Banish Founder Daisy Jing Wants You to Flex Your Confidence
From reviewing skincare products on YouTube and mixing up her own formulas in her dorm room at Duke University to becoming the founder of a skincare brand that’s revered across social media, Daisy Jing has come a long way. She founded Banish in 2013 with zero outside investors. “I’ve never taken a dime from no one,” she says. “When I tried to raise money, it was a bunch of older men and they were just like, ‘Oh, you know, I don’t know too much about fashion. Let me ask my wife about it [laughs].” But Jing knew her products worked well on her own sensitive, acne-prone skin. She also understood the toll that having acne can take on a person’s self-confidence, which is what propelled her to bring Banish to market.
Keep reading to find out more about Jing’s acne story, what it’s like sharing her skin struggles with such a large audience on Banish’s social media and why she likens practicing self-confidence to exercise. And if you’re on the lookout for a new SPF, we’ve been loving the brand’s latest launch, The Defender SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen.
Can you talk about your journey with acne?
Probably starting at nine years old up until 24, I struggled with severe cystic acne. It was a huge part of my life — going to different dermatologists, trying out different products. Every day, I would wake up and it would either be: is today a good skin day or is today where I get a cystic pimple in the middle of my face kind of day? It really affected my self-confidence, my mental health. Back then, having acne was considered dirty, and classmates would say, ‘Why don’t you take care of yourself, your face?’ All these unsolicited, negative comments. I basically lost out on that huge chunk of my life because I hid myself from the world.
How did that motivate you to start Banish?
I wanted to become a dermatologist, so I went to Duke University to study pre-med. I took all those courses there, and then I just decided to record [YouTube] videos. I started reviewing different skincare products in my dorm room, and by reviewing them and going through every single ingredient, I realized the hundred ingredients that are in skincare do not need to be there. And when you have very acne-prone skin like me, you’re basically treating sensitive skin. Through that, I realized, ‘Oh my goodness, maybe all these products that I'm using are actually causing me to get cystic acne!’
I took matters into my own hands, and I started just making some products on my own —really focusing on the ingredient list. Not only getting the best ingredients, but sourcing them from the best manufacturers that produce those ingredients. I started using them, and then people on my YouTube channel asked me what I was using because they noticed a difference. I didn’t really think too much of it, but it was actually people in real life that started commenting on my skin, including my mom —who, you know, she does not bullshit me. I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, it might actually be the things that I’m doing to my skin,’ and I sold a few products out.
One of those was the Banish Oil [now called Banish Serum]. It was one of our first products, which is our topseller today. So it was purely by accident. I still have all my old YouTube videos out there if you want to go back like 10 to 12 years and watch them.
Do you still get acne? How do you feel about it now?
I still get acne, of course. I will probably always get it [laughs]. Probably, I’ll be like an 80-year-old with acne. But you know what? Having acne has allowed me to create this brand and, furthermore, has allowed Banish to give back people’s confidence. When I get a pimple now, it’s like, ‘Oh! No big deal. Now I have a reason to show on social media how to treat this pimple. Before, it was so traumatic for me if I had acne because I knew it would leave a scar no matter what. But now, I feel more prepared. Now I know I can use the Banisher to help with the scarring afterwards. I’m armed with these products.
Did you ever imagine you would be excited to share your acne with such a large audience?
Never, never, no. It’s still really hard. What is that called…imprinting? As a child or as a teenager, you’re imprinted to hide your skin. So naturally, that’s what comes to me all the time. Sometimes, if I don’t feel like I’m having a good skin day, I want to put a big mask over my face or put a hoodie on. But I think it’s almost like exercise. You have to practice, right? Practice putting yourself out there, practice being a little bit uncomfortable and practice being confident. It doesn’t come easily. I also think me having imperfect skin has honestly helped with the brand because people can relate. They can relate to my story. They can relate to my scars. They see I’m a real person. They see I still break out. So, I always say, ‘OK, Daisy. When you show your skin, people can relate to you, so don’t be scared.’
Do you have any suggestions for someone who’s struggling with their self-confidence because of the way their skin looks?
I would say look at our social media account. Look at our warriors’ accounts. They’re huge social media influencers who have made a following showcasing their acne. So just [realize] that you’re not alone.You’re part of this amazing community. And then, [take] that focus away from what you don't like about yourself to what you do like about yourself. Do your hair, do your eye makeup, fashion or just figure out something that you can focus on. Focus on the positive.
We also created our Banish Battle Book, and this year, we included it free in every purchase of our Starter Kit. It's a planner to help you divert the attention away from your acne and to other positive aspects of yourself — because you’re so much more than the way you look.
How does it make you feel to see people’s before-and-after photos and hear their success stories from using Banish?
The before and afters are great to see, but I think what makes me the most excited is people who are like, ‘Oh my gosh. For the first time, my fiancé saw me without makeup,’ or ‘Post-COVID, I used to always have to wear a mask — not only for COVID, but to cover up my acne. Now I feel confident where I can go out and not have that and not wear layers of makeup or any makeup.’
That makes me the most happy — that people are able to bring their power back. Because when you have acne, you feel so powerless. But they’re like, ‘You know what? My skin has texture. That’s okay. That’s normal. I’m not going to let that stop me from living my life.’ That is what I love to hear. That is why I do what I do.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Photo Courtesy of: Daisy Jing, Design: Juliana Campisi