The singer-actress started breaking out "literally overnight" at age 22, she says

By Kate Hogan
Updated March 20, 2012 01:00 PM

Courtesy Proactiv

Mandy Moore was blessed with perfect a complexion throughout her teen years. “People were always very complimentary about my skin,” she tells 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.”

The singer-actress visited several different dermatologists, says she tried everything from “the most expensive treatments on down to drugstore products,” and even made an appointment with an allergist to see if she was having a reaction to something she was eating. “I’d never dealt with this before,” she explains. “I was really weirded out.”

Finally, a girlfriend recommended Proactiv — but Moore was skeptical. “I thought, ‘Really?'” she recalls. “I saw the infomercials all the time, and thought it wouldn’t be specific enough to treat my problem.” But after trying it once, she never turned back. “It ended up being the only thing that worked,” she shares.

Now, Moore is a longtime spokesperson for the brand, and says she really believes in the product. “Honestly, I wouldn’t speak about it otherwise,” she insists. “Nobody’s perfect, we all suffer from one thing or another, and bad skin really sucks. It’s a crappy thing to have to deal with on a daily basis.”

To keep her skin clear, Moore uses the brand’s cleanser, toner and repairing treatment at morning and at night. “Sometimes if my skin is feeling dry I’ll add another moisturizer on top of that,” she says.

And though Moore admits she “loves being a girl, experimenting with products and trying new things,” she’s tightened up her beauty regimen, too. “I’ve been very conscious about finding oil-free, non-comedogenic makeup,” she shares. “I love tinted moisturizer, though I try not to wear a ton of makeup.”

She also subscribes to the standard beauty rules: drinking lots of water and removing makeup before bed. “I’m one of those people who thinks less is more,” she adds. “I think it’s most important to give yourself a break, and let your skin breathe.” Tell us: How do you do keep your skin clear?