No More Skin Shaming...This is my Real Skin

This week, we’re launching a campaign called Real Skin.

This campaign is about changing the way we talk about our skin. Oftentimes, we strive for an elusive concept of “perfect” skin. Is perfect healthy though?

Our skin type is like our body type. It’s a little dependent on external factors, fairly dependent on lifestyle choices, and a LOT dependent on genetics.

Using the term “perfect” to describe skin is just as unhealthy as when we use it to describe our bodies.

When we use this word, we encourage women to wear makeup to cover up their “flaws”, to go tanning to achieve a bronzed look, or to take prescription pills to prevent hormonal acne……we encourage people to sometimes pursue unhealthy paths to hide their natural skin. In many ways, we shame our own skin the same way we shame our bodies. And with all the discussion about what real, beautiful, and healthy bodies look like, we think it’s time to expand the conversation to what real skin looks like.

What does MY real skin look like?

I’ve been a little shy to tell you the whole story. Although I’m so passionate about cocokind and how much it has healed my skin, up until now, I’ve felt uncomfortable talking about my issues with hormonal acne. After all, most skincare company founders haven’t struggled with acne their entire lives. Thanks to genetics, my skin is not and never will be perfect – and I’ve felt nervous talking about my skin flaws.

Everyone expects me to have perfect skin.

The thing is – as the founder of a skincare company, people always expect me to have “perfect” skin. What they don’t know is how much I’ve struggled with hormonal acne and how far my skin has come. See, cocokind did NOT start as a business idea. It was actually the result of my exhausting struggle to find a sustainable, healthy, and effective solution for my own skin. When I finally found it, I had to share what I had created – and that’s how the business started.

Although I sometimes wish I was a founder with blemish-free skin, I thank my personal challenges with cystic acne for motivating me to create natural skincare solutions that actually work, and eventually, finding a lifelong purpose in sharing cocokind.

Since launching our product in the market, I’ve been so touched by testimonials, Facebook comments, or emails from our consumers. I’ve read consumer stories about how our skincare products have healed just about every issue under the sun, from acne, to eye bags, to sun burns, to eczema, to post-cancer dryness. It’s these stories that have made me braver. Your stories have taught me to be proud, not embarrassed, of my real skin.

Before cocokind, I fought my acne with both prescribed topical medicines and internal pills.

As a teenager, I suffered from horrible hormonal acne that got worse as I entered college. So at the age of 18, I went to the dermatologist who put me on an extensive plan. This plan included: Cetaphil, a benzoyl peroxide prescription, oil-free lotion, retinoid, and a daily dose of 200mg of doxycycline (an antibiotic), 100 mg of Spironolactone (an anti-androgen pill), AND birth control.

Following this plan, my skin was as “perfect” or acne-free as it could have been. However, I was also dry, sensitive, and red…and at 21, I had premature wrinkles. Additionally, I commonly felt nauseous, which I accepted as a daily part of life because that’s what it took to have blemish-free skin.

Then, I graduated college and my daily dizziness/nauseousness was no longer acceptable as I worked over 12 hour days on Wall Street. For the first time, I started to research what I was using. I found that Cetaphil had not one real ingredient in it besides water. I found that Doxycycline or any antibiotic taken regularly would seriously upset the good bacteria balance I needed in my body. I discovered that feeling dizzy was a regular side effect of Spironolactone.

It was at the same time that I was venturing into eating organically and understanding the paleo lifestyle. I was obsessed with coconut oil (wayyyy before it became “a thing”) and I was always discovering the next new superfood. My cooking with coconut oil led to using it as my body moisturizer and on my hair! Then, I wondered – what would happen if I put this incredible oil on my face? This would be me rebelling every dermatologist’s orders to stay away from oils. But I tried it, and I was amazed. Since I had been depriving my skin of real moisture for so long, even a couple weeks of using this oil completely changed my skin. I quit all of my prescribed medications and over the next few years, I turned to different superfoods and oil blends to nourish my skin back to health.

The lesson I learned? Perfect skin is not necessarily healthy skin.

Fast forward to today, I still experience hormonal acne (especially around my menstrual cycle) but I’ve come to understand that my imperfect skin is my healthiest skin. And while I may not be able to prevent every hormonal breakout, cocokind is a long-term and healthy solution that promotes recovery faster than any topical prescription I’ve ever used. And unlike my old harsh medications, cocokind preserves all the beautiful qualities of my skin, like my natural moisture levels and suppleness.

“Acne-free” doesn’t mean healthy, just as much as “skinny” doesn’t mean fit.

To me, healthy skin means treating natural and unavoidable skin issues gently with real ingredients, rather than using harsh chemicals or prescription pills. Healthy skin is also a mental exercise – it means understanding in my mind that flaws and occasional breakouts are totally…ok.

If you are like me but are still taking internal medications to fight acne, I highly recommend gradually introducing natural superfood oils. If you are nervous about using oils or coconut oil because you’ve heard it is comedogenic, please read my previous blog post that dispells common myths about this term.

Thanks for reading my story and I can’t wait to share beautiful pictures of our customers this week. We truly hope our campaign encourages you to change the way you scrutinize your beauty, and to live healthily and confidently in your real skin. This is something you have taught me. 

With so much gratitude,

Priscilla, Founder

  1. P.S. Tag us @cocokindskincare on Instagram or Facebook to show off your real skin!