This Inspiring Skin-Positive Influencer Calls Her Acne "a Blessing in Disguise"
It takes courage to struggle with acne on your own, let alone share your journey with thousands of people on the internet. But Kaschan Rebuar, a 22-year-old university student, decided to do just that to document her skin progress. Her intent when she started her Instagram account @my.acne.diary wasn't to connect with so many other people dealing with the same thing she was — she just wanted to track her own acne progress on the platform. What Rebuar ended up doing was attracting an audience of over 6,000 followers and inspiring others through self-love and acne-positivity.
Rebuar started experiencing acne when she was 11 years old on her back and chest, but because it wasn't noticeable to others, she didn't pay much attention to it — until it got much worse. "It started to get painful to lie down flat on my back," Rebuar told POPSUGAR. "That was when I first started to become insecure about it, roughly age 12, and it started to hinder parts of my life, like going to swimming classes because I was too embarrassed."
That went on for years, with Rebuar only seeing temporary progress from different creams and antibiotics her doctor prescribed her, until her face started to break out when she was 16. "It started with my forehead, then slowly started to take over my whole face, to a point where it became difficult to see anything but bumps of redness on my face," Rebuar said. "Since then, I've been struggling with acne primarily on my face." That was six years ago.
Why She Shared Her Acne Journey Publicly
Her idea to create her account @my.acne.diary on Instagram came to fruition when she started taking Isotretinoin, the most powerful oral acne medication available that essentials cures acne by training the skin to stop breaking out. For Rebuar it was a last resort to heal the constant pimples on her face.
"I just wanted to track my progress to be able to compare in the future," said Rebuar. "And also be able to remind myself how far I've progressed if I'd ever felt down about my skin again since I knew the possible side effects of Isotretinoin included impacting your mental health, which is something I've also struggled with." What she's referring to is one of the most common side effects of the medication, depression.
"My acne destroyed any confidence or love I had for myself," said Rebuar. "I fed into the beauty standards of society and made myself believe that my acne made me lesser than someone who didn't have acne, which is ridiculous. I already suffered from social anxiety, and having the acne just made it worse, as I felt uncomfortable wherever I went."
How Her Acne Made Her Discover Self-Love
The silver-lining to her breakouts was the community she found during her acne journey. "I was surprised that I was able to connect with other people who struggled with acne and had a platform where I can be open and honest with no judgment, especially with people who actually understand," said Rebuar. "I think my followers appreciate seeing someone just be real and honest about the same insecurities they have."
Although her acne journey has had its ups and downs, it has taught her a lot about self-love. "Once my acne improved, I realized how my acne really hindered my confidence," said Rebuar. "I wanted to spread the body and skin positivity so that nobody feels like their acne makes them abnormal." This personal revelation came to her once her skin started to clear following a course of Isotretinoin.
"I truly believe my acne has been a blessing in disguise, it has helped me grow and mature as a person and helped me realize that the way I look shouldn't dictate how I live my life," she said.
What She Wants Others Who Are Struggling With Acne to Know
"Many people have told me 'It'll get better,' and as much as I love that positivity, it's not something that encourages self-love or self-development as it goes on the assumption that things will get better once the acne is gone," said Rebuar. "The acne in itself is not something to be ashamed of."
Although Rebuar has taken a temporary hiatus from Instagram for other personal reasons, she still gets messages from her followers regularly checking in and asking for updates on her journey. "I still struggle with acne now but it's not something that ruins my day, it's just another part of me," said Rebuar. "Acne is as normal as it gets but sadly we have allowed ourselves to believe there's something wrong with us if we have it."