful boils in areas where skin rubs together — a couple of years ago.
Myers — who works as a research recruitment coordinator, with a focus on maternal and child eczema, allergies, and asthma, for Henry Ford Health System — found it difficult to get her hands on products that didn’t cause irritation and kept her skin moisturized. She learned from friends, family, and folks on social media that she wasn’t the only one struggling to find good products.
They mentioned “how their skin is so dry and they use what’s on the market because that’s what’s there. So, I decided to make my own stuff.”
In November 2021, she launched Sassy Girl Skin Co. She started with two products: the Body Soufflé, a whipped body butter, and the Soufflé Stick, body butter poured into a push-up tube, making it ideal for on-the-go hydration.
Myers crafts her products from her Novi home. They’re made with shea butter, an ingredient that boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and aids in treating eczema, scars, and dry skin; kukui nut oil, another ingredient that is anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants, as well as hydrating; vitamin E oil; and natural fragrances.
When finalizing her ingredients, Myers researched brands offering products like the items she had in mind for her own line. She knew she didn’t want to load her products with a ton of ingredients but instead find a few key ones with many benefits. She tested her products on herself as well as on some friends and family; once Myers knew they were safe to use, she was ready to launch.
The Southfield native says her products treat her own eczema and dry skin, and work best for others with sensitive or dry skin, “but anyone can use them.”
Myers has been candid on social media about her skin struggles. She’s shared everything, from medications, dietary changes, and triggers (latex and perfumed lotions and shower gels for her eczema; dairy for her HS) to even photos of her breakouts. Through her online presence, she’s discovered a community of people, especially fellow Black women, who experience similar issues.
“My dermatologist said that there wasn’t a lot of information on HS,” Myers says. This is due, in part, to its rarity — fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. have HS, compared to the 31.6 million people who have some form of eczema.
In the end, it’s all about determining what’s best for your skin. And, as Myers shares on her brand’s website: Your skin isn’t stubborn — it’s sassy. It has “a big personality and needs extra love and care, in order to thrive!”
“If you’re struggling with eczema, try making as many parts of your life natural as possible, whether it’s what you eat or what you put on your body,” Myers says. “If you have HS, I give the same advice: Try to figure out what exactly is causing it, if your doctor doesn’t know. And for dry skin, you can use Sassy Girl.”
Find Sassy Girl Skin Co. products at sassygirlskin.com.
This story is from the 2022 edition of Health Guide. Read more stories here.