Lorde, Bekah Martinez and More Celebrities Who've Opened Up About Their Acne
These stars shared their biggest skincare struggles
It’s hard to imagine that celebrities have to deal with the same acne and blemish troubles as the rest of the world. After all, they have access to top-of-the-line treatments and the best of the best products — they’re probably covered at all times, right? Well, more and more stars have been speaking out about their skincare struggles. From pimple flare-ups to lifelong battles with acne, stars are getting candid about skincare. And their stories are so relatable and inspiring, we gathered them all up right here.
The Bachelor contestant recently opened up about her struggles with acne in an Instagram story, highlighting the treatments she’s tried, the emotional turmoil it’s taken and how she deals with unsolicited advice from non-acne sufferers.
“I know people mean well, but it’s so difficult to constantly be receiving unsolicited skin advice as an acne sufferer, especially when the person has naturally clear skin,” she tells PeopleStyle. “Yes, I’ve tried … Proactiv/Rodan + Fields/using coconut oil/tea tree oil/getting facials/drinking more water/eliminating dairy/eating plant-based. I’ve tried it all. I’ve been on Accutane three times, and my acne always returns. I’ve been to four different dermatologists throughout my adult acne struggle and have never found a forever cure.”
She says that what some people don’t understand is the emotional toll it takes. “I may seem overly emotional when I talk about it, but unless you’ve experienced it, you cannot possibly understand how cripplingly humiliating it is to have your face literally covered in severe acne,” she reveals. “It’s demoralizing. Ask anyone who’s suffered with severe acne and they’ll tell you the same — how they’ve broken down into tears just looking into a mirror, how they’ve avoided parties or leaving the house altogether for long periods of time.”
After posting similar sentiments in her Instagram story, she says she received a mixed reaction from her followers. “I received some criticism for my Instagram story; people telling me to ‘calm down/relax’ or that I should be grateful for any advice someone is offering. But I received an overwhelming response from literally thousands of women and men saying yes, I understand how you feel.”
In the end, she knows those with advice may be coming from a good place, but it still hurts to hear nonetheless. “Having someone (especially a stranger) give you unsolicited skin advice upon seeing or hearing about your acne is akin to seeing someone overweight and giving them diet and exercise tips without them asking for it. Yes, it may be well-meaning, but it sure as hell gets annoying and hurtful to hear.”
Similarly, the singer opened up about her “years and years and years”-long acne battle in an Instagram story to let people know — she’s tired of their skincare advice. She said she’s tried “all the drugs” and “all the things,” and does not need to hear any more remedies from people, thanks anyways.
She imitated a clueless advice-giver: “You know what worked for me? Moisturizing! Make a mask out of honey, greek yogurt and avocado. All you need to do is buy an apricot scrub! Coconut oil – the secret is coconut oil!”
But the worst comment she could ever hear is when people think it all stems from poor hygiene. “Do you wash your face? It’s like, yes, I wash my face, I’m just genetically cursed,” she said.
In 2016, the Star Wars star opened up on Instagram about how her struggle with endometriosis deeply affects her skin and in turn, her self esteem. During her nine-year battle dealing the the disorder her skin was “the worst.” And despite “hating” to wear makeup, she felt like she can’t leave the house without it.
“I’ve tried everything: products, antibiotics, more products, more antibiotics and all that did was left my body in a bit of a mess. Finally found out I have polycystic ovaries and that’s why it’s bad. I can safely say feeling so self conscious has left my confidence in tatters.”
After receiving negative criticism on social media for her acne at the 2018 Golden Globes, the model shut down the critics by writing: “never let that s— stop you!”
Her comment was a response to a supportive Twitter fan who wrote: “Ok but @KendallJenner showing up and strutting her acne while looking like a gorgeous star is what every girl needs to understand.”
Mandy Moore was genetically blessed to have perfect skin throughout her teenage years, but was “traumatized” when she got acne as an adult. “People were always very complimentary about my skin,” she told PEOPLE. “But that made it all the more traumatizing when I hit 22 or 23, and out of nowhere, my skin started breaking out literally overnight.”
She saw several different dermatologists, a allergist and sampled everything from expensive treatments to drugstore products but nothing was helping. “I was really weirded out,” she said.
The only thing that helped Moore was once a girlfriend recommended Proactiv. “I thought, ‘Really? I saw the infomercials all the time, and thought it wouldn’t be specific enough to treat my problem.’ It ended up being the only thing that worked,” she said.
We all know Keys as the glowing, dewy face behind the no makeup movement, but back when she first made it big, she was struggling with blemishes.
