“I don’t always look this ugly, don’t worry.”

It is my go-to reply whenever someone makes an offhand remark about my festering man acne – or macne, as I would put it.

As dogged pursuers of handsomeness, an acne outbreak is one of our worst nightmares. They show up in the most untimely manner like uninvited guests, they distract us with a lot of self-consciousness when we’re trying to impress other people, and they take what seems like a bajillion years to subside (without scarring or pigmentation, TYVM).

Relative to the womenkind,  guys have thicker skin (why, yes) and tend to produce more sebum. We get the worse end of the stick. Which means all other things constant, we suffer a higher risk of a zit attack, and it doesn’t help that our itchy and dirt ridden fingers are going to pick it into a premature pus explosion.

It is too bad that we don’t have the superhuman means to do what Jessica Alba’s Invisible Woman did in Fantastic Four, but here’s the next best alternative to make your facial volcanic eruption and early swellings look less disastrous: get a concealer.


Yes, a concealer is a makeup item, and it’s something that’s still very much more likely to be found in a girl’s cosmetics pouch than a guy’s dopp kit – despite the whole rhetoric about the modern man breaking dated skincare stereotypes.

Concealers usually come in a tube or a stick and have various shades to match different skin tones. Think of it as an IRL airbrush tool to Photoshop your hideous spots out of sight, dark rings out of scrutiny, and yourself out of misery.

Now that I’ve put it that way, you’re thinking about wanting one, don’t you?

Hey, I’m all for it, man. And so would the male celebs that you look up to, along with their respective personal stylists. You think they get to flaunt their glossy good looks 24/7 without cosmetics supplements, and are not prone to breakouts like any other human being? If they’re sharing kind of guys, they’d tell you it’s concealers.

I’m assuming this is your first foray. The application requires all of two easy steps: reach for your concealer stick/tube and dot over the troubled spot a couple of times. You don’t need that much, unless the imperfection is flaring red. Then, use your fingertip to lightly dab (*do not rub*) until it completely blends into your skin. Watch your macne camouflage itself into a barely-there state.

Neat trick, or what?

That said, makeup is called makeup for a reason. You use it when shit happens. The best-est cure is still prevention, and prevention is observing a religious grooming routine of cleansing and moisturising twice a day. Pack some wet wipes into your bag, too, for oily afternoons.

If you’re already sold but the stigma of buying and using makeup still bothers you, you could probably rob your girlfriend’s toiletries bag for a little trial. As for those Jock-like bros of yours who rib you for being less of a man, it’s really nowhere as bad as, say, the guyliner.

You should be walking away with the last laugh knowing that even on your down days, you’re still the handsomest bro on the go.