Welcome to Acne Week, a five-day stretch where we get real about pimples, zits, cysts, and every bump or blemish in between. From skin-soothing products R29 editors swear by to exclusive deals on the most breakout-friendly beauty brands, we’re kissing the concept of “bad skin” goodbye and exploring why acne is so much more than skin deep.
"Friends have always come to me for [skin care] recommendations," digital creator Cathy Cao (better known as her online moniker Cathy on Skincare) tells me during a video call. "So I thought, why not put myself online and talk to people as if they were a friend of mine." Even though Cao only debuted her YouTube channel during the pandemic, her well-researched, honest videos quickly resonated with fellow beauty enthusiasts — 171,000 subscribers (and counting).
"I used to think that I needed to spend $60 on a moisturizer for it to be good," says Cao. "But then, I started looking into ingredients and doing research [into product formulations]. I used to be an investment banker and startup founder, so scientific research is super important to me." From ingredient explainers to viral product reviews, Cao has quickly built a following, thanks to her informative yet wildly digestible content — which includes plenty of product recommendations for oily and breakout-prone complexions.
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