Adult Acne Taught Me To Find Power In My Own Skin

After struggling with hormonal acne through her 20s, Priscilla Tsai left her job as an equity researcher at J.P. Morgan to develop cocokind, a clean, affordable line of products developed specifically for sensitive skin. Now, five years later, her superfood-based brand is sold at more than 4,000 stockists, including Target, Ulta.com and Whole Foods. In 2018, Tsai launched the cocokind Impact Foundation, which provides grants to female startup founders like herself. This is what makes her feel powerful...

I feel most powerful when…

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I wake up after having a good night’s sleep, make myself a morning beverage, go on a walk to find clarity on what my purpose is that day, and then... get things done! I’m a big believer in having consistent morning habits and setting constant, small goals for yourself that make overwhelming days feel more achievable. It’s the accomplishment of all those small goals that make me feel powerful throughout the day.

Power to me means..

Feeling emboldened to be yourself and celebrating all that comes with that. Whether that’s putting on makeup or staying totally fresh-faced — it’s being comfortable with who you are. Throughout my 20s, this was a big struggle for me. I went from always feeling like I needed to “cover my skin up” before I walked out of the door to embracing a different beauty standard, which I set myself. Starting cocokind played a huge role in helping me achieve this power; I became empowered to shed these layers so that other people had a better example of what it means to be powerful in your real skin.

What do you do when you feel powerless?

I usually try to take the time I need to recenter myself and rely on my husband and family for support. People think that being a founder and CEO means you are powerful all the time, but that couldn’t be more false. There have been so many points throughout my entrepreneurial journey, and throughout each day, when I feel completely powerless. In these moments, I have to rely on my resiliency and close support system to help me remember why I’m doing this. That helps me navigate back to my path and regain control.

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What's your power anthem?

“'Never Let Me Down" — old-school Kanye featuring Jay Z and J. Ivy. This whole album is a story of the underdog, which is something that I’ve always been inspired by. This particular song is one of my favorites because it not only packs a ton of important social commentary that continues to be relevant, but it is also a story of determination and resilience.

Who's your power icon?

Yara Shahidi — she’s so many things to an entire generation of young people and uses her platform for change. I not only admire her as an incredibly powerful activist, but I also love her style! I feel like she’s unstoppable.

What do you wear when you want to feel powerful?

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Pre- or post-Covid? Pre-Covid, it was a blazer and skinny jeans. Post-Covid, it’s been comfortable loungewear with a killer sock-and-slipper combination. These days, I’m truly only dressing for myself, so I’m finding small ways to perk up my style at home.

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