“It took me forever to get this skin. I mean, I know how it feels to have a face full of bumps and pimples,” she told Elle UK. “I lived through that in the public eye. But when I first got pregnant [six years ago with her son, Egypt] I started to eliminate dairy from my diet and drank a lot more water, which made a huge difference to my skin.”
The Grammy-nominated singer revealed in an interview with Refinery29 that touring made her problematic skin so much worse. “Touring f—d my skin up on a whole ‘nother level, 200 meet-and-greets a day. Cheek to cheek. Sweating, hair on my face, mic on my face,” she told Refinery29.
Having worked at Sephora before she made it big, she learned that everyone’s skin is so different so “consistency and simplification is key.”
She sticks to a simple routine of a few products which includes a Manuka honey mask to combat her cystic acne, a hemp oil to smooth her skin, plus Vitamin C serum and black soap.
“I can’t try a whole bunch of different s—t that I’ve seen, like Huda Beauty doing six experiments in a week — imma look crazy. Her skin is invincible. I don’t have that gene pool, so I do what I know. Every now and again, if I see something really cool, I’ll be like, ‘let me try this little turmeric mask.'”
What she suggests for other acne sufferers out there is to not give up. “Don’t get discouraged with your skin when it doesn’t do what you want it to do and you feel like, f—k this product. Give it some time,” she said. “Some of that s—t takes a month to break through.”
And learn to be comfortable in your own skin. “Calm down and relax your face,” she suggested. “I spent so much time screwing my face into mad different shapes because I was nervous to take a picture as is. I would make all these weird a—s faces to where I wouldn’t even recognize myself. I’ve learned to just sit still and be in yourself. That’s the only way to get to know yourself.”
The Riverdale star revealed to Glamour that she dealt with cystic acne on her forehead while filming season one. “I’m not ashamed of it at all; it’s just the reality of the situation,” she revealed.
And the stress of starting a brand new job didn’t help the situation. “I wasn’t that confident at first because I’d be on camera and [the crew] would say, ‘Don’t worry, we can light it.’ And I would think, ‘Oh great, it’s that bad?’ I struggled with that all of last year, but this year I’m really drinking a lot of water. I’m also way happier. I was happy season one but really stressed. It was my first show, and I wanted to make sure everything was perfect. I’m very type-A.”
This year saw a big change in her skin. She now double or triple-cleanses her face after realizing how much makeup was being applied every day on set. (She uses Bioré’s Baking Soda Acne Cleansing Foam.) “This season we’re all back in the groove of things, and I think all of our skin is a lot more clear than it was last year. Because we were also waiting to see if we got picked up for a season, and then we were waiting to see if we were picked up for season two. All of that is so much pressure and stress, and now we can all mellow out a bit and enjoy our life.”
The actress is very candid about her acne struggles on social media and opened up to PeopleStyle in 2017 about her skin self-consciousness. “[Having acne] really stresses me out, but my sister Dani always reminds me, ‘It’s okay!’ She always cheers me up when I see it so that I don’t immediately think negative thoughts,” she says.
As a way to help others dealing with similar issues, she teamed up with Bioré Skincare for a new acne line last year.”Especially with my acne, I just want to help kids with acne and any type of face dysmorphia … problems because I think so many people go through it and it’s such a big thing and people don’t talk about it,” she said.
Rose decided to speak up about her skincare troubles after receiving social media backlash about her acne at the Pitch Perfect 3 premiere. “Yeah it sucks.. for me, I don’t see how it’s bothering so many others? But I’m a human. It happens.. one side of my face is clear and the other is a mess,” Rose wrote.
She contact her dermatologist who said the blemishes were caused from the bacteria on her phone after doing interviews for her new film and from a reaction she had to hotel pillowcases. So to all the hurtful comments she received, she wrote: “This acne belongs to me, not them, and you are welcome to it,” she said after the Pitch Perfect 3 Australian premiere. “I never thought I’d see the day I’d leave my beautiful country bawling my eyes out … when I was so excited to come home.”
After battling acne as a teen, the actress was shocked to see it return as an adult. She had a serious flare up while shooting Deliver Us From Evil, and had “massive” cystic acne on her neck, cheek and forehead. She went “full force” trying to get rid of it with acupuncture, pills and steroid injections from a dermatologist but nothing seemed to cure it.
“The [pimples] go down temporarily, but if they give you too much or they get into a wrong spot it collapses your skin. So it can give you acne craters. And I actually got one, but thankfully my collagen reproduced. That really sucked and it didn’t work.” She eventually gave Proactiv+ a try and she said it cleared up within two weeks.
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And maybe the most “real” reaction to acne from a celeb was when Paris Jackson made a perfect comparison for it: “don’t be insecure about your acne or stretch marks. you know what else has spots? pizza. and everyone loves pizza,” the star tweeted.