How Kendall Jenner Keeps Her Acne and Anxiety in Check After a Couple of 'Really Challenging Years'

"It was just mortifying. You feel like it's the end of the world when that happens," Kendall Jenner tells PEOPLE exclusively about her struggle with acne

Kendall Jenner‘s Instagram feed is filled with flawless photos, but the supermodel is the first to admit her life is far from perfect.

“Literally no one is perfect — not one person. I know that everyone shows a lifestyle online, but I think people have to remind themselves that everything’s very curated,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively. “You pick the best moments of your life and put it online, but everyone has their stuff that they deal with.”

For the Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality star, 23, that “stuff” includes very public struggles with acne and anxiety.

“I honestly had never really spoken about [my acne] before, but a lot of people had seen me struggling with it mostly through paparazzi photos or the Golden Globes,” says Jenner, who was announced as Proactiv’s newest spokesperson on Sunday. “I had exhausted all other options, I was desperate, and I was like ‘You know what? I’m gonna try [Proactiv]. It was such an awesome experience for me and really helped me.”

Courtesy Proactive

Developed by dermatologists, Proactiv’s “combination therapy” features a three-step system that includes a face wash, moisturizer and adapalene gel that starts at $19.95 for subscribers.

Jenner got her first breakout on the eve of her first day of high school, and “it was just mortifying,” she recalls. “You feel like it’s the end of the world when that happens.”

Kendall Jenner. Courtesy of Proactiv

For all the details on Kendall Jenner’s struggle with acne and how she’s feeling more beautiful than ever, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Like any other teen, she was just starting to get crushes on boys and “really wanted a boyfriend.” But because of the spots on her face, Jenner says she lost all of her confidence. “I literally wouldn’t even look people in the eye when I would speak to them,” she says.

Though her acne went away for a few years, the pimples returned in full force after she turned 21.

“For me personally, the second time around when it came back, I think it was pretty hormonal,” she says. “You could see it in where I had my breakouts. I also think it had to do with stress. I was having a couple really challenging years of my life.”

With her skin finally clear, Jenner is feeling more empowered than ever — and making sure her life has a healthy balance.

RELATED VIDEO: Sister Act! The Kar-Jenner Clan Takeover the 2018 Met Gala Red Carpet

“I’m definitely in a better mental place,” says the star, who previously opened up about battling anxiety. “It has a lot to do with being clear, but it also has to do with a lot of other things in the way that I’ve changed how my life runs and things that I pick and choose to do. A lot goes into all of that.”

And when she does have a breakout, Jenner no longer lets it bring her down.

“It always is frustrating. Always,” she acknowledges. “One zit can really freak you out because you’re like ‘Oh no, are we going backwards again?’ But I try not to think too deeply about it because I know it’s going to be all good. I want everyone to know I’m okay, and you can be okay too.”

Related Articles