By Hannah Saunders
Siblings Jackie and Andrew Oh teamed up to create “Pimple Perfect,” a children’s book that teaches young readers about acne and how to be confident in one’s skin.
The book’s inspiration comes from their experiences growing up with acne, the most common skin condition in the world.
Jackie and Andrew grew up in Bothell. Jackie is majoring in apparel design and film, animation and video at the Rhode Island School of Design. Andrew is a first-year student at the University of Washington School of Medicine and hopes to specialize in surgery.
“I picked up a minor in writing because I’ve always been interested in writing and I think it compliments medicine well,” Andrew said. “I realized I always wanted to write a book but never thought it’d be a children’s book.”
After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., in May of 2020, Andrew returned home and applied to medical schools.
“I was spending a lot of time at home and told myself this would be a good time to chase that book dream I had,” Andrew said.
He started writing “Pimple Perfect” in May of 2021. Jackie is the book’s illustrator.
Although she has an artistic background and was creating illustrations in her apparel design class, it was the first time she’s created illustrations for a children’s book.
“I actually had my brother draw rough drafts for what he wanted the pages to look like,” Jackie said. “He did a wonderful job, went to every page and sketched it out.”
After receiving the rough drafts, Jackie cleaned them up and rendered them slightly more professional.
“It was a grueling process for me,” Jackie said. “Not because I was working with my brother, but more so because he’s family—I wanted to make it look as perfect as possible, which is ironic for the book because nothing is perfect.”
Andrew created “Pimple Perfect” for children ages 4 to 10 because that age range is generally pre-acne. He mentioned that most children don’t know how to deal with acne, which can create stigma in school settings and cause them to struggle with confidence and self-esteem.
“I chose the topic of doing acne because skin and pimples and skincare was something I’ve kind of wrestled with my whole life,” Andrew said. “It was a defining moment for me personally, so we thought that making a book about that would be really cool.”
Jackie mentioned she has also struggled with acne, but more so as an adult than during her teenage years.
“Pimple Perfect,” tells the story of a student, William, who had several red bumps on his face. His schoolmates notice them, which frightens him and compels him to search for answers.
The book also teaches readers what causes acne and the best hygienic practices for acne prevention. It also teaches kids how to be confident, regardless of pimples.
Jackie and Andrew self-published the book on Amazon on Sept. 22, 2021. When Jackie was in Rhode Island in the fall, Andrew reached out to the Seattle Children’s Hospital donation department and asked if they wanted some copies of their book.
“We donated 50 copies,” Andrew said. “I just drove over one morning and I dropped them off. I didn’t follow up, but afterward, they sent me a cool letter saying thanks so much.”
Andrew also donated several copies to Maywood Hills Elementary, where he attended grade school.
Future collaborations of children’s books are a possibility for Andrew and Jackie. Before “Pimple Perfect,” the two began working on a book about water safety, but they pivoted to acne because Andrew wanted to pursue that more.
“We’re not alone,” Andrew said. “Acne is the most common skin condition in the world and I find comfort in that. I find comfort in that so many people have acne.”
Jackie offered a word of advice for those struggling with acne.
“I think like everything—your appearance, your weight, your friendships—they’ll come and go— and so will pimples,” Jackie said. “My face is actually breaking out right now. In terms of advice— don’t touch them, it only makes them worse.”
Andrew said it’s imperative for those who have pimples to maintain self-confidence.
“I still get acne, and I still breakout and now the approach is different from when I was a kid,” he said. “We need to stay positive and not to be defined by what is on our face and our bodies. We need to be proud that we were made this way—we’re all beautifully made.”
A paperback version of “Pimple Perfect” can be purchased on Amazon for $6.99.