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Breaking Down Gender Barriers through Skincare:  A Senior Project

Posted by Kazim Ng ’20 on Apr 24, 2020 1:01:57 PM

After waiting two years to finally get to do a senior project, I was utterly disappointed to hear it was canceled; that was until…the Independent Study was offered. I told myself I wasn't going to let anything get in my way of pursuing and sharing my passion—skincare. I wanted to prove that I was very determined to educate my peers and community about something I genuinely love and that I am willing to go all-in with this project, no matter the circumstances. 

Kazim NgToday, most people may consider skincare as "girly." It's 2020 already, and yet the idea of "self-care" as a male is still looked upon differently. I believe that everybody should be taking care of themselves properly regardless of your gender or sexual orientation. Just like brushing your teeth, it shouldn't be limited to one gender, right? Spending five minutes every morning and evening to help present yourself better and boost your confidence should be done by everyone. 

I had a bad experience in the past where I broke out severely; it drained my confidence and lowered my self-esteem. After countless hours of research and self-learning, I have achieved the skin I have always wanted. After helping myself, I didn't want to end it there. I want to help those who suffer from the same experience that I had so that they can live healthily and be more confident in everything they do. Indeed the male grooming industry has been rapidly expanding over the years. Still, even within our small community at Tabor, I see that it hasn't been entirely accepted socially. Therefore I wanted to take this opportunity to educate those who are either super interested, have no interest at all, or those who wish to learn about skincare but don't know where to start. 

I created an Instagram account (@ngskin.co) dedicated to this project in order to reach out to those interested in self-care. This account will have weekly content on skincare tips, beneficial ingredients, and product layering. It is also a way to allow anyone to reach out to me if they have skin concerns they would like to discuss with me privately. 

Putting skincare aside, presenting something you're super passionate about isn't the easiest job as you can go overboard a lot of times. Albert Einstein says, "If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough." Therefore my real challenge is to deliver something I know very well to people who may not. That's where I was lucky to have had the honor to meet one of Hong Kong's most famous YouTubers and Instagram Star Ricky Kazaf (Instagram: @rickykazaf). 

Ricky Kazaf is a hairstylist, makeup artist, fashion, and skincare blogger. This person played such a significant role in who I am today. Not only is he the first person I looked to for help (on Youtube) when I didn't know anything about skincare, but the fact that he was born and raised in the same city as I was, puts him in a special place in my heart. Followed by the same skincare influencers I admire on Instagram, it felt like a dream come true to meet Ricky. After asking my personal questions and telling him how incredibly inspired I was from watching his videos, I told him about my senior project. He was very encouraging, as well as supportive. He gave me advice on the language to use to interact with an audience and was also encouraging about my mission to break gender stereotypes in a very different culture. 

Currently, I have been studying tissue regeneration and nanotechnology with facilities provided by university labs to learn more about the complex structure of our skin. In the future, I would love to do more research on bio-cellulose material. These materials are becoming more popular in the skincare industry as well as more eco friendly and efficient in drug delivery. 

Finally, I want to thank my Tabor community for the support and positivity you have given me during such a hard time. Your questions and feedback help me stay motivated and drive me to want to do my very best to help with your skin concerns. I hope all of you, and those you love, stay safe and healthy. When we meet again, at last, I can't wait to see those happy, healthy, and GLOWING faces!

Topics: Senior Projects