My Acne Flaws

by Zoe Tsang, Social Media Director

Now that I work for a skincare company, why not talk about my skin? Trust me, it mortifies me every single time anyone (myself included) notices or mentions something about my skin. But I want to share my story to anyone who is also feeling insecure and self-conscious about theirs - it’s okay, you are absolutely not alone.

When I hit puberty and had my first blemish, I knew I was screwed. I wasn't knowledgeable about skincare, but I could see that my mom’s skin was nice and soft, while my dad had a lot of scarring. My worst nightmare was to inherit my dad’s skin and surprise, surprise – I did. My mom got me an acne treatment from the family doctor, but before that one blemish went away, a few more appeared. And that was just the beginning.

I'm sure you've heard stories about kids getting picked on because of how they looked. Lucky enough, I had a lot of friends and none of my peers teased me for it. That's probably because, thinking back, my acne wasn't even that bad. But of course, this isn't what my story is about - my battle was entirely internal. Not only was it draining and difficult, it had really affected my self-confidence. Even though no one really talked about it at school, I felt as if that was all everyone could see.

During holidays or family reunions, relatives would comment on whether my skin looked better or worse from the last time they saw me. They would talk about this miracle skincare regime they saw online or that special diet they read in a magazine. Family friends would recommend dermatologists and Chinese doctors to my mom to help “fix” it all.

I knew they meant well, but sometimes I felt as if I was diseased. I felt embarrassed, insecure and horrified. But I didn’t want my acne to define me. I stayed positive and hoped for the best throughout my adolescent years. My mom told me it would all be over after puberty. And thank God, after trying various dermatological medications and some really, really disgusting Chinese herbal remedies, my acne kind of went away before I moved here for school few years ago.

I turned 24 this year, and bad news – there is such thing called adult acne! Even though I don’t break out as often as I did when I was younger, the first thing I do every morning is examine my skin to see if I have gained another enemy on my face, and I'll think about how much make up I'd need to cover up my imperfections and flaws.

I didn’t actually wear makeup on a regular basis until the last few years years because the school I went to - like most schools in Asia - didn’t allow it. But exactly because of that, I had learned to love myself even when my face was in its worst shape. It is not easy to love yourself when you hate what you see in the mirror, but it was important for me to learn to love who I was as a person, not as how I looked as a person. We talk about flawlessness here at Flawless by Friday, but it’s exactly our very own flaws that make us flawless and unique. If I could learn to love my authentic self regardless of how bad I thought I looked, you can too.