The 22-year-old Riverdale star opens up about why she likes being open with her fans about this sensitive topic

By Sharon Kanter
October 03, 2018 02:54 PM
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Dia Dipasupil/Getty

You may see that celebrities have flawless complexions in movies and on TV, but Riverdale star Lili Reinhart wants to bust that myth wide open.

“You’re presented with movie stars and TV stars who have beautiful skin, and you don’t see acne because it’s unappealing, especially in Riverdale, where everyone looks perfect all the time,” the 22-year-old actress tells PEOPLE during a discussion about starring in H&M’s latest Studio Collection. “I definitely came on this show feeling like I had the worst skin and I felt very self-conscious about it.”

So, she decided to deviate from the fairytale and talk truth about her skincare struggles.

Starring in the new campaign for H&M Studio Collection.
James Wright/H&M Magazine

“I guess I got sick of feeling like I was the only one,” she says. “When I have a breakout, I feel the urge to tell people, ‘Yes, I know my skin is breaking out.’ It’s a way to help me feel better about when I express my frustration about it to other people. It’s like, ‘Yes, I’m aware my skin looks bad. Trust me, I know.’ Acknowledging it gets it out of the way. Then we can move past it.”

RELATED VIDEO: Lili Reinhart Says ‘I Will Never Apologize for My Body’

Since she’s so open about her skincare challenges in real life, she wanted to share that approach with her online community, which includes 12 million followers on Instagram and 2.16 million followers on Twitter.

“I find it therapeutic sharing that with my fans because it made me feel like it was OK when I broke out,” Reinhart explains of opening up on social media. “It also shows other people that it’s OK to break out.” (Her candidness also landed her a gig promoting Dermalogica products.)

Lili Reinhart/Instagram

What really helps is the fact that she doesn’t let the haters get her down.

“I do get negativity and awful comments,” she says. “People criticize the relationship that I’m in [with boyfriend and co-star Cole Sprouse] and they say ‘fire her stylist’ if I’m wearing something that someone doesn’t like. You could have 100 nice comments and one sour one, and you’re going to remember the sour one because it offends you and insults you. But that is such a small fraction of what I’m seeing on my social media.”

Instead, she’s choosing to focus on the upsides of having an engaged community of millions at her fingertips.

“I’m training myself to move past [the negativity] and focus on the good and the positive that people are sending me because there is so much more of that than there is negativity,” she says. “It doesn’t faze me at all anymore if someone says something s—— on my social media or tweets something nasty to me.”

Her evolution to self-assuredness happened quite organically, she admits.

“I don’t know how I’ve gotten to this point, but it truly bounces off my back,” she says. “I think it’s because I’m confident in myself, I’m confident in my relationship, in my friendships and in my talent that I know that what they’re saying isn’t true. I don’t feel insecure at this point in my life, which makes it a lot easier to say f— off to whoever is trying to bring me down.”

“I’m sure this feeling is going to ebb and flow,” she says. “There will not always be times when it rolls off my back, like if I’m ever going through a very personal struggle and I’m feeling insecure. It will happen.”

Reinhart adds, “But I’m at the point right now where I let it roll off my back, and that feels nice.”