Skin Inclusivity Photoshoot
Most of us would have struggled with acne as teenagers. But while many stop experiencing skin-related issues post-puberty, for others, skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis are a constant throughout their lives. While having less than flawless skin is completely normal, it’s not often represented in mainstream media. With that in mind, local brand Kansoskin and body neutrality movement THE BODY WITHIN decided to come together to launch a Skinclusivity (a portmanteau of “skin” and “inclusivity”) campaign.
The project includes a photoshoot featuring real women with skin conditions such as Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) and stretch marks. Not only do they aim to destigmatise skin conditions, the women behind the campaign want to show those with similar skin conditions that they aren’t alone, as well as to give them a sense of community. The end result is an inspiring series of images that prove that it’s perfectly okay not to have perfect skin.
Highlighting different skin conditions
Siblings Joanne and Abel Ang founded the skincare brand, Kansoskin. Joanne suffered from severe cystic acne as a teen. As an adult, she has acne scars and is prone to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. “Every mosquito bite, cut and scrape will lead to dark marks on my arms and legs,” she shares.
In her photos, Joanne placed a frame on her left thigh to highlight a scar. Details like this are usually covered up during most photoshoots, but Joanne proudly shows off her scar here.
THE BODY WITHIN’s founder Mary Victor, a local plus-size model, appears in the photoshoot as well. Like Jameela Jamil’s I Weigh movement, THE BODY WITHIN aims to normalise normal bodies and encourage you to be kind to yourself, no matter what you look like.
Mary has suffered from acne since she was 12 years old. Her schoolmates bullied for the way she looked when it came to her acne, size and skin colour. Her confidence eventually grew after becoming a makeup artist and model, and it comes through in these photos.
As Abel suffers from chronic eczema and Topical Steroid Withdrawal, the siblings invited a model with the same condition to be part of the campaign. Jing Rui, a TSW advocate, has an uneven skin tone, which can be seen on her arms and legs. She recalls that during her worst stages of TSW, she had a “blooming red face, flaky skin and oozing areas”. The way her skin looked even led people to avoid her on public transport.
She constantly reminds herself that her skin condition is not her fault and not something she can control. She shares that letting go of any expectations of herself with regards to her outer appearance helped her to focus on her attractive inner qualities. Even if we don’t have the same skin condition, we can all afford to learn from Jing Rui’s attitude towards life.
Another skin condition many of us would be familiar with is stretch marks. Isabelle’s stretch marks are most prominent on her arms and thighs. She was bullied in school because the boys found her marks “gross”. Her father also commented, ““What’s all this thing ah? It’s damn ugly.”
After doing modelling shoots for local photographers and clothing brands, Isabelle began to embrace and accept herself. She reminds us that having stretch marks is a natural occurrence, and we shouldn’t let our looks define who we are.
Both siblings behind Kansoskin understand first-hand what it’s like to have compromised skin. So, they founded their skincare brand based on the belief that everyone deserves healthy skin. For now, they have one product: Simply Better Barrier. The siblings formulated the low pH moisturiser with a blend of pre and probiotic complex and Asian botanicals. Those with dry, sensitive or eczema-prone skin can use it to soothe and nourish their skin.
Kansoskin’s Instagram account regularly features social media users and influencers with different skin conditions sharing their stories and how they regained confidence. It also has posts that raise awareness on the different types of skin issues like psoriasis and eczema to educate people on the skin conditions and how to take care of their skin.
Kansoskin x THE BODY WITHIN Skin Inclusivity Campaign Includes A Photoshoot That Embraces Different Skin Conditions
Kansoskin and THE BODY WITHIN’s goals are to create as much impact as possible and inspire any women with similar skin conditions to feel like they aren’t alone and to also give them a sense of community. You can visit both Kansoskin and THE BODY WITHIN’s Instagram pages for a look at the full campaign.