Kali Kushner acne positivity for ZitSticka
The Spot

FaceTime: Acne Positivity Pioneer, Kali Kushner

By Hanna Kim


Welcome to FaceTime, a segment in which we interrogate the beauty whims, zit-melting strategies and self-care views of cool girls around the world. Here, we spotlight Kali Kushner (@myfacestory), the original acne positivity poster-girl. She started sharing her journey with acne, as her handle suggests, which then became a catalyst for her mission to normalize acne. Now she shares others’ stories, furthering the conversation around acne positivity. 


How did you start your journey in spreading acne positivity? 
I started on Instagram! I began sharing candid pictures of my bare skin and eventually that inspired others to began sharing their journeys as well. Together we've started a movement of fearless women and men sharing their bare skin. Now more recently I've begun to speak about acne positivity at beauty events, support acne positive skincare brands (like ZitSticka) and hopefully can begin advocate in more ways than just social media. What kind of acne do you get?
I used to have severe, cystic nodular acne that lasted for months. Now after a lengthy 5 year battle, I believe I have grown out of that and into hormonal occasional blemishes that only last about a week or less.

Acne scars are a huge part of having acne; do you have any advice for dealing with them?
Know that acne scars will fade in time and if they bother you, there are so many different treatments you can do for them! They don't define you one bit or make you any less worthy; the sooner you learn to accept them, the happier you'll be. If I'm having troubles with my skin I like to journal and work through my feelings, or write about it on instagram (it feels like my little safe space!)Your account is about being acne-positive but you’re also looking to treat or get rid of it. Is that not contradicting itself?
No, because acne positivity is about normalization in a space where we have never seen acne properly represented before, in the media. Skin positivity is also about representation and normalization of all skin types and colors; to break down stereotypes and help each other heal through the process. It's more about being candid with the acne experience and letting people know that it's OKAY to have acne and it doesn't define your worth. In washing my face or treating my skin, I believe I am showing my body a form of self care. Not being able to wash your face because you're acne positive is like saying if you're body positive you're not allowed to workout. You can still love yourself and accept your body in its current state, while taking actions to improve yourself. Any myths or misconceptions about acne you want to bust?
Wearing makeup doesn't cause acne. If that were true, everyone who wears makeup would have acne. That isn't the case! When it comes to makeup, if it empowers you not to wear it—go for it. Or, if you feel fab wearing it, that's great too! Only you get to define your experience and what makes you feel truly complete or empowered.

Like personal stories? Read more FaceTime interviews here.