I think what's so hard about acne is how out of control it feels to have acne. I didn't like having acne, but I didn't really know how to make myself not have acne because I felt like there was no rhyme or reason to it. And so, I just kind of went through the motions and hoped it would go away eventually. College was the first time I ever did anything really about my skin. I saw a dermatologist who prescribed antibiotics, which helped clear my acne up.

When I started my medical residency, my acne came back with the same severity: zits everywhere, little bumps that made my entire complexion just not nice and smooth. I felt conflicted about taking antibiotics for my skin. Was it worth it? Should I even care that much about my skin? My skin has been something I've been self-conscious about, but because my skin care journey is much more benign–there are plenty of people out there who've dealt with worse skin wise and otherwise–it’s something I have thought about a lot.

I felt very desperate about my skin during this time. I was also looking for ways of self-care and indulgence. Skincare has always felt indulgent–a mask and all these things, but never felt accessible to me with acne. And so, when I first learned about Cool as a Cucumber, I was like, "Oh, an acne safe skin care product that could be really indulgent for me. That's awesome."

When I first met Eda and Serra [Levent, co-founders of Cool as a Cucumber], I felt like they could appreciate how much trust you have to put in somebody when you feel like you have vulnerable skin. And they were so sensitive to that, because it is hard to trust anything new that may or may not rock the boat.

At that point, I had gotten through the really bad hump of my skin a few months before, but I had all this scarring, texture issues and pigmentation that was really bothersome. After two to three months of using Cool as a Cucumber skincare, I noticed that it was remarkably better on my cheeks–which has always been something I'm self conscious about, so that was huge.

The product met me where I was at. Mostly because, I guess the next step for me would've been to wear a lot of makeup to cover the scarring, and I don't even own face makeup. That would've really felt untrue to who I am and I probably wouldn't have done it. And so, getting to use this product changed the part of my skin that I was really self-conscious about at this moment in my life. That's amazing.