When you eat too many chocolate bars, you're not surprised when your skin acts crazy. The same goes for when you neglect to take off your makeup before bed, or when you're too stressed out at work.

But when the normal suspects aren't behind the breakouts, it's time to do a little investigating.

That's exactly what our sister publication, FIT Arkansas, did by sitting down with three women who experienced the skin mysteries firsthand in hope of spreading the word to those with similar issues. Here are some of their stories.

Click here to read the full story.


Amy Bell | Irritant: Phenoxyethanol

The problem: "I had horrible acne and figured I just had bad skin. A dermatologist told me to take antibiotics every time I had a breakout, so I tried to treat it myself instead. I spent so much money on products, but it turns out they were all causing allergic reactions."

The diagnosis: "I’ve been dying my hair for years, but in May 2016 I broke out with a severe rash that looked like a chemical burn. A friend referred me to River City Dermatology for a full skin allergy test. I was allergic to a laundry list of things, including a common preservative called phenoxyethanol. I bet if you looked at all the products in your bathroom right now 99 percent of them would have it."

The change: "It took a few months, but my skin cleared up dramatically. The first change I noticed was in how my skin felt. It always felt like I had tiny bumps under the surface. A few weeks after getting rid of phenoxyethanol, my skin felt completely smooth."

What works for her: "VMV Hypoallergenics is a safe line for me to use. Makeup has been a little more difficult. B. Barnett worked with me to find a good CC cream to replace my foundation, and I’ve also found makeup through Beauty Counter."


Jessie Grobmyer | Irritant: Dairy

The problem: "I was experiencing significant skin inflammation in the form of bumps and breakouts — specifically on the face around the chin and jawline."

The diagnosis: "As the frustration grew, I did some research and started experimenting with elimination and reintroduction of certain things in my diet and quickly figured out that dairy was definitely a big part of the problem."

The change: "After about two weeks to a month, I noticed my skin was clear again and I didn’t have to stress about embarrassing bumps and finding harsh chemical treatments to try to fight it."

How she’s adapted: "I do avoid milk, cream-based foods, dairy cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, etc. because the tradeoff is not worth it to me. I’ve switched to using almond or coconut milk, yogurts made with coconut milk, and goat cheese if any at all. I really don’t miss cheese or any of those things because I know the price!"