Hi all! One of the founders of Nefaire, Michael here. Nefaire was created from problems we were facing ourselves, and we often get asked about how the concept was created, and what our vision is for the future. Here’s my own backstory of how I struggled with my skin, and hopefully it can help some of you who may be facing the same thing.
My acne came late in my teen years, towards the end of high school. It was never severe, but always just moderate and annoying enough to be painful and visible. It was enough to make me shy away from cameras and feel self-conscious to not go out in public sometimes. You actually won’t find too many pictures of me during this time period, precisely because I was worried about my skin. I also wore a hoodie a lot of the time just to hide my face.
I have slightly tanner skin, so once breakouts healed, it would also leave a dark mark that could stay for months that was often more visible than the acne itself. The worst part was it didn’t seem to respond to ANYTHING I TRIED. Here’s a comprehensive list of what I tried over the years, both OTC and from a dermatologist:
–OTC Benzoyl Peroxide 10% (kinda worked, but acne still there. Made my skin extremely dry)
–OTC Salicylic Acid Wash 2% (kinda worked, but breakouts came back worse. Skin was red and irritated)
–2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide using The Acne.org Regimen (this actually cleared my skin for a short period of time, but the ungodly amounts of BP used destroyed my skin’s acid mantle, and I broke out again over time)
–Prescription Adapalene, also branded as Differin (used for 6 months, made not just my acne worse, but my overall skin texture worse)
–Prescription Clindamycin + Benzoyl Peroxide, also branded as Duac (kinda worked, but acne came back and skin was irritated and dry)
–Prescription Erythromycin, an oral antibiotic (maybe worked a bit? Not sure, but gave me really bad stomach aches and acne didn’t visibly improve over 3 months)
–Retin A (made my skin really plastic looking and irritated. My acne did not improve)
Finally, after going through all those hoops, I was finally prescribed Accutane, which is essentially the nuclear option for acne. After being on it twice, I wouldn’t get so much of the painful, hormonal pustules that I used to get, but would still breakout here and there. You can see our views on Accutane here. Right before Nefaire was started, I was working a stressful finance job where I was in the office around 16 hours a day, which didn’t really help my skin situation either. I was still getting small blemishes that were inflamed and red.
I decided to finally take things into my own hands, and decided to use that financial analytical skill set to try to learn as much as I could about acne and skincare. I looked at NCBI studies, read a ton of articles from all the major beauty publications, and sifted through vast amounts of data to finally come to the sobering conclusion that:
a.) 99% of the beauty industry is predicated on BS claims
b.) We actually don’t know that much on the biology of acne and skin
c.) Skincare is just as much a continuous thing as working out. There is no magic pill, product, or diet that will get you results, but rather it’s a combination of all of these things.
After realizing this, I set out to do some of my own experimentation to see what was true and what was actually not. Here were some of my key takeaways:
a.) if you breakout, controlling inflammation is EVERYTHING. Oftentimes, skin can look worse than it actually is because of inflammation. Many acne medications I tried tackled the bacterial side of acne formation, but I believe the most effective treatments focus on calming inflammation. This means avoiding ingredients you may be allergic to and using gentle products.
b.) Diet plays a role. Modern science is just starting to prove what has been common sense forever. Diet plays a role in breakouts, period. If someone who doesn’t have acne eats cheeseburgers and fries everyday, will they breakout? I don’t know. But I bet the person with acne who eats junk food, dairy, and highly processed foods will exacerbate their skin. Dairy was huge for me. Avoiding dairy alone cleared my skin by probably 70%. Over 85% of people today will get acne today, which is an alarmingly higher % than before. Nobody knows why, but I bet it has something to do with the hormones being fed to livestock. There’s a bodybuilder on Youtube who dramatically improved his skin by going vegan, which doesn’t seem to be an accident.
c.) Go Natural. As much as possible, go natural. Your skin will thank you in the long run. Long term use of harsh chemicals and topicals destroyed my skin texture for a period of time. Natural also means living a healthier lifestyle, which includes taking time to destress, meditation, and not sweating the small stuff.
d.) Maintaining Great Skin is Like Working Out. There is no magic product. That’s why I like facials. They’re a proven, continuous way to exfoliate, hydrate, and extract impurities from skin, and can be done over and over.
It is this multifaceted approach that we aim to incorporate into Nefaire. Expert therapists, honest advice, and “been-there” know-how using real data and common sense. No place existed with a combination of these elements, so we set out to create it.
We built Nefaire precisely for people who share this exact story, so do let us know what you think and what you’d like to see!