Taking care of my skin was never a priority of mine...until I started getting my first dreaded pimples at the age of 15! My instinctive reaction was run to the drugstore and buy over the counter spot treatments, acne-targeting face washes and masks that promised to banish acne overnight. I was in a desperate rush to get clear skin and used seemingly every acne fighting product out there. Needless to say, my skin became severely irritated, overly-sensitized and my breakouts only got worse. For the next several years, I started my never-ending search for clear skin. I went to dermatologists who prescribed harsh topical treatments and oral antibiotics, which helped initially but the breakouts would always come back. I felt confused, frustrated, tired and hopeless. There were days I wouldn't leave the house because I didn't want to be seen. Acne took a toll on my self confidence and my problematic skin was my biggest insecurity.

That’s when I realized there is a fundamental problem with the beauty industry and its approach to treating acne. One conventional solution is to use a harsh spot treatment, which often results in excessively dry and sensitized skin. Many brands release entire lines to target the problem: cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers - all filled with the same active acne-fighting ingredients. While these ingredients may be effective at treating acne, the compounding effect of using multiple products with these active ingredients can often exacerbate the issue and leave you with a compromised, damaged skin barrier.

After a decade of researching, experimenting and living with acne-prone, sensitive skin, I realized that the solution to keeping acne under control is to rebalance it with ingredients that calm, hydrate and treat the skin. I created Smood to change the way we approach treating acne. Taking care of problematic skin shouldn’t feel like a chore and people with acne-prone skin shouldn't be limited to using boring clinical-like skincare brands. I believe that skincare should be fun, approachable and uncomplicated. Our mission is to create gentle yet efficacious products filled with powerful antioxidants, vitamins and gentle acids to rebalance the skin while simultaneously treating breakouts.

As I am starting small without any outside funding, I decided to launch with just two core products that everyone can use - a cleanser and a moisturizer. These products are gentle and meant to be part of your daily "maintenance" skincare routine. I have big plans to release new products in the future, which includes more core products (such as serums and toners) as well as acne treatments that contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide to specifically target and kill acne causing bacteria. So stay tuned and stay excited! 

Finally, I'd like to say that having acne is completely normal. You are beautiful, regardless of what your skin looks like. Dealing with acne-prone skin is a long term, ongoing process. So be gentle and kind to your skin - it will thank you.

Andrew Lau