Beauty standards have always skewed towards an almost rigid but fickle set of rules. Between unachievable flawlessness and varying ideals of skin tones, the entertainment and advertising industries do not hesitate to latch on to unrealistic indicators, dictating what people should look like—especially the feminine-presenting. The skincare industry, incidentally, has had to reflect the same problematic point of view – but Clear Start by Dermalogica wants society to break free of it, ASAP if not immediately.
In fact, they have declared June to be Acne Awareness Month, and marked it with a virtual event called In Your Face! Let’s Talk Acne with Clear Start by Dermalogica. This highlights not only the Clear Start range, but more importantly, the significance of body neutrality – in this case, the act of calling out and resisting acne censorship. Hosted by Malaysian digital content creator Melissa Th’ng, the day kicked off with the announcement of Clear Start’s partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), spotlighting the part that media messaging – ranging from traditional to digital to social—has on the mental health of the youth.
Th’ng sat down with Filipino-American Beauty Content Creator Kristina Rodulfo to dig deep into her personal and professional insights, guiding guests in attendance through the universal journey of struggling with one’s skin – a trial amplified by being a very visible figure in beauty media – alongside brand representative Yvonne Teh, Clear Start by Dermalogica’s Business Development Manager in Asia. They then introduced skin specialist, cosmetologist, and Dermalogica Master Instructor Sarah Miller to discuss the science behind why skin even produces acne. For the Q&A portion, they were accompanied by Gabby Sibaja and Sam Sargen, who also work at and appear in the social media posts of Clear Start.
Over the course of the event, it was revealed that the host and each speaker started out with a beautifying filter, only to remove it and confidently reveal the true state of their skin—driving home Clear Start’s message that healthy skin is the goal, because perfect skin does not exist. “Being mindful about words, whether you’re an editor or a reporter, can really shape our opinions of ourselves,” said Rodulfo. “[Not doing so can] inadvertently make people feel bad about the skin they have, when it’s perfectly natural to have pores and texture and cysts!”
“I’ve had clients come in and tell me of the most outrageous things that they’ve tried—toothpaste, cotton with alcohol, one instance was someone used tape to try and fix their acne!” exclaimed Miller. “But there needs to be a change in how we see acne for all generations, most importantly for the Gen Z, since they’re in a time of their life where they are most susceptible to it. Acne happens for various, even uncontrollable reasons, and that’s perfectly normal.”
And that is exactly what Clear Start by Dermalogica wants to continue putting forth with the product range, the junket, and the partnership with NAMI. At the end of the event, the host and speakers led media guests through a pledge not only to love their own skin, but also not to give in to the subliminal, negative advertising that litters every social feed, and to encourage those around them to actively resist it as well.
With these pledges, the company will add to their donation of up to USD15,000 to NAMI, that will continue to provide support for research and resources for those suffering from mental illness. But if you want to do your part to spread the word and say #FkAcneCensorship, you can contribute to Clear Start’s pledge against acne censorship and interactive Add Yours prompt on their official Instagram by proudly showing your real skin and inspiring true confidence in your circle of influence.
Clear Start by Dermalogica is available at in-store and online on Sephora Malaysia.