• Jane Seow

I Hated Chemistry But Am Now In Love With Skin Science

Credit: Emirates Women

We were going through our marked exam papers. I was busy copying my corrections when my work suddenly popped into the screen of our classroom visualiser. “Look at one of your classmates’ answers...What is this? Don’t follow her ah!” Yes, I was that student.

Credit: Giphy

I never did well in Science throughout my ten years of primary and secondary education. Don’t worry, no grudge was held, I could not remember my teacher’s comment word for word. It was paraphrased for your entertainment.

Anyway, I have been struggling with acne ever since the prime age of 11 when nature called (not the urge to urinate, I mean Puberty). The stream of red flowing like a waterfall from the walls of my womb, it was a new era of womanhood.

Credit: Giphy

In my pre-teen years and early adolescence, it was just a greasy canvas of tiny pimples which would disappear after a while. In the midst of my formative years, larger and more monstrous-looking bumps occupied the territory of my skin. Besides the T-zone area, my chin acne pulled my confidence to the ground. Or you could say, my confidence was the ground. In fact, I still struggle with chin-ne now (if there was ever a term).

Credit: Giphy

I am 20 now and it was only a few years ago when I learnt that the areas of your face where acne develops could be a reason for what is actually happening within your body. Disclaimer though, face mapping originated from Chinese and Ayurvedic culture with minimal scientific research to prove its validity. At least for these associations -- acne below eye area for kidney issues and acne on cheek area for liver issues.

Credit: Healthline

Luckily for me, it was medically proven that chin acne is a result of hormonal imbalances and are more ‘eager’ to pop up when the time of the month comes. The excess of androgens produced during menstruation could overstimulate oil glands and clog pores. Moreover, foods which are high in sugars or diary-based can trigger the formation of acne. Added hormones in animal by-products such as cow’s milk and cheese can aggravate acne too.

This also explained why I stopped consuming cow’s milk or my favourite Earl Grey Milk Tea. I switched over to soy milk instead!

Some of the worst comments given to me were, “my skin used to look like yours.” However, it was more of people’s glances which made me feel even more self-conscious. Their eyes would somehow miss mine as we converse, making their way to the direction of where my current spots would be. Enough about my life story, here are some ways I heal my soul in the process of healing my acne.

Daily Affirmations

Whenever I have breakouts, one thing which helps me is looking into the mirror and talking to myself. Sounds crazy but it really isn’t. I would almost treat my acne as a little friend that is a temporary passerby. I affirm myself for doing the best I can in taking care of my skin at present. I acknowledge that the state of my skin can be unpredictable and that even with the utmost effort, I cannot be entirely in control of it. Such affirmations assure me that I am exercising personal responsibility for my life. Here are some Instagram accounts I follow for some skin positivity!


Before you call this article a click-bait, here comes the relation to the title. Skin Science! Just like how insurance provides a safety blanket for our financial needs, a better understanding of our skin can tailor the way we approach skincare. Here are some YouTube channels which I consume educational content on skincare.

Liah Yoo

With her role-plays as different characters, she makes it a breeze for us to digest the content. Before you know it, you finished watching a comedic sketch which has just given you tips or new-found knowledge on dealing with acne. You’re welcome. This beauty lifestyle influencer has gone on to develop her very own brand with hopes to fill the gap in the beauty industry - lack of transparency in the product chain.


Beauty Within

Hosted by the candid duo Rowena Tsai and Felicia Lee, the team behind Beauty Within does extensive research to give you the most accurate information. From news articles to medical journals, the content is packaged into animated visuals which helps viewers to better envision what's actually taking place in the bottommost layers of your skin.



Credit: Hyram

This 24-year-old skincare enthusiast and specialist don’t compromise on the integrity of his views for the sake of protecting the image of big brands. I was first recommended to him by friends and acquaintances after posting a video of my acne struggles on my social media. He firmly believes that the quality of ingredients matters more than the hype over a certain brand and that you don’t have to break the bank to afford good skincare.


Cassandra Bankson

Compared to Hyram, Cassandra's expertise reaches a level higher. She's a certified esthetician who intentionally went to aesthetic medical school to discover more about her own skin. Her story is one of trials and triumphs, and she continues to share her knowledge and experience in hopes to help anyone who is struggling.


Journeying With Acne

Acne affects every part of a person's life - emotionally, physically and mentally. One thing we need to know is that we are not our acne. We are more than our skin. Won't it be torture if we wait for the day when our skin clears, that we start loving ourselves? May our inner wounds heal just as much as our external ones do. Here's a quote I'll leave with you:

Credits: @talontedlex


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