NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Nicole Ayoub doesn't want folks to go through the bad eczema issues she had as a youngster. And so, at age nine, she started making her own lotions and scrubs.
Now 14, the New Canaan resident and founder of Truly You , has a full-blown natural and organics skincare business complete with nine products sold at area stores, and, coming soon, via the web at OCM.com.
"OCM is my first big company to want to carry my products and is a big step for my company," said the St. Luke's student.
Products include an Unscented Body Meringue, Cocoa Body Meringue, Lavender Body Scrub, Citrus Lemon Body Scrub, Himalayan Pink Salt Grapefruit Body Scrub, Peppermint Foot Scrub, Lavender Lotion Stick and -- new for spring -- a Grapefruit Lotion Stick and "Don't Bug Me" bug repellent lotion stick.
All items are organic, natural, and have no chemicals which, said Ayoub, " is a really big deal in my book."
They are also made out of simple ingredients, so if you look at the back of each label, you'll only see five or seven listed.
"Most of the products out there have so many chemicals and ingredients in them so when they say they will 'help' your skin, there are really just pumping a lot of bad things into your pores, preparing you for a breakout," she explained.
It's those breakouts, in fact, that got her so interested in creating a remedy at such a young age. Ayoub said every time she'd go with her friends to "really cool beauty stores"-- starting around age nine -- her skin would get irritated from whatever "new" she bought.
"I learned that I would have to go as natural and organic as possible when it came to what I was putting on my skin," she said.
Which is why, when she started mixing and mastering ingredients in her home, her mission was all about making sure her products would help others with the same dilemma.
She started creating body scrubs for fun and sold them at a local fair for young entrepreneurs. When people started to order again -- and again -- she figured this could be a viable business. Her mom, who helps with the financials, agreed.
And so, at age 12, Ayoub said she got "serious" about creating a viable company devoted to healthy skincare items.
"Whether it's eczema like I had, or dry, itchy skin, Truly You products are there to help. They are even great for simply pampering yourself," she said.
Ayoub presently makes the products out of her home but when she gets a big order, she has an organic manufacturer in the U.S. willing to make her products.
And yes, more items and plans are in the works -- all built around her school day. "Currently, I anticipate much more growth due to the deal with OCM, and from there I just want to keep on growing," she said.
"Right now, many customers keep coming back to me for more and that makes me feel that these products are really helping others, just as they did with me."
Truly You can be found locally at Pound Ridge Organics , Wilton's Renaissance Beauty and at Salon 5 East in New Canaan,
Go to www.truly-you.com for more information.