“I've tried a lot of products, from watching YouTube videos, following everything that they tell you to do, from not putting harsh chemicals on your face to just waking up, washing your face, and then put coconut oil on your face, hemp seed oil, grape seed. And none of that stuff worked for me, so I used to think, "Oh, gosh. How can that work for them but it's not working for me?"  

- Shaquia Ballard, @shaquialashea

Shaquia Ballard shares why the first step to a great skincare routine is self-awareness.


Interviewer: Jadel H. Davis
Videographer: J. Millhouse

Jadel: Can you introduce yourself for us?

Shaquia: My name is Shaquia Ballard. I am the founder of Hustle, Glow & Grow Empowerment Coaching where I teach women about self-love, self-awareness, and mental health issues.

Jadel: That’s awesome, I love that. There isn’t enough people talking about mental health and how it affects our trajectory. We need more of you, haha! but seriously.

Shaquia’s skincare journey after receiving treatments and advice not to avoid eating dairy from the estheticians at Skinphorea.

 Jadel: This may seem oddly put but I recently saw an Instagram post where you touched on your skincare journey. Can you tell me when you first started practicing skincare?

Shaquia: I've been practicing skin care since I was in high school. I struggled with acne since I was about 12 years old. When I was in middle school and high school, it wasn't that bad, so it really didn't affect me as much. It didn't really start affecting me until I went to college. Then, I really started noticing the difference, like, "Oh my gosh. What are these pimples doing on my face? There's so much acne everywhere." And so after I graduated from Michigan State, I started noticing that it was getting worse. And then I was also going to a dermatologist, and the dermatologist would always tell me things like, "Just don't eat chocolate or just don't drink pop or soda." So I would do those things, and all of the ointment, facial cream, I would put that on my face, but it wasn't working.

Shaquia: January this year, I decided to go to a esthetician and do a full skin care-type of evaluation. So what estheticians do, they start from what you are putting in your body all the way to what type of products you are putting in your hair. And once again, the person who I see, she told me, "Stop eating dairy. Stop eating peanuts as well." So I did it for about three weeks, and I noticed a little difference in my skin but not too much. And then one day I was at work, and I had some pizza. And the next couple of days after I had that pizza, my pimples were so huge, and I noticed. I said, "Okay, I'm just going to stop. I'm just going to stop eating dairy." And so when I officially stopped eating dairy, that's when I noticed the skin improvement. Everybody's skin care, everybody's diet, everybody's system is different, so what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you.

Jadel: Sooo true, I’ve fallen into the trap many times! It really did take a bit of experimenting with products to realize that products are the last step in determining a good skincare regimen. Someone can tell you their skin cleared up once they started using better moisturizers, you try that and then BOOM! you end of with break-outs and it’s because you actually didn’t need moisturizer! Ugh, #skincareproblems.

Jadel: Now that you’ve learned more about yourself through skincare, what does it mean to you today?

Shaquia: Skincare means to me… it's just being aware. Taking care of your skin is just more than putting makeup on your face because even when you are putting makeup on your face, some people don't know you can be causing more harm than what it appears to be. It's also just learning about those chemicals that's in your products and also being aware of the food that you're putting in your system. Because if you are eating a lot of sugary products or you're drinking a lot of pop or consuming a lot of alcohol, that can cause acne, and that can cause damage to your skin as well.

Jadel: I really like that! I have one last follow-up question before you go. If you could sum all of that up into one word, what would it be?

Shaquia: Skin care in one word… I would say awareness. If I could sum it up in one word, it's just awareness because you have to be aware.

Special thanks to Shaquia Ballard for sharing her journey.

Interviewer: Jadel H. Davis
Videographer: J. Millhouse

